This week’s Roadtrip Friday takes us to the historic southwest of Scotland. The southwest is filled with castles, fortresses, and strongholds, dating back thousands of years to the Roman invasion and the battles of the iron age. At Pinlock we want to inspire you to really get out there and experience it, so this week we’re planning out a weekend road trip. There is just too much to see in the southwest of Scotland for a one-day trip.
For our trip, we start off in Ayr the 800-year-old town at the western coast of southern Scotland.
Ayr is easily reachable from the A77 from Glasgow or from its own Glasgow Prestwick Airport.
From here we start our 240km (150 miles) trip in eastern direction into the hills. After just 60 km (37 miles) you can find the first castle and the first ruin near Thornhill. The Drumlanrig Castle and the ruins of the former Morton Castle. The castles in the area all have impressive back stories. Some have played key roles in medieval diplomatic relations or wars fought between different kingdoms.
When you venture further, you will find Caerlaverock Castle on your way south towards the coast. The views from the hills towards the Irish sea are magnificent. When the trip starts going west again, you may want to find a place to stay the night. During the summer, a lot of hotels, hostels, and bed-and-breakfasts are open for bikers. When you end the day on the road, you might want to try one of the local whiskies.
Always drink responsibly and never drink and drive.
On your way to Stranraer in the west of the trip, you will find many more castles and historic sites, like the Carsluith Castle, the ruins of the Glenluce Abbey and the towers of St. John Castle.
From Stranraer, you will have an 80km (50 miles) stretch of highway along the Scottish coast ahead of you. No better way to enjoy this than by motorbike. On your way north you will encounter the majestic Culzean Castle along with local whisky distilleries.
Our trip ends back in Ayr, where we started. But of course, you can adjust your trip to start wherever you like it to start and enjoy southwestern Scotland in your own way.
Go fast, go safe and enjoy this wonderful part of the world.
1. Do your trip in the summer, many hostels and hotels close for the cold winter, leaving you with very little options for staying the night.
2. Pick your historic sights beforehand and see if there are any activities during your visit. Some castles regularly have fairs or historic reenactments.
3. Buy your tickets online and mind the opening hours of historic sights. Your tour is a lot better if you can get additional information about the site you’re visiting. Some castles have guided tours around the area, but only during business hours.
4. Explore local whiskeys responsibly. Scotland is famous for its whiskeys, you might find your new favorite one while visiting a local distillery. Drink responsibly and never drink and drive.
5. Bring a camera. If you are lucky, you may be able to enjoy a clear sunny day in Scotland. The views can be spectacular, especially from the coast.
Read more about exploring historical sites in Scotland on historicenvironment.scot