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Explore the SWC300

SWC300 History & Heritage

 

MILES230
KM369
DAYS4
 
Opening dates and times vary across attractions. Please ensure to check opening times and availability directly with each attraction before you visit.

The South West Coastal 300 is the perfect road trip for lovers of history. This 4 day itinerary takes in the historical highlights of this beautiful corner of Scotland.

Follow in the footsteps of Robert the Bruce. Visit spectacular moated strongholds and clifftop castles. Explore our industrial past with a visit to Scotland’s only 18th century lead mine open to the public.

If you prefer a bespoke guided tour try the Five Star Solway Tours, experts in history and ancestry. Or for those of you who like your guided tours a bit more on the spooky side, Mostly Ghostly is the one for you!

Day 1
OVERVIEW

Day 1 - Wanlockhead to Cumnock

Start your day in Scotland’s highest village, Wanlockhead, home to the Lead Mining Museum, the only former lead mine open to the public in Scotland.

Next stop, one of the most dramatic castles in the region, Drumlanrig is a magnificent stately home set in spectacular parkland. Then discover how the ordinary people of Upper Nithsdale lived and worked in times past at the Sanquhar Museum.

Finally, head north west towards Cumnock to visit the beautiful Dumfries House, an 18th Century Estate and House, set in 2000 acres which was saved by His Royal Highness Prince Charles in 2007 and has since been beautifully restored. It is home to a world renowned collection of Chippendale furniture.

 
MILES 43
KM 70
STOPS 4
 
Dumfries House
 
EXPLORE
 

Stop 1 - Wanlockhead Lead Mining Museum

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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Stop 3 - Sanquhar Tolbooth Museum

Discover Sanquhar’s world famous knitting tradition and the story of the mines and miners of Sanquhar and Kirkconnel. What was it like to be a prisoner in Sanquhar jail? How did the ordinary people of Upper Nithsdale live and work in times past? All this and more can be found in the town’s fine 18th century tolbooth.
 
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Stop 4 - 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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EAT

Food in this area

A’ The Airts
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Nithsdale Hotel
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Roundhouse at Loch Doon
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STAY

Accommodation in this area

Blackaddie House
Blackaddie House Hotel
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Dumfries House Lodge
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Hopetoun Arms
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Muiryhill House. Walking, Equine and Cycling Accommodation
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Nithbank Country Estate
Nithbank Country Estate
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Nithsdale Hotel
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Day 2
OVERVIEW

Day 2 - Ayrshire Coast to Whithorn

First stop of the day is one of Scotland’s most spectacular castles, Culzean Castle is perched on a dramatic clifftop in South Ayrshire and is a must see in the region for any history lover.

Then follow the coast south, to your next stop, Stranraer Museum, step inside and discover Wigtownshire’s fascinating past.

Next, delve into Scotland’s spiritual past in the afternoon with a visit to Glenluce Abbey, one of Scotland’s best preserved monasteries and then on to Whithorn, to explore Scotland’s ‘cradle of Christianity’.

 
MILES 100.2
KM 162
STOPS 4
 
Glenluce Abbey
 
EXPLORE
 

Stop 1 - 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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Stop 2 - Stranraer Museum

Stranraer's historic Old Town Hall, built in 1776, is the home of Stranraer Museum. Step inside and discover Wigtownshire's fascinating past. See one of Scotland's oldest ploughs, look at Victorian Wigtownshire in 3D photographs and investigate the collection through our museum trails
 
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Stop 3 - Historic Scotland- Glenluce Abbey

Tucked in a tranquil valley is one of Scotland’s best-preserved monasteries. A highlight is the magnificent chapter house, with its ornate windows and grotesque carvings. There is also a remarkable plumbing system that supplied the Cistercian monks with running water.
 
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Stop 4 - Whithorn Trust Visitor Centre & Cafe

The Whithorn Trust runs the exhibition and museum detailing the town's 1600 years of Christian history. Coffee and gift shop with locally sourced products.
 
