Saturday 24th November – taking in not just history but prehistory, this ride will explore the area on both sides of the Cluden Water, an area that is both rich in historical interest and remarkably flat! The ride will be about 17 miles long, almost all on public roads but mostly either residential streets or quiet rural routes, apart from a short stretch of the B729 at Newbridge.Starting at the museum at 10:30 am, we will cross over the Nith on the Suspension Bridge (walking our bikes) before taking the Whitesands to recross at the footbridge beside the old Swimming Pool to College Road. From there we go through Goldie Park and over the A75-A76 roundabout on the bridge. Crossing the A76 using the toucan crossing we cycle along Lochside Road to join the Irongray Road at the business park. Turning off quickly into Newbridge, and then following the B729, the first port of call will be the 12 Apostles, the largest henge in mainland Scotland. From there we will follow the valley of the Cairn or Cluden Water, past the side of the Irongray station on the now sadly entirely defunct Dumfries-Moniaive railway. Crossing over the river at Drumpark, we double back, past the waterfall at the Routin Bridge (where salmon may often be observed attempting to leap the waterfall).
We return along the Irongray Road, with stops at the Martyrs’ tomb, commemorating two covenanters who were hanged at this spot and we can also take in the Irongray Churchyard, which is much older than the handsome rebuilt Victorian church. If that hasn’t slaked our appetite for ancient holy places we can cross the Glasgow Road and work our way through the residential streets of Lincluden to visit the ruins of the Lincluden Collegiate Church. From there, we cross the A75 over the foot and cycle bridge and join the Maxwelltown path until Hardthorn Road. From there, we will cycle along Terregles Street and cross the Glasgow Road to take quiet streets again to the museum, where participants are welcome to enjoy hot drinks and explore the exhibition and the rest of the exhibits.
The ride will be accompanied by a representative from the Museum who will hopefully be able to fill us in with more information about Dumfries’s long religious history.