Farm Holidays in Scotland
by Quality Farm Holidays - South West Scotland
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The Attractions of South West Scotland

[Introduction] [South Ayrshire] [Mull of Galloway] [Machars]
[Galloway Forest Park] [Kirkcudbright and Gatehouse] [Dalbeattie and Castle Douglas]
[Dumfries & Galloway Golf Links] [Nature Reserves in Dumfries & Galloway]

The Stewartry Coast - Kirkcudbright and Gatehouse :

This term 'Stewartry Coast' is applied to the lands south of Loch Ken, west of Nithsdale and east of Creetown, bounded to the south by the Solway Firth. Because the attractions cluster around four main towns, the attractions in this area have been divided between them.

This area has some particularly good attractions. Historic Scotland has Carsluith and Cardoness Castles, Cairn Holy Chambered Cairns, McLellan's Castle in Kirkcudbright and Dundrennan Abbey. Artists have the pleasures of the Artists' Colony in Kirkcudbright, including the Hornel Museum, with seascapes, skyscapes and landscapes that have inspired other keen artists of brush and pen. There are surprises in store, like the Cream o'Galloway ice cream works near Gatehouse of Fleet, which also has a Mill to explore. Children will certainly enjoy the Wildlife Park at Kirkcudbright, where they may see and touch a wide variety of animals. There are also some good beaches at Brighouse Bay and at Sandgreen.

Quality Farm Holidays can offer Bed and Breakfast or Self-Catering at the following locations in or near the four towns of the Stewartry Coast. :-
Balmaghie House, Glenlochar, - Self-Catering.
Meiklewood, Ringford, - Bed and Breakfast.
Craigadam, Castle Douglas - Bed and Breakfast and Self-Catering.
Barclosh Farm, Dalbeattie, - Self-Catering.
East Culkae, Sorbie, - Bed and Breakfast.
Blair Farm, Barrhill, - Bed and Breakfast.

Gardens and Nurseries :

Threave Garden and Estate, Castle Douglas : Extensive National Trust property to the west of Castle Douglas. Good audiovisual theatre and display on Threave. Gardens have fascinating rockeries and walled gardens with a wide range of plants. Recently opened walks down to Threave Wildfowl Reserve and hides by the River Dee. Ranger-guided walks in the season. Picnic area and cafe. Entry Fee.
Telephone : 01556-502575.

Buckland Plants, Kirkcudbright : Nursery and bedding plant sales.
Telephone : 01557-331323.

Forest Walks and Nature Reserves :

Fleet Forest : Two-mile trail with interpretation boards through Cally's oakwoods. Good for wildflowers from May to August.
Telephone : 01556-503626.

Laurieston Forest : Parking area and picnic site about a mile west of Laurieston village. Waymarked paths (1 mile) within wood. Can be muddy. Excellent small waterfalls.
Telephone : 01556-503626.

Carstramon Wood, Gatehouse of Fleet : Oak and ash wood with some beech and an understorey of bluebells and other wild flowers. Once used for charcoal burning and some pitsteads still survive. Best in May to August..

Murray Isles, nr. Sandgreen : Uninhabited offshore islands, now a nature reserve for seabirds. They have featured in many pictures by artists of the Kirkcudbright 'Artists Colony'.

Go to Nature Reserves for details of other local wildlife reserves, including Carstramon and Cairnsmore of Fleet.

Museums :

Kirkcudbright Museums :
Stewartry Museum, Kirkcudbright : Extensive collection of artefacts and 'curiosities' from the nineteenth century onwards, reflecting social and industrial history in this area. 1.50 a 75p concs children free
Telephone : 01557-331643. Fax : As phone.
E-mail : .
The Tollbooth Museum and Art Centre, Kirkcudbright : The story of the Kirkcudbright artists' colony from the 1880s onwards. Audiovisual display and permanent exhibition of paintings. Art, craft and photographic exhibitions. Entry fees : £ 1.50 Adults, 75p. Concessions, Children free.
Telephone : 01557-331556.
Harbour Cottage Gallery, Kirkcudbright : Exhibitions of local artists' paintings and craftwork. Located in the High Street near the harbour.
Telephone : 01557-330207 (Secretary)
Broughton House (Hornel Museum), Kirkcudbright : 18th century home and studio of A.E. Hornel, best known of the artists called 'The Glasgow Boys'. Interesting Japanese garden. Run by the National Trust, - entry fee. House of Jessie Shaw is nearby. Parking beside harbour, 300 yards. Go to the nearby Murray Arms, where Dorothy L. Sayers set the prelude to a murder in her 'Five Red Herrings'.
Telephone : 01557-330437. Fax : As phone.

