Cycling around Drumlanrig Castle and Country Estate near Thornhill, Dumfriesshire, Scotland, UK

Drumlanrig Castle and Country Estate is one of the historic seats belonging to the family of the Duke of Buccleuch and Queensberry, as well as being home to part of an internationally renowned art collection (Rembrandt’s Old Lady Reading and family portraits by artists such as Thomas Gainsborough, as well as landscapes by Paul Sandby and the Dutch masters). Here there is a wealth of experiences on offer for all visitors, whether you simply wish to tour the castle or explore the extensive 90,000-acre grounds of the estate, be that on foot, bike or on a Land Rover tour led by part of the Ranger team.

Although we went to try out one of the cycle trails, our visit coincided with a farmers’ market held in the castle stableyards, despite there being just four of these held each year. We had a quick look around at the produce on offer which included everything from hairy beast burgers to haggis pies.

Also in the stableyards, you will find a shop, small information centre, café and bike shop (run by the ever-helpful Rik of Rik’s Bike Shed).

Within the grounds there is cycling for all abilities. We took a 13-kilometre green route that took us alongside a river and small loch, before climbing up towards some beautiful open scenery.

After a leisurely descent, the end of the route even co-incided with the finish of the Scottish stage of the 2013 Tour of Britain, finishing at the castle entrance.

For more advanced mountain bikers, there are blue, red and even black trails that you can follow.
Our outing on the bikes was followed by a well-earned visit to the café, and then a very short cycle that took us past the oldest sycamore tree in the UK (over 300 years old) and on to an excellent woodland adventure playground – a haven of fun for children – with rope bridges, climbing frames, swings and slides.

Disclosure: The above formed part of a luxury Scotland mountain bike trip sponsored by Caledonian MacBrayne, Ridgeback and Madison.

Source: Read Full Article