Top 11 Things to See & Do in Dumfries & Galloway

| December 6, 2017 | Reply

Scotland’s sunniest region and one of its most beguiling is awash with attractions. So much so that it is hard to pick out just 11 highlights! Here are some of the places we love in Dumfries & Galloway, and we’re sure you will too!

1. Sweetheart Abbey

This grandly ruined abbey is one of Scotland’s most dreamily romantic – it was built as a Cistercian abbey in 1275 by Dervorguilla of Galloway as a testament of her love for her late husband, John de Balliol.

Sweetheart Abbey

Sweetheart Abbey (c) Robin McKelvie

2. Caerlaverock Castle

This unusually shaped triangular castle is one of Scotland’s most enjoyable to visit, with a moat to amble over, plenty to check out in the castle and both a cafe and woodland trail in the grounds.

Caerlaverock Castle

Caerlaverock Castle (c) Robin McKelvie

3. Mountain Biking

Dumfries & Galloway is a world-class mountain biking destination and it is also home to no fewer than five of the famous 7 Stanes mountain bike centres – Glentrool, Kirroughtree, Mabie, Ae and Dalbeattie – which are renowned around the world by bikers.

Robin mountain biking at Glentress

Robin mountain biking at (c) Robin McKelvie

4. Galloway Forest Park

Britain’s largest forest park, known locally as the ‘Highlands in the Lowlands’, is a remarkable green lung of forest , hill and loch that was also declared the UK’s first Dark Sky Park in 2009, so it is ideal for stargazing.

5. Kirkcudbright

In a region overflowing with pretty towns and villages Kirkcudbright may just be the most beguiling, a charm not lost on the generations of artists who have flocked from all over to enjoy the multicoloured houses, special local light and river views.

6. Portpatrick

No visit to Dumfries & Galloway is complete without popping into Portpatrick. An impossibly pretty seaside village complete with great restaurants and pubs dishing up boat fresh seafood, real ale and fine wines. Great coastal walk and the start of the Southern Upland Way await.

Portpatrick

Portpatrick (c) Robin McKelvie

7. Southern Upland Way

One of Scotland’s finest long distance trails, the 212-mile Southern Upland Way starts in picturesque Portpatrick. From here it sweeps across to the Rhins of Galloway on Scotland’s west coast. Read more about it and Scotland’s other famous long distance walk here.

Meeting cattle on the Southern Upland Way

Meeting cattle on the Southern Upland Way (c) Robin McKelvie

8. Cream O’Galloway

Creamy ice-cream, a range of tours, an indoor play area and an adventure playground combine to make this a brilliant family-friendly attraction. Follow a nature trail, try your hand at crazy golf or burn off some energy on the massive ‘Go Boing’ trampoline before sampling some of that irresistible cheese or ice-cream in the cafe.

Burns Statue, Dumfries

Burns Statue, Dumfries (c) Robin McKelvie

9. Drumlanrig Castle

Plush furnishing, famous paintings and the stunning building itself are reason enough to visit this grand country house. Tranquil gardens, peaceful walks, salmon fishing, moutain bike trails and an adventure playground also await. Drumlanrig also features in the popular Outlander TV series. Need we say more?

10. Dumfries

Dumfries is a fascinating place to visit. Not least because of its ties to Robert Burns. Visit the bard’s former home or learn more about one of Scotland’s most famous sons at the fascinating Robert Burns Centre. According to a recent RightMove survey it is also the ‘happiest’ place to live in the UK!

11. Mull of Galloway

Admire the Stevenson lighthouse, view the rich bounty of wildlife (birds and marine mammals) from the RSPB reserve or simply admire the drama of the location. The views to England, Northern Ireland the Isle of Man and the South Rhins are breathtaking. You can even enjoy them through the panoramic windows of the Gallie Craig coffee house.

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Category: Features, See & Do, Top 10s

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