Sunday, October 07, 2007

Books, biking and beautiful autumn Scotland

The Seven Stanes network of Forestry Commission mountain biking sites includes Kirroughtree, right next to where I was staying for the Wigtown book festival. Never having tried off-road biking on one of the purpose built trails, I was keen to have a go. So I hired a bike at the excellent Breakpad shop (just 12 quid for three hours) and set off on the network of blue (intermediate) trails. It was absolutely fantastic - hard but thrilling on the single track descents. And only one mild spill. I could get addicted to it. Oh, and there's a truly fabulous cafe at Kirroughtree too, though I think it's seasonal.

Wigtown is a brilliant book festival, excellent in breadth and depth of programme, really well organised, with a relaxed and stimulating atmosphere. And there are, of course, the bookshops in Scotland's booktown. Next year is the tenth anniversary of the festival and BBC Radio Scotland will be there in strength. I'm already looking forward to it.

My three days in Galloway were hallmarked by splendid weather, and I was lucky enough to be staying at a really nice country house hotel, the Kirroughtree. This was the view from my window.


andy gilmour said...

Dear Tom,

You must REALLY hate your job sometimes, eh?


Tom Morton said...

Perhaps I should point out that the BBC wasn't paying...and I had to buy all my own whisky!

andy gilmour said...

Fair point (don't worry, I'm not on one of those "The BBC 'tellytax' is thievery - how dare you get to spend MY MONEY, etc,etc" nutjob rants!), but it's a lot like when I as a working muso - even the dull, hanging-around bits were better than getting kitted-out in a suit 'n' tie every morning!

At least, that's how it feels now I'm a full-time, stay-at-home Dad...

Cheers from Dunfermline!

hoolet said...

hi tom
ah don't think your bike hire was that much o' a bargain , if you go up tae loch katrine you'll get 8hrs for £14 or 4hrs for £10 an extra £6 gets you on the boat tae stronalacher then you pedal the 14 miles back tae the bottom o' the loch tarmac roads and a good few hills tae wheech doon , scenery in abundance , when your puffed oot stop and contemplate the loch, braw

Cal said...

At least you managed to escape and were not encased in a wicker man.

Lovely part of the country.

You appear to be getting younger what is the secret old photos or just the whisky?