Route 74

Route Details

  • Distance: 70 miles
  • Type: Mainly on road but some traffic free sections
  • Route gaps: There remain (November 2016) only a couple of small gaps in this route (we're working on these).

A dedicated page lists any major route closures and diversions for the National Cycle Network in Scotland.

Route Description

Route 74 begins, branching off from Route 7, a couple of kilometers west of Gretna. (National Route 7 connects Carlisle to Gretna - around 14km north as the crow flies.)

For much of its length National Route 74 follows the main transport corridor north of Gretna - sharing the general area with the main motorway and West Coast Main Line. North of Abington the railway chooses a different route (via Carstairs Junction), and then north of Lesmahagow and Blackwood the number of urban settlements increases.   

From the Hamilton area onward the route is navigating the Greater Glasgow conurbation - marking out a quieter route north-south, touching on Motherwell, and passing through Bothwell and Uddingston, where it ends (joining National Route 75). 

Travel into central Glasgow can be achieved on National Route 75. If you turn the other way it'll take you to Edinburgh, although that's a longer trip).

One of the interesting features of this route is the re-purposed south-bound lane of the former dual carriageway B7078 (which was the A74 - some history on this link).

Please note that a small gap remains in the route (see map) north of Lesmahagow. It is possible to negotiate the area on foot, or by cycling on the road, however no route is currently signed at this point.

Things to see and do


Regional Cycle Route 10

Important note regarding ‘Regional Route 10’: Regional Route 10 has been signed by Dumfries and Galloway Council. This provides a useful link between National Cycle Network routes 7 and 74 and is shown on some of our maps. Users should TAKE NOTE that the route involves a 12 mile forest track section which is rough and steep in places, where there are no facilities, and there have been instances of people getting lost. Food, drink, clothing for bad weather and a bicycle repair kit are essential. If there is a gap in Route 10 signage it may be possible to follow the South of Scotland Countryside Trail posts.

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Map shows the National Cycle Network and local routes in this area.


National Route 74 is close to completion having been indevelopment for many years. Most infrastructure is in place - but (at November 2016) signage is still being reviewed. This is inadequate in places. The route connects Gretna and Glasgow following a relatively direct route - for much of its length following the same transport corridor as the main rail and road routes.