Threave’s spectacular gardens have been created over the years by students of the National Trust’s School of Practical Gardening. It was recently voted second in The Independent’s ’10 Best Gardens to Visit in the UK’. (more…)
Cardoness Castle is set in an imposing position above Gatehouse of Fleet. This six storey tower house is well preserved and dates back to the 15th century. (more…)
The Scottish Industrial Railway Centre is a ‘living museum’. Here unique and historically significant industrial steam and diesel locomotives are restored and can be seen working in an authentic setting. We are the only Steam Railway in the south west of Scotland. Travel behind one of our restored steam engines along a short section of track.
Want to come and visit? See our website and select ‘Steam Days’ for more information on open days, times and admission costs.
Scottish Industrial Railway Centre is located at Dunaskin, Waterside, Patna, near Dalmellington, KA6 7JF
Sweetheart Abbey is on the eastern edge of the village of New Abbey, just 5 miles from Dumfries. Sweetheart Abbey is very photogenic. It is one of the main historical attractions for those on holiday in Dumfries & Galloway in South West Scotland. (more…)
The heritage of Dumfries and Galloway is rich and varied. We have the memories of St Ninian at Whithorn the founder of Christianity as well as the Tibetan Buddhist Monestary and Meditation Centre in Eskdalemuir. We have Drumlanrig Castle which houses one of Europe’s best art collections and is very much lived in and host to many tourist activities; in contrast to the ruins and history of Sweetheart Abbey, founded in 1273 by Lady Dervorgilla of Galloway in memory of her husband John Balliol, who founded Balliol College in Oxford; the ruins of Dundrennan Abbey, once host to Mary Queen of Scots, and those of Threave Castle, accessible only by boat, and the superb Threave House surrounded by the beauty of Threave Garden.
Dumfries & Galloway gave birth to some of the nations great scientists and inventors; James Clerk Maxwell, the famous physicist; The Reverend Henry Duncan – founder of the first Savings Bank in Ruthwell; Kirkpatrick Macmillan – inventor of the first bicycle. These are all remembered in museums in the region as is D & G’s contribution to World War 2 at the “Devil’s Porridge”.
Our art and literature are boundless; everyone knows of Robert Burns, but did you know that John Buchan’s Richard Hannay chased around the region in “The 39 Steps” and Dorothy L Sayers’ “Five Red Herrings” is set around the town of Kirkcudbright, which is well known as the artist’s town having housed many of the famous Glasgow school of artists.
We have internationally renowned potters, sculptors, artists and photographers who exhibit in the plethora of our museums and galleries. Much of our art is exhibited in natural beauty of our wonderful forested landscape. The celebration of this is the “Spring Fling” festival held every year.
The Mull of Galloway is Scotland’s most Southerly Point. At the end of a narrow peninsula with stunning views in every direction, the Mull of Galloway Lighthouse, the Lighthouse Exhibition, the RSPB Visitor Centre and Reserve and the stunning Gallie Craig Coffee House comprise the Mull of Galloway Experience, a Four Star Visit Scotland Visitor Attraction. The Mull of Galloway Trust purchased the land and buildings at the Mull of Galloway, with the exception of the tower, in a community buyout in 2013.
The Lighthouse at the Mull of Galloway is perched on the end of a 260 foot cliff. It was built by Robert Stevenson and first lit on 26th March 1830. The Lighthouse remains operational and is managed and monitored by Northern Lighthouse Board.
The Lighthouse Tower is open to the public during the main season by kind permission of the Northern Lighthouse Board. A climb up the narrow, spiral staircase with its 115 steps to the viewing platform is rewarded by stunning views over Luce Bay to the Galloway Hills, the Fells of the Lake District, over the Irish Sea to the Isle of Man and Northern Ireland – four countries from one viewpoint! Friendly and knowledgeable staff from South Rhins Community Development Trust are at the top of the tower to answer any questions you may have and you will be awarded with a certificate of achievement for climbing the 115 steps. For members of the Association of Lighthouse Keepers’ the Mull of Galloway participates in the Lighthouse Passport Scheme.
Opening times for the Mull of Galloway Lighthouse for 2016 are:
The Lighthouse will open every weekend from 25th March until 30th October 2016 with the following additional opening times:
Easter Holiday – Friday 25th March to and including Sunday 10th April.
May Bank Holiday – Saturday 30th April, Sunday 1st and Monday 2nd May.
Spring Bank Holiday – Saturday 28th May to and including Sunday 5th June.
Summer Holiday – Open daily from Saturday 2nd July to and including Sunday 4th September. The Lighthouse will be closed to the general public on Saturday 3rd September as there will be a charity abseil taking place.
October Half Term Holiday – Saturday 15th October to and including Sunday 23rd October.
Opening times are 10am until 4pm with last entry to the top of the Lighthouse Tower at 3.30pm.
The Exhibition is based in the former fuel store workshop and engine room next to the Stevenson Lighthouse. The original diesel engines that powered the fog horn can still be seen in the engine room.
