Pedal the low road: cycling coast-to-coast across southern Scotland

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We ride the Kirkpatrick C2C, a new 250-mile route across lowland Scotland and stopping at bike-friendly hotels and cafes along the way

The weather-beaten curves of a battered stone wall guide me out of Langholm, an idyllic old textile town tucked between the hills of the Esk valley, eight miles north of the English border.

As I pedal slowly around a steep corner, a lamb and her mother, grazing on the grassy fringes, scurry off up the road. I appreciate their show of faith in my cycling abilities, but on gradients of 9%, I wouldn’t have been able to keep their pace even if they’d crawled off. I pause for a breather at the MacDiarmid Memorial, a huge, metal sculpture of an open book, embellished with images from the work of the great poet Hugh MacDiarmid, who was born in Langholm.

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