Arrival Day - usually a Tuesday
Transport to our base in Castle Douglas is easy.
From Edinburgh, Glasgow airport, take the regular city centre bus, then the train to Lockerbie (1 hour), where we pick you up by minibus. Transport (45 mins) to accommodation in Castle Douglas.
Depending on arrival time, options for an acclimatsiation 'look around', either on the way or in Castle Douglas.
Evening meal provided.
Day 1 – Castle Douglas ‘food town’, Threave and Loch Ken.
Morning – A short intro walk around Castle Douglas ‘food town’ to see butchers, bakers, chocolate and ice cream makers. Continue walk to Threave Castle by the old railway line route. Boat to the Castle on the river island, also see ospreys nest. Lunch – Threave Garden restaurant, with talk by National Trust for Scotland Threave Estate ranger. Afternoon – Trip by minibus by Loch Ken to see red kites (birds of prey) feeding spectacle and visit RSPB nature reserve beside Loch Ken. A beer at Sulwath brewery back in Castle Douglas.
Evening – Town stroll around Castle Douglas to see local bowling green, football club and Carlingwark loch before evening meal with a whisky tasting session to follow. Same accommodation in Castle Douglas.
Day 2 - Gatehouse of Fleet, Carrick coastline and Kirkcudbright
Morning – Minibus to Mill on the Fleet in Gatehouse of Fleet to learn about the cotton history and heritage. Walk around town and old harbour. Lunch – at one of three nearby activity centres – Laggan Outdoor, Cream ‘o Galloway or Cocoa Bean chocolate factory – group choice. