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Home » Itinerary » 4 Days exploring Nature & the Outdoors on the SWC300
 

Explore the SWC300

4 Days exploring Nature & the Outdoors on the SWC300

 

MILES317
KM510
DAYS4
 
Opening dates and times vary across attractions. Please ensure to check opening times and availability directly with each attraction before you visit.

If you are looking for a trip that will help you escape back to nature, then the South West Coastal 300 is the one for you. Home to the UNESCO Galloway and South Ayrshire Biosphere, the area has been internationally recognised as a world class environment for people and culture.

Engage with wildlife, enjoy our hills, forests and beaches, take in spectacular vistas from our coastline and our hillsides. And if you enjoy visiting botanical gardens, you are in for a treat with a wide variety to choose from!

Day 1
OVERVIEW

Day 1 - Moffat to Dalmellington

The Grey Mare’s Tail Waterfall near Moffat is the perfect way to kick off your trip, immediately immersing yourself in the beauty of South West Scotland. Follow the drama of the hills, with the grandeur of Drumlanrig Castle and Country Estate. This magnificent castle, with its formal gardens, parkland trails and adventure playground offers something for everyone.

From Drumlanrig, it’s short drive north to Sanquhar, where you will find Crawick Multiverse. This amazing land art installation, where art meets nature, was created by Charles Jencks.

 
MILES 51.2
KM 83
STOPS 3
 
Crawick Multiverse in Sanquhar
 
EXPLORE
EXPLORE
STOP 1 STOP 2 STOP 3
 

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 - 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 - 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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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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Buccleuch Arms Hotel - Frontal
Buccleuch Arms Hotel and Restaurant
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Garden with flowers, a red front door
Dell Mar Bed and Breakfast
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Newark Farmhouse B and B and CL
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Queensberry House
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Scaurbridge House
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Day 2
OVERVIEW

Day 2 - Ayr to Mull of Galloway

Begin day two at Culzean Castle Estate, with its spectacular clifftop castle, its gardens, beaches, woods, trails and playgrounds, it is an absolute must see! Then travel down the Ayrshire coast to the breathtaking Castle Kennedy Gardens, one of Scotland’s most important historical landscaped gardens with its collection of Rhododendrons, Championship Trees and rare species.

Continue southwards to Scotland’s most southerly point, the Mull of Galloway. On a clear day you can see Galloway in Scotland, Cumbria in England, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man! Finish your day at the beautiful Logan Botanic Gardens, this garden may surprise you with its collection of exotic plants that you may not expect to see in Scotland!

 
MILES 115.9
KM 187
STOPS 4
 
Logan Botanic Gardens
 
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 - Castle Kennedy Gardens

Castle Kennedy Gardens, one of Scotland’s finest gardens, set in 75 acres and offering something for everyone to enjoy. From stunning fauna, to beautiful scenery, sculptured landforms, magnificent walks and popular bird hides, the Gardens are a hidden treasure in South West Scotland and a perfect haven for relaxing and exploring.
 
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Stop 3 - Mull of Galloway Trail

This is probably the most scenic trail in South West Scotland. After the initial section from Stranraer to Luce Bay,the trail follows the coastline of the Southern Rhins of Galloway to end at the Mull of Galloway where there is a visitor centre with an excellent cafe with stunning views.
 
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Stop 4 - Logan Botanic Garden

At the south western tip of Scotland lies Logan, unrivalled as ‘Scotland’s Most Exotic Garden’. Warmed by the Gulf Stream, a remarkable collection of southern hemisphere plants flourish, making this a plantsman’s paradise.
 
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EAT

Food in this area

Crown Hotel, Portpatrick
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Henrys Bay House Restaurant Stranraer
Henrys Bay House Restaurant, Stranraer
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The Coo Shed
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STAY

Accommodation in this area

Ardchoille B and B
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Knockinaam Lodge Hotel
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No 4 Portpatrick B and B
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Rickwood Bnb in Portpatrick
Rickwood House B&B Portpatrick
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The Auld Cairn Guest House
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Tigh Na Mara Hotel
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Day 3
OVERVIEW

Day 3 - Wigtown to Rockcliffe

Day three kicks off with a visit to Britain’s largest Local Nature Reserve at Wigtown Bay. From coastline to forest, head to the Galloway Forest Park, the largest forest park and the first designated Dark Sky Park in the UK. There are lots of wonderful trails to choose from for walkers and for bikers of all levels!

