Borders leads way as cycling destination

The Scottish Borders Recreational Cycling Group is set to capitalise on the region’s hosting of the Tour of Britain with the launch of a new look website www.cyclescottishborders.com.

The new site forms part of the group’s bid to establish the Borders as Scotland’s leading cycling destination and to maximise the opportunities presented by the tour to attract more cyclists to the area.

The website showcases road cycling routes across the Borders and includes interactive maps and information on places to stay and things to do on a cycling break. It also features details of forthcoming events, plus sections on mountain biking and links to other web resources – creating a complete information source for potential visitors.

Julian Cram from the Scottish Borders Recreational Cycling Group said: “The Scottish Borders boasts more Cyclist Welcome accredited accommodation providers and attractions than any other area in the country. Its combination of scenic road cycling, which includes longer way marked routes and shorter trails, plus world class mountain biking makes the Borders the ideal Scottish cycling destination. The new website is stylish, fast, easy to use and gives cyclists all the information they need to plan and enjoy a cycling break in the Borders. We believe the Scottish Borders can claim to be Scotland’s leading cycling destination as we are breaking new ground in the services and facilities we offer here.”

The Scottish Borders Recreational Cycling project recently secured a second phase grant of £175,000 over two years from Europe, LEADER and the Scottish Government. The website is the first majorphase to be completed with the new funding.

Neen Kelly, project officer of the Scottish Borders Recreational Cycling Group commented: “The recreational cycling project is moving forward at great pace. The website launch has been timed to precede the Tour of Britain coming to the Scottish Borders, so it can be used to support our efforts to maximise the opportunity the tour presents for highlighting the area’s cycling credentials.”

She continued: “The site will feature news updates on the Tour as well as information on other cycling events in the Scottish Borders.

“It brings together a lot of the work already completed as part of the Recreational Cycling Project including the development of new routes, special cyclists’ itineraries and town trails.

“Information on all of these can be easily downloaded from the site providing a one-stop-site for people interested in cycling here.”

A number of the cycling routes are in Berwickshire. Among those labelled as easy are Swinton and Gavinton (16.5 miles) and Nisbet Rhodes (4.5 miles).

Those described as moderate include Abbey St Bathans (26 miles), Longformacus (16 miles), Burnmouth (8.5 miles) and Coldingham and St Abbs (14 miles). The hard routes include Paxton House (20 miles) and Grantshouse (26 miles).

The week-long Tour of Britain will start in the Scottish Borders in Peebles on Saturday, September 11, with riders making their way to Dumfries. It then moves to the north of England, Midlands, Wales, Devon, Somerset and Suffolk before its final London stage on Sunday, September 18.