A 224 mile long distance coast to coast by the forests, hills and rivers of south Scotland. Quiet back roads; lots of historic interest. The purple sections on the map can be done as circular day rides.
There is a lot of interesting cycling between Stranraer and Dunbar, here is a little information, for more - see the individual routes.
Whithorn is the place where Scotland first started to become a Christian country in the 5th century and if you cycle through there you'll be able to see round the remains of the historic priory. Quite near here too is Galloway Forest Park, a huge area with lots of wildlife: red deer, pine marten, wild goats...... Recently the area has been developed for mountain biking and there are lots of interesting trails for all abilities. If you are doing the long distance route it is possible to include a number of long off-road sections to make things more interesting!
One should not pretend that all the cycling is easy. Wanlockhead, Scotland's highest village is on the route after all and this means a 300 metre climb. Check out the mining museum while you're up there, then enjoy your reward - a long descent over about 10 miles. All the border towns are attractive but Kelso is particularly so with its elegant town square and beautiful ruined abbey. After Kelso you can either strike north remaining in Scotland to catch a train home from Dunbar, or briefly enter England to go home from Berwick upon Tweed.
If you elect for the northern option you'll pass through Abbey St Bathans with its ancient oak woods and the remains of its 12th century priory. There are some lung bursting hills here too, but if you've come from Stranraer they won't cause you any problem.
This route can be done as a long distance coast to coast route, or as a series of circular day rides. Virtually all the route is on quiet back roads, the only exception to this is between Abington and Biggar where there is a linking section on the A702/A73 for five miles. Apart from this cars should not be a problem - some back roads are so quiet you may not see any cars ar all. If you are arriving and departing by train it's important to reserve a place on the train for your bike. There are train stations at Stranraer, Sanquhar, Dunbar and Berwick upon Tweed.
If you are staying for more than a day there is a wide choice of accommodation. This ranges from youth hostels and camp sites, through friendly B&Bs, to a wide choice of hotels. The small towns each have their own individual character and aren't particularly touristy. One should not pretend that all the cycling is easy. Wanlockhead, Scotland's highest village is on the route. Between Biggar and Berwick the route uses the Tweed Cycleway and National Cycle Network Route 1 to travel through the Scottish Borders. Along the way there are circular routes to explore the rivers and valleys, and look at the great abbeys and castles. Gradients are usually gentle in the valleys but crossing between them will involve a climb. Sheep farming is important here and if you are cycling for more than a day or two you are certain to see the familiar black and white border collie, still a working dog in this area. The Border forests are quite extensive too. Glentress, Cardrona and Elibank and Traquair Forests have a number of mountain bike routes. You could include some of these in the coast to coast. "