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Arts & Culture

SWC300 Arts & Culture

 

MILES257
KM413
DAYS7
 

South West Scotland has been and is home to some world renowned creative talents. From Robert Burns, to J.M. Barrie, Charles Jencks to Thomas Carlyle, the region offers a feast for fans of art and culture! This seven day itinerary follows the South West Coastal 300 route and showcases the best of what our wonderful region has to offer.

Day 1
OVERVIEW

Day 1 - Dumfries

Perhaps the most famous writer ever to live in Dumfries is Scotland’s national poet Robert Burns, also known as Rabbie Burns. Burns wrote the famous poem/song ‘Auld Lang Syne’ that is traditionally sung on Hogmanay (New Year’s Eve) as well as many famous poems, including ‘Tam o’Shanter’ and ‘A Red, Red Rose’.

Visit the house where Burns spent his final years in the heart of Dumfries. Then learn more about his life and work at the Robert Burns Centre which houses a museum dedicated to the bard. Just to the north of Dumfries, you can visit Ellisland Farm, where Burns also lived with Jean Armour and his family.

To round off your day, if you are a fan of live entertainment, make sure to check what is on at the Theatre Royal Dumfries, this charming theatre first opened in 1792 and they even offer backstage tours!

 
MILES 12.8
KM 21
STOPS 4
 
 
EXPLORE
 

Stop 1 - 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 2 - Robert Burns Centre 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 3 - 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 4 - Theatre Royal Dumfries

The oldest theatre in Scotland, the Theatre Royal is in the heart of Dumfries and first opened its doors in 1792. It has strong associations with the renowned Scottish poet Robert Burns, who wrote several pieces specifically for its stage.
 
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EAT

Food in this area

Kilnford Farm Shop
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Easterbrook Bistro, Bar & Spa
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The Globe Inn,
The Globe Inn
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STAY

Accommodation in this area

Ferintosh Guest House
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Friars Carse Hotel
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Lindean Guest House
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Mabie House Hotel
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McMurdoston House Self Catering Cottages
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The Cairndale Hotel and Leisure Club
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Day 2
OVERVIEW

Day 2 - Dumfries to Castle Douglas

Did you know that J.M. Barrie, author of Peter Pan, lived in Dumfries from 1873 to 1878? The gardens at Moat Brae, which he often visited, were his inspiration for Peter Pan’s fictional world. Today Moat Brae is the perfect place to rediscover the wonder of childhood stories.

Also in the heart of Dumfries, is Gracefield Arts Centre, home to a collection of over 600 paintings and drawings by Scottish artists. It has a packed programme of collection and contemporary exhibitions featuring regional, national and international artists and craft makers.

If you’d like to discover some of our talented local artists, visit Angela Lawrence’s Clience Studio in Castle Douglas. Angela is a gifted painter and specialises in land and seascapes from Galloway and the south west of Scotland. Or The Gallery at Laurieston, home to award-winning landscape and fine art photographer Phil McMenemy, the Gallery offers both fine art and crafts from local artists.

 
MILES 25.4
KM 41
STOPS 4
 
 
EXPLORE
 

Stop 1 - Moat Brae Birthplace of Peter Pan

Peter Pan's Enchanted Land. The inspirational childhood playground of JM Barrie. National Centre for Children's Literature and Storytelling, Neverland Discovery Garden, Café & Shop.
 
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Stop 2 - Gracefield Arts Centre

Gracefield Arts Centre is home to a collection of over 600 paintings and drawings by Scottish artists, most with links to Dumfries and Galloway. We have a packed programme of collection and contemporary exhibitions featuring regional, national and international artists and craft makers.
 
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Stop 3 - Clience Studio - Angela Lawrence

Clience Studio - , is a friendly artist's gallery and working studio owned by Angela Lawrence, Artist, showing Original Oil paintings (mainly of Galloway and some Scottish Highlands and Isles as well as mountains of Lake District), signed giclee prints, commissions, water colours, art gifts from Galloway paintings (calendars, mugs, coasters, placemats, notebooks).
 
