Around the Luce
In the area surrounding the Luce There is a number of attractions. For budding historians, the Cistercian Abbey at Glenluce is nearby. The Abbey was founded in 1192 by a contingent from Dundrennan Abbey, near Kirkcudbright. Whilst mainly a ruin, the remains of the Abbey and an early 16th century house can also be viewed. Mary Queen of Scots stayed here on her travels. The property is managed by Historic Scotland. Click here for details.
Glenluce Abbey 'Stunning', 'beautiful' and 'idyllic' are only three of the words used to describe the Glenwhan Gardens, situated near Dunragit. There is a licensed tea room to provide you with refereshments. Visit this page for details of opening times.
Only 14 miles south of Stranraer, exotic Logan Botanic Gardens lie at the south-western tip of Scotland. Due to the influence of the Gulf Stream, an eclectic collection of plants not normally seen in Scotland flourishes in the gardens. Self guided audio tours are available, as is a shop and cafe. Click here for further details.
An unusual attraction but fascinating nonetheless, Logan Fish Pond was a Victorian fish larder formed by adapting a natural blow hole in the coastal rock. It is now a sea life center where you can feed the fish and hold starfish in the touch pools, as well as visiting the Cave Aquarium or shop. Visit www.loganfishpond.co.uk for details.
The backdrop to the BBC's '2000 Acres of Sky' series, Port Logan is instantly recognisable. There is a pub/restaurant to serve you refreshments after a walk on the beach!
Scotland's most southerly point, the Mull of Galloway is a tranquil area, far from the beaten track. There are various attractions including sea fishing, bird watching, walking, cycling and golf. Click here for details.
A delightful harbour village, Portpatrick is a great place to while away an afternoon. There is a selection of shops and some superb eateries and tea rooms. The Gulf Stream keeps the climate mild, enabling some unusal plants to grow.
Dunskey Estate - Walled gardens and working greenhouses are only two of the attractions available at this attractive country estate. The Seasons Tearoom, terrace and walled garden are all accessible to disabled/wheelchair users. Two lochs with rainbows and brownies further add to the facilities. Visit www.dunskey.com for further details.
Along the Bladnoch
The Bladnoch catchment has a wide range of activities available for visitors. Bladnoch Distillery at the bottom of the catchment is Scotland's most southerly distillery and has a guided tour that is highly recommended - visit www.bladnoch.co.uk for details.
Prehistoric Torhousekie Stone Circle is also worth a visit, situated on the B733 (many anglers drive right past it on their way to the river!) - it looks quite mysterious especially at dusk.
The Wigtown Bay Local Nature Reserve is the largest local reserve in the UK and has an interpretation centre situated in the Wigtown County Building in Wigtown. The reserve has two bird hides for public use and also has a remote camera for viewing ospreys nesting in the springtime - click here for details.
The spectacular scenery around the settlements of Bladnoch and Wigtown can also be enjoyed on a sedate or exhilarating walk, depending upon your preference! Click here for details.
An indoor activity to while away the time whilst the most recent spate abates could be Scotland's nnational book town, Wigtown. With over quarter of a million books to choose from, it could keep even the most avid reader busy for days! Visit www.wigtown-booktown.co.uk for details.
Along the Cree
There are plenty of things to see and do in the vicinity of the River Cree. The area is a mecca for outdoor enthusiasts. Britain's largest forest park, Galloway Forest Park, is one of the most obvious attractions. The 300 square miles of park includes visitor centres and walks catering for all levels of experience. Visit www.forestry.gov.uk/gallowayforestpark for details. For specific information on the annual Newton Stewart walking festival, visit www.newtonstewartwalkfest.co.uk Galloway Forest Park also offers 'biking heaven' for cyclers visiting the 7 stanes - www.7stanes.gov.uk for further details.
Newton Stewart itself is a friendly small town in which to base yourself when fishing on the Cree. The town has a variety of shops and a range of different places to eat, as well as a cinema and museum. Visit www.newtonstewart.org for details of the town as well as golfing, bowling and sailing information.
If you catch and keep a salmon from the Cree, you may want to have it smoked locally. The Galloway Smokehouse is situated a short distance from Newton Stewart - for further details please visit www.gallowaysmokehouse.co.uk.
Along the Fleet
The town of Gatehouse of Fleet (or simply 'Gatehouse' as it is known to Gallovidians!) extends a warm welcome to its visitors and has facilities to cater for all visitor needs. There is a range of coffee shops, restaurants and pubs as well as a variety of shops to browse through. The Mill on the Fleet may appeal to those who can't get enough of the river but need some food! This restored cotton mill is an ideal place to relax beside the river, with a shop, cafe and series of exhibitions that run throughout the year. For information please phone 01557 814099. For general details about the town, please visit www.gatehouse-of-fleet.co.uk or if you'd like to know what the weather is like please visit the town's webcam by clicking here For those interested in outdoor activities, there are plenty of stunning walks in the National Scenic Area that surrounds Gatehouse and some walks are spectacular at certain times of year with wild hyacinths and bluebells galore. For a week packed full of events such as the torchlight parade, you may be interested in visiting during gala week (usually the first week in August) - see www.gatehousegala.co.uk.
