Dumfries & Galloway

The cottage is an excellent base to explore Galloway, its landscape and its history.   There are plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities.

A safe sandy beach for swimming lies a few minutes along the coast; there are small  beaches and coves on the Mull, and at its tip a lighthouse looks out over the rocks.

With the night skies above Luce Bay clear and unpolluted, there is spectacular star-gazing; nearby Galloway Forest Park is the UK’s only Dark Sky Park.

For golfers, there are seaside golf courses at Glenluce (18 holes) and Monreith (9 holes), and also an 18-hole course at Port Patrick and a Championship course at Stranraer.

Walkers can follow the Southern Upland Way or The Pilgrims’ Path, or climb the Merrick, at 2766 feet the highest of the Galloway Hills. Further inland, the Galloway Forest Park and Glentrool have walking trails and spectacular views.  

The area is rich in history.
There are stone circles and standing stones nearby, and at Whithorn there is a well-established archaeological dig and museum, and also St Ninian’s cave, which remains a place of pilgrimage. Cairn Holy, near Newton Stewart, is a remarkable chambered burial-site.  Late Roman gravestones stand in the churchyard at Kirkmadrine. Mochrum, near Port William has a 12th century motte, and the beautiful ruins of Glenluce Abbey are in the care of Historic Scotland.  

Logan Botanic Gardens is Scotland’s most exotic garden. It is an outpost of the Royal Botanic Gardens of Edinburgh and many unusual and tender plants grow here because of the warming effect of the Gulf Stream. Castle Kennedy and other gardens are also open to visitors, and at Port Logan are the Fish Ponds, natural storage ponds refreshed by the tide and full of interesting sea creatures.  

Local cultural events are increasingly popular. They attract eminent and varied participants.

Gaelforce, a festival of the arts, sweeps across Dumfries and Galloway through late summer and early autumn, with a diverse selection of theatre, music, exhibitions and community events. Scotland’s National Book Town, Wigtown, hosts a Book Festival every September with a prestigious guest-list.

Broughton House and Gardens in Kirkcudbright (‘the artists’ town’) was the home of Glasgow artist E.A.Hornel and is now owned by the National Trust for Scotland, and in Port William, Lisa Hooper, winner of the Birds Illustrated Prize at the 2008 National Exhibition of Wildlife Art, runs courses in printmaking, painting, batik and bookbinding.