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Stop 4 - The Gallery at Laurieston

The Gallery at Laurieston is the home of award-winning landscape and fine art photographer Phil McMenemy. Open every Sunday 10.00am – 17.00pm and at all other other times for a private viewing and a cuppa by phoning 01644 450235
 
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EAT

Food in this area

Cavens Country House
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Mr Pook’s Kitchen
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The Old School House
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STAY

Accommodation in this area

Craigadam Country House Hotel B&B
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Douglas House
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East Brae Cottage
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Ernespie House Hotel
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Imperial Hotel
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The King’s Arms Hotel
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Day 3
OVERVIEW

Day 3 - Kirkcudbright, the Artist's Town

A must see for art lovers is the Kirkcudbright Galleries. Housed in the redeveloped 19th century Town Hall, this art gallery retains the Kirkcudbright Artists’ Collection, of recognised national significance, on permanent display. The collection includes works by artists such as John Faed, Robert Sivell, Edward Atkinson Hornel, Jessie Marion King and Samuel John Peploe.

Broughton House, home of Scottish painter E.A. Hornel and one of the famed Glasgow Boys, is also in Kirkcudbright and with its wonderful art collection and charming garden, it is well worth a visit.

Fans of ceramics should pop into Jake Irving Ceramics and Coffee Shop, Jake’s beautiful handmade ceramics are inspired by natural forms. And for pint sized art lovers, why not stop by The Wee Pottery where you can paint your own pottery masterpiece!

 
MILES 10.7
KM 18
STOPS 4
 
Colourful Beach Huts, Kirkcudbright
 
EXPLORE
 

Stop 1 - Kirkcudbright Galleries

Visit our nationally important art collection and learn the story of the Kirkcudbright ‘Art Colony’ through an audio-visual show “The Artists’ Town” and a permanent display of some of the best Kirkcudbright paintings in our collection.
 
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Stop 2 - Broughton House and Garden

Right in the heart of Kirkcudbright, a pretty artists’ colony on the Solway Firth, Broughton House is an 18th-century Georgian house and the former home of Scottish painter E A Hornel, one of the Glasgow Boys. The house holds Hornel's pictures, vast collection of artefacts and furniture and has an beautiful garden.
 
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Stop 3 - Jake Irving Ceramics and Coffee Shop

Natural forms either found or imagined are the foundation of Jake’s work and these are expressed through various hand building techniques to produce sculptural, functional and decorative ceramics.
 
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Stop 4 - The Wee Pottery - Kirkcudbright

The Wee Pottery is a new paint it yourself studio based at the Johnston Centre in Kirkcudbright, at the former Johnston School. The studio itself can seat up to 16 people and is an ideal idea for children’s parties, groups, get together or to simply drop by and paint something unique as a keepsake or a gift to give to someone else.
 
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EAT

Food in this area

Kirkcudbright Galleries Cafe
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Masonic Arms
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The Garret Restaurant and Cafe Bar
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STAY

Accommodation in this area

b&b kirkcudbright - Anchorlee Guesthouse in Kiekcudbright
Anchorlee Guesthouse
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Kirkennan Estate Holiday Cottages
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Ross Bay Retreat
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Selkirk Arms Hotel
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Solway View Holidays
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Outside
Yellow Door Holiday Cottage
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Day 4
OVERVIEW

Day 4 - Gatehouse of Fleet to Whithorn

First stop of the day is The Mill on the Fleet. This exhibition centre is housed in a restored 18th century cotton mill. It is spread over three floors and includes exhibitions about the history and heritage of Gatehouse, a programme of temporary exhibitions, an inspiring pop-up shop run by twenty regional artists and a charming bookshop.

