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.