27 Locations to Go to in Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland

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As we speak I need to share my information to one of the best locations to go to in Dumfries and Galloway with you. This a part of the South of Scotland flies beneath the radar for a lot of guests, however there’s sufficient to do right here to benefit a particular journey. This promoting function in partnership with Scotland Begins Right here will present you the highest points of interest and issues to do.

Places to Visit in Dumfries and Galloway

Locations to Go to in Dumfries and Galloway

First issues first: the place is Dumfries and Galloway? It’s within the western Southern Uplands simply throughout the border from England.

South of Ayrshire and Lanarkshire and west of the Scottish Borders, it juts manner out into the Irish Sea. Which means it has a great deal of shoreline and gorgeous surroundings.

Isle of Whithorn Boat

Add to that a lot of connections to 14th-century king Robert the Bruce and 18th-century Scottish nationwide poet Robert Burns, and this a part of Scotland is ripe for discovery.

Caerlaverock Castle

I’m right here in Dumfries and Galloway on a press journey, and my 3-day itinerary is full of the whole lot from historic landmarks to a literary pageant and scrumptious meals.

I’ve traveled by practice from London, and I can’t wait to find all there may be to see and do right here. I’ve spent a number of time within the Borders prior to now, however I’ve solely been to Dumfries and Galloway to go to Kirkcudbright. I’m excited to discover extra.

Nithbank Country Estate Garden

1. Gretna Inexperienced

When my practice arrives at Carlisle station, I’m picked up and pushed to the primary cease on my itinerary: Gretna Inexperienced. This spot is among the finest locations to go to in Dumfries and Galloway as a result of it’s well-known for weddings.

Gretna Inexperienced has been widespread for elopements for hundreds of years. Historic marriage legal guidelines in Scotland have been extra lax than these in England, and younger {couples} used to cross the border to tie the knot.

Gretna Green Sculpture

They nonetheless do. Grenta Inexperienced has been referenced in the whole lot from Jane Austen novels to Downton Abbey and The Crown.

Gretna Green Sign

Traditionally many {couples} eloped at a neighborhood blacksmith’s store as a result of it was the primary constructing throughout the border. The well-known store has been a marriage venue since 1754 and nonetheless hosts ceremonies for lovers of all ages in the present day.

I’m staying on the Gretna Corridor Lodge, a historic marriage home close to the store that dates again to 1710. My room has been superbly renovated and I get pleasure from a dinner of prawn cocktail, cullen skink, and sticky toffee pudding within the restaurant.

There are marriage ceremony events throughout, and love is actually within the air.

Gretna Hall Hotel Room

The subsequent morning I get a tour of the Well-known Blacksmiths Store in Gretna Inexperienced. There’s a powerful quantity occurring round it, from memento retailers to cafes and a hedgerow maze.

However the actual deal with is touring the store and seeing the rooms the place the Anvil Monks carried out their ceremonies.

Gretna Green Anvil

I additionally get to benefit from the Gretna Inexperienced Expertise, a museum devoted to the historical past of the Authentic Residence of Romance. With interactive displays and a timeline telling the story of this distinctive place, it’s a enjoyable technique to be taught concerning the world’s biggest love story.

2. Sweetheart Abbey

Again on the resort, I’m picked up by Mark from Dumfries Excursions. He’s my information for the following three days, and he’s promised to indicate me as a lot of Dumfries and Galloway as our time will enable. I can’t wait.

Our first cease is in New Abbey to see Sweetheart Abbey, the final Cistercian abbey to be based in Scotland. Relationship again to 1273, it was established by Woman Devorguilla in reminiscence of her beloved late husband, John Balliol.

Sweetheart Abbey

3. Kippford

Subsequent we make a fast cease in Kippford for a stroll alongside the Urr Water river, which flows via southwest Scotland on its technique to the Tough Firth. There are sailboats dotted round, and it’s a peaceable place to stroll.

Kippford, Dumfries Galloway

4. Gatehouse of Fleet

Again within the automotive, we drive to Gatehouse of Fleet, a historic mill city on the Water of Fleet that dates again to the mid-18th century.

