A brand new 250-mile coast to coast cycle route set to launch in the south of Scotland this summer is to be named after a pedal-bike pioneer.

The official name for the exciting new route connecting Stranraer in the west with Eyemouth on the east coast - one of the UK’s longest coast to coast cycle routes - will be Kirkpatrick C2C, South of Scotland’s Coast to Coast.

Kirkpatrick Macmillan was a 19th century Dumfriesshire blacksmith who invented the first pedal-driven velocipede.

The name was unveiled at a major tourism conference on Tuesday organised by the South of Scotland Destination Alliance (SSDA).


David Hope-Jones OBE, SSDA Chief Executive, said: “Cycle tourism is a major growth area for the whole of Scotland’s visitor economy and we’re thrilled that the forthcoming new Kirkpatrick C2C, South of Scotland’s Coast to Coast is in the spotlight as one of the longest and most exciting on-road routes of its kind in the UK.” 

HeraldScotland: Kirkpatrick Macmillan's bicycleKirkpatrick Macmillan's bicycle (Image: Dumfries Museums)

The route’s official name was announced by Paula Ward of South of Scotland Enterprise (SOSE), as part of a cycling-themed keynote session on the future of the region’s visitor economy.   

She said: “Kirkpatrick Macmillan is an iconic cycling figure which we in the South are immensely proud of, and it is fitting that his achievements are being acknowledged and our heritage celebrated with this new exciting tourism offering. 

“Kirkpatrick C2C, South of Scotland’s Coast to Coast is one of a number of new cycling opportunities taking place in our region at present, alongside the arrival of the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships in the South this summer. 

“These are opportunities we must grasp if we are to achieve our goal of the South becoming Scotland's leading cycling destination and recognised as the global home of the bike.”

The Kirkpatrick C2C is expected to prove a huge draw for the south of Scotland when formally launched in early summer – early projections  forecast that the new route could attract up to 175,000 new visitors to the region, with a direct spend of £13.7 million per year.