There are many interesting artefacts on view along with a wealth of fascinating information about the life and work of the Lighthouse Keepers’ in such a remote place and their families that lived there with them.
Opening times for 2016 – open daily from Friday 25th March to and including Sunday 30th October 2016 from 10am to 4pm.
Admission charges: Lighthouse Exhibition – £2.50 for adults and £1.00 for children under 14.
Lighthouse Tower – £2.50 for adults and £1.00 for children under 14. Access to the Lighthouse Tower is by guided tour only.
Combined visit to both the Lighthouse and Exhibition– £4.00 for adults and £1.50 for children under 14.
The nature reserve at the Mull of Galloway is a 30 acre site and contains a huge variety of wildlife. There is a visitor centre where you can view the colonies of sea birds on the cliffs from cliff mounted cameras including guillemots, razorbills and kittiwakes. You may even see a puffin or two. On the nearby Scare or Scaur Rocks are enormous colonies of gannets
On the clifftop heathland, there is much to be seen as well. Rare butterflies, birds such as the linnet and the stonechat and maybe some hares or a deer. Peregrines are also regular visitors.
Guided walks are held every Tuesday and Thursday from 1pm to 3pm throughout the open season (March to the end of October).
Opening Times – The nature reserve and walks are open all year round. The RSPB Visitor Centre is open from Easter to the end of October.
Gallie Craig is Scotland`s most southerly coffee house and gift shop and is named after the Gallie Craig Rock protruding from the sea south of the Mull of Galloway.
The coffee house and gift shop have been designed in a most environmentally manner with a grass roof and predominantly glass walls enabling it to blend into the cliff side into which it is set.
The cafe also has a viewing platform right on the cliff edge from which you can enjoy a coffee whilst admiring the views and watch the seabirds and tides swirling below you.
Visit the Mull of Galloway Experience at Scotland’s most Southerly Point in the far west of the region of Dumfries and Galloway. Dumfries and Galloway has been voted BBC Countryfile Magazine Holiday Destination of the Year for 2015/16.
Caerlaverock Castle in Glencaple, near Dumfries is most unusual having a unique tri-angular ground plan. Caerlaverock Castle is one of the most popular castles and historic sites to visit in Dumfries & Galloway. (more…)
On the shores of Luce Bay in the Machars of Galloway, slightly to the north of Burrowhead (famed for the burning of The Wickerman) lies St Ninian`s Cave. (more…)
Visit the Castle on an Island – former home of Archibald ‘the Grim’ (more…)
One of the most remote and isolated points on the line from Dumfries to Portpatrick, and later Stranraer, Loch Skerrow halt is accessible only via the trackbed from either Mossdale or Gatehouse Station. (more…)
Culzean Castle is on the Ayrshire Coast of South West Scotland between Turnberry and Ayr. This magnificent castle and country park is extremely popular with visitors staying in the towns and villages in the west of Dumfries & Galloway and is the nearest National Trust property to Stranraer and the Rhins of Galloway (more…)
The Joseph Thomson Group manages the Local Heritage Centre in Sundial Cottage, Marrburn Road, Penpont, the birthplace of Joseph Thomson, Victorian African Explorer.
The story of Joseph Thomson’s life and legacy is told as well as the cottage being the heritage base for the communities of Penpont, Keir and Tynron.
Joseph Thomson (14.2.1858 – 2.8.1895) is Penpont’s most famous son. He was a geologist, a geographer and explorer who played an important part in the ‘Scramble for Africa’. He led six expeditions into previously uncharted lands. Excelling as an explorer rather than an exact scientist, he avoided confrontations with indigenous peoples, neither killing any natives nor losing any of his men to violence. “He who goes gently goes safely, he who goes safely goes far” was his mantra. He is revered in the areas of Africa he explored by, particularly by the Maasai.
Joseph was probably born in the bedroom with the box bed where the exhibition celebrating his life and legacy is sited. The other downstairs room is known as the villages room which has information, archives and artefacts from the three communities of Penpont, Keir and Tynron.
The cottage itself is of architectural interest. Joseph Thomson’s father, William Thomson was a master stonemason. In the cottage he built the cantilever stone staircase and outside the armoury building, pigsty and privy.
The Group holds information about the three parishes and welcomes visitors keen to explore the surrounding area. Activities such as History Walks, and film shows are regularly organised by the group throughout the year.
The Centre is open weekends (2.00pm – 4.00pm) from Easter to the end of September. Appointments can be made to come to the centre outwith these times. We have a number of guides who are happy to meet with visitors and share information or respond to queries. Contact via e-mail – email@example.com or tel. 01848 330700 (answer machine) or Mrs Sophia Harkness, Chairperson, 01848 330411.
Dunskey Castle is a spectacular ruin on the cliff tops a short distance from Portpatrick
The castle can be reached by climbing a flight of steps to the cliff top above Portpatrick and following a good footpath for less than a quarter mile. (more…)