"Dumfries and Galloway Again and Again" Top 5 Page for this destination Dumfries and Galloway by nickandchris
Dumfries and Galloway Travel Guide: 386 reviews and 860 photos
Having fallen in love with Dumfries and Galloway, we have made three more recent trips to the area, the latest being a week in August exploring the coast (pages under Creetown, Isle of Whithorn, Port William and Stranraer. )The Whit week we toured the Castle Douglas/Kirkcudbright area (page under Kirkcudbright)and Easter we visited little known Nithsdale, north of Dumfries. This is a delightful area with beautiful scenery where we spent three days exloring Drumlanrig Castle, Wanlockhead lead mining museum and lesser known places such as Morton Castle. So clean, so tidy and so litter-free.Somewhere we shall definitely return. New pages under Moniaive and Wanlockhead.)
Our love for the sea sent us to Dumfries and Galloway and with over 200 miles of coastline we couldn't go far wrong.
Our first holiday in the far west of Dumfries and Galloway was in July 1994. We took our fairly new, large canvas ridge tent , looking at campsites throughout the county. We ended on the far western peninsula, the Rhinns of Galloway, near Portpatrick, on a campsite, The Castle Bay, looking out over the Irish sea. It was magical. It even had it's own ruined castle to explore (Dunsky, built in the early 1500's). On clear nights we watched the many lighthouses of Ireland flickering across the water.
We toured the area every day and discovered some beautiful places. Everywhere was so clean compared with England and visitor friendly.
The following year we decided to return to the same campsite but hire a static caravan as Philip was just 4 months old. It was not the same as being in the tent as the statics were in a different part of the site with no magnificent sea-views but there were plenty of rabbits to watch! Still we enjoyed the area and returned a third time when we had bought the motorhome. This time we did some free camping and also stayed on Caravan Club C.L.s.
Every year since we have had the van we have holidayed in Scotland, sometimes on sites, but mainly free camping on sea loch sides. We have a small inflateable boat with outboard and like to be afloat as much as conditions allow. Sea lochs are generally more sheltered for boating.
2004, we decided to return to The Rhinns, in the van with the boat. We were going to stay on a C.L. near a beach we hoped to launch the boat on but ended free camping on this beach, Ardwell Bay, for a few nights. We were booked into a C.L. at Port Logan for the last three days which looked down onto the harbour and out to the Irish sea. There is also a lovely sandy beach. Beautiful.
There are a couple of gardens to visit and a Victorian Fish Pond carved out of the rocks.
Port Logan has a pub but no shops.
Unfortunately due to being on the "real" coast we couldn't get the boat out far, conditions didn't allow it.
Easter 2005 and it was time for our first mini break of the year in the van. We were booked booked on to a C.L. near Ecclefechan and were surprised how quiet it was.
Good Friday was bright and warm again and we set off for Caerlaverock Castle, calling in at Powfoot, near Cummertrees.The beach was absolutely covered in cockle and other shells which crunched underfoot. The car park here has a height barrier, the first one we have come across in Dumfries and Galloway. There is room to park alongside.
There was a very nice looking golf course and a couple of caravan sites.
We noticed the first of many interesting metal posts, marking the cycle-way.
A little further on, enroute to Caerlaverock, we had a quick look at Brow Well, a chalybeate spring, (a natural spring containing iron) where Robbie Burns had bathed.
Caerlaverock Castle was magnificent, one of the most beautiful we have seen and we thoroughly enjoyed exploring the whole place and grounds.For a Bank Holiday it was fairly quiet. It was wonderfully maintained and everywhere was neat and tidy.
Saturday we opted to visit Sweetheart Abbey, impressive remains in a lovely village setting. We had a swift walk around New Abbey and opted not to visit the mill as we have visited plenty on other occasions.
Stopped at a place called Thirlstane, on the coast, for our lunch. It is near Southerness. What a beautiful beach this was. Again it was covered with shells of all shapes and sizes. Interesting rock ridges extending out to sea.
Sunday we enjoyed a walk along the River Annan. We chose to walk in the direction of Annan, along the East banks of the river. It was an attractive walk which we only managed a mile or so and turned back as Philip was very tired and unwell. We spotted a red squirrel in the trees, apparently the area is renowned for them.
And sadly,that was the weekend gone.
Annan is situated on the east side of the River Annan, about a mile from where it joins the sea on the Solway Coast. Travel south along the river and you will find wharves on the eastern shores. Trade declined in the early 1900's and they became disused.
Most of Annan is built of dark red sandstone, the Town Hall on the High Street being the most prominent building.
The three-spanned Annan Bridge was built in 1826 by Robert Stevenson.
Chapel Cross Nuclear Power Station is to the east of the town, one of the oldest in the U.K.,built in 1959.
Annan has a museum and exhibition centre, housing the history of the town.
In 1989 Annan was bypassed by the A75 and fewer people pass through.
For more info visit: www.annan.org.uk
Ecclefechan's claim to fame is it is the birth place of Thomas Carlyle, born in 1795, a philosopher and historian. The cottage he lived in as a child is now a museum and is a replica of a 1800's cottage.
The village was first bypassed by the A74 in the 1970's and later in the '90's by the M74, giving Ecclefechan a feel of being left behind by the times.
Easter 2010 and Dumfrieshire beckoned us again, this time to little known Nithsdale, north of Dumfries. This is a delightful area with beautiful scenery where we spent three days exloring Drumlanrig Castle, Wanlockhead lead mining museum and lesser known places such as Morton Castle. So clean, so tidy and so litter-free.Somewhere we shall definitely return. New pages under Moniaive and Wanlockhead.
- Pros:Beautifully unspoilt and clean. Contrasting coastline.
- In a nutshell:A relatively undiscovered area with an interesting coastline
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