Mill on the Fleet, Gatehouse of Fleet : 18th Century cotton mill. Working water wheel, crafts, tearoom, shop. Good dioramas of the social and industrial development of Gatehouse.
Telephone : 01557-814099.

Galloway Hydros Visitor Centre, Tongland : Guided tour of the power station and dam, exhibition rooms and 1930s style office, of the Galloway Hydro Project. Parking behind station building. Remarkable and functioning hydro-electric project that provides a third of the power of South West Scotland. Telephone to confirm availability of tour.
Telephone : 01557-330114. Fax : 01644-430560.

Historic Buildings and Ancient Monuments :

Cairn Holy Chambered Cairns, nr. Creetown : Two Neolithic chambered cairns, one possibly being a long barrow. About 6 miles east of Creetown. Managed by Historic Scotland. Interpretation boards. Free access. Parking adjacent. Good moorland views and birdwatching.
Telephone : 01387-770244 (Information). Fax : As phone.

Carsluith Castle, Carsluith : Small 16th century four-storied tower house of the Broun family. Parking adjacent. Guidebook from Cardoness Castle. Managed by Historic Scotland. Free access.
Telephone : 01387-770244 (Information). Fax : As phone.

Cardoness Castle, Gatehouse-of-Fleet : Well preserved early 16th century tower house of the McCulloch Barons of Cardoness. This infamous family of pirates and murderers lost the castle when Godfrey McCulloch was beheaded for murder in 1689. Managed by Historic Scotland. Entry fee.
Telephone : 01557-814427. Fax : As phone.

Dundrennan Abbey, Dundrennan : Mid-twelfth century Abbey founded by Fergus Lord of Galloway and David I of Scotland. Cistercian foundation that was finally closed in 1603. Mary Queen of Scots left Scotland from the Abbey Burnfoot for exile and eventual death in England. Managed by Historic Scotland. Entry fee.
Telephone : 01557-500262. Fax : As phone.

MacLellan's Castle, Kirkcudbright : Started in 1577 by the Tutor of Bombie and finished in 1582. Hosted Sealed Knot in 1997, and another Battle of Kirkcudbright is planned in 2002. Good kitchen displays in cellar. Staircase to roof level being restored. Managed by Historic Scotland. Entry fee.
Telephone : 01557-331856. Fax : As phone.

Threave Castle, Castle Douglas : Large tower-house built in the late 14th century by Archibald the Grim, third Douglas Earl of Galloway. Base has an artillery fortification built before James II of Scotland besieged the castle in 1455. Access by boat, - castle on an island. Riverside jetty is by a half-mile field path from parking and toilets. Managed by Historic Scotland. Entry fee.
Telephone : 0831-168512.

Other Attractions :

Cream o' Galloway : Childrens' adventure playground and excellent ice cream make this a joy for all ages. To be recommended ! Telephone : 01557-814040. 27th March to 31st October.

Wildlife Park, Kirkcudbright : Amongst the best of the Scottish zoological parks and wildlife conservation centres and a good day out for all ages. Tearoom, shop, picnic areas, guided tours, pet-handling sessions.
Telephone : 01557-331645.

Kirkcudbright Bay Cruises : River trips, fishing parties and boat charter.
Telephone : 01557-331838.

Kirkcudbright Marina : Safe anchorage and peaceful haven on the Solway coast.
Telephone : 01557-331135.

Kirkcudbright Swimming Pool : Pool 15.75 metres long. Jacuzzi on site. Parking adjacent. Approved by Scottish Tourist Board.
Telephone : 01557-331881.

Brighouse Bay Sports and Leisure Club : Alongside the extensive caravan and camping park. 1200 exclusive acres. Has its own golf club and beside a good beach.
Telephone : 01557/870267/870409. Fax : . Website : . E-mail : .

Brighouse Bay Trekking Ponies : Beside the Brighouse Bay Caravan Park. BHS and TRSS approved centre specialising in treks for complete beginners.
Telephone : 01557-870222.

Golf Courses and Links :

For details of local golf courses go to Dumfries & Galloway Golf Links. There are three golf courses in Kirkcudbright and Gatehouse alone.

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All text and images © 1999 Richard Edkins of Dalbeattie Internet.
Quality Farmhouse Holidays website started 17th February 1999.
Last updated 13th April 1999.