To discover even more of our talented local artists and crafters, head to Barholm Arts and Crafts in Creetown, or to Crafty Crafters in Newton Stewart.

Next stop Wigtown, Scotland’s national booktown and home to the famous Wigtown Book Festival. Visit Beltie Books, one of the charming second hand bookshops for which the town made its name.

And if you are a fan of the performing arts, make sure to check out what is on at Scotland’s smallest theatre, the Swallow Theatre near Whithorn.

 
MILES 35
KM 57
STOPS 4
 
 
EXPLORE
 

Stop 1 - The Mill on the Fleet

Set in the Fleet Valley National Scenic Area in Galloway in south-west Scotland The Mill on the Fleet Visitor and Exhibition Centre offers a varied programme of exhibitions and events throughout the season,particularly on the natural environment of South West Scotland, its history and heritage, renewables and green living themes
 
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Stop 2 - Barholm Arts and Crafts

Barholm Arts and Crafts is a group of people (artists/craft makers/photographers) who work together to run and manage the Barholm Arts and Crafts Shop in Creetown, Dumfries & Galloway.
 
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Stop 3 - Crafty Crafters

Crafty Crafters is a local shop based in the lovely town of Newton Stewart that has a wide selection of crafts made by local people. Our talented artists produce a a wide range of quality work from home décor and artwork to knitted baby clothes and adults cardigans.
 
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Stop 4 - Beltie Books and Cafe

Second hand books. Coffee, tea & chocolate. Cake. Snacks. Art. What more could you want? In Scotland's National Book Town - Wigtown
 
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EAT

Food in this area

Gather at Laggan
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The Crafty Crow
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The Riverbank Cafe
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STAY

Accommodation in this area

Cally Palace Hotel
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Fordbank House
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Kirkdale Estate
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Comfy sofas and flat screen tv and extra dining in southfield's upstairs sitting room.
Southfield, Wigtown
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The Ship Inn
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The Waterhouse
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Day 5
OVERVIEW

Day 5 - Mull of Galloway and the Ayrshire Coast

Before you leave Whithorn, stop by Studio 17, which features a range of beautiful and unique arts and crafts designed and made in South West Scotland.

Next stop, has to be the Mull of Galloway, the inspiration for so many artists and photographers, both the lighthouse itself and the surrounding views are breathtaking.

Heading north along the Ayrshire Coast, stop off at Allan McNally Fine Art. Allan’s Scottish landscapes and coastal paintings are beautiful, he even offers art tutorials, if you would like to try your hand yourself.

Last stop of the day is to the spectacular Culzean Castle, where there is so much to see. But don’t miss Robert Adam’s Oval Staircase, the dramatic centre piece of the castle and a true work of art.

 
MILES 73.8
KM 119
STOPS 3
 
 
EXPLORE
EXPLORE
STOP 1 STOP 2 STOP 3
 

Stop 1 - Studio 17

Studio 17 is a local art and craft studio in Whithorn, SW Scotland is home to local artists designing and making products here in South West Scotland. They stock a range of beautiful and unique art and crafts by Happy Snail Crafts, Raw Art and Galloway Arts.
 
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Stop 3 - Allan McNally Fine Art

Here in this amazing space, resident artist and studio-gallery owner Allan McNally creates bold, vibrant contemporary paintings of Scottish landscapes, coastal and seascapes including Galloway, Carrick and Burns Country scenes along and near the South West Scotland Coastal 300 Route. 
 
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Stop 4 - Culzean Castle and Country Park

With a dramatic clifftop setting, Robert Adam architecture, fascinating history & beautiful surrounds, Culzean Castle and Country Park is one of Scotland's best days out. This glorious 260 ha estate was once the playground of David Kennedy, 10th Earl of Cassillis. The park is planted with conifers and beech, sculpted around miles of sandy coastline dotted with caves, and finished off with a Swan Pond, an ice house, flamboyant formal gardens and fruit-filled glasshouses.
 
