After a good night’s sleep, we took the opportunity to go for a quick dip in the sea (brrr!!) whilst the boys went paddleboarding. Once the initial shock had passed, it was actually surprisingly pleasant. In recent years the water quality hadn’t been rated so highly in parts of southern Scotland but, thanks to efforts from the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), this year it is much improved, with Mossyard rated ‘Good’. The key recommendation is that you don’t go swimming after periods of high rainfall as this is when the water quality tends to deteriorate.
Feeling suitably re-energised from our cold water excursions, we headed for Kirroughtree Visitor Centre, located approximately 12.5 miles to the north-west. Kirroughtree Forest is one of Scotland’s world-class 7stanes mountain bike venues. All seven stanes (or stones – each site has a landmark sculpture at a prominent location along the trails) span southern Scotland, from the heart of the Scottish Borders to Dumfries and Galloway, and offer a variety of graded trails.
In the case of Kirroughtree, there’s a little bit of everything, with green, blue, red and black trails all possible. Personally, I’m not a fan of the more technical routes, but there are easier routes with more technical options – such as near-vertical 15-foot drops (no, thank you!) – to keep everyone entertained. The highlight of the mountain biking at Kirroughtree is McMoab, which consists of huge slabs and ridges of exposed granite linked by boulder causeways.
There is a bike shop on site (don’t expect this at each of the 7stanes) and we found the staff very accommodating when we realised the gears on one of our bikes needed re-indexing. There is also a café and even showering facilities on site at Kirroughtree, and you can even stay overnight with your campervan at a nominal cost. Had we realised this in advance, we might have done so but we had already booked onto a site at Glentrool.
Glentrool Camping and Caravan Site is not that large but super-welcoming. The staff spent lots of time with us on arrival, providing us with a map of places of interest. There’s an otter pool at the RSPB Centre in Wood of Cree a short drive away, as well as a hotel/pub in walking distance from the site. Not by co-incidence, we were near another of the 7stanes here, too, and – on realising spaces were limited – made the decision to stop for two nights. We weren’t able to book a meal at the pub on either night, though, so plan ahead if you find yourself in the area and would like to eat out. We had electric hook-up and gas, and plenty of food on board, so opted to cook in, instead.
To read the previous day, click below:
An active family holiday in Scotland:
Day 1: Arriving at Mossyard