Lochancroft, Wigtown, DG8 9HL
Tel: 01988 402499
Wigtown Book Town
Scotland's National Book Town is literally on your doorstep. Over a thousand years old and steeped in history, Wigtown is a fascinating place. The town has 17 bookshops and over a quarter of a million titles to offer, and is home to the largest second-hand book shop in Scotland, as well as a pair of summer-resident Ospreys and a 200 year old whisky distillery. Well worth a visit at any time.
The Whithorn Story
Long before Saint Columba and Iona, Christianity arrived in Scotland via Whithorn with Saint Ninian in the fourth century. This small town once contained a huge cathedral to which Scottish Kings made pilgrimages. The fascinating history of the town is told in the visitor centre and the remains of the once magnificent priory are free to wander around. 10 miles from Wigtown.
The National Trust property Broughton House is in the attractive port of Kirkcudbright. Once owned by the artist E A Hornel, it has recently been refurbished. In the early twentieth century Kirkcudbright became a haven for the leading Scottish artists of the time, including Peploe and Fergusson of the Scottish Colourists, Jessie M. King, E A Taylor and a host of others who found the light and landscapes of Galloway irresistible. Hornel hosted the Glasgow Boys during the summers of the early part of the Twentieth Century. There are plenty of things to do in this pretty town, with some great galleries and shops, as well as its beautiful architecture. Nearby Tongland visitor centre is one of the oldest Hydro-electric generators in the world. 20 miles from Wigtown.
National Trust and Historic Scotland Properties
Fiercely independent and in former times a strategically important place, Galloway had plenty of castles, keeps and towerhouses to fend off invaders, as well as the five great churches. Some of these are open to the public. Cardoness, Carsluith, Threave, Sorbie Tower are amongst the most accessible, and the remains of the five great churches of Galloway are all open under the banner of Historic Scotland. These are (west to east) Glenluce Abbey, Whithorn Priory, Dundrennan Abbey, Sweetheart Abbey and Lincluden Abbey. The county is covered in prehistoric remains, from cup and ring decorated stones at Drumtroddan, to stone circles at Torhousekie, and ancient tombs at Cairn Holy.
With it's famously mild climate and the balmy influence of the gulf stream, Galloway is home to some of the most beautiful and exotic gardens in Scotland. Don't miss Logan, Glenwhan, Threave, Ardwell, Castle Kennedy, Dunskey, and Galloway House Gardens.
Cream o' Galloway
Makers of the finest organic ice creams in the world; their visitor centre is one of the most popular attractions in the region with loads to do for children. 25 miles from Wigtown.
The nearby village of Bladnoch is home to a distillery, producing the finest single malt. Tours are available between May and October, and the whisky school runs weekends every couple of months. Contact them for further details. 1 mile from Wigtown.
One of Galloway's top tourist attractions, only 20 minutes away in Creetown.
Marketing itself as Scotland's Food Town, Castle Douglas is home to some really great deli's and is fantastic for shopping - the main street has plenty of shi-shi shops with unusual and interesting stock you won't find anywhere else. 30 miles from Wigtown.
Galloway has plenty of excellent golf courses including one on your doorstep - Wigtown and Bladnoch golf course is about 400 yds from Lochan Croft. St Medans near Monreith is also well worth exploring. There are 20 golf courses within one hour's drive from Wigtown.
Environmental tours - horse riding, walking and guided tours of the Galloway hills. A must for nature lovers. 20 miles from Wigtown.
The 7 Stanes
Some of the best and most exciting mountain bike trails in the world are right on our doorstep. The 7 Stanes network consists of seven trails across Dumfries and Galloway, and draws thousands of cyclists to the region every year. The closest trail (and arguably the best) is Kirroughtree, just 8 miles away, with routes to suit all abilities and nearly 30 miles of singletrack. The Galloway Forest Park has plenty of interesting walks too. 8 miles from Wigtown. Giant XTC's with all the kit you need can be hired locally from the brake pad.
The Galloway Hills
The last wilderness - these stunning hills may lack some of the drama of the Highlands but they also lack the huge numbers of people who flock there. The Galloway Hills are full of wildlife, lochs, stunning views, and 200 square miles of solitude. There's something for everyone in this landscape which John Buchan so loved, and which inspired The 39 Steps. Newton Stewart, the gateway to the hills, is 7 miles from Wigtown. If you're into climbing there are lots of good crags to test your skills. See the Needlesports website for their locations and routes.
This peninsula (The Machars) has plenty of secluded beaches with safe swimming, as well as a swimming pool in Newton Stewart. Rigg Bay (Garlieston) is 6 miles from Wigtown, St Medans on the west coast of the peninsula is about 10 miles. Other secluded spots can be found all round the coast. Snorkelling is great here at high tide with exceptionally good visibility.
The Newton Stewart Sub Aqua Club is a BSAC organisation with a compressor and a RIB. Dives are organised throughout the summer with plenty of wrecks and other interesting things to explore.
At Penkiln Farm, 5 miles from Wigtown.
There's a variety of sea fishing anywhere along the 173 miles of coastline with bass, mackerel, cod and pollock in plentiful supply. Salmon and Sea Trout fishing is available on the Cree and the Bladnoch (contact the Tackle shop in Newton Stewart). Brown Trout fishing in the hill lochs can be purchased from the tackle shop.
With 173 miles of varied coastline and plenty of freshwater lochs there is plenty of sailing in the area. Try Wigtown Bay Sailing Club in the Isle of Whithorn, the sailing club at Lochryan, Loch Ken outdoor centre, or 3 Lochs near Kirkcowan.
If you're looking for somewhere a bit more interesting to stay in Edinburgh that's central and stylish we recommend the City Bothy, click the link or go to www.citybothy.com.
Find out what else there is to do at Dumfries and Gallloway online.