It’s easy to fall in love with the rolling hills, picturesque valleys and shimmering lochs of Dumfries and Galloway. There are plenty of opportunities to enjoy the Scottish scenery, with hiking, mountain biking and wildlife watching a few of the outdoor activities on offer. Charming towns like Kirkcudbright and Portpatrick are great bases for visiting the centuries-old castles that dot Dumfries and Galloway.
Things to do in Dumfries and Galloway
Caerlaverock Castle towers over the Solway coast and is surrounded by emerald-green lawns and a deep moat. The ruins are some of the most beautiful in Scotland and are ripe for exploring. Venture into the triangle-shaped stronghold to discover towers, battlements and hidden passageways.
A haven for artists and creatives, Kirkcudbright is one of the prettiest towns in Dumfries and Galloway. Stroll around the picturesque harbour and wander through streets lined with townhouses that date back to the 18th and 19th centuries. Many have been reimagined as galleries and studios.
Just outside Moffat’s town centre, the Museum of Lead Mining recalls the region’s heyday. Descend into a 300-year-old lead mine, peer into replicas of traditional workers’ cottages and enjoy homemade cakes at the award-winning tearoom. In summer, you can pan for gold in the streams that run past the museum.
Laid out in the 18th century, Castle Kennedy Gardens is known as the “Showpiece of Galloway.” Discover 30 hectares of tree-lined avenues, fragrant rose gardens and enchanting woodlands. Guided tours offer more information on the unique history of the gardens.
The tiny village of Portpatrick is a launchpad for beautiful coastal walks. It’s set around a sheltered bay and is lined with pastel-coloured houses. Trails skirt the clifftops and take you to landmarks like Dunskey Castle. In the village centre, you’ll find restaurants serving local specialties like mackerel pate and broiled haddock.
Getting around Dumfries and Galloway
Dumfries and Galloway is well-connected by road and rail transport. Rental cars offer the freedom to explore the region at your own pace. Train stations are located in Lockerbie, Gretna, Annan, Dumfries, Kirkconnel, Sanquhar and Stranraer. Dumfries is a two-hour drive from Edinburgh Airport and 1.5 hours from Glasgow Airport.