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 - Dalbeattie and Castle Douglas :

Covering the coast from Auchencairn eastwards to Southerness and New Abbey, and going inland as far as Crossmichael, Kirkpatrick Durham and the outskirts of Dumfries. Orchardton Tower near Palnackie, Threave Castle near Castle Douglas, Drumcoltran Tower and Sweetheart Abbey, make this a joy for historians. Those seeking lowland walks have plenty along the coast and in the woodlands inland. Two of the best beaches in the Region can be found at Southerness and at Sandyhills Bay, whilst a little further east, at Southwick and Mersehead, are two of the best nature reserves in this area.

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.

Forest Walks and Nature Reserves :

Criffel Mountain, nr. New Abbey : 1868 feet (569 metres) high, with excellent views across half of the region and across the Solway Firth and Irish Sea to England and the Isle of Man. Caution : As with all hills, go prepared for a rapid change in weather conditions. Not to be climbed in trainers.

Dalbeattie Forest, Dalbeattie : Almost 17 miles of tracks for walking, cycling, birdwatching and botany. Access from Dalbeattie, Moss Road, Richorn, Barnbarroch and Colvend. Remains of old granite quarries rich in ferns and lichens. Something to see in any season. Telephone : 01556-503626 (Information).

Doach Wood, Palnackie : Two miles of tracks up to and from the viewpoint through stands of spruce and Douglas Fir. Parking at base of hill off B736. Occasionally muddy.
Telephone : 01556-5036260 (Information).

Mabie Forest, Mabie : Twelve miles of marked walks, bridle ways, mountain bike tracks and seasonal forest drives. Parking, toilets, picnic area and childrens' adventure playground. Special access for wheelchair users.
Telephone : 01387-860247 (Information).

Screel Hill, Palnackie : Waymarked walks through forest to the top of the montain. Excellent view over the Solway. Mountain bike routes for experienced riders. Parking at base of hill, signposted from A711.
Telephone : 01556-503626 (Information).

Threave Wildfowl Reserve, Castle Douglas : Observation points/hides open in winter. Information from Threave Gardens centre.
Telephone : 01556-502575 (Information).

Go to Nature Reserves for details of other local wildlife reserves, including Mersehead and Southwick.

Gardens and Nurseries :

Arbigland House and Gardens, Kirkbean : Family home of the Blacketts, with an extensive estate and gardens. Gardens open during the summer, house open on limited occasions. Phone for dates and times. Entry fees.
Telephone : 01387-880283.

Marthrown of Mabie Outdoor Centre : An unusual outdoor centre in the heart of Mabie Forest. Courses and events.
Telephone : 01387-247900.

Orchardton Nursery, nr. Palnackie : At Orchardton House, specialises in unusual shrubs and climbing plants. Open Sunday to Tuesaday, midday to 6 p.m. Phone to visit at other times.
Telephone : 01556-640366. Fax : As phone.

Museums :

Dalbeattie Museum, Dalbeattie : Small private museum in Southwick Road, concentrating on 19th century social history, Dalbeattie granite industry and the town's links with First Officer William Murdoch of the RMS 'Titanic'. Telephone : 01556-610437.

John Paul Jones Birthplace Museum, Arbigland, Kirkbean : Birthplace of this notorious privateer and founder of the Unites States Navy. Good displays of contemporary cottage interior and reconstruction of Jones's cabin on the 'Bonhomme Richard'.
Telephone : 01387-880613.

Moonstone Miniatures, Kirkpatrick Durham : Collection of dolls' houses, village dwellings and numerous shops, lavishly furnished at 1:12 scale. Right down to false teeth in the bathroom tumbler. Entry fee, £ 2.00 Adults, £ 1.50 Concessions, £ 1.00 Children over five. Under fives free. May 1st to September 17th, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. At other times, please phone first.
Telephone : 01556-650313. E-mail : Being obtained.

Shambellie House Costume Museum : Large house with extensive collection of 19th and 20th century clothes and costume. Accessories, furniture and decorative art. Gift shop and tearoom. Displays change each year. Well worth seeing. Entry fee.
Telephone : 01671-403344.

Historic Buildings and Ancient Monuments :

Castle Point, Rockcliffe : Small Iron-age dun on clifftop along a waymarked path through National Trust land, about a mile from Rockcliffe Car Park. Stonework and ditch evident. Views south and east towards Cumbrian fells, occasionally west as far as the Isle of Man and south towards St. Bees Head and Windscale.
Telephone : (Information) : John Bonner : 01461-206266.

Drumcoltran Tower, Kirkgunzeon : A mid-16th century tower house with roof and staircase to wall level. In a farm setting. Parking beside road. Managed by Historic Scotland. Free access.
Telephone : 01387-770244 (Information). Fax : As phone.

Barclosh Castle, Dalbeattie : Part of the tower-house still survives, but in a fragmentary condition. Possibly associated with the McFergus or Maxwell families. Free access.
Telephone/Fax : 01556-610364 for information.

Edingham Castle, Dalbeattie : Small tower-house beside remains of the World War II Edingham Explosive Depot. Associated with the Kerr or Cairns family.
Telephone : (Information) : John Bonner : 01461-206266.

