c2c biking holiday Scotland

The Southern Upland Way is 40 Years Old!

The Southern Upland Way is a 344 mile coast to coast route that crosses Southern Scotland through its most remote areas. This mountain biking route was one of the very first mountain biking tours that we offered as one of our biking holidays, way back in 2007, when Trailbrakes first started offering biking tours in the UK. 

The idea of a long-distance trail spanning the Southern Uplands of Scotland was conceived in the mid-20th century. In 1969, the Countryside Commission for Scotland proposed the creation of the Southern Upland Way as a coast-to-coast route, showcasing the diverse scenery and heritage of southern Scotland. Over the following years, the trail was developed through collaborative efforts involving government agencies, local authorities, landowners, and volunteers. Construction of the trail involved linking existing footpaths, bridleways, and drovers' roads, as well as creating new sections to form a continuous route from Portpatrick in the west to Cockburnspath in the east. The Southern Upland Way was officially opened in 1984, marking its completion as Scotland's first official coast-to-coast long-distance trail. Since then, it has become a popular destination for hikers, backpackers, and outdoor enthusiasts seeking to explore the natural beauty and cultural heritage of the Southern Uplands.

Although the Southern Upland Way is essentially a long-distance walking route, mountain biking along the Southern Upland Way can be a thrilling experience, offering a mix of challenging climbs, exhilarating descents, and breath-taking scenery along the route. While the trail was primarily designed for hiking, many sections are suitable for mountain biking, particularly the wider tracks and forest paths. 

The Trailbrakes Team has spent the last 17 years riding and researching sections of this biking route to avoid the parts that aren't suitable for mountain biking, due to the boggy nature of the Galloway Hills. So we think that we've come up with the ideal combination of track, trail and deserted country road from coast to coast across the south of Scotland.

Mountain biking the Southern Upland Way offers an incredible opportunity to explore the rugged beauty of southern Scotland while enjoying an exciting outdoor adventure. 

You can read about the route and its 40th anniversary here: