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Ride Rating System

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Ride Info

Ride Overview

Hadrian's Wall and the Scottish Borders

  • Arrival
  • 6/1/2019
  • Departure
  • 6/15/2019
  • Ride Coordinator
  • Jane Maxwell
  • Tour Company
  • Iron Donkey Bicycle Tours
  • Starting Location
  • Glasgow, Scotland
  • Finishing Location
  • Edinburgh, Scotland
  • Estimated Cost †
  • $3500
  • Deposit
  • $1500
  • Number of Riders
  • 25 (min. 17 /max. 26)
  • Space Available
  • 1
  • No. of Pending Riders
  • 0

Ride Rating


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† Explanation of BAC Ride Fee – This fee is not included in the Estimated Cost and is non-refundable once submitted. The Ride Fee for US and Canada is $50 and $100 for all other countries, both are per participant.

and you can request to participate in this ride.

Ride Description

Hadrian’s Wall and the Scottish Borders

OVERVIEW:  The tour starts on arrival in the quaint Scottish Lowlands town of Newton Stewart, about 80 miles south of Glasgow. The itinerary visits four distinct regions, starting with an exploration of beautiful Dumfries and Galloway in southwest Scotland. This region is a hidden gem—and it offers wonderful riding on virtually traffic-free country roads and lanes.  Next comes a stretch along the Hadrian’s Wall Cycleway, riding through some of northern England’s most dramatic and wild countryside and visiting ancient Roman forts along the way.  Circling around the city of Newcastle on Tyne to the north, we reach the beautiful Northumberland Coast, following it north on National Cycle Network Route 1 to Holy Island before reaching the town of Berwick on Tweed.  Here we turn inland to follow the river Tweed into the Scottish Borders—a region steeped in history and tradition, and one that offers some of the best cycling in Scotland.  The final destination of the tour is Edinburgh, and you may decide to extend your stay in this historic city (but see Logistics, below).

Major en-route attractions include the Robert Burns Centre in Dumfries, the town of Gretna Green, Hadrian’s Wall and its asssociated Roman forts, Holy Island and Landisfarne Castle, Kelso Abbey, Floors Castle, Dryburgh Abbey, Melrose Abbey, and Abbotsford (ancestral home of Sir Walter Scott). 

RIDE RATING:  The tour is rated 2B, but it is an easy 2B as it barely crosses the thresholds for distance and for elevation gain.  The total distance is just over 470 miles with a total ascent of around 20,500 feet. There are 11 required riding days (and two optional loop rides) giving a daily average of 36 miles and about 1,500 ft of climbing. The longest day’s ride is 47 miles, and the maximum ascent in one day is 2,290 feet.  Highlighted maps, route notes, and GPX files will be provided for all daily routes.

WEATHER:  The temperatures should be ideal for cycling, with the average June daytime high in the low  60s and nighttime lows in the high 40s (F).   We can expect to see cloudy skies and some rain, so be prepared to love the precipitation that makes the landscape so beautifully green.  The average total rainfall for the month of June is 2.75 inches.    

LODGING & MEALS:  The tour includes 14 nights accommodations:  Newton Stewart (1), Kirkcudbright (1), Dumfries (1), Gretna Green (1), Haltwhistle (2), Heddon (1), Amble (1), Bamburgh (1), Berwick on Tweed (1) Kelso (2), Innerleithen (1), and Edinburgh (1).    All breakfasts and seven group dinners are included.

LOGISTICS:  A chartered bus will take us from Glasgow (near the airport) to our hotel in Newton Stewart, where we assemble our bikes and the tour officially begins with a welcome dinner at the hotel on Saturday, June 1.  The tour ends with a farewell dinner at our Edinburgh hotel on Friday, June 14.  

Those continuing on to the Neolithic Scotland tour take the train to Inverness the next day, where they will join that tour’s welcome dinner on Saturday, June 15.  Iron Donkey will transport bicycles, bicycle boxes, and luggage to Inverness.

COSTS:  The $3,500 tour cost includes 14 nights’ accommodation, all breakfasts, seven dinners, maps and cue sheets and GPX files, transfer by chartered bus from Glasgow to Newton Stewart at the beginning of the tour, luggage transfer, emergency sag service, bike box storage, and tips.  (Note that the price does not include your hotel in Glasgow.)  The price is based on double occupancy and an exchange rate of $1.50 = 1 British pound.  Some fluctuation in the exchange rate may occur between now and June 2019, requiring a price adjustment.  Bikes and Garmin GPS units are available for rent from Iron Donkey if you prefer not to bring your own; make arrangements directly at  The happy hour map meetings will be cash bar because of hotel restrictions on bringing in wine or beer.  

SIGN-UP:  To submit a request to join this ride click the link above.  When you are accepted, you will be moved from the Waitlist to the Pending List.  At this time you will receive an email notification to log into the BAC website to sign the release of liability form and pay the non-refundable BAC ride registration fee ($100) online.  Once those steps have been completed, the initial deposit of $1,500 will be due.  The balance will be due in two installments of $1,000—one by December 31, 2018, and the second by February 28, 2019.  If you have questions, please contact me:  

SINGLES & SOLOS POLICY:  Riders who want to room alone pay a single supplement fee ($712); payment by check is mailed to the BAC office.  It is recommended that singles who want a roommate try to find one on their own.  However, after receipt of the original deposit, a single without a roommate will be placed on the ride and given until October 1, 2018, to find a roommate.  If they are  unable to find a roommate, they will have the option to receive a full refund (minus the $100 BAC fee and payment processing fee) or pay the $712 single supplement and stay on the ride.  If a single pays the supplement, they may continue to seek a roommate, but must plan to participate without a roommate if necessary.  The Ride Leader will assist by attempting to match singles who apply for the ride.   Note: there is a limit of two single rooms on this tour.  

BAC CANCELLATION POLICY:  The BAC ride registration fee and payment processing fee are not refundable unless the entire tour is cancelled.  Refunds of tour payments will depend upon whether a replacement rider signs up, and on costs that can be recouped.  The amount refunded will be based on the principle that the tour’s remaining participants will not incur any additional cost as a result of cancellations.  If the cancelling participant is replaced, a refund will be made at that time.  If the cancelling participant can’t be replaced, any refund will be determined after the ride and final expense report are completed.  If a single participant cancels and another roommate cannot be found, in addition to other costs that cannot be recouped the cancelling roommate may also be liable for the single supplement fee of the roommate remaining on the tour.  BAC encourages members to purchase trip cancellation insurance.  

In addition to the BAC cancellation policy, those who cancel may be subject to Iron Donkey’s cancellation policy: unless a replacement rider is found, the following penalties will apply. 

  • Between tour confirmation and 90 days before departure, 10% of full payment (£199).
  • Between 90 days and 30 days before departure, 25% of full payment (£498). 
  • Between 30 days before departure and departure, 100% of full payment (£1,995).

BAC STATEMENT OF RIDE PARTICIPANT RESPONSIBILITY:  Please remember that BAC Ride Leaders are volunteers, and that successful tours depend on participants providing much of their own support.  Participants are expected to come to the ride well trained, in good health and ready to accomplish the required daily riding using well-maintained bicycles.   All participants should accept responsibility for a safe and enjoyable tour.  We encourage you to read the ride description carefully and respond to requests from Ride Leader.  While on the ride, support your Ride Leader with offers to help with various tasks such as happy hour preparation and clean-up.  Please do not interfere with the ride by inviting non-participants onto any portion of the ride or tour.  Please keep the Ride Leader informed of any special requests you may have and respect the Ride Leader’s decisions.

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