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EAT

Food in this area

The Kirkton Inn
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The Steam Packet Inn
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The View
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STAY

Accommodation in this area

Auld Dairy Cottage
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Chapel Outon Farmhouse B andB
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Elsay May Lodges
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Isle of Whithorn, Ninian's Landing, Harbour Row
Ninian’s Landing
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Tigh Na Mara Hotel
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Wildings Hotel and Restaurant
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Day 6
OVERVIEW

Day 6 - Cumnock to Sanquhar

Day six begins at Dumfries House, this stunning Estate and 18th-century house with its unrivalled collection of Chippendale furniture has something for everyone.

Next stop is something completely different, Crawick Multiverse near Sanquhar is an amazing land art installation and the creation of the renowned landscape architect Charles Jencks.

While you are in Sanquhar, pop into A’ The Airts, they stock work from local artists and crafters, many of which feature the Sanquhar pattern.

 
MILES 43.3
KM 70
STOPS 3
 
 
EXPLORE
EXPLORE
STOP 1 STOP 2 STOP 3
 

Stop 1 - Dumfries House

Dumfries House has a fascinating history with the artefacts inside a testament to its long and chequered past. Re Opened in 2008 following a painstaking restoration the crowning glory is the magnificent collection of some 50 pieces of Chippendale’s work, preserved examples of Britain’s finest ever craftsmanship saved for the nation and visitors to Scotland to enjoy for centuries to come.
 
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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 - A’ The Airts

A’ The Airts in the Royal Burgh of Sanquhar is a Community Arts and Crafts centre nestled in the heart of Upper Nithsdale, Dumfriesshire, Scotland. Our fully accessible building is a hub where individuals can meet and express their creativity. Our varied groups who use the centre also love the warm and welcoming atmosphere here. Locals and tourists alike can enjoy great refreshments and free wi-fi in our café.
 
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EAT

Food in this area

Blackaddie House
Blackaddie House Hotel
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Burnside Tearoom and Fuel Station
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The Coo Shed
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STAY

Accommodation in this area

Dumfries House Lodge
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Holly Tree Cottage and Crawfordston Cottage
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Hopetoun Arms
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Newark Farmhouse B and B and CL
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The River Suite view
Nith Riverside Cottages
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Nithsdale Hotel
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Day 7
OVERVIEW

Day 7 - Thornhill to Dumfries

The last day of your itinerary begins at Drumlanrig Castle, leave yourself time to enjoy this wonderful place. The house itself has a magnificent art collection, including Rembrandt’s An Old Woman Reading which of course takes pride of place.

If your appetite for land art was inspired by your visit to Crawick Multiverse, you might want to visit some of The Striding Arches a series of massive stone sandstone arches built on the hilltops around Cairnhead, near Moniaive by renowned sculptor Andy Goldsworthy.

For the last stop of your trip, visit the home one of most prolific writers and social commentators of the 19th century. Thomas Carlyle’s Birthplace is a wee house in Ecclefechan near Lockerbie. Carlyle lived there until the age of 13, when he left Ecclefechan and walked 84 miles to Edinburgh, to attend the university!

 
MILES 55.5
KM 90
STOPS 3
 
 
EXPLORE
EXPLORE
STOP 1 STOP 2 STOP 3
 

Stop 1 - 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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Stop 2 - The Striding Arches - Land Art in Dumfries & Galloway

The Striding Arches are a series of iconic red sandstone arches in an area of Dumfries & Galloway known as Cairnhead. The Striding Arches have been created by local artist Andy Goldsworthy
 
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Stop 3 - Thomas Carlyle’s Birthplace

Childhood home of one of Britain’s most influential thinkers, Thomas Carlyle. Little did anyone know that the boy born here in 1795 would go on to become one of the most prolific writers and social commentators of the 19th century. The unassuming exterior of this wee house in Ecclefechan, near Lockerbie, belies its significance in Scottish history.
 
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