If you’re a gravel cycling enthusiast searching for the ultimate adventure, the wilderness of Scotland’s South is a gravel cycling extravaganza. Raiders Gravel is a three-day stage race and multi-day gravel ride set amidst the breathtaking wilderness of Galloway Forest Park. This unique event promises to take you deep into the heart of one of Scotland’s most beautiful areas, offering a perfect blend of competition, exploration, and relaxation.
At Raiders Gravel, the choice is yours – race it hard for the ultimate challenge or ride at your own pace to savor the stunning landscapes and wildlife the region offers. Competitive riders will tackle each stage in an early wave, vying for victory and aiming to cover the three stages in the fastest cumulative time to claim the top spot in the General Classification. Even if you don’t finish one of the stages, fear not – the spirit of Raiders Gravel encourages everyone to keep riding. Whether you’re racing or riding, your journey will be timed, making each moment memorable and enjoyable.
The true allure of Raiders Gravel lies in its cycling challenge and the exploration of Scotland’s hidden gem – the South of Scotland. The region’s history and culture are deeply ingrained in its landscapes, offering a diverse tapestry of dramatic cliffs, sandy beaches, rolling hills, and deep forests. Galloway Forest Park, a UNESCO Biosphere, plays host to Raiders Gravel, ensuring that almost every kilometer of the three challenging stages remain off-road. The routes will take you through stunning lochs, dense forests, and grueling climbs, providing a truly Scottish gravel experience.
Raiders Gravel embraces the spirit of camaraderie, allowing participants to choose between solo and team entries. If you prefer to be your own boss and conquer the trails alone, the solo entry is your best bet. On the other hand, if you enjoy shared experiences and mutual support, grab a teammate and embark on this gravel cycling adventure together.
Nestled between Galloway Forest Park and Fleet Bay, the picturesque town of Gatehouse of Fleet serves as the heart and home of Raiders Gravel. This charming community will host the start and finish of each stage, with the event village situated in Garries Park, adding to the festivities and excitement. Gatehouse of Fleet offers a warm and welcoming atmosphere with a range of amenities to cater to your needs. After each exhilarating day of cycling, you can explore the town’s diverse restaurants, pubs, cafes, and convenience stores, providing the perfect opportunity to recharge and share tales of the day’s adventures with fellow riders.
The South has always been central to Scotland’s narrative. Made up of Dumfries & Galloway in the west and the Scottish Borders in the east, the region’s history, and culture have been defined by its geographical positioning. To explore the South of Scotland is to uncover where Scotland truly starts, from unparalleled Viking treasures to the remains of the country’s earliest Christian community, from fierce battles fought by great kings to the remnants of Border Reiver strongholds and once imposing abbeys, from crafts that carry Scotland’s culture around the world to ballads that bring Scots together wherever they are.
Today, the destination draws in visitors looking to connect with Scotland’s adventurous and creative spirit. Being within easy reach of major hubs including Glasgow, Edinburgh, Carlisle, Newcastle, and even Belfast, the South of Scotland has long been a go-to destination for those in search of accessible remoteness, with diverse scenery that reveals new experiences at every turn. The legendary affinity that visitors feel for Scotland starts here.
The landscapes of the South of Scotland are as varied as its history. Dramatic cliffs and sandy beaches stretch along coastlines dotted with lighthouses on the west and east. Further inland, rolling hills, deep forests, and glittering lochs dominate the scenery of the southwest, playing host to sensational night sky displays in the Galloway Forest Park. However, steep climbs and lofty heights can still be found in the Southern Uplands, with Scotland’s highest village and one of the UK’s highest waterfalls. Continuing into the Scottish Borders, the landscape softens into a pastoral tapestry shaped by winding rivers. The mighty River Tweed, the lifeblood of a world-renowned textile legacy, weaves its way east, skirting abbeys and grand estates before reaching the North Sea. The nature reserves of the South shelter an abundance of wildlife: dolphins, seals, and seabirds can be spotted along the coast, and golden eagles and ospreys call the local hills and forests home. Nature isn’t something to be enjoyed from afar, and nowhere is that more true than here.