- 7stanes Ae Forest
- 7stanes Dalbeattie
- 7stanes Kirroughtree
- 7stanes Mabie
- Carrick Forest
- Clatteringshaws Loch
- Drumlanrig Castle to St Johns Town of Dalry
- Glentrool and Clatteringshaws Loch
- Lochinvar Circular
- Lowther Hills and the River Clyde
- Lowther Hills Circular
- Newton Stewart to the Isle of Whithorn
- Stranraer to Dunbar
- Stranraer to Newton Stewart
- The Merrick Circle
Cycle alongside the the loch immortalised by Sir Walter Scott on this peaceful route to the historic St John's Town of Dalry, which dates back to the days of the Knights Templar.
St John’s Town of Dalry is a village rather than a town and is situated on the River Ken south of Earlstoun Loch 26 miles west of Dumfries. The town is named after St John’s church of the Knights Templar which once stood in the area. Its form changed in the late 18th century when building began through the efforts of the Earl of Galloway. Among the remains of the old church is the Gordon Aisle for Sir James Gordon of Lochinvar and there are monuments to the Newalls of Barskiach and to two Covenanting martyrs, Robert Stewart and John Grierson.
St John's Town of Dalry is part of the Galloway hydro-electric scheme which was built shortly before the Second World War, this includes the Earlstoun Power Station (see map).
There are plenty of places to stay in Dalry, these include The Clachan Inn and the Lochinvar Hotel plus a number of B&Bs. There are also several tea rooms and shops.
The Ballad of Young Lochinvar alludes to the loch and was composed by Sir Walter Scott. It seems likely that the young Lochinvar actually existed but the rest is most likely invention:
"Oh, young Lochinvar is come out of the west!
Through all the wide border his steed was the best.
And, save his good broadsword, he weapon had none.
He rode all unarmed, and he rode all alone!
So faithful in love, and so dauntless in war.
There never was knight like the young Lochinvar!"
As you pass Lochinvar you will see the ruin of a small historic schoolhouse. Possibly Sir Walter Scotts ballad was required reading (there are eight verses).
This is a lovely little route of 12 miles. If anything could convince you that cycling in Dumfries and Galloway is just wonderful this route certainly should. It includes two miles on the A702. This need not concern you too much as the A702 is quieter than most back roads in other places. There are fine views over the Water of Ken and its associated lochs. These were created shortly before the Second World War for the first large scale hydro electric scheme in Scotland.
Leave town going east on the A702 but turn left on to the B7000 before you leave the village. There are a few up and downs but the tendency is generally up. As you get higher the Water of Ken comes into view with the hills of the Rhinns of Kells behind. There is still some climbing after the second road junction (a right turn). The route crosses moorland. The Southern Upland Way walking route crosses the cycle route at the next junction (turn right again).
After this the tiny single track road winds across the moor to Lochinvar (see ABOUT THE ROUTE) passing a small schoolhouse. When you descend to the A702 turn right again for the final two miles to St John's Town of Dalry.
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