Dumfries and Galloway is tucked away on the South West coast and is often overlooked when holidaymakers decide to tour Scotland as they tend to head North. This beautiful area has so much to offer and here are our #Haggisrecommends tips for visiting the area.
Located in the South West of Scotland, it’s around a 2-3hour drive from Edinburgh down the M8 and M74.
Where can I go?
The area has the best of both worlds – beautiful beaches and acres of forest. If you’re basing yourself there, the Galloway Forest Park, also known as the Dark sky Park is quite something. Because the light pollution is very low, you can (cloud permitting!) see the most beautiful star-filled sky. Within the forest is the renowned Raiders Road with The Otterpool – but there’s no guarantees you’ll see any!
If the great outdoors is your thing then take a hike up The Merrick – southern Scotland’s highest peak, sitting at 843m. (For reference, Ben Nevis sits at 1,345m). There’s also Dalbeattie 7stanes route – a definite challenge for mountain bikers. If you’re not feeling too energetic you can drive the figure of eight route. For the historians amongst you, you can visit the historical site of Bruce’s stone in Glen Trool, visit Robert Burns house where the great bard wrote some of his finest work or visit the Ruthwell Cross, apparently dating back to around AD680.
The Grey Mare’s Tail is one of Scotland’s finest waterfalls, and the walk to it climbs past the falls and continues up to beautiful Loch Skeen.
Beachside – Mossyard Caravan Park is just 4 miles west of Gatehouse of Fleet. This coastal location coupled with the stunning background of the Galloway hills makes it a great base to further explore the area. Alternatively, there’s Sands of Luce where is situated on the beach with stunning views. Their facilities for tourers have recently been awarded 5-stars by VisitScotland and the AA.
What can I do?
During May there is the Newton Stewart Walking Festival which is a great way to see more of the rugged coastline. As well as enjoying some cracking home baking in the many local tearooms along the way. All that walking builds an appetite!
Over the summer months, the area is a hotbed of festivals, from food to folk and craft to books. Our personal favourites include Electric Fields (set in the grounds of Drumlanrig Castle) and the Wigtown Book Festival which attracts some great authors. The size of the festival lets you get up and close to those literary greats. This year (if we can squeeze it in!), we’ll be at the Creetown Country Ceilidh Festival – a 3 day extravaganza.
We’re always delighted to hear more places that you’ve discovered and would recommend so if you find one, then get in touch!