Bike: 7stanes Dalbeattie

[The Heart Stane, 7stanes Dalbeattie]

A lack of big hills at this MTB centre near Dalbeattie might lead a newcomer into a false sense of security. But it's rock rather than contours that characterises the trails here. The exposed granite is fearsomely slippery when wet, the difficulty magnified by huge, steep expanses of the stuff at black-graded features such as The Slab. Beginners looking for singletrack may be disappointed though - the red trail is by far the standout route. If short on time, the straightforward (blue or red) Taster Loop is a worthwhile four kilometre portion of the longer routes, with long sections on raised timber.

["The Slab" is a black-graded variant of the red "Hardrock Trail" - infinitely steeper than it looks here!]

Name: 7stanes Dalbeattie ★★★☆
Location: A710 a mile south of Dalbeattie, G.R.: NX 836592 / daffodils driveway everyone
Open: Always
Cost: Free (but charge for parking)

Routes:  12 km  14 km  25 km  variants only skills area; taster loop. Map here.
Terrain: see website
Bike hire: Gorsebank Camping Village, about a kilometre south of the trailhead; MPG Cycles, about 2 kilometres north of the trailhead
Weather today: Mainly overcast with slippery trails after morning rain, about 12C.

[Trail feature on the taster loop]

The 7stanes

The 7stanes are the gold standard in Scotland (and UK) mountain biking centres, dotted across southern Scotland. Between them they offer world-class trails with difficulties ranging from the benign to the bananas. They're so-called due to seven sculptured stanes (or stones), one located at each of the centres (except Innerleithen, often considered a sister site to nearby Glentress):
If you're at all curious about mountain biking, put the 7stanes at the very top of your list.

[Woodland singletrack on the red "Hardrock Trail"]

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