It’s close to Citadel Douglas and Kirkcudbright within the Fleet Valley Nationwide Scenic Space. Proper on the sting of the Galloway Forest Park, it’s a acknowledged UNESCO Biosphere group.

Water of Fleet, Scotland

We cease for lunch at The Ship Inn, a neighborhood family-run resort and restaurant with a spacious eating room and a concentrate on native producers and components. We tuck into the whole lot from West Coast scallops to selfmade fish truffles, and it’s scrumptious.

Scallops at The Ship Inn

After lunch we stroll over to the Mill On The Fleet. Gatehouse of Fleet and its environment rejoice native pure and cultural heritage, and this can be a excellent place to expertise it.

Set in a restored 18th-century cotton mill, the Mill On The Fleet has displays on the historical past and heritage of Gatehouse and the Fleet Valley. It additionally hosts dwell music occasions, talks, and festivals.

Mill On The Fleet

5. Cardoness Citadel

Leaving Gatehouse of Fleet, we make a fast photograph cease at Cardoness Citadel. Situated simply exterior of city, this eye-catching Fifteenth-century tower home was initially owned by the MacCullochs of Myreton.

As I love it, Mark tells me concerning the historical past of the MacCullochs and their trouble-making within the area. His tales are nice methods to deliver the place to life.

Cardoness Castle

6. Collect

The subsequent cease on our Dumfries and Galloway itinerary is Collect, a restaurant on a hill above Fleet Bay and the Solway Firth. Its glass-fronted bistro affords sea views, and it seems to be like an ideal place to eat.

As we gaze out over the water, Mark tells me that one in all his favourite seashores within the space sits proper under us. It’s known as Mossyard Seaside and it’s a stretch of sand with one facet dealing with Fleet Bay and the opposite dealing with Wigtown Bay.

Gather Restaurant

7. Rhins Of Galloway

Our subsequent cease is the Rhins Of Galloway (additionally known as the Rhins of Wigtownshire). This scenic peninsula rapidly turns into one in all my favourite locations to go to in Dumfries and Galloway.

Formed like a hammer head, it’s 25 miles (40 kilometers) lengthy and it’s recognized for its dramatic coastal surroundings.

The Mull of Galloway lies at its southern tip, and it’s the southernmost level in Scotland. You may see Nortnern Eire, Cumbria, and the Isle of Man from right here.

Mull of Galloway

8. Logan Botanic Backyard

Our first cease within the Rhins Of Galloway is the Logan Botanic Backyard close to Port Logan. This unique inexperienced area is full of vegetation from all over the world.

The backyard is warmed by the Gulf Stream, giving it a subtropical local weather that permits vegetation from Australia, New Zealand, South and Central America, and Southern Africa to thrive right here.

We get a tour with a information, and he reveals us the whole lot from uncommon species to stunning flowers and greenhouses. It’s an actual deal with.

Logan Botanic Garden

9. Mull of Galloway Lighthouse

From the backyard we drive right down to the Mull of Galloway Lighthouse. Situated in Drummore, it sits at Scotland’s most southerly level.

Apparently, it was designed and inbuilt 1830 by author Robert Louis Stevenson’s grandfather, Robert Stevenson. Childhood visits to lighthouses like this are thought to have impressed works resembling Treasure Island.

We stroll alongside the round path to get to the lighthouse, taking within the rugged coastal surroundings and looking for the uncommon cliff-top vegetation and seabirds that decision this place house (to not point out the sheep that add cuteness).

As with many locations we go to, we’re the one ones right here. It’s superb to have all these inspiring spots to ourselves, and the peace and tranquility are nice antidotes to metropolis life.

Mull Galloway Lighthouse

10. Knockinaam Lodge

After a giant day of sightseeing, we arrive at Knockinaam Lodge close to Portpatrick simply because the solar is setting. The one luxurious boutique resort in Dumfries and Galloway, it’s set in a Nineteenth-century nation home on a personal cove overlooking the Irish Sea.

Knockinaam Lodge

It has nice historical past, too. Knockinaam Lodge was used as a secret assembly place by Churchill and Eisenhower for planning the D-Day landings in World Warfare II.

My spacious room is one in all solely 10 within the resort. It incorporates a cover mattress and a big rest room with stunning wallpaper. I really feel like I’m the heroine of my very own fairy story right here.

