The Attractions of South West Scotland
For Your Interest and Enjoyment
Return to : Dalbeattie Domain
Nithsdale is the most heavily-populated section of Dumfries and Galloway Region, with some 50,000 people, mainly in Dumfries. The Valley of the Nith is nevertheless interesting for its historical associations (notably with Robert Burns), its industrial archaeology and the still-unspoilt landscape. In the north is the former coal-mining area of Sanquhar, but wealth of a different kind came from the gold and lead mines at Wanlockhead and Leadhills in the hills to the east. Across the Nith from these areas is the farmland and estate parkland around Drumlanrig, ancestral home of the Dukes of Buccleuch. It has continung associations with royalty, but a house of literary fame is slightly to the east. Annie Laurie lived at Maxwelton House near Moniaive, a restored mansion now open to the public.
Dumfries itself offers a wide variety of museums, galleries, evening entertainments and shops. Robert Burns spent much of his life in and near the town, trying his hand as a farmer at Ellisland before moving into Dumfries and obtaining a job as a customs official. Yet he is not the only historical figure to have come to Dumfries; Scottish Kings and Queens came there, including Mary, whilst the Devorguilla Bridge is a memory of the last Princess of Galloway. Every June, the 'Guid Nychburris' ridings are marked by the local beauty queen, standing in for Devorguilla as 'Queen of the South'. The local football team also have that name.
At its estuary, the Nith becomes a place for nature again, with one of Britain's largest coastal wetland National Nature Reserves. This Caerlaverock site is next to a castle which had one of the most turbulent histories of any in Scotland. Winter sees visits by hundreds of thousands of marsh a
Brow Well, nr. Ruthwell : Mineral well where Burns sought a cure
from his final illness.
Robert Burns Centre, Dumfries : A historical and literary place to study Burns, but with a good audiovisual display and a cafe. Also, a rather good Film Theatre.
Telephone : 01387-264808.
Burns House, Dumfries : Sandstone house where Robert Burns lived after his abortive time as a farmer and whilst he was a Customs Officer. Displays and artefacts of the period.
Telephone : 01387-255297.
Burns Mausoleum, St. Michaels : The grave of Robert Burns in St. Michael's Churchyard, Dumfries.
Ellisland Farm : The farmhouse, built by Robert Burns, contains exhibits connected with the poet.
Telephone : 01387-740426.
The Globe Inn : Robert Burns's 'favourite howff', a 17th century working pub in the centre of Dumfries. Preserves the 'Poet's Chair'.
Telephone : 01387-252335.
Dumfries Museum, Dumfries Old windmill tower and
associated buildings owned by the Dumfries and Galloway Council. Large 1830s
'Camera Obscura' on top floor of windmill. Excellent collection of local
artefacts from prehistoric periods onwards. Ongoing exhibitions. Free entry except for
camera obscura. Open Monday-Saturday 10-5, sunday 2-5. Camera Obscure 1.50 Adults, 75p
Telephone : 01387-253374. Fax : 01387-265081.
E-mail : email@example.com
Website : http://dumfriesmuseum.demon.co.uk/.
Old Bridge House Museum : Built in 1660, the oldest surviving house in Dumfries. Beside the Old or Devorgilla Bridge. Artefacts displayed in replica Victorian nursery, kitchens and dentists's surgery. Telephone : 01387-256904.
James Paterson Museum, Moniaive : Cottage museum. Memorabilia and
photographic exhibitions relating to the artist James Paterson RSA, 1854-1932, and to his
colleagues, the 'Glasgow Boys'. Extensive archives. Open Fridays to Sundays, from
10 a.m. till 6 p.m. Free entry.
Telephone : 01848-200583.
E-mail : . Website : http://www.lepad.demon.co.uk/pater~j.html .
Sanquhar Tollbooth Museum : Displays on local knitting, mining
history, local literature, archaeology, community life and town's jail.
Telephone : 01659-50186. Fax : .
Sanquhar Post Office : Oldest working Post Office in the world.
Founded in 1712. Includes Tourist Information Centre.
Telephone : 01659-50185. Fax : .
Crichton Royal Museum, Dumfries : Very unusual and
moving museum on this innovative mental hospital of the late 19th
century. Various medical artefacts, and on-site attractions that include
an excellent cathedral-style church and a rock garden. Free access. Ample
parking, adjoining Easterbrook Hall.
Telephone : 01387-244228.
E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
Website : http://freespace.virgin.net/john.williams1/index.htm
Dumfries & Galloway Aviation Museum, Heathall : Very
impressive collection of aircraft and a unique World War II control tower
fascinating displays of aviation memorabilia. Visitor centre with giftshop
and tearoom. Open Saturdays and Sundays 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Entry Fee.
Telephone : 01387-251623.
Website : http://members.xoom.com/dgamuseum/. No e-mail.
Museum of Lead Mining, Wanlockhead : Well-presnted private
museum with restaurant, gift shop, and hands-on exhibitions. Guided tours of lead
mines and reconstructed cottage interiors. Miners' library. Gold-panning centre by
museum has hosted World Gold-Panning competitions in 1997 and 1999.
Telephone : 01659-74387. Fax : .
