Romance, battles and poetry
Dumfries and Galloway is a wonderfully undiscovered corner of Scotland – a romantic land of wooded glens, high hills and exposed moorland, haunted by its colourful past and the ghosts of those who fell in fierce and bloody battles. Heading west from Gretna Green you soon reach Dumfries, straddling the River Nith, where you may see red-breasted mergansers in summer.
The market town has strong associations with one of Scotland’s most famous sons, Robert Burns, who farmed nearby and returned to Dumfries towards the end of his life. You’ll find Burns-related visitor attractions around town, plus a portfolio of other sights ranging from ruined castles and abbeys to quirky museums. You can see for miles from the Camera Obscura, which occupies the top floor of the 18th-century windmill.
Land, sea, sky
To the north lies a vast and endless landscape; mile upon mile of open moorland and afforested slopes stretching towards the Ayrshire coast. On the long haul to Stanraer, you’ll want to make regular stops and visit places like Gatehouse of Fleet, a delightful 18th-century planned town, and Creetown, a planned village on the estuary on the River Cree. Perfect for walking and fishing, Dumfries and Galloway seems gloriously untouched by 20th-century progress.