Fastest time set for Kirkpatrick C2C

Fastest time set for Kirkpatrick C2C, Scotland's Coast to Coast cycling route

An experienced cyclist from Dumfries & Galloway has become the first rider to road-test the full Kirkpatrick C2C, South of Scotland’s Coast to Coast route – setting a ‘fastest known time’ for Scotland’s new long-distance cycling route in the process. 

Josh Wood, 38, cycled the new 250-mile Kirkpatrick C2C road route from Stranraer in Dumfries and Galloway on the south-west coast of southern Scotland to Eyemouth in the Scottish Borders on the south-east coast in 23 hours and eight minutes.  

The news comes as digital assets for the route, which is aimed at experienced cyclists, have been released on Kirkpatrick C2C’s dedicated landing page at as part of the route’s ‘soft launch’.  

What is included on the new landing webpage?

  • These assets include the downloadable gpx files of the route and additional information such as route maps and suggested itineraries, with key landmarks and places to stay, eat, drink and visit.
  • A Scotland Starts Here Club has also been created on Strava to encourage cyclists to report back on the route through the app, log their favourite sections and share photos from their rides. 

The route start and end signs will be installed this summer, with full route signage completed by Spring 2024. 

Busy summer of cycling

The news also comes during a busy time for cycling in the South of Scotland with the region also gearing up to welcome thousands of cyclists and spectators for the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships in August, with the cross country mountain biking events taking place at Glentress Forest in the Scottish Borders, and the para-cycling events being staged in Dumfries and Galloway. 

Josh Wood said:

“The route was so beautiful and varied, with stunning views across the sea contrasting with some amazing wild open spaces and lots of lovely small towns and villages.

"Even though I was going as fast as I could to set the fastest known time, I saw lots of wildlife along the way including hedgehogs, owls and deer.

"I felt as if I was completely away from it all even though I was actually never far from a coffee stop. 

“I live in Dumfries and Galloway but the whole route helped me rediscover how much there is on offer in the South of Scotland especially in the Borders where I don’t ride in as much. The route is a great challenge for experienced cyclists and I’d encourage riders to come and give it a go!”

What is the Kirkpatrick C2C, South of Scotland's Coast to Coast?

Named after Kirkpatrick Macmillan, the 19th century Dumfriesshire blacksmith who invented the first pedal-driven velocipede, the Kirkpatrick C2C will take experienced riders on an unforgettable journey through breath-taking landscapes with dramatic coastlines and beaches, rolling hills, shimmering lochs, historic tweed mills, Victorian stone viaducts and romantic ruined abbeys all peppering the route. 

The Kirkpatrick C2C can be tackled in the Eight-Day Explorer approach or the Four-day Challenge approach.

The Explorer approach takes cyclists across the country in eight stages, with daily cycling distances varying from 21 miles (Newcastleton to Hawick) to 51 miles (Dumfries to Newcastleton).

Meanwhile, the Challenge version can be done over four days, starting with a 74-mile stretch from Stranraer to the charming artists’ town of Kirkcudbright and finishing with a 59-mile ride from Selkirk to Eyemouth.  

Who is behind the route and what benefits will it bring?

The route, which has been developed and established by:

  • South of Scotland Destination Alliance (SSDA)
  • South of Scotland Enterprise who committed £350,000 to the project in October 2022
  • VisitScotland
  • Sustrans
  • Dumfries & Galloway and Scottish Borders councils

It is expected to prove a huge draw for the South of Scotland – initial projections suggest the new route could attract up to 175,000 new visitors to the region, with a direct spend of £13.7m per year.  

Professor Russel Griggs, Chair of South of Scotland Enterprise, said:

“Over the last year, a number of partners including SOSE have put extensive work into progressing the Kirkpatrick C2C, South of Scotland’s Coast to Coast cycling route.  

“I am delighted we have now reached the stage where we can invite experienced cyclists to try out the route and provide feedback.  

“Cycling offers significant social, economic and environmental opportunities, including next month’s 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships happening right here in the South of Scotland.  

“We want to capitalise on these immediate opportunities to help kickstart a long term aim to make the South the leading cycling destination in Scotland by 2032.”

David Hope-Jones OBE, SSDA Chief Executive, said:

“During this soft launch phase, we are sharing full details of the route in digital formats and inviting experienced riders to trial the route, during which time we will be collecting feedback and using that to support businesses on the route to be ‘cycle-ready’.   

“Ultimately, the route is aiming to attract a wide audience and is designed to show the very best of the South of Scotland - attracting new visitors, bringing in new business and helping power the visitor economy.”