Knockinaam Lodge Room

I watch the sundown from my bed room window, then head right down to dinner on the resort’s 3-AA rosette restaurant. The eating room incorporates a sequence of spherical tables with white cloths and high-back chairs, and there are sea views from each desk.

My 5-course tasting menu options the whole lot from tomato salad to cauliflower soup and wild halibut. It’s a decadent technique to finish the day.

Knockinaam Lodge Restaurant

11. Dunskey Citadel

The subsequent morning we’re off early to go to extra of one of the best locations to go to in Dumfries and Galloway.

Our first cease is Dunskey Citadel, a picturesque wreck perched on a rocky outcrop on the Irish Sea. Constructed within the mid-Sixteenth century for the Adairs of Kinhilt, it’s stunning to behold.

The citadel is on the coastal path from Portpatrick, and it’s an ideal place to get outdoor for a stroll.

Dunskey Castle

12. Portpatrick

We’d like to do the stroll, however time is of the essence. We hop within the automotive and drive to Portpatrick, which is among the hottest vacation villages on the southwest coast of Scotland.

Proper on the waterfront, Portpatrick is house to a picturesque harbor and extra locations to eat than some other village on this a part of Scotland.

It’s additionally the place to begin for the Southern Upland Means, a long-distance strolling path that goes from coast to coast in southern Scotland. The 212-mile (340-kilometer) path is an thrilling technique to see the area on foot.

Portpatrick, Scotland

13. The Machars

Leaving Portpatrick, we drive to The Machars, one other of one of the best locations to go to in Dumfries and Galloway. This peninsula is rife with historical past, villages, harbors, seashores, and sea views. It’s a enjoyable place to get into nature within the South of Scotland.

Isle of Whithorn

14. Port William

Our first cease in The Machars is Port William. This deliberate 18th-century fishing village sits on the japanese shore of Luce Bay.

There’s a sculpture of a person looking to sea right here. We are able to’t determine whether or not he’s scouring the horizon for Eire or the Mull of Galloway Lighthouse. Both manner, he seems to be like he’s having fun with the view.

Port William Sculpture

15. Monreith Bay

From Port William we drive to Monreith Bay, which has a gorgeous seaside. We make a photograph cease above the shore, then get again within the automotive for the brief journey to a bronze otter memorial.

Monreith Bay

The monument is devoted to naturalist and writer Gavin Maxwell. He wrote Ring of Brilliant Water, a e book about his life in a home in coastal Scotland the place he saved a number of wild otters as pets.

Maxwell was born on this a part of Dumfries and Galloway, and he typically walked his tame pet otters alongside the seaside right here.

Monreith Bay Otter Memorial

16. Isle of Whithorn

The subsequent cease on our itinerary is the Isle of Whithorn. We’re right here to see St Ninian’s Chapel. It’s devoted to the saint who’s credited with bringing Christianity to the area and mainland Scotland.

The primary construction was constructed right here within the 1100s as a cease for medieval pilgrims en path to the Shrine of St Ninian at Whithorn Priory.

The present chapel and a surviving a part of the enclosure wall are believed to this point again to the 1300s.

These ruins are set on picturesque land proper by the waterfront, and there’s a Witness Cairn exterior that modern-day pilgrims add stones to on their journeys.

St Ninians Chapel

17. Whithorn Priory

Following of their footsteps, we drive over to Whithorn Priory. Based by St Ninian, this medieval Scottish monastery is one in all Scotland’s earliest Christian websites. It later served as a cathedral.

We stroll via the medieval Priory Gatehouse and take a fast go searching. There’s a museum right here, and we be taught that Robert the Bruce made his remaining journey and pilgrimage to Whithorn in 1329 to hope on the Shrine of St Ninian.

Whithorn Priory Gatehouse

18. Sorbie Tower

The subsequent cease on our itinerary is Sorbie Tower, a fortified tower home and the traditional seat of Clan Hannay. Constructed within the late Sixteenth century for Alexander Hannay of Sorbie, it was on the middle of native life till the final resident died in 1748.