Thirty Nine Steps, the classic work by John Buchan, was set in the rolling hills of Gatehouse of Fleet, with Richard Hannay being pursued around Cairnsmore of Fleet. Whilst there is no John Buchan tourist trail to follow, why not visit Wigtown (Scotland's national book town) only half an hour's drive away where you will be able to purchase your own copy of the famous book! Then you could plan your own tour! Visit www.wigtown-booktown.co.uk for details.
Rainton Farm is the home of delicious Cream o' Galloway ice cream, there are also 4 miles of nature trails, two of which are accessible for those in wheelchairs or with buggies; a tearoom selling organic and local produce; an adventure playground and an opportunity to learn more about ice cream making. There is of course a chance to sample some of the thirty flavours of delicious ice cream and frozen yogurts, only made here. The visitor centre welcomes over 60,000 visitors each year. Visit www.creamogalloway.co.uk for details.
Commanding a look out position across the Fleet Bay, Cardoness Castle is a well-preserved six storey tower house dating back to the 15th century. There are fine stone carvings on the walls. The site is run by Historic Scotland. Click here for further details.
Along the Kirkcudbrightshire Dee
Kirkcudbright itself is a pleasant harbour town with a variety of shops. The town is known as the artists' town and has a number of galleries and craft shops as well as places to eat. For further details, please visit www.kirkcudbright.co.uk There are a variety of festivals that take place in Kirkcudbright during the summer months - visit www.summerfestivities.com for details.
Just outside Kirkcudbright is the Galloway Wildlife Conservation Park. The park is home to nearly 150 animals from all over the world, including lemurs, wallabies, meerkats, emus, otters , macaws, snakes, red pandas, owls and wild cats. Visit www.gallowaywildlife.co.uk for details.
To visit other wildlife in the area, why not take part in the Red Kite Trail? Red kites have successfully been reintroduced to Galloway in recent years. There are viewing points with interpretation boards, six trails and a visitor centre with CCTV of the kites. The trail provides a true interaction with the area's wildlife. Visit www.gallowaykitetrail.com for details.
Given the hydro scheme's influence over much of the Dee-Ken system, the Galloway Hydros Tour at Tongland Power Station is worth a visit. Tongland Power Station is situated two miles north of Kirkcudbright on the A711 and the tour is available throughout the summer months from late May until early September. The guided tour is focused around the power station and dam including the fish ladder. A free exhibition includes interactive displays and panels on Galloway Hydros, a historical display and environmental room. For details please tel: 01557 330114.
There are plenty of walks in the surrounding area. The Southern Upland way runs through Dalry and there is plenty to keep the outdoor enthusiast occupied. Visit www.southernuplandway.com for details.
The National Trust's Threave Gardens is another attraction of interest to those visiting the area. The gardens feature, amongst other things, a visitor centre, pond, woodland garden and secret garden. For details of opening times please click here
Along the Urr
The area surrounding the Urr is a nature lover's delight, with the only the beauty of the Colvend Coast to compete with its wildlife. The RSPB's Mersehead Reserve offers a peaceful and relaxing environment in which to watch skylarks and lapwings in the springtime whilst barnacle and pinkfooted geese overwinter here during late autumn and winter. For details of the best places to spot wildlife, there is a visitor centre on site which is equipped with a shop and refreshments. There are also two nature trails which you can follow. For details, please click here.
Dalbeattie is a small town adjacent to the Urr that has an interesting history. In times past, the town had a port and was known for its granite quarries. Now it is a base for many of the tourists who flock to the area to enjoy its surroundings. More information is available from www.dalbeattie.com.
Outdoor pursuits in the area include the Dalbeattie 7 Stanes mountain biking trail, part of the award winning 7 Stanes biking heaven. Classed as suitable for intermediate biking enthusiasts, there are also some challenging sections including The Slab - a 40ft granite cliff face which truly tests your nerve! For details please click go to www.7stanes.gov.uk.
Castle Douglas is only a short drive from the Urr and is famed as Galloway's food town. There are over 50 local businesses selling food and drink, which makes a visit a mouth-watering experience. Why not combine your visit with a stroll around the town's central feature, Carlingwark Loch? Visit www.cd-foodtown.org for details. Of particular interest to thirsty anglers is the Sulwath Brewery, which provides guided tours of its premises and has a licenced visitor centre where you can sample their wares! Visit www.sulwathbrewers.co.uk for details.