Imagine lazily wheeling along Girvan promenade as the sun sets behind Ailsa Craig or venturing inland along quiet country roads where grassy pastures and gentle hills open out across the horizon. Sounds idyllic, doesn’t it?
You don’t have to journey far on two wheels to enjoy a biking adventure in Girvan, but if you do fancy more of a challenge, the town is also a great base for reaching gravel tracks or heading off on a long-distance road cycle.
Whatever your cycling experience or level of fitness, local cycling expert Paul Osborne can help make the most of your time in the saddle. Paul started his biking tour guide business, The Biking Explorers, with the aim of making cycling in the Girvan area accessible to all whilst introducing visitors to local history and legends along the way.
Bookable guided tours range from mini excursions to multi-day bikepacking adventures, with a range of scenic routes to choose from that include local attractions, sweeping viewpoints, and a few hidden gems. Paul is a qualified cycling leader and a Girvan local which means he has the experience and knowledge to ensure visitors enjoy a safe and memorable outing.
We recently caught up with Paul and asked him to share some of his local cycling tips and tell us more about his tour business.
Hi Paul, as a keen cyclist yourself, would you recommend Girvan as a good destination for cycling?
“Absolutely, we have everything from flat routes along the coast to epic adventures in the Ayrshire Alps”
What routes would you recommend for visitors interested in exploring the town and the surrounding area by bike?
“For young families and those looking to have a leisurely cycle whilst taking in the views of Ailsa Craig in a traffic-free environment, the 2km promenade is an excellent choice. For those that enjoy gravel riding, there are excellent routes around the local wind farms (Tralorg, Assel Valley, and Hadyard).
If road biking is your thing, then the quiet back roads just outside Girvan offer a great variety of cycling – memorable climbs, scenic views, and historical landmarks. There is sure to be something that is of interest. The road from Girvan to the picturesque village of Barr is a particular favourite of mine”
What advice would you give to anyone planning a cycling holiday in Girvan?
“Get in touch with The Biking Explorers, we can help you make the most of your time here. Ensuring you enjoy the cycle routes the area has to offer including the UK’s largest forest park (Galloway Forest) which has many miles of quiet tarmac roads and gravel trails. East of Girvan becomes very remote and ensuring you have the correct equipment is crucial.
Mobile phone signal can be sparse in some areas, therefore, knowing where you are going and how to look after yourself in the outdoors is essential. If you are in any doubt, hiring a guide will ensure you see the best of what the area has to offer whilst being looked after by a qualified leader”
You started your own cycle tour business, The Biking Explorers, in 2022, what inspired you to set up your business in Girvan?
“Having lived in the area for years and having explored the vast majority of the roads in the county, I found it strange that most people I spoke to had never been on these roads and trails. It made sense to provide a service that would allow people to get out and explore with the peace of mind that I could organise equipment hire, select a route based on the customer’s needs and provide some facts and folklore about the area
Whilst other areas of the country are extremely busy during the holiday periods, this area still remains quiet and peaceful whilst retaining that ‘undiscovered’ feel that we all seem to long for”
What can visitors expect to see or do on one of your cycle tours?
“Castles, Whisky Distillery, Iron Age earthworks, Roman camp sites to name only a few things. I share facts about these historical landmarks before travelling through one of the many beautiful forests and past several lochs. You get to decide what tour we go on based upon the options on the website, if none of those take your fancy, get in touch and we can create something totally bespoke that meets your needs”
How fit do you need to be to join one of your tours?
“If you can go a bike then you can come on a tour, we have access to electric bikes if you have any doubt about your fitness. These bikes can make the difference between enduring a journey and enjoying it!”
What else would you recommend visitors do during their time in Girvan?
“Paddleboarding along the Ayrshire coast with Ailsa Craig as a backdrop is a truly spectacular experience that Adventure Carrick offers, or if you prefer dry land, sampling some Girvan Gelateria handmade ice cream is the perfect way to cool down after a cycle. If you have a more artistic side then Pastel Fox Art Studio runs workshops throughout the year. The Quay Zone leisure complex is the perfect place to sit back and relax with a swimming pool and soft play to keep you or the kids entertained”
To find out more or to book a cycle tour around Girvan, visit The Biking Explorers
If you need to hire a cycle for your tour, this can be arranged through The Biking Explorers who partner with Biosphere Bikes, a not-for-profit social enterprise based in Girvan that provides a range of bikes for hire, including electric bikes.
Discover more outdoor activities you can try in Grivan.