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New coast to coast cycle route named in honour of South of Scotland bike pioneer

Posted on in Business News , Cycles News

A new 250-mile coast to coast cycle route set to launch in the south of Scotland this summer will be named after Kirkpatrick Macmillan, the 19th century Dumfriesshire blacksmith who invented the first pedal-driven velocipede.

Cycling in Scottish mountains

The official name for the new route connecting Stranraer in the west with Eyemouth on the east coast – Kirkpatrick C2C, South of Scotland’s Coast to Coast – was unveiled at a major tourism conference organised by the South of Scotland Destination Alliance (SSDA).

Guests from across the region’s tourism, events and hospitality business community gathered at Peebles Hydro for the SSDA’s second annual gathering exploring opportunities and challenges facing one of the south of Scotland’s key sectors in 2023 and beyond.

David Hope-Jones OBE, SSDA Chief Executive, said: “Cycle tourism is a major growth area for the whole of Scotland’s visitor economy and we’re thrilled that the forthcoming new Kirkpatrick C2C, South of Scotland’s Coast to Coast is in the spotlight as one of the longest and most exciting on-road routes of its kind in the UK.”

VisitScotland Director of Industry and Destination Development, Rob Dickson, said:

“As we countdown to the opening of the Kirkpatrick South of Scotland coast to coast cycling route and the UCI Cycling World Championships, we continue to build on the important partnerships we have in place in the South of Scotland to drive forward tourism recovery and continue to strengthen the economy of the south.”

The Kirkpatrick C2C is expected to prove a huge draw for the south of Scotland when formally launched in early summer – early projections forecast that the new route could attract up to 175,000 new visitors to the region, with a direct spend of £13.7M per year.

Adventurers in search of a new challenge on two wheels this summer will experience one of the UK’s longest coast to coast routes, taking them on an unforgettable journey through the region’s spectacular, history-steeped landscape and discovering a huge wealth of brilliant places to stay, visit, eat and drink along the way.

Paula Ward, Economic Infrastructure Development Specialist and Delivery Manager for the South of Scotland Cycling Partnership Strategy & UCI Optimisation Plan, said: “Kirkpatrick Macmillan is an iconic cycling figure which we in the South are immensely proud of, and it is fitting that his achievements are being acknowledged and our heritage celebrated with this new exciting tourism offering.

“Kirkpatrick C2C, South of Scotland’s Coast to Coast is one of a number of new cycling opportunities taking place in our region at present, alongside the arrival of the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships in the South this summer.

“These are opportunities we must grasp if we are to achieve our goal of the South becoming Scotland’s leading cycling destination and recognised as the global home of the bike.”

For those seeking to challenge themselves, the Kirkpatrick Coast to Coast can be tackled over four days, however riders are encouraged to immerse themselves in the beauty, heritage and charm of the south of Scotland, spending eight days completing the route from Stranraer to Eyemouth.

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