Dumfries and Galloway

Dumfries & Galloway is a largely unspoilt area that enjoys some great scenic views across the coast and countryside. Dotted with castles, reflecting conflicts of the past visitors to the region can soak up the history and a range of delicious food and drink at farmers markets and food festivals.

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Dumfries and Galloway Overview

Welcome to Dumfries & Galloway

The area is bordered by the Irish Sea, England to the South, the Scottish Borders to the East and Ayrshire & Lanarkshire to the North. With a population of 150,000 this is a largely unspoilt area of farming and fishing communities with a number of market towns and containing three national scenic areas. The main towns are Dumfries, Stranraer, Gretna, Kirkcudbright, and Lockerbie.


A much fought over area between various Scottish factions and then the English. Home to Robert the Bruce, King of Scotland from 1306 until his death in 1329, who eventually led Scotland during the First War of Scottish Independence against England. During the first part of the 17th century – the Killing Time – battles between Covenantors and Scottish Royalists and then English Armies ravaged the area leading to many tower house castles being built.

Places to Visit in Dumfries & Galloway

Much of the main attractions are close to the coast of the Irish Sea and Solway Firth but river valleys lead inland to the dramatic scenery of the Southern Uplands. For those wanting to see dramatic coastline then visit Southerness Lighthouse, the Mull of Galloway or the area around St Ninian’s Cave. Castles large and small include Caerlaverock, Lochmaben, Threave, Drumlanrig, more a stately home, Kenmure, Dunksey and Castle Kennedy. Tower Houses, designed to stop marauding Brigands rather than armies dot the landscape with MacLellan’s and Cardoness fine examples.

As well as protection for the body the care of the mind was entrusted to various Abbeys with Dundrennan and Sweetheart good examples. This is also an area of great gardens due to the mild climate with Glenwhan, Threave and Castle Kennedy fine examples.

The area will appeal to those wanting to experience the great outdoors with drives through the centre using the Dalveen Pass and the areas of Loch Ken and Loch Trool providing walking, hiking and riding trails as well as water sports.

For those interested in earlier history the Ruthwell Cross is an 8th century elaborate sculpture whilst Gretna Green is a more modern example of the impact of different country laws, in this case the age of marriage.

Famous people include Thomas Telford the builder, writer Thomas Carlyle and journalist Kirsty Wark.

Eat and drink your way around the area and you’ll be in for a real treat. Delicious artisan food and drink; food producer visitor attractions that provide a fascinating glimpse behind the scenes; tasty food festivals and celebrations; busy farmers’ markets and community markets and lots of delicious cafes, and restaurants abound.

Getting There

Locherbie lies on the West Coast Main Line, with most of the main centres linked then via the Glasgow South Western Line. The main road linking to the M6 is the A74M with the ferry port of Cairnryan offering daily 2hour+ crossings to Belfast.

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