Drumlanrig Castle Mountain Bike Trail

Drumlanrig_redI had a great day at the weekend on the Drumlanrig Castle red/black trail. It was an unexpected find as it’s a pretty unknown trail down in the south of Scotland, not even a member of the forestry commision’s legendary 7 Stanes, and it’s not particularly man-made.

That turned out to be it’s strength though as the trail is a tricky little effort, twisting and winding through trees and rocks, up and down as the land takes it. There’s roots a-plenty waiting to slide your bike’s front tyre and some nasty uphills that just come out of nowhere. Unlike more man-made trails it seems like this area has been developed through bikers simply going for a yomp in the forest and finding the best route through. Sometimes you have to watch out or you’ll lose the trail but it makes it feel like that much more of an adventure.

One more modified section is made for speed though as you pedal like crazy around an undulating track through a more sparsely wooded area. It’s a great wee section with enough berms to keep the speed up and enough trees to duck under to let you know exactly how fast you’re going. The exit is a straight downhill into what was an axle-deep muddy puddle on the damp day I was there. If it’s the same on your visit it’ll have you screaming and laughing like a schoolkid as you whiz out of the trees and create your own bike tsunami.

The facilities are enough to put plenty of specialised biking areas to shame too with showers, changing rooms, a free bike wash and a mountain bike shop on offer. You can even check out the castle after to feign a bit of culture.

If you’re wanting to go back to basics, move away from the downhill speed, and test your pure bike handling skills for a change then Drumlanrig is a great day out. Ride this root-strewn, slide-fest a few times and you’ll wonder how you ever found the ultra-grippy, rocky steps of the man-made trails a problem.


Colin started mountain biking in the early 2000s and has haphazardly, and with barely increasing skill, dragged his bike around the majority of Scotland's trail centres since then. Colin has oodles of hard earned experience in how NOT to do things - listen, be warned and don't repeat his mistakes...   More about Colin... Google+ Colin

7 Responses

  1. Anonymous says:

    Hello Colin. Wow! What a action-packed blog. Looking forward to reading your downhill adventures.

  2. Anonymous says:

    The anonymous was Helen

  3. John says:

    I’m impressed.

    By your weekend activity.
    By the blog layout.
    By the amount of text you have had time to compile for us.

    Beginning to feel I am out of my league.


  4. Colin says:

    John, don’t worry about the quality of my Blog at all, I don’t want it to put you off. It’s basically my job to do stuff like this so I’d be worried if I couldn’t come up with something decent to show everyone! And besides, it’s quite easy to download a template similar to mine and jazz up the default wordpress look.

    Anyway, one of the great things about blogs is that they work perfectly well even without the bells and whistles so the one that you have set up already should work great.

    Let’s give the activity a go and I’ll give you a hand if you need it. I’d be happy to meet up with you sometime this week to talk about it if you want, are you on-camus at all?

  5. Kev Head says:

    Nice blog, Colin

    Look forward to future installments


  6. Rik says:

    Hi Colin
    Nice review of the trails at Drum – I’m glad you enjoyed the natural ‘feel’ of the trails, but you might be suprised at the amount of ‘design’ and ‘construction’ that has gone into the trail.

    If you’re interested in how we build the trails here at Drumlanrig pop into Rik’s Bike Shed (in the castle courtyard) for a brew and a blether.

    Pow’r tae yer pedals

    • Colin says:

      Hey Rik!

      Thanks for the comment – I’ve bumped into you once or twice when down at Drumlanrig, buying a few supplies from the shop. Thanks for the help at the time 🙂

      I’ll definitely pop in next time I’m down and have a chat about the trail. I’d love to get your view on trailbuilding these days, and didn’t mean to suggest that Drumlanrig wasn’t a well designed trail. Just that it still feels nice and natural compared to some of the ‘motorway’ trail centres!

      If you ever fancied doing a little interview for the blog here, I’d love to publish it. Let me know!


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