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Article published 15/03/2023

A brand new 250-mile coast to coast cycle route set to launch in the South of Scotland this summer will be named after Kirkpatrick Macmillan, the 19th century Dumfriesshire blacksmith who invented the first pedal-driven velocipede.  

The official name for the exciting new route – "Kirkpatrick C2C, South of Scotland’s Coast" – was unveiled at a major tourism conference organised by the South of Scotland Destination Alliance (SSDA) on 15 March. The route will connect Stranraer in the west with Eyemouth on the east coast

The announcement was made as part of a cycling-themed keynote session on the future of the region’s visitor economy by Paula Ward of South of Scotland Enterprise (SOSE).

The keynote speech was delivered by ‘bikepacking’ expert Markus Stitz, with a further presentation from local business owner Esther Tacke of Galloway Cycling Holidays. 

The Kirkpatrick C2C is expected to prove a huge draw for the South of Scotland when formally launched in early summer. Early projections suggest the new route could attract up to 175,000 new visitors to the region, with a direct spend of £13.7 million per year.

the first pedal-driven velocipedeThe first pedal-driven velocipede, invented by blacksmith Kirkpatrick Macmillan

Kirkpatrick Macmillan is an iconic cycling figure which we in the South are immensely proud of, and it is fitting that his achievements are being acknowledged and our heritage celebrated with this new exciting tourism offering. 

Kirkpatrick C2C, South of Scotland’s Coast is one of a number of new cycling opportunities taking place in our region at present, alongside the arrival of the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships in the south this summer. 

These are opportunities we must grasp if we are to achieve our goal of the south becoming Scotland's leading cycling destination and recognised as the global home of the bike.

Paula Ward, Economic Infrastructure Development Specialist and Delivery Manager for the South of Scotland Cycling Partnership Strategy and UCI Optimisation Plan

The South of Scotland, with its abundance of biking trails, road routes and world-class facilities has a long association with cycling. It is therefore fitting that the new coast to coast route also pays tribute to its historical connections to cycling.

The Kirkpatrick South of Scotland Coast to Coast cycle route will help strengthen the south’s cycling offer and inspire many more visitors to the region, supporting the recovery of the tourism industry while promoting sustainable travel experiences to the benefit of visitors, communities and our environment.

With the region set to host key events as part of the UCI Cycling World Championships this summer, we would encourage tourism businesses to make the most of this unique opportunity. Our website provides clear and practical advice to help industry understand how to make the most of cycling tourism and the interest this event will generate. 

As we have heard at the industry conference, there has never been a better time to experience cycling in the South of Scotland. With the creation of new cycling initiatives and experiences, promoting cycling and helping businesses cater for this growing market will benefit communities right across the region and beyond.

Annique Armstrong, VisitScotland interim Destination Development Director

The Kirkpatrick C2C

Adventurers in search of a new challenge on two wheels this summer will experience one of the UK’s longest coast to coast routes, taking them on an unforgettable journey through the region’s spectacular, history-steeped landscape and discovering a huge wealth of brilliant places to stay, visit, eat and drink along the way. 

For those seeking to challenge themselves, the Kirkpatrick C2C can be tackled over four days, however riders are encouraged to immerse themselves in the beauty, heritage and charm of the south of Scotland, spending eight days completing the route from Stranraer to Eyemouth.  

You can follow the South of Scotland Destination Alliance on Facebook and Twitter to keep up to date on the latest news on the cycle route.

Cycle route name launch

Coast to Coast ambassadors unveiling route name

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