For fans of gardening, Threave Estate, home to the School of Heritage Gardening is a must-see. It offers landscaped beauty at its finest and a feast of ideas for any keen gardener. Then why not round off your day with a stroll along the beautiful Rockcliffe coastline, part of a National Trust Scenic Area?

 
MILES 82.9
KM 134
STOPS 4
 
Galloway Forest Park
 
EXPLORE
 

Stop 1 - Wigtown Bay Local Nature Reserve

Wigtown Bay Local Nature Reserve is the largest LNR in Britain. The estuary, with large areas of salt marsh and mudflats is vitally important for many of the species that live there, especially for salt tolerant plants and wintering wildfowl. The reserve is a popular venue for a range of recreational activities including angling and bird watching.
 
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Stop 2 - Galloway Forest Park

The Galloway Forest Park has everything you need for a great day out, whatever the time of year. Meet red deer and wild goats, choose from two scenic Forest Drives, follow in the footsteps of Robert the Bruce or picnic beside a peaceful loch. This is also Scotland’s first Dark Sky Park – one of the best places to stargaze in Europe!
 
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Stop 3 - Threave Garden and Estate

Threave Estate is a garden for all seasons and a haven for wildlife, with an osprey platform and bat reserve. It has been home to the School of Heritage Gardening since 1960 and its beautiful 'garden rooms' offer inspiration to any keen gardeners.
 
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Stop 4 - NTS Rockcliffe Coastline

Part of a National Scenic Area, the National Trust for Scotland nature reserve at Rockcliffe is fringed with wildflowers and dotted with sailing villages. Further inland the shells and shingle give way to patches of ancient broadleaved woodland and meadows, rich with flowers, butterflies and birds.
 
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EAT

Food in this area

Beltie Books and Cafe
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Café at Clatteringshaws
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The Old School House
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STAY

Accommodation in this area

Craigmount Bed and Breakfast
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Ernespie House Hotel
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Fordbank House
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Millbrae House B and B and Self Catering
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The Crown Hotel – Bar & Restaurant
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The King’s Arms Hotel
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Day 4
OVERVIEW

Day 4 - Southerness to Langholm

Start your day with a relaxing walk at Southerness, one of our lovely beaches. If you are a birdwatcher, then you’ll enjoy a visit to Mersehead, one of our RSPB Wildlife Reserves and an absolute haven for a wide variety of birds.

For lovers of woodland, head to Mabie Forest outside of Dumfries, whether you prefer to do the trails on foot or by bike, you’ll be rewarded with some gorgeous views of the surrounding countryside. To round off your trip, why not enjoy a wildlife tour from Wild Eskdale in the breathtaking southern uplands? If you’re very lucky you might even see the iconic golden eagle!

 
MILES 66.4
KM 107
STOPS 4
 
RSPB Mersehead
 
EXPLORE
 

Stop 1 - Southerness Lighthouse and Beach

Southerness beach is a vast expanse of sand and rocks offering breathtaking views across the Solway Firth towards the Lake District. At low tide mud flats and rock pools are revealed and at the western end of the beach stands Southerness lighthouse which was built in 1749. Unusually it is square in shape.
 
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Stop 2 - RSPB Mersehead Nature Reserve

Situated on the scenic north shore of the Solway coast, Mersehead is an extensive wetland and saltmarsh area, a haven for breeding waders, wintering waterfowl and year-round bird and wildlife-watching. Enjoy the birdsong of lapwings and skylarks in spring. See the young birds emerge in summer. Welcome the arrival of the Svalbard barnacle geese and pintails in autumn. And in winter, if you're lucky, witness the unforgettable display of the starling murmurations.
 
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Stop 3 - Mabie Forest Park

Mabie Forest Park is a beautiful forest park just to the south of Dumfries offering spectacular views across the Dumfries and Galloway countryside and over to the Solway Firth. It is home to one of the 7Stanes Biking centres and offers walking and biking trails for all abilities.
 
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Stop 4 - Wild Eskdale / Wildlife Experiences

Offering a range of wonderful wildlife experiences and tours in Scotland. We are based in the beautiful southern uplands of Dumfries and Galloway with dramatic scenery all around.
 
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EAT

Food in this area

Colvend Shop and Treats & Eats Tearoom
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Easterbrook Bistro, Bar & Spa
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Eskdalemuir Community Hub and Old School Cafe
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STAY

Accommodation in this area

Blacket House Bed and Breakfast
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Cavens Country House
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Mabie House Hotel
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Surrone House
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The Cairndale Hotel and Leisure Club
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Eskdale Hotel
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