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Dark Skies

3 Days Sightseeing and Stargazing in South West Scotland

MILES160
KM257
DAYS3

Europe’s first Dark Sky Town of Moffat is the perfect base for those looking to see South West Scotland’s spectacular dark skies and and some of our most popular heritage sites.

From the amazing land art installation, Crawick Multiverse which was designed by Charles Jencks, to the historic and beautiful Drumlanrig Castle, to the homes and life stories of another star, Scotland’s national poet, Robert Burns, there is so much for you to see and discover.

Opening dates and times vary across attractions. Please ensure to check opening times and availability directly with each attraction before you visit.

Day 1
OVERVIEW

Day 1 - Moffat Hills and Dark Skies

Whether you like to go for a hike or just enjoy the beauty of the hills, the Grey Mare’s Tail Waterfall near Moffat is a great first stop on your visit to South West Scotland. Enjoy the beautiful view from the base of the falls, or climb up to even more beautiful views at Loch Skeen at the top!

Next stop, is Crawick Multiverse in Sanquhar. This land art installation designed by Charles Jencks, inspired by the cosmos, here you can walk through comet explosions and the Milky Way spirals!

Moffat is Europe’s first Dark Sky Town, so it’s the perfect place to stargaze. Why not join some of the experts at Moffat Community Observatory, don’t forget to book!

 
MILES 71.3
KM 115
STOPS3
 
Moffat Community Observatory
 
EXPLORE
 

Stop 1 - Grey Mare's Tail Waterfall and Loch Skeen

The Grey Mare's Tail is a spectacular 60 metre waterfall plunging into the Moffat Valley from the breathtaking Loch Skeen at the top of the falls. You can follow the path alongside the waterfall up to the top of the hill, where you will find spectacular views of Loch Skeen and the peaks of Lochcraig Head, Mid Craig and the summit of White Coomb beyond.
 
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Stop 2 - Crawick Multiverse

Crawick Multiverse, a spectacular Artland. Transformed by globally-renowned landscape artist Charles Jencks. The site which opened in summer 2015 links the themes of space, astronomy and cosmology, creating a truly inspiring landmark that will appeal to everyone from art enthusiasts and scientists to walkers and the wider community.
 
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Stop 3 - The Moffat Community Observatory

The Moffat Community Observatory is now open and running Introduction to Astronomy sessions. This is a fantastic astronomical resource for our community. It houses a professional telescope offering beautiful views of various night sky objects.
 
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EAT

A’ The Airts

Sanquhar
Here at A’ The Airts we are providing a platform for local artists and crafters to sell their works. Either in our shop or during exhibitions held in the Gallery.

Buccleuch Arms Hotel and Restaurant

Moffat
The Buccleuch is well renowned for its excellent food brought to you in the aptly named ‘Beef Tub Comfort Grill’.
 
 
Day 2
OVERVIEW

Day 2 - Walk in the footsteps of Robert Burns

Robert Burns is Scotland’s National Poet and South West Scotland was his home. No visit to the region would be complete without getting to know more about the man, his life and his talent.

First stop on your Burns day, Ellisland Museum and Farm, built by Burns in 1778 for his bride Jean Armour. This picturesque farm is set on the banks of the River Nith and the idyllic setting was inspiration for many of his greatest works.

Next stop is Dumfries, where you’ll find the Robert Burns House, where he spent his final years and the Robert Burns Centre which is home to a museum about the poet’s life.

Finally, round off your day with a treat, at The Globe Inn which was often frequented by Burns. Book a Burns Tour to see where the poet stayed, or book a meal so you can enjoy a meal where the famous poet once did!

 
MILES 40.2
KM 65
STOPS4
 
 
EXPLORE
 

Stop 1 - Robert Burns' Ellisland Museum and Farm

From 1788-1791, Ellisland Farm was the rural home of National Bard Robert Burns. He built the house for his family. Its fabulous location by the river Nith inspired him to write some of his most famous poems. Today visitors can explore Burns’ farmhouse; the kitchen where meals were shared, his spence where genius was ignited. Then discover more about his life, work, and the setting that brought us Tam o’ Shanter, Banks O’ Doon and Auld Lang Syne.
 
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Stop 2 - Robert Burns House

It was in this simple sandstone house in a quiet Dumfries street that Robert Burns, Scotland’s national poet, spent the last years of his life. He died here in 1796 at the age of just thirty seven. The house shows us how the poet and his family lived in the late eighteenth century and is now a place of pilgrimage for Burns enthusiasts from around the world.
 