Haugh of Urr, Dalbeattie : Largest 12th century mediaeval motte and bailey castle in the Region. Access over farmland, by way of a footbridge from the west side of Haugh of Urr ford. Parking by ford off the B794, 3.6 miles/6 Km. north of Dalbeattie. Free access.
Telephone : (Information) : John Bonner : 01461-206266.

Kirkconnel Tower House, New Abbey : Late 14th century manor house and tower house of the Maxwell family with many interesting additions. House may be visited by appointment with Francis Maxwell. Historic Houses Association member - proceeds to charity. Parking near house.
Telephone : 01387-850276. Fax : 01387-850288.
Website : Under construction. E-mail :

Motte of Mark, Rockcliffe : Natural hillock on National Trust land between Rockcliffe and Colvend. Intepretative board at bottom of climb to top of hill. Superb views over the Urr Estuary and Solway. Telephone : (Information) : John Bonner : 01461-206266.

William McMaster Murdoch Memorial, Dalbeattie : Beside the Town Hall entrance is this bronze and cut granite memorial to the First Officer of the ill-fated 'Titanic'. This local hero has two Memorial Prizes at the High School.
For more information, go to : Murdoch of the 'Titanic' website.

New Abbey Corn Mill, New Abbey : Renovated water-powered oatmeal mill, demonstrated regularly to visitors in summer months. Video theatre - 'The Miller's Tale' - on show inside mill. Open every day, except Thursday afternoons and Fridays in winter. Managed by Historic Scotland. Entry fee.
Telephone : 01387-850260. Fax : As phone.

Old Buittle Tower, nr. Dalbeattie : Jeffrey and Janet Burn host the quarterly Border Reivers' displays and summer excavations at the castle of Princess Devorguilla of Galloway.
Telephone : 01556-610416. Fax : As home.
Website :
E-mail : .

Orchardton Tower, Palnackie : The only round tower house in Scotland, built by the Cairns family in the mid 15th century. Interpreatative boards. Car parking. Guide and postcard from Dundrennan Abbey. Managed by Historic Scotland. Free access.
Telephone : 01387-770244 (Information). Fax : As phone.

Sweetheart Abbey, New Abbey : The very well preserved remains of the abbey built by Devorguilla, Princess of Galloway, in memory of her husband John Balliol. Unusual feature : Abbey Precinct Wall, enclosing 30 acres including the Abbey and surviving in part to 15 feet high. Open every day, except Thursday afternoons and Fridays in winter. Managed by Historic Scotland. Entry fee.
Telephone : 01387-850397. Fax : As phone.

Art and Craft Centres :

Barnbarroch Pottery, nr. Kippford : Workshop and saleroom with a variety of ornaments, tableware and other ceramic products. Well worth a visit.
Telephone : 01556-620695.

Castle Douglas Art Gallery, Castle Douglas : Exhibitions of the work of local art and craft groups. Entry free.
Telephone (Information) : 01557-331643.

Designs Gallery and Cafe, Castle Douglas : Regularly-changing exhibitions of top-quality glass, jewellery, ceramics and other craftwork. Shop sells clothing, knitwear. Cafe.
Telephone : 01556-504552. Fax : As phone.
E-mail :

Corsock Crafts, Corsock : Local craft shop with displays of crafts from local artists and craftsmen. Refreshments on request. Entry free.
Telephone : 01644-440259.

The Crow's Nest, Palnackie : Newly opened tea room with a nautical theme, with displays of local art and crafts for you to buy.
Telephone : 01556-600217.

North Glen Glass, Palnackie : World famous glass blowing business in Palnackie, making lamps of an unusual and delightful design.
Telephone : 01556-600200. Fax : As Phone.
Website :
E-mail : Being acquired.

Woodside Studio, Dalbeattie : Jim Sturgeon's art gallery. At the southern end of William Street, Dalbeattie. Local landscapes and themes.
Telephone : 01556-610517.

Other Attractions :

Barend Riding Centre : Across the road from Barend Holiday Village. BHS and TRSS approved riding lessons, pony treks and hacks.
Telephone : 01387-780663. Fax : 01387-780283.

Birchvale Theatre, Dalbeattie : Good local theatre with regular programme of performances. Parking for performances beside Primary School.
Telephone : 01556-610729/611160 (Secretary/Chair).

Castle Douglas Swimming Pool : Small pool (15.75 metres) Leisure suite open in May 1999, sauna, disabled access and disabled facilities. Manager, Gareth Reeve.
Telephone : 01556-502745. Fax : As phone. E-mail : .

Kelton Mains Open Farm, Castle Douglas : Conducted tours of a working open farm with a wide variety of animals, both native and exotic.
Telephone : 01556-502120.

Lochside Theatre, Castle Douglas : Auditorium with conference facilities. Amateur and visiting thearical shows. Parking near the theatre.
Telephone : 01556-504506.
E-mail : Website :

Solway Yacht Club : Pontoon berths at Kippford Pier for visiting yachts. Power points. Club facilities nearby.
Telephone : 01556-620312. Fax : As phone.

Golf Courses and Links :

For details of local golf courses go to Dumfries & Galloway Golf Links. There are six courses in the Dalbeattie and Castle Douglas area alone, one of them the Southerness Golf Club.

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All text and images © 1999 Richard Edkins of Dalbeattie Internet.
Quality Farmhouse Holidays website started 17th February 1999.
Last updated 18th February 2000.