Dumfries & Galloway Attractions

Dumfries & Galloway includes a choice of local attractions in the region, visitors have a choice of great places to discover. The scenic region includes hills, unspoilt moorland, river valleys and a great coastline with a number of museums, parks, gardens, a number of historic buildings, theatre, concerts and events. Dumfries & Galloway’s location in southern Scotland offers visitors a wonderful landscape to enjoy and the great outdoors is located close to local towns and villages with a range of things to see and do in the region.

We have outlined a number of interesting attractions and places to visit for visitors to Dumfries & Galloway and surrounding areas, these include:

The Robert Burns Birthplace Museum is located in Dumfries and tells the story of Robert Burns' last years spent in Dumfries in the late 18th century. The centre is situated in Dumfries eighteenth century watermill on the west bank of the River Nith. The most famous poet of Scotland spent a lot of time in and around Dumfries, the centre has a scale model of Dumfries in the 1790s, as well as many original manuscripts and belongings of the poet. There is an audio-visual presentation in addition to the museum trails and fun activities. The shop contains a wide selection of Scottish books, gifts local craft work and foods. There is an exhibition programme of work by local artists and a restaurant too.

The Castle of St John is also referred to as the Chapel or Stranraer Castle, it is situated in the heart of Stranraer. The castle has been restored and opened to the public since 1990. Originally built back in 1510 by Ninian Adair of Kilhurst, the castle passed on to the Kennedy’s in 1591, and passed on to public ownership in 1815 when it was purchased by the Burgh of Stranraer. The castle is four storeys tall and has much history over the past 500 years.

Caerlaverock Castle is located a few miles south of Dumfries, it is among the finest castles in Scotland with its moat, twin towered gatehouse and imposing battlements, Caerlaverock Castle, is a splendid site. The castle is the scene of some famous sieges, there is a turbulent history given its proximity to the England border. Visitors can come and see the siege warfare exhibition and learn more about the colourful history of this castle there is also an onsite cafe, children's adventure park, and nature trail. The shop has a wide range of local products made in the region.

Broughton House & Garden is managed by the National Trust for Scotland. It is an 18th century townhouse, which belonged to the Murray’s of Broughton and Cally. It was the home of the artist E.A. Hormel from 1901, the house contains fine collections of antique furniture, a manuscript collection and a library. Many see the garden as the main highlight of visiting, it was designed by Hormel and contains Scottish features to it as well as Japanese and has been restored to former glorious state. Broughton House boasts a collection of ceramics, furniture and literature, and makes for a fascinating trip.

Located a few miles from Stranraer Glenwhan Gardens have been referred to as among the finest newly created gardens in recent times. A few decades ago they did not exist, the area has since been transformed in to an outstanding 12 acre garden centre that has some magnificent views across Luce Bay and to the Mull of Galloway. The Gulf Stream creates a warming effect here and facilitates exotic and tender plants from around the southern hemisphere to flourish here. The garden is a great sight all year round from spring when you can see the rhododendrons and in the summer when a wide range of plants and flowers are on show.

Galloway Wildlife Conservation Park is located in 27 acres of mixed woodland. The conservation park aims to promote an understanding and awareness of animals and their environments. They do this through conservation, exhibition and interpretation, there are over 50 species of threatened and native animals are housed here. There is a collection of close to 200 animals from around the world which can be viewed here. There is an on going programme of construction and improvement to facilities for the animal and birds here. The breeding programme plays an important role in conserving endangered species.

The Galloway Activity Centre is located on the banks of Loch Ken. Visitors can learn & or take part in sailing, kayaking, canoeing, archery, mountain biking, orienteering, power boating, climbing, abseiling and outdoor laser quest. The centre caters for individuals, families and groups offering an action packed fun filled day out. The centre is a great place to enjoy activity holidays in a safe and secure environment, there is accommodation available along with a café on site.

With 200 miles of coastline Dumfries & Galloway presents plenty of wonderful areas to explore walking. Dumfries & Galloway Walks offer walkers a choice of routes where they will see the stunning coastline, hills, forest and a number of villages and towns each with its own character. From relatively easy walks for beginners to altogether more challenging walks, the walking routes offer visitors the chance to explore the region up close and personal taking in the scenic beauty of the area and seeing the attractions at ones own pace.

The Dumfries & Galloway Arts Festival has been established since 1979, taking place traditionally at the end of May annually for 9 days. At the festival there are a range of events including different genres of music, dance, children’s events, theatre, films, literary and visual arts. The events take place in a range of venues located across the Dumfries & Galloway region including small and large venues in both rural and urban locations. Visitors can see local and international performers and artists at the festival.

Visitors can see theatre productions at the Lochside Theatre, it is located in the former St Andrew’s church which was converted in 1996 by members of the local drama and musical groups. There is an auditorium that is professionally equipped and provides facilities suitable for performance, cinema, conference, lecture or large meetings. The theatre also has a meeting room with catering facility available for hire. A licensed bar is open on performance evenings, for visitors to enjoy a drink. Lochside Theatre has a varied programme of arts events and aims to have a programme to suits the needs of the community.

Drummuir Farm serves a delicious range of home-made ice creams, hand-made with milk from their own herd of dairy cows. There are wide selections of flavours on offer, these vary through the course of the year, and all the flavours are made from natural ingredients. The ice-cream parlour is a hit among visitors and provides a range of drinks, snacks in addition to the famous range of ice-creams and sundaes. There is an indoor and outdoor play area, parking and baby changing and disabled facilities.

It is recommended that prior to visiting the Dumfries & Galloway; visitors do their research and ensure any sights and attractions they plan on visiting are actually open on the days you intend on coming. The transport is also worth checking as maintenance and engineering works can mean a restricted service on public transport and the road network.

Dumfries & Galloway is located in a scenic part of southern Scotland making it a popular holiday and short breaks destination. The area has plenty to offer visitors with a mix of charming small towns and villages including plenty of picturesque locations in the scenic Scottish countryside and a wonderful coastline. The main settlements including Dumfries and Stranraer offers visitors their own attractions and a good place from which to further explore the area. Dumfries & Galloway includes a number of historic attractions, museums, historic houses, parks and gardens with attractions to enjoy for the entire family. Dumfries & Galloway’s attractions ensure visitors can enjoy a short break, weekend away or a longer stay here.

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