Sorbie Tower

18. Wigtown

From the tower we drive to Wigtown, which rapidly turns into one in all my favourite locations to go to in Dumfries and Galloway. Why? As a result of the annual Wigtown Guide Pageant is on, and I’m a sucker for all issues literary.

The ten-day pageant is held yearly. It’s the second largest e book pageant in Scotland, and it has over 200 occasions and actions starting from music to theater, meals, and visible arts.

I’ve wished to return right here for ages, and I’m excited that my journey has coincided with it.

The Book Shop, Wigtown

After a fast lunch at Harrison’s Espresso Home and Beltie Books, we discover the city and pageant. Referred to as Scotland’s Nationwide Guide City, Wigtown is a conventional market city with a powerful variety of bookshops.

We duck into as many as we are able to, together with The Guide Store, which claims to be the most important in Scotland.

Afterwards we take within the actions within the sq. and take a look at the store and data desk within the city corridor.

Wigtown Book Festival

However Wigtown is thought for extra than simply books. It’s additionally well-known for martyrs. Two girls, Margaret McLachlan and Margaret Wilson, have been tied to stakes and drowned right here in 1685.

They have been Covenanters, individuals who believed Jesus Christ alone was the top of the church. Their beliefs ran opposite to the federal government’s stance, and plenty of such Christians have been killed round this time.

Wigtown has a lot of websites devoted to its martyrs, together with gravestones and monuments.

Wigtown Churchyard

We go to the churchyard to see their graves, then head right down to Martyr’s Stake and as much as Martyrs Memorial to be taught extra concerning the girls’s destiny and pay our respects.

Wigtown Martyrs Memorial

19. Artful Distillery

From Wigtown we make our technique to Artful Distillery in Newton Stewart. Set in a up to date constructing, this place is has a grain-to-glass manufacturing facility and a ardour for innovation and high quality.

We’re fortunate sufficient to get a tour from the proprietor, Graham Taylor, who takes us via the vodka and gin distilling course of and pours me a gin and tonic on the finish. It’s an effective way to expertise the native drinks scene in Dumfries and Galloway.

Crafty Distillery

20. Galloway Forest Park

Again exterior, we drive via Galloway Forest Park. Also known as ‘the Highlands of the Lowlands’, this place seems to be and feels so much just like the Scottish Highlands.

With huge hills and dashing streams, it’s an ideal place to get outdoor within the South of Scotland.

Whereas we’re right here we cease at Murray’s Monument, a towering stone obelisk devoted to the reminiscence of a neighborhood shepherd’s boy who grew as much as change into a Professor of Oriental Languages on the College of Edinburgh.

We additionally go for a brief stroll to get a really feel for the peaceable environment of the park and see among the dramatic woodland landscapes that make this space so particular.

Galloway Forest Park

21. Nithbank Nation Property

After a fast cease within the village of Moniaive, we arrive at Nithbank Nation Property. This luxury B&B in Dumfries and Galloway is ready in a home surrounded by 5 acres of woodland and gardens overlooking the River Nith.

Nithbank Country Estate Suite

That includes two elegant suites, it affords an opportunity to really get away from all of it. My suite has stunning furnishings and gorgeous views over the river. The toilet incorporates a bathe and a giant tub, and I might keep right here endlessly.

Nithbank Country Estate Room

However I give into the temptation to discover the grounds, from the formal gardens to the traditional woodland glen, cascading ponds, and walled backyard. I really like taking within the tranquility of the environment as I am going.

Nithbank Country Estate Grounds

22. The Auldgirth Inn

Quickly dinner calls. I head to The Auldgirth Inn with Melanie, one of many homeowners of Nithbank Nation Property. This award-winning restored roadside pub has over 500 years of historical past, and it’s stated that Robert Burns was as soon as an everyday right here.

We dine on the whole lot from salted beetroot to West Coast monkfish with king scallops. The apple crumble souffle is a murals, too. It’s all scrumptious, and it’s the proper technique to finish a giant day of sightseeing in Dumfries and Galloway.

The Auldgirth Inn

23. Thornhill

The subsequent morning I benefit from the award-winning breakfast at Nithbank Nation Property. It options the whole lot from cranachan to smoked salmon and eggs. I don’t need to go away.

