Barnacle - Southwick, Sandyhills

Code: BA05ST

Recharge your batteries after a busy festive season with a stay on our tranquil wetland nature reserve. All available weeks from 5th January until 2nd March now only £349 (were £399)

Holiday property description

Voted Countryfile’s UK holiday destination of the year 2016, Dumfries & Galloway has so much to offer from stunning stretches of coastline, rolling hills, imposing castles and tranquil forests including the UK’s first designated Dark Sky Park. Discover the breath-taking scenery, wildlife, cultural and history of Dumfries & Galloway whilst staying in a cosy semi-detached cottage located in the heart of RSPB Mersehead Nature Reserve, a Visit Scotland 4-star wildlife experience.

Located on the scenic northern shore of the Solway Estuary, the large skies and seascapes give a feeling of escape. RSPB Mersehead is an extensive wetland nature reserve internationally important for the population of wintering Svalbard Barnacle geese and wintering wildfowl. An impressive starling murmuration may be seen in the winter from the cottage garden. In the spring, the evening air is alive with sound of displaying Lapwing and the distinctive chorus the UK's rarest amphibian, the Natterjack Toad. Tree sparrow and Yellowhammer come to feed from the cottage bird table. Watch for hunting Peregrines, Merlins, and Hen Harriers overhead. All our guests enjoy free or discounted entry to all events at RSPB Mersehead. A haven for wildlife, away from Mersehead there are an additional four RSPB reserves to discover; Ken-Dee Marshes, Wood of Cree, Crook of Baldoon and at Scotland’s most southerly point, the Mull of Galloway. WWT Caerlaverock can be found just the other side of Dumfries and there are a number of Scottish Wildlife Trust and Local Nature Reserves to explore.

More information about RSPB Mersehead Nature Reserve can be found at:

The perfect family destination, RSPB Mersehead has a stunning beach and sand dunes just a short walk from the cottage; perfect for building sand castles and driftwood lodges. In the large farmhouse garden, there is a playground with swings, slide, mud kitchen and badger tunnels providing hours of fun. There are great rock pooling adventures to be found at nearby Rockcliffe or try crabbing from the quay at Kippford. In addition to the wonders of nature, a vast array of attractions will keep young families entertained for hours such as the Dino Park, Cream O Galloway, Mabie Farm Park and the Chocolate Factory. The Camera Obscura, installed in 1836, is on the top floor of the old windmill tower where you can see a fascinating panoramic view of Dumfries and the surrounding countryside.

Dumfries & Galloway is full of history waiting to be discovered. A wide moat, twin-towered gatehouse and lofty battlements make Caerlaverock Castle a medieval stronghold. Learn all about its turbulent history as a castle caught up in border conflicts. Unravel the tale of devotion behind Sweetheart Abbey’s evocative name. Follow in the footsteps of Robbie Burns as you trace the banks of the River Nith from the heart of Dumfries and don’t forget to visit Moat Brae where Peter Pan began.  On a wet day, there is plenty of opportunity to explore indoors. Discover the remarkable story of HM Factory Gretna and the Solway Military Coast at The Devil’s Porridge Museum. Visit the home of runaway weddings at Gretna Green, now a 5-star visitor destination or explore the Aviation Museum.

For those looking for a fast paced action holiday, RSPB Mersehead is located just a short drive from two Forestry Commission 7-stanes mountain bike trails at Mabie Forest and Dalbeattie Forest. A little further afield are the trails in the Galloway Forest Park and the Ae Forest. The Galloway Activity Centre is situated on the banks of the stunning Loch Ken whilst at Laggan Outdoor you will find one of Europe’s longest Zip wires. A challenging links course, Southerness Golf Course is a Scottish Golf Championship Venue whilst Colvend Golf Course offers a parkland experience with amazing views from the high cliffs.

RSPB Mersehead is the perfect base from which to discover Scotland’s forgotten corner.

Postcode: DG2 8AH

Damage Deposit £150

Let weekly Saturday - Saturday. Short breaks are accepted between May & end of August if booked within 6 weeks of arrival

For parties of 2 or less a £20 discount will be applied. A discount of £50 will be applied when 2 consecutive weeks are booked regardless of party size. Cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer

Accommodation for 4 on one floor: Lounge/dining room; kitchen, bathroom with shower over bath; one double bedroom; one twin bedroom.

Services: * Electric heating (cost included) *Multi Fuel stove with fuel provided * Bed Linen and Towels included * Electric cooker & Microwave * Washing machine * Fridge/Freezer * TV with DVD * Highchair and cot available on request * Enclosed garden with furniture * Parking * No Smoking * Dogs: Maximum 2 well behaved dogs with own bedding, not to be left on their own or allowed on furniture or beds.  

