Natural Beauty and Cultural Attractions in Galloway Scotland
Carstramon Holiday Cottages are set in Galloway, in an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in south west Scotland. Please find below just some of the attractions of the area, including the coast, the culture, castles and gardens.
Gatehouse of Fleet
The charming town of Gatehouse of Fleet dates from the mid 1700s and is set in the Fleet Valley which is a National Scenic Area.
At the top of the valley, visitors can enjoy wild landscape with great open expanses of moorland.
Yet within a space of only six miles, there are fine sandy beaches and the wide open estuary. Carrick, Cardoness (pictured below), Mossyard (pictured right) and Sandgreen beaches surround Gatehouse offering hours of pleasure for sunbathers, swimmers, paddlers, canoeists and sailors. The water is clean and very safe for young children.
Wigtown Book Festival: For ten days every Autumn (late September to early October) in Wigtown, Scotland’s Book Town, the Wigtown Book Festival is a literary celebration offering some 180 events for all ages. Previous speakers include Ian Rankin, Celia Imrie, John Simpson and Douglas Hurd. Delicious food and refreshment support the festival. Visitors can also enjoy browsing in Wigtown’s many bookshops.
The Bakehouse: The old bakery in Gatehouse of Fleet is a highly original and inspired venue for book launches, poetry readings and small scale theatre productions. Big Lit Day in June brings literature alive with performances of poetry, prose and song.
The CatStrand: in the Glenkens is one of Scotland’s newest and most exciting contemporary performance and meeting spaces. Home to the CatStrand cinema, it promotes a varied music, arts and exhibition programme throughout the year.
Galloway is home to one of the finest castles in Scotland, Caerlaverock Castle (pictured right). With a unique triangular shape and surrounded by moats, it boasts a twin towered gatehouse and the remarkable Nithsdale lodging built in the 1630s.
No less beautiful is romantic Threave Castle, set on an island in the River Dee. Reached by boat, this massive 14th century tower was built for the Black Douglasses by the aptly named Archibald the Grim, the Lord of Galloway.
Drumlanrig Castle is the majestic Dumfriesshire residence of the Duke of Buccleuch and Queensberry. One of the finest examples of 17th century Renaissance architecture, the castle is home to grand reception rooms, fine paintings and priceless tapestries.
Beautiful gardens abound in Galloway. Among the most notable are the 64 acre Threave Garden with its beautiful spring daffodil cascade, glasshouses and walled garden. Further west, near Stranraer, is the renowned Logan Garden with tall palm trees and a gunnera plantation so high that there are viewing platforms to see it.
Image courtesy of National Trust Scotland
Lochinch Castle offers magnificent rhododendrons and landscaped lochs in the great country house manner.
At the other end of the scale is the exquisite garden of Broughton House (pictured left). This is the former Kirkcudbright home of the painter Hornel, who created a series of garden ‘rooms’ bordered by low hedges.
Glenwhan Garden commands spectacular views over Luce Bay and the Mull of Galloway. Hewn from the hillside, the garden is abundant with spring flowers, rhododendrons and moisture loving plants near its two small lakes.
The exceptional Cally Gardens at Gatehouse of Fleet, and Elizabeth McGregor Nursery in Kirkcudbright, fully reward keen plant hunters.
Other Places of Interest
Cream of Galloway: Open from March to November, this traditional farm near Gatehouse of Fleet makes and sells exceptional ice-cream and cheese, and offers an exciting adventure playground for young children.
Laggan Outdoor Centre: A short distance from Gatehouse of Fleet, the Laggan Outdoor Centre awakens the inner spirit of adventure. Multiple activities include the longest zip wire in the UK, mountain or water balling, grass sledging, clay pigeon shooting, archery and much more.
Cocoa Bean Factory: This is a family run chocolate factory and visitor attraction outside Twynholm. Its spacious new site houses a large café area and purpose built chocolate workshops complete with glass viewing walls. There are extensive play areas both inside and outdoors.
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