The unspoilt beauty of this south west corner of Scotland is the perfect antidote to the hurly burly of modern life.
Here there are deserted beaches, magnificent forests, rugged moors and beautiful lochs, all unblemished and untouched by tourism. But Dumfries and Galloway is not only perfect for chilled-out holidays, if you want a bit more action you can also find a range of activities and sports, from walking and cycling to golf and fishing.
To the west of the region is the quiet market town of Newton Stewart on the banks of the River Cree. This is a popular area for walkers and cyclists with open rolling countryside and close by to the Galloway Forest Park. In contrast with gentle scenery of the Solway Firth the Galloway Hills to the north has beautiful moors, mountains, lakes and rivers, with at its heart the Galloway Forest Park, some 150,000 acres of forest land with waymarked trails that are ideal for trekking and cyclists.
Formal gardens and country parks can be found throughout this area, the foremost of which is Threave Garden and Castle just south of Castle Douglas along the shores of Loch Carlingwark, renowned for its horticultural gardens and woodland covering some sixty acres. To the north of the town Loch Ken provides for more strenuous activities such as waterskiing, sailing and windsurfing.
To the south are the sandy coves and estuarine mudflats of the Solway Firth. The charming coastal resort of Kirckcudbright sits half way along the coast and was once a busy shipping port but now has a more tranquil atmosphere. Further east The Colvend coast has some lovely stretches of coastline and coastal villages providing moorings for visiting yachts and boat hire.
Inland on the River Nith, Dumfries is the regions largest town and a great base from which to explore the whole area. The town is also renowned for its associations with Robert Burns who spent the last five years of his life here.
Visit Drumlanrig Castle and you’ll immerse yourself in over 600 years of The Douglas Family’s history. The story began in the 14th Century when William, the son of James, 2nd Earl of Drumlanrig became the 1st Laird of Drumlanrig.
Over the decades the Douglas family stayed close to the monarchy, a relationship, which as you’d expect, benefitted both the Douglases and the royals. William, 3rd Earl of Queensberry, was very loyal to Charles II and was made 1st Duke of Queensberry in 1684. The Castle you see today was built to reflect his new-found status. Its rich history – told in both art and architecture – keeps the family history alive and stands as a fitting tribute to a clan who have preserved Drumlanrig Castle throughout generations for you to enjoy today. The setting is so authentic that the producers of Outlander recently used Drumlanrig as one of their filming locations for the second series.
Loch Ken is located in the heart of Dee Valley and has historically been a thriving area for Pike with the famous Kenmure pike caught back in 1798 being said to weigh in at a huge 72lbs. Today the fishing is still just as enticing on and off shore with pike regularly caught weighing over 20lbs. Fishing permits are available in shops and pubs around the area with many areas on the loch open to fish.