Looking to do something a little different on holiday? There are so many wonderful places to visit when you are staying on holiday at Ross Bay Retreat in and around Kirkcudbright. Explore some of our fascinating towns, pretty villages, local historic sights, cultural and fun activities.
Below are eight great places to visit, explore, experience and enjoy.
Kirkcudbright – Known as the Artists Town
Kirkcudbright has more than its fair share of painters, talented sketchers, potters, jewellery makers and other creative craftsmen. Artists were originally attracted to the town by its wonderful light, especially at sunset. The artistic community is still very active today and it has at least six art and craft galleries.
The story of the town’s artists and artistic flair is told can be found in the Tolbooth Art Centre. More information is available at the Hornel Art Gallery at Broughton House and at The Stewartry museum. Local expert Fiona Lee’s Kirkcudbright Art Tours are a great way to discover the town’s art studio’s, galleries, Broughton House and Gardens and other delights all on foot. An enjoyable arty tour of the town.
Castle Douglas – The Food Capital of Dumfries and Galloway
Castle Douglas is a designated ‘Food Town’ in the heart of Dumfries and Galloway. This lovely 18th-century market town is the ideal location for speciality food shopping. It has over 50 traditional local independent shops and outlets that sell and produce locally sourced produce, artisan food and drink. There is also a variety of art, clothing and speciality goods stores.
More Information – https://www.packthesuitcases.com/things-to-do-in-castle-douglas-scotland/
The Mill on The Fleet at Gatehouse of Fleet – Historic Mill & Visitor Centre
Uncover the history and heritage of Gatehouse and the Fleet Valley at The Mill on the Fleet.
The Mill on the Fleet is a large exhibition centre in a restored old 18th century cotton mill. It showcases regional arts and crafts. It hosts an annual programme of temporary exhibitions and displays on the history and heritage of Gatehouse and the Fleet Valley. The Gatehouse Tourist Information Centre is based within the Mill and has a large shop with a large second-hand bookshop, and a café with a lovely riverside terrace. The Mill also hosts live music events, talks and festivals throughout the season.
More Information – https://millonthefleet.co.uk/
Wigtown – The Book Lovers Town
Book lovers and bookworms should not miss Wigtown. Designated as Scotland’s National Book Town in 1998, has over a dozen independent and second hand bookshops and book related businesses. Wigtown Book Festival hosts more than 200 events including workshops, literature, music, film, theatre, arts and crafts. The festival takes place for 10 days each autumn and has welcomed many popular speakers, leading writers, special guests and visitors.
More Information – https://www.wigtown-booktown.co.uk/
Creetown Gem Rock Museum – Creetown
One of the finest private collections of gemstones, crystals, mineral, meteorites and fossils at the Gem Rock Museum near the coastal village of Creetown. Enjoy the crystal cave filled with huge crystals some which even glow in the dark and other unusual items such as the 4.5 billion year old 3kg meteorite a fossilised egg and dung of a dinosaur. Visit the ‘Prospectors Pantry’ tea shop and the Gem Rock Shop too full of collectibles, jewellery and gifts.
More Information – https://www.gemrock.net/
Where – Near Creetown
Cairn Holy Chambered Cairns – Wigtown
In an impressive hillside location, with fine views overlooking Wigtown Bay, these impressive Neolithic burial cairns and chambered tombs were both built in the 4,000BC. The concave façade of tall pillar stones are known as Clyde Cairns. This type of tomb is characteristic to South West Scotland. Both tombs are now open to the skies, their covering stones were robbed long ago to build field dykes. Cairn Holy I is the more impressive and elaborate of the two, while Cairn Holy II is said to be the burial tomb of the mythical warrior Scottish king, Galdus.
More Information – Cairn Holy Chambered Cairns | Historic Environment Scotland | HES
Where – 4.5 km east of Carsluith, near Wigtown
Cream o’ Galloway | Fresh Scottish Produce – Gatehouse of Fleet
Fresh Scottish produce and makers of luxurious dairy Cream o’ Galloway ice cream, made with organic milk from their own cows. It is a good fun place to visit. Visitors can join the ice cream making workshops, cheese making courses, play crazy golf, go on farm tours and go on farm walks and nature trails. To finish drop in at the café and the ice cream scooping counter and explore the sundae menu.
More Information – https://www.creamogalloway.co.uk/
Where – Gatehouse of Fleet
Galloway Forest Dark Sky Park – An Evening with a Dark Sky Ranger
Due to its very low levels light pollution The Galloway Forest Dark Sky Park is an area officially recognised for its incredibly dark night skies providing rare stargazing conditions. This means that on clear nights after dark, the skies come alive. A dazzling array of some 7,000 stars, planets, space stations, clear views of the Milky Way arching across the sky and spectacular shooting stars can be seen.
It was designated as the 4th Dark Sky Park in the world and the 1st in the UK. Spend an evening out with a local expert and enjoy the spectacular night skies show which changes every night. The tours are approximately 2-2.5 hours, outdoor experience with some practical experiences and experiments. You will head out equipped with special astro-binoculars on tripods and exploring the skies with our own eyes, binoculars, providing interesting facts, fun and stories.
More Information – https://darkskyranger.co.uk/
Where: Clatteringshaws Loch
Recommendations, Advice & Ideas
These are only a few of many great places to visit in our beautiful area of Southern Scotland. We have many more recommendations that we feature in our guest welcome pack. Of course will be happy to give you advice and ideas for you and your family to head out and enjoy.
We would love to get your feedback, recommendations and ideas of your best places to visit too.