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EAT

Food in this area

Connors Restaurant
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St Ninian’s Tearoom, The Isle of Whithorn
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The Coo Shed
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STAY

Accommodation in this area

Chapel Outon Farmhouse B andB
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Craiglemine Cottage B and B
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Crown Hotel, Portpatrick
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Glenapp Castle
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Knockinaam Lodge Hotel
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Knockniemoak B and B
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Day 3
OVERVIEW

Day 3 - Kirkcudbright to New Abbey

Begin day three in Scotland’s artist town, Kirkcudbright, where you’ll find Broughton House, home of Scottish painter E.A. Hornel. Next stop is to take a short ferry ride across the river Dee to the massive island fortress that is Threave Castle.

Finish your day in one of the most charming villages in Scotland, New Abbey, which is book-ended by the spectacular Sweetheart Abbey and the beautifully-restored New Abbey Cornmill.

 
MILES 528.4
KM 851
STOPS 4
 
Threave Castle
 
EXPLORE
 

Stop 1 - 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 2 - Historic Scotland- Threave Castle

Cross the River Dee by boat to visit this enchanting castle set on its own island. Rich with wildflowers in summer; you might see ospreys and otters hunting in the river.
 
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Stop 3 - Historic Scotland- Sweetheart Abbey

A monument to human and divine love, Sweetheart Abbey was named for its founder, Lady Dervorgilla, who was buried here with the embalmed heart of her beloved husband. The abbey church, with a stone effigy of the founder, survives almost intact.
 
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Stop 4 - Historic Scotland- New Abbey Corn Mill

See a beautifully-restored village mill in action and learn about how oatmeal, a staple of the Scottish diet, was once made. A mill was probably built here by the monks of nearby Sweetheart Abbey, but parts of the present building probably date from the late 1700s.
 
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EAT

Food in this area

Afternoon Tea in the garden at Abbey Cottage Tearoom with a view of Sweetheart Abbey on the South West Coast 300
Abbey Cottage Tearoom
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Kirkcudbright Galleries Cafe
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Mr Pook’s Kitchen
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STAY

Accommodation in this area

The Abbot’s Tower
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Barrhill Woods B and B
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Douglas House
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Maxwell Arms Hotel
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Selkirk Arms Hotel
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The King’s Arms Hotel
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Day 4
OVERVIEW

Day 4 - Dumfries

The final day of your trip kicks off with a visit that will appeal to the young and the young at heart. Moat Brae is the Birthplace of Peter Pan and the place that inspired author J.M. Barrie to create Neverland. Continuing the literary theme, next stop was to the final home of the poet Robert Burns, one of Scotland’s most famous sons. Burns is probably most famous as the author of Auld Lang Syne, the Scots language song that is sung by people around the world on New Year’s Eve every year.

Before you leave Dumfries, stop off at Dumfries Museum which offers an amazing insight into how people lived in our region across the centuries. It is also home to the world’s oldest working Camera Obscura from which you can see a unique panorama of Dumfries and the surrounding area.

Finally, from Dumfries, head south to visit the spectacular Caerlaverock Castle is the only triangular castle in the UK, this moated medieval stronghold will also capture the imagination of old and young alike.

 
MILES 16.4
KM 27
STOPS 4
 
Caerlaverock Castle
 
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 - 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 - Dumfries Museum

A treasure house of history in Dumfries and Galloway, Dumfries Museum tells the story of the land and people of the region. Look out for fossil footprints left by prehistoric animals, the wildlife of the Solway, tools and weapons of our earliest people, stone carvings by Scotland’s first Christians and the everyday things of the Victorian farm, workshop and home.
 
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Stop 4 - Historic Scotland- Caerlaverock Castle

Caerlaverock Castle is the UK's only triangular castle. With its wide moat, twin towered gatehouse and loft battlements, it is an awe-inspiring medieval stronghold.
 
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EAT

Food in this area

Annandale Distillery and Visitor Centre
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Kinmount Hotel
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Easterbrook Bistro, Bar & Spa
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STAY

Accommodation in this area

Ferintosh Guest House
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Lindean Guest House
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Priestlands Bungalow
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Rockhall
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Surrone House
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The Cairndale Hotel and Leisure Club
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