2024 : Kirkpatrick C2C

The Kirkpatrick C2C stretches 250 miles from Stranraer on the west coast of Scotland to Eyemouth on the east. The route is named after Kirkpatrick Macmillan, the 19th century blacksmith and pioneer from the area who invented the first pedal-driven velocipede. We’d booked to ride it in September 2023 but after Christine fractured her collarbone at the end of August I had to cancel all the accommodation and train tickets. Our next opportunity was May, I thought it would be easier to plan and book a second time but that was far from the case. There’s a shortage of accommodation on the route so I had to juggle our dates to fit, then I learned that the west coast main line would be closed south of Carlisle when we planned to return, so we added a few days at the end to return from Oxenholme.

I then discovered that the line between Ayr and Stranraer was closed because a building close to the line in Ayr was in a dangerous condition after a fire. There’s a Stagecoach service 500 from Dumfries to Stranraer which is supposed to take bikes but on checking with the bus depot I was told that the service could be operated with either a bus or a coach, and only the latter could take bikes. The only reliable option was to take the train to Kilmarnock and cycle from there. There were so few bike reservations on west coast trains that we had to travel to Carlisle Wednesday afternoon, train and bike to Ayr on Thursday and ride down to Stranraer on Friday for our hotel booking and the start of the route.

As it happened, we only got as far as Dumfries.

Prequel: Home to Stranraer
Day 1 : Stranraer to Creetown
Day 2 : Creetown to Dumfries