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The South of Scotland not only flaunts incredible natural landscapes, but also a rich cultural heritage and history. Turn your Raiders Gravel experience into a weekend getaway by exploring this beautiful region. This Solway Coast itinerary highlights some of the gems to visit and places to stay as you come or leave Gatehouse of Fleet, our event village.

To reach our event location, you can cut across Dumfries & Galloway from the M6 to Gatehouse on the A75. But whilst this is the most direct and quickest way, there is a beautiful coastal route that you can take that passes through another world. There are castles, historic abbeys, sandy beaches and quaint harbours, and a fine whisky distillery to visit. Take the whole coastal route or dip into it from the A75 as you travel to or from Gatehouse. Dumfries & Galloway is a place to decompress, so why not begin by taking the Solway Coast scenic drive? Here are some of the places that await you:

Annandale Distillery

There isn’t – and probably never has been –  a fundamental reason why first-class Single Malt Scotch whisky couldn’t and shouldn’t be produced in Southern Scotland. Since reopening, Annandale have proven that a southern single malt can be a world-beater.
 

Caerlaverock Castle

A fairy-tale moated castle built in the 13th Century, it is one of the finest castles in Scotland. It sits in the centre of miles of flat coastal landscape of international importance for migrating birds.

Dumfries

Dumfries is the traditional county town of the historic county of Dumfriesshire. It is nicknamed ‘Queen of the South’. J.M. Barrie, author of Peter Pan, and, of course, Robert Burns are linked with the town. History from Roman times is near the surface here.

New Abbey

The village has a wealth of history including the ruined Cistercian abbey, Sweetheart Abbey, founded by Lady Devorgilla in 1273 in memory of her husband John Balliol. She kept his embalmed heart close to her for the rest of her life. The monks named the abbey dulce cor (“sweet heart”). Running south from here the road hugs the coastline with panoramic views across the Solway. The stretch to the golden beaches of Sandyhills is some of the finest in southern Scotland.

Kippford & Rockcliffe

Often referred to as the ‘Scottish Riviera’, these two villages would be ideal if you wanted to break your journey with a stay in a picture-perfect seaside location with a feel of a more tranquil Cornwall.

Dundrennan

After the Battle of Langside in 1568, Mary, Queen of Scots, spent her final night in Scotland at Dundrennan Abbey. From neighbouring Port Mary, she crossed the Solway Firth to Workington, and shortly after was imprisoned by the English. There is a peaceful quiet here now and a wonderful cafe and B&B.

Kirkcudbright

Known as the ‘Artist Town’, Kirkcudbright (pronounced kir–coo–bree) is one of Scotland’s most vibrant communities with events, exhibitions and activities taking place throughout the year. A lively fishing port, great places to eat and some of the best hotels and B&B’s in the area. The pastel-coloured townhouses and craft and galleries make this a must-visit place in Galloway. You could spend a wonderful couple of days here exploring the beaches dotted along the coast between here and Gatehouse. Most of the time you will have this beautiful landscape all to yourself.

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Articles

Partners

Our official kit partner: Bioracer

We’re delighted to announce Bioracer as our official kit partner! They are designing the unique, athlete-grade event kits and our official leader jerseys. Find out more here!

Partners

Our presenting partner: Canyon

We’re excited to say that the world-renowned Canyon is Raiders Gravel’s presenting partner. Find out more about them and how they’ll make your Raiders Gravel experience unique!

Itineraries

Where to stay

Thinking of turning your Raiders Gravel adventure into a week-long getaway? First of all, let us say: smart move. The South of Scotland has so much to offer, and we guarantee you’ll find plenty of things to see and do. Here are our favourite accommodation options!

Raiders Tales

The Potato Smugglers

The Edinburgh Road was used by smugglers moving goods that had been landed at the coast, all the way across to the capital to sell. One of the smugglers, Mc Harg, a dealer in contraband tea who regularly stopped off at the Murray’s, was in the habit of obtaining second-hand books of various sorts in the city which he gave to the young Alexander Murray.