This version includes a two mile off-road section.
Drumlanrig Castle is a fine mansion of pink sandstone standing in the woods of Nithsdale. It was completed in 1690 by William Douglas. He died in 1695, ruined it was said by the expense of building it. His son James Douglas, performed a crucial role in the Treaty of Union between England and Scotland, some of the negotiations took place at the castle. Cyclists from Edinburgh may notice some similarity between the castle and George Heriots School in Edinburgh. Both were planned by the same architect, William Wallace.
The formal gardens are lovely, there is a very attractive walk to a lake.The castle eventually passed to the Dukes of Buccleuch and it is due to them that the castle has become a treasure house full of beautiful works of art. There are many lovely rooms containing, amongst other things, Rembrant's masterpiece: An Old Woman Reading. There is also a good tea room in the former kitchen.
This describes the outward part of a circular route from St Johns Town of Dalry to Drumlanrig Castle. For the return part click Related routes above. Going via Lorg includes an off-road section where you may need to walk for a mile or more. If you don't want to do this go via Moniaive, click Related routes above.
Leave St Johns Town of Dalry going east (uphill) on the A702 but turn left on to the B7000 before leaving the village. This climbs steadily giving beautiful views over the Water of Ken and its associated lochs. After five miles you pass Kendoon youth hostel (a timber building) then cross the Water of Ken on the High Bridge of Ken. Turn right after the bridge on to the B729. Just over a mile after this turn left to a minor road with a small sign: Holm of Dalquhairn. This is just before a second bridge over the Water of Ken.
This next section via Lorg requires you to walk, pushing your bike for just over a mile. Some people on mountain bikes might be able to cycle, but if you are on a road bike you'll have to walk. It is worth it though because it gives access to a lovely little remote road where meeting a car would be unusual. Some warm and waterproof clothing, a bit of food, and the ability to fix punctures would be a good idea..
After the off-road section there is a long descent by Scar Water then you come to a road junction with a triangular patch of grass. Turn left here, ignore the first two right turns then turn right at a phone box to get to Drumlanrig Castle. The entry point is just over a mile down this road. This is not the main entrance to the castle so don't miss the turning. The castle has a tea room.