EXTRAS: £20 for 1 dog per week.  2nd dog free.

Additional accommodation is available next door in Shelduck Cottage (SH01ST)

How to find us

Rspb Mersehead Reserve
Southwick, Sandyhills
Dumfries & Galloway

Barnacle - Southwick, Sandyhills

Code: BA05ST

Please note that the above map is used to indicate the general location of the holiday property. As the postcode is used to identify the general area of the property, it may not always reflect its precise location, therefore please only use this map as a guide.

External Features

Sea View

Water view

Walk to Pub

Walk to Shops

Mountain View

Beach walk




Bicycle Storage



Garden Furniture

Garden Enclosed



Wheelchair Access

Internal Features

Open fire


High Chair


CD Player

DVD Player

Colour TV






Wash Machine

Bed Linen Cost Incl

Heating Cost Incl

Tumble Dryer

Sky TV



Sofa Beds 0

Single Beds 2

Double Beds 1

Showers 1

Bathrooms 1



Barnacle Reviews

5 star review

Cottage cosy, comfy and well equipped. Stunning nature from the front door. Never said ‘wow’ so much in one week, from the mummurating starlings to the daily arrival of the geese, to the perching birds falling from the trees like autumn leaves onto the sunflower heads. A nature lovers paradise! Staff on the rspb site hugely knowledgeable and helpful. We will return.
1 week ago
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5 star review

Clean.everything provided.great for bird watching.everyone very helpful.
Thank you for taking the time to write your 5* review. It is a great spot for bird watching being so near the reserve. Glad to hear you had a great time.
Philip james
3 weeks ago
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5 star review

Very comfortable cottage in a lovely location. Would certainly return
Carole Humble
4 months ago
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4 star review

It was a lovely cosy, beautifully clean cottage with lots of nice little touches which made me feel welcome as soon as I arrived. The fresh flowers were particularly appreciated! One or two of the facilities would benefit from some upgrading which I'm sure the owners are aware of but I thoroughly enjoyed my stay there.
6 months ago
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5 star review

The cottage was way and above our expectations! Everything was clean and the cottage cosy. What we didn't expect was the provision of all cleaning materials, all Eco friendly too!
The main window created a luxury hide for the bird table across the road, which was well supplied with seed from the container in the kitchen, again provided.
We are already discussing when we will be visiting again.
Thank you for providing such a delightful holiday home.
Miriam Goddard
7 months ago
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5 star review

This is the 8th year I have gone to this cottage and have enjoyed every holiday. I am going again later in the year and will be going next year too. The staff are very helpful the only little thing for me is now my husband has passed away and I am on my own wifi would be nice to enable me to keep in touch with family. A special thank you to Eric and Rowena for their help. Wildlife brilliant badger, deer, mice and birds in the garden rabbits, hare, deer and birds round the reserve.
7 months ago
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4 star review

Cosy, comfortable and well equipped cottage. Electric heating system not very efficient but living room very cosy when open fire lit. Great to wake up to sunrise through bedroom windows and see sunset through the living room window. Marvellous displays of Barnacle geese and other wildlife.
David Smith
8 months ago
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4 star review

Customer service excellent, fridge decided to freeze everything inside it, fridge replaced within 3 days. Views from cottage fantastic along with bird life. Only downside the damp in the walls in every room. Having said that look forward to staying again
Ian Ledger
8 months ago
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4 star review

Lovely cottage, warm and welcoming. Perfect setting (and weather thank you). Everything we needed despite the temperamental fridge freezing all our food the first day!
Very well stocked shop close by came to our rescue and the fridge sorted itself out!
Would recommend Barnacle Cottage to anyone wanting an away from it all break, surrounded by wildlife. lovely.
Fiona Wilson, Leeds
9 months ago
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4 star review

Location on bird reserve is perfect if you like quiet, immediate access to hides,countryside and huge empty beach with spectacular sunrises and sunsets.
Cottage warm cosy and comfortable. Well equipped. As per online description.
There were a few small maintenance jobs that needed doing to make it 5 star.
Pleased to hear you enjoyed your stay at Barnacle! Some maintenance jobs are set to be comleted over the coming weeks so you should see a difference if you chose to book again.

11 months ago
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5 star review

No complaints cottage very warm staff helpful this was the 3rd time I had stopped there and I have booked another two holidays for next year so must be good. Just wish they had wifi so I could communicate with family at home.
Mrs Hargreaves
11 months ago
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