Dumfries is the main market town for this part of the world and houses everything from B&Q to MacDonalds. With a variety of supermarkets, retail shopping and garden centres, there is something for everyone. For those looking to soak up the local heritage, Dumfries is famed for its connections with Scotland’s national bard Robert Burns, and his home and museum are worth a look in. However, for a younger audience they may know Dumfries as the home-town of Calvin Harris, the DJ and musician. Dumfries also sees itself as the birthplace of Peter Pan, as JM Barrie was educated here, and there is a statue in the town indicating this. Geographically, this south west section of Scotland has a climate that experiences cool summers and mild winters, with less snow than the rest of Scotland. A moderate temperature throughout the year in fact.
The border county of Dumfriesshire offers a diversity of landscapes, from valley to summit, coast to forest, the range of scenes to explore would suit everyone. In the north of the county, near the historical spa town of Moffat, the Devils Beef Tub is a worth trip for hikers. The deep dramatic hollow, formed at the base of four hills is one of the two sources for the River Annan, which runs south through the county to join the Firth of Solway at the town of Annan. The Ae forest is one of the largest in Britain and is home to one of the 7Stane bike trails, a collection of 7 specially designed mountain biking centres dotted throughout the borders. For those looking to soak up the local heritage, the historical country town of Dumfries is famed for its connections with the bard Robert Burns, and his home and museum are worth a look in. On the English border is Gretna Green, the marriage capital of the UK, historically where young English couples eloped to marry, the town still witnesses thousands of marriages every year! The magnificent stately home at Drumlanrig Castle is a fantastic family day out, the house is an exemplary display of renaissance history, the beautiful garden and grounds must be explored, and the kids will be entertained for hours in the adventure playground. For something a little different for the kids, why not step back in time at Dino Park in Carrutherstown!
Dumfries and Galloway
From shores to hills, Dumfries and Galloway is an area of magnificent landscapes, and natural beauty, and a paradise for walkers and cyclists, thanks to the rolling hills, and verdant forests. 200 miles of coastline offer beautiful beaches and seaside towns, and thanks to the Gulf Stream, a unique climate here, a perfect setting for a beach holiday.
Stretching across the border with England, and reaching up to the central belt from Glasgow to Edinburgh, the Southern Scotland region is a popular location for short break holidays. Although you may not find the monumental mountain ranges of the Highlands, don’t think that this region lacks the traditional Scottish landscapes. The famous 7Stanes mountain biking routes can be found across the Border counties and Dumfries and Galloway, as there is an abundance of hills, glens and forests to challenge even experienced bikers. The region has plenty of fishing opportunities too, most popular perhaps is the River Tweed, well known for its salmon, and miles of coastline, ideal for walking and bird spotting. Golf can be found in abundance in this area too. For gentler activities, visit the Four Borders Abbeys, magnificent tributes to the religious history of the area, at Kelso, Jedburgh, Dryburgh and Melrose.