Drumlanrig Castle and Country Park, Carronbridge : Family home of
the Dukes of Buccleuch. Castle (staterooms open in summer), ranger-guided
waymarked walks, gardens, visitor centre, giftshop and craft centre, cycle
museum and hire, tearoom, adventure playground, bird of prey centre, woodland
and riverside walks.
Telephone : 01848-330248. Fax : 01848-600244. E-mail : email@example.com Website : Under construction.
Durisdeer Church, Durisdeer : Houses the c. 1711 'Queensbury Marbles', funeral effigies of the Second Duke and Duchess of Queensberry.
Mid Steeple, Dumfries : Early 18th century common hall of Dumfries, with Registry Office on first floor. In centre of High Street.
Rammerscales House, Lochmaben : 18th century sandstone
house, with walled garden, woodland walks and picnic areas.
Telephone : 01387-811988.
Gilnockie Tower (Clan Armstrong Centre), Canonbie : History of this
notorious clan of Border reivers. Genealogy of past and current Clan members.
Telephone : 013873-71876.
Caerlaverock Castle : Remarkable triangular castle of the Maxwells (later, Earls of Murray) besieged five times and rebuilt as often. Remains of previous castle in woods to south. Waymarked woodland walks and a good chidrens' play area. Excellent value. Entry fee.br> Telephone : 01387-770244 (Information). Fax : As phone.
Morton Castle, Morton : Black Douglas late 13th century
hall house overlooking Morton Loch. External view only. Managed by Historic
Scotland. Free access.
Telephone : 01387-770244 (Information). Fax : As phone.
Bruce's Cave : Bruce was hidden here for three months by Sir
Telephone : 01461-800285.
Bruce Plaque, Dumfries : Plaque on wall in Castle Street recording the location of the Greyfriars Monastery where Bruce stabbed John 'The Red' Comyn in church of a Sunday.
Lincluden Collegiate Church, Lincluden, Dumfries : College
of Augustinian Canons, formerly Benedictine nunnery suppressed by Archibald
the Grim. Church rebuilt in early 15th century by the Duke of Touraine.
Managed by Historic Scotland. Free access.
Telephone : 01387-770244 (Information). Fax : As phone.
Wanlockhead Beam Engine, Wanlockhead : Near the famous Leadhills gold-panning region. Adjacent private lead-mining museum. Well worth a visit, - but wear old clothes when entering mine. Entry fee paid at adjacent Museum.
Gowanbrae Nursery : .
Telephone : 01387-780273. Fax : .
Charter House Nurseries : .
Telephone : 01387-720363. Fax : .
The Crichton Grounds : .
Telephone : 01387-247544. Fax : .
The Crichton Nursery : .
Telephone : 01387-244198. Fax : .
Ae Forest : Three waymarked walks, forest drives, four mountain
bike routes, two picnic areas and a Forest Plough Museum. Two specialised mountain
biking routes available if notified by phone beforehand.
Telephone : 01387-860247. Fax : 01387-860312.
Craigieburn Forest Trails : Forest Enterprise waymarked forest
walks and biking trails.
Telephone : 01387-860247. Fax : 01387-860312.
Barony College Countryside Walks : Farmland, riverside, parkland
and wooded grounds with waymarked trails. Open Day in May Bank Holiday, next in 2000.
Telephone : 01387-860251. Fax : 01387-860395.
E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org Website : http://www.barony.ac.uk/
The Art Garden, Moniaive : An art gallery and crafts shop set in
Telephone : 01848-200466. Fax : .
Gracefield Arts Centre, Dumfries : Collection of Scottish
paintings, monthly exhibitions of contemporary arts and crafts.
Telephone : 01387-262084.
Ewart Library, Dumfries : Public library with large local
studies collection including genealogical section. Large public computer centre with
Internet access. N.B. : All Dumfries and Galloway libraries now have at
least one Internet terminal.
Telephone : 01387-253820. Fax : .
Dumfries Ice Bowl : Ice rink and indoor bowls hall.
Shops and restaurant. Skates may be hired.
Telephone : 01387-251300. Fax : .
Dumfries Swimming Pool : .
Telephone : 01387-252908. Fax : .
Horseshoe Riding Centre, Cummertrees : TRSS and ABRS approved
riding and trekking centre.
Telephone : 01387-870648. Fax : .
Neverland Adventure Play Centre : Themed Peter Pan indoor childrens'
adventure play centre.
Telephone : 01387-249100. Fax : .
Hop, Skip and Jump Soft Play Centre : Soft play for children
of 8 years and under.
Telephone : 01387-247727. Fax : .
Riks Bike Shed, Dumfries : Quality mountain bikes for sale and
hire. A good choice for enjoying the many mountain bike trails in Dumfries and Galloway.
Telephone : 01387-270275.
ABC Cinema, Dumfries : 526-seat cinema with continuous programme
of current films.
Telephone : 01387-253578. Fax : 01387-266587.
E-mail : Not available. Website : http://www.abccinemas.co.uk/
Theatre Royal, Dumfries : Guild of Players' theatre in Shakespeare
Street. Local productions and visiting performances.
Telephone (Box Office) : 01387-254209. Fax : .
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All text and images © 1999 Richard Edkins of Dalbeattie Internet.