Dumfries & Galloway Travel Guide

Mull of Galloway, Dumfries & Galloway - © A.M.Hurrell

Introduction and Overview

The Dumfries & Galloway Travel Guide looks at interesting local attractions, places of interest and offers useful tourist information for travellers. The area guide features travel information on local transport and travel, facts & figures, entertainment, events, maps and accommodation.

The region is located in the south west of Scotland, a place that is perhaps less well known by tourists but has much to offer visitors.

The region has historical links with Scotland's famous poet Robert Burns and the birthplace of Scottish Christianity in addition to having the mildest climate in Scotland, wonderful sunsets and a magnificent coastline that runs for a few hundred miles.

Dumfries & Galloway is a treat for visitors sightseeing, walkers and cyclists providing them with some inspiring scenery in its landscape with attractive towns and villages.

Visitors can see some of Scotland's best landscapes and vistas, through history the region has witnessed conflicts and has associations with some famous Scots such as for Robert the Bruce who had Lochmaben Castle as a base and became a famous guerrilla fighter after joining William ‘Braveheart’ Wallace’s war against the English.

Thankfully the border is a lot more peaceful currently and a trip to include Dumfries & Galloway is possible for visitors based in or passing through Northern England.

Gretna and the nearby village of Gretna Green are famous as a wedding venue for the young faced with resistance to their wish to get married.

The well known tradition for eloping to Gretna started in 1754 when an English law was passed stating that any person wanting to marry under the age of 21, required parental consent to do so. This did not apply in Scotland where people could marry at sixteen and Gretna became the favoured destination based on its proximity to the English border.

The Old Blacksmith Shop has transformed in to an award-winning museum that goes into Gretna’s unique and interesting history. Local shopping facilities include the Gateway Outlet Village in Gretna that includes a choice of shops and cafes.

The town of Dumfries is dominated by the tower of Midsteeple, a place where many Scots left their homelands in search of a better life in the new world. The town is also referred to as Queen of the South and the football team plays under that name.

The town is on the banks of the Nith and has five bridges the oldest of which is the Devorgilla Bridge dating back to 1426. Dumfries is famous for its association with famed Scottish poet Robert Burns who lived here and fans can take the Burn's walk, along the banks of the Nith, it is a relaxing walk.

Dumfries is a market town and the capital of the region, local attractions include Dumfries Museum and Camera Obscura, the museum includes a range of collections relating to the history of the area, whilst the Camera Obscura is the oldest example if its type in the world.

There is entertainment available at the Royal Theatre, Dumfries, the oldest working theatre in Scotland. There are also a number of parks located a short walk from the town centre.

The compact spa town of Moffat is located 20 miles north of Dumfries. Moffat is of great strategic importance as it lies at the crossroads of key routes to the Devil’s Beeftub and on to Edinburgh. Back in the 19th century it became a famous spa town that attracted aristocrats and became an important wool centre.

The scenic town has the shortest street in Scotland, Chapel Street and the narrowest, Syme Street.

The main high street is tree lined and includes much of its original character and charm with a choice of shops, cafes and amenities. A short distance away is Grey Mare’s Tail Nature Reserve that has an inspiring waterfall at its centre and the White Coombe mountain that is 821 metres high.

Stranraer is located on the shores of Loch Ryan, 70 miles west of Dumfries on the west Scottish coast. Stranraer is the second largest town after Dumfries in the region and is well known as a ferry port

Local attractions include the Castle of St John, a 16th century townhouse located in the town centre, it is a museum telling the storey behind the castle.

Stranraer Museum is located in the 18th century Old Town Hall, with a number of displays and exhibitions showcasing the history of the area. North West Castle is now a hotel located opposite the harbour in Stranraer, famous for being the first hotel in the world to include an indoor curling ice rink.

Other attractions around Stranraer include Logan Botanic Garden, Glenluce Abbey, Castle Kennedy Gardens and Ardwell Gardens.

Castle Douglas is located 20 miles from Dumfries, in eastern Galloway. The town has been designated a food town with approx 50 food outlets in the town with a wide range of cafes, restaurants, delis and butchers.

The town is known for its interpedently owned shops and has a rich farming and market tradition making it an interesting and attractive place for visitors to explore.

Visitors can explore the regional town market, the main shopping street includes a number of shops and amenities helping to ensure the town is a popular destination for visitors to base themselves when exploring the area.

Local attractions include the Castle Douglas Art Gallery, Threave Castle and Threave Garden.

Kirkcudbright is located just under 30 miles from Dumfries. The scenic fishing town is also known as the Artists’ Town, it is a mecca for art enthusiasts with a range of art studios and galleries for art aficionados to explore.

Local attractions include the Stewartry Museum that houses collections detailing the natural and human history of the area. Famous for its art galleries, the town is home to the Tolbooth Art Centre, Harbour Cottage Gallery, The Whitehouse Gallery and High Street Gallery among others.

Visitors to Dumfries & Galloway have a number of attractions to explore in this scenic region. The region is characterised by its mild climate with stunning coastal scenery and mountains that are associated by its illustrious Highlands neighbours.

The region has history in its links to Scotland's most famous port Robert Burns and some charming towns and villages.

The location ensures it is assessable from the North of England meaning it is possible to combine a trip to the region with a visit to the North of England also. A scenic and underrated part of Scotland the region is well worth a look.



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