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Stop 3 - Robert Burns Centre and Film Theatre

The Robert Burns Centre Film Theatre (RBCFT) is a 69-seat cinema in a converted 18th century mill on the banks of the River Nith. The RBCFT screens a mixture of contemporary independent cinema as well as foreign language and arthouse films, documentaries, Live Events and classic films. The Robert Burns Centre Film Theatre shares the Robert Burns Centre with a museum which tells the story of Robert Burns’ last years spent in the bustling streets and lively atmosphere of Dumfries in the late eighteenth century.
 
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Stop 4 - The Globe Inn

Nestling along a cobbled flagstone close, just off Dumfries’ High Street, The Globe Inn, first established in 1610 and Robert Burns’ favourite Howff, combines rich and passionate history with a stunning and sympathetically refurbished restaurant, bar, private dining room and museum.
 
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EAT

Kilnford Farm Shop & Farmhouse Kitchen Cafe

Dumfries
Our farm shop is a treasure cove of local and Scottish delights. The farm shop is often referred to as ‘the food hub of Dumfries and Galloway’.

Easterbrook Bistro, Bar & Spa

Dumfries
An ideal place to stop-off for coffee, lunch or dinner or for cocktails and pre-show meal and drinks.
 
 
Day 3
OVERVIEW

Day 3 - Step back in time in South West Scotland

Kick off your day with a visit to Scotland’s highest village, Wanlockhead, just half an hour from Moffat in the Lowther Hills. While you are there make a visit to  the 18th century lead mine at Wanlockhead Lead Mining Museum to get a glimpse into the lives of the miners and their families.

No trip to the area would be complete without a visit to the spectacular Drumlanrig Castle. Both the castle and gardens are just breathtaking. If you’d like to visit the castle, make sure to check opening times and when necessary book in advance.

 
MILES 47.7
KM 77
STOPS2
 
Drumlanrig Castle and Gardens
 
EXPLORE
 

Stop 1 - Museum of Lead Mining, Wanlockhead

Discover Wanlockhead's 18th century lead mine where you will experience the thrill of going on the only underground mine tour in Scotland. Take a glimpse into the past by visiting the miners’ cottages and see how the miners and their families lived during the periods of 1750, 1850 & 1910. The Miners’ Library is one of three subscription libraries in Scotland set up by the Miners themselves. You can even try your hand at panning for gold!
 
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Stop 2 - Drumlanrig Castle and Country Estate

If you like delving deep into history, soaking up the finest culture, exploring beautiful countryside – or adrenaline-fuelled mountain biking – you’ll love a day at Drumlanrig Castle and Country Estate. From activities for kids to salmon fishing, you’ll find a raft of activity awaiting you. The Castle has 120 rooms, 17 turrets and four towers and from your very first glance you’ll know you’re entering a special place. Special enough, in fact, that the producers of Outlander recently used the Castle for filming their second series! Please check opening times ahead of your visit, for much of the year, castle visits must be booked in advance.
 
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EAT

The Hopetoun Arms

Nithsdale Hotel and Restaurant

Sanquhar
The hotel offers great food at the Oasis Restaurant,
 
 

STAY

Blackaddie House Hotel and Restaurant

Sanquhar
This 16th century country house is the perfect place to relax and unwind. As well as being home to a fabulous Restaurant.

The Auldgirth Inn

Auldgirth
LUXURY ACCOMMODATION AT THE AULDGIRTH INN  Step inside and it’s hard at first to reconcile age with the plush 21st century inn.

The Cairndale Hotel and Leisure Club

Dumfries
Recognised as one of the friendliest Hotels in Dumfries, The Cairndale Hotel and Leisure Club Offers centrally located, comfortable accommodation in Dumfries

Belton House Self Catering Rooms

Wanlockhead
It's welcoming and comfortable but what really makes it stand out is it's  location in the heart of Wanlockhead. The highest village in Scotland

Croftjane Cottage

Thornhill
Croftjane Cottage is in a quiet location with wonderful views overlooking beautiful Nithsdale, with the Lake District fells in the background.

Self Catering on Drumlanrig Estate

Thornhill
5 properties ranging from 1 bed to 4 beds. All dog friendly
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