The South West

 

 

 

Southwest Scotland is a gem in its own right within the landscape and culture of Scotland. With miles of quiet sandy beaches, challenging craggy coastal cliffs and hundreds of acres of forests teeming with wildlife and bird life and a culture and heritage datingback to the early times of recorded history. You will discover there is a surprisingly mild climate due to the effect of the Gulf Stream and also beautifully clear nights which, due to little light pollution, provide superb star gazing opportunities. Within the area there is the country’s first Dark Skies Park in the Galloway Forest Park which extends to three hundred square miles of forest, heather clad hill and peaceful glens.

Southwest Scotland can be divided into the regions of Dumfries and Galloway and Ayrshire. Dumfries and Galloway is still frequently subdivided into the local areas of Wigtownshire, Stewartry and Kirkcudbright, and Dumfriesshire. The local government changes only happened about twenty years ago and have still not really seeped through to everyday life! Ayrshire lies on the northern side of the region with superb sandy beaches, excellent golf courses including Troon and Turnberry and very good connections to Glasgow by rail and car and of course easy access to Prestwick Airport and Glasgow International Airport.

The area, often referred,to as Scotlands best kept secret, gives visitors a truly memorable experience, whether looking for quiet peaceful relaxation, outdoor sports and pursuits including exhilarating mountain bike trails, breath taking scenery, stunning sandy beaches, excellent eating and dining opportunities, variedand  interesting historical sites such as Culzean Castle on the Ayrshire Coast, Logan Botanical Gardens near Stranraer or Sweetheart Abbey just southwest of Dumfries. It is an area that, once discovered, you will want to return to time and again for truly memorable holidays.

 

 

Upcoming Events & Places to Visit

 

Castle Douglas Civic Week | 18th - 28th July

A fabulous week offering a whole host of events including: Scottish Night, Bingo Night, Quiz Night, Party in the Park, Children’s Fun Run, children’s Run, Fishing Comp, Golf Comp, Treasure Hunts, Family Walk and much more! The weeks activities ends on a high with the parade on the 28th July at 2pm, and then from 3:30pm until 10:30 there is the Party in the Park at Lochside park.  Check out the facebook page for their event programme...

https://www.facebook.com/CastleDouglasCivicWeek/

Castle Douglas 'The Food Town' has lots to offer all year round. Check out this website for more information & attractions...

https://www.castledouglas.info/about-castle-douglas/

 

Kirkcudbright summer festivities 

Kirkcudbright is one of Scotland's most vibrant communities with events, exhibitions and activities taking place throughout the year.  In the 40 years since Kirkcudbright Summer Festivities was born a vibrant programme of events and festivities has grown and spread its wings throughout the year.  From early Spring to the dark nights of winter, the Summer Festivities team of volunteers organise a uniquely varied programme of events, festivals and experiences.
The Summer Festivities programme gets into full swing in July and August, with weekly events building up to the spectacular Floodlit Tattoo and Firework Display. For a list of events check out their facebook page...

https://www.facebook.com/pg/SummerFestivities/events/

 

THREAVE GARDENS & ESTATE |CASTLE DOUGLAS

Threave’s wonderful garden has been created over the years by students of the NTS School of Heritage Gardening – and is a fine example of landscaped beauty. The garden is divided into a series of smaller gardens to showcase different styles, including a rose garden, rockery and walled garden.      

    Hosting various events throughout the year remember to check the website for whats on when you are here!

https://www.nts.org.uk/visit/places/threave-garden/events

 

WWT Caerlaverock Wetlands Centre

A rugged and beautiful destination offering open space and tranquil wildlife watching. Wander through wildflower meadows spotting orchids, butterflies and dragonflies, or see the winter migration spectacle.

https://www.wwt.org.uk/wetland-centres/caerlaverock/

 

 Caerlaverock Castle

A wide moat, twin-towered gatehouse and lofty battlements make Caerlaverock the epitome of the medieval stronghold. Learn all about its turbulent history as a castle caught up in border conflicts. It is a truly stunning castle with a lovely cafe, outdoor kids playground and a learning centre where kids and adults can dress up in medieval attire! With regular events including medieval archery and check out whats on here .. 

https://www.historicenvironment.scot/visit-a-place/places/caerlaverock-castle/

 

 Laggan Outdoor Activity Centre, Nr Gatehouse of Fleet  - Open Year round

Laggan Outdoor Activity Centre offer adventure and recreational experiences for all the family.  Set in the heart of Dumfries & Galloway, on the hills above the solway coast, you really will struggle to find a more stunning location.  Whatever you interest the centre will tailor make a package to suit your needs. Whether you want to try your hand at adrenaline-pumping activities such as one of Europes longest Zip wires or want to test your aim with archery, Laggan Outdoor runs numerous activities that will make your holiday one to remember. A fabulous array of food is also available at their Basecamp Cafe.

https://www.lagganoutdoor.co.uk/

 

  RSPB Scotland

The RSPB have various  events throughout the Autumn/Winter months, so for more details on what’s on during your holiday, search their event calender:-

https://wwwtest.rspb.org.uk/reserves-and-events/events-dates-and-inspiration/events/

 


Family Favourites

* Galloway Activity Centre, Loch Ken – Adventure and watersports on the shores of Loch Ken.
Open 7 days a week, 9-5pm
https://www.lochken.co.uk/

* Logan Botanic Gardens, Port Logan – exotic gardens warmed by the Gulf Stream.
Open daily March- October, 10-5pm.
http://www.rbge.org.uk/the-gardens/logan

* Mabie Farm Park, Dumfries – Indoor and outdoor play area, feed and interact with farm animals.
Open 7 days a week, 10-5pm.
http://mabiefarmpark.co.uk/

* Cream of Galloway, nr Gatehouse of Fleet  - Cream o' Galloway is a deliciously good fun place to visit. With its woodland adventure playground including the fabulously bouncy 'Go Boing', indoor visitor centre and play areas, daily events, exciting slides, rides and pedal kart track, and its miles of beautiful walks and nature trails to explore in Galloway's scenic countryside.  Closed for the winter - will re-open in Spring 2018 (date to be confirmed).

http://www.creamogalloway.co.uk/

*Dalscone indoor soft play & farm park, Dumfries -  Dalscone is a great family day out and with it's large indoor and outdoor play areas it's a fab place to go, whatever the weather!  Open year round but the outdoor and farm park is open April - October only.




Suggested Walks


* Rockcliffe and Kippford Circular

https://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/galloway/kippford-rockcliffe.shtml

* Knockman Wood - Newton Stewart

https://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/galloway/knockman-wood.shtml

* St Ninians Cave - Whithorn

https://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/galloway/st-ninians-cave.shtml

 

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