Nithbank Country Estate Breakfast

However in the present day’s itinerary is an thrilling one, and shortly Mark whisks me off to Thornhill to see the spectacular tomb of James Douglas, 2nd Duke of Queensberry, at Durisdeer Parish Church.

Tucked away via a facet entrance on the again, it’s a powerful hidden spot.

Duke of Queensberry Tomb

24. Drumlanrig Citadel Property

Our subsequent cease is Drumlanrig Citadel Property, house of the present-day Duke and Duchess of Buccleuch and Queensberry. It’s often called the ‘Pink Palace’ on account of its crimson sandstone facade.

One of many most interesting examples of Seventeenth-century Renaissance structure in Scotland, it was constructed by the primary Duke of Queensberry. With 120 rooms, 17 turrets, and 4 towers, it’s a powerful constructing. The grounds are expansive, too.

Drumlanrig Castle Estate

25. Ellisland

After fast stops to see a sculpture by famend native artist Andy Goldsworthy and discover the grounds of Dalswinton Property, we arrive at Ellisland Farm in Auldgirth.

Poet Robert Burns lived right here from 1788 to 1791, and in the present day the complicated is a museum devoted to his life and work on the farm.

Ellisland Farm

We watch a video overlaying the poet’s time at Ellisland, together with the actual fact he that wrote a few of his most well-known works right here. These embody “Tam O’Shanter” and “Auld Lang Syne”.

Afterwards we tour the museum and the home the place Burns lived and wrote. My Glaswegian grandmother was an enormous fan of his poetry, and it was particular for me to go to a spot with so many connections to his life.

Ellisland Desk

26. Dumfries

From Ellisland we drive into Dumfries, the most important city within the area. After stopping for lunch at a restaurant known as Casa Mia, we set off to discover on foot.

Dumfries, Scotland

We see the whole lot from Dumfries Academy, the place Peter Pan writer J.M. Barrie went to high school, to Moat Brae, the place he was impressed to put in writing it after enjoying within the “magical” backyard behind it.

The home is now the Nationwide Centre for Kids’s Literature and Storytelling. We take a tour to see the interactive displays and discover the backyard.

Brae House, Dumfries

From there we head to Greyfriars Kirk, a church well-known for being the positioning the place Robert the Bruce murdered John Comyn in 1306. It led to Bruce taking the throne, and it’s nonetheless thought-about crucial political homicide in Scottish historical past.

Burns Statue Dumfries

We admire the statue of Robert Burns exterior the church, head down the excessive avenue, cross The Globe Inn, which has Burns connections, and soak up two of Burns’ homes earlier than making our technique to the graveyard of St Michael’s Church, the place he’s buried.

The Globe, Dumfries

The Burns Mausoleum is a powerful sight. His authentic grave was deemed an inadequate memorial to such an essential determine, so the domed monument was constructed within the early Nineteenth century to replicate his significance.

Burns Mausoleum

From there we drive to Castledykes Park, which has extra connections to Robert the Bruce, in addition to stunning gardens and grounds.

Castledykes Park, Dumfries

27. Caerlaverock Citadel

The ultimate cease on our Dumfries and Galloway itinerary is Caerlaverock Citadel. This moated triangular fortress was constructed within the thirteenth century by Clan Maxwell, and its ruined type nonetheless rises out of the water.

With a twin-towered gatehouse and imposing battlements, it’s straightforward to think about the border conflicts that when came about right here.

Caerlaverock Castle, Dumfries

Finest Locations to Go to in Dumfries and Galloway

From the citadel Mark takes me to Lockerbie practice station, the place I hop on a service to London. It’s exhausting to imagine how a lot I noticed in such a brief journey, however I nonetheless go away desirous to return sometime and uncover extra of this a part of Scotland.

Andy Goldsworthy Sculpture

I hope you’ve loved this information to locations to go to in Dumfries and Galloway and that it’s impressed you to go to the South of Scotland, too. It’s an ideal place to get away, absorb the shoreline, and dive into historical past and heritage. Blissful travels!

Go to https://scotlandstartshere.com/ for extra details about the South of Scotland.

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Places to Visit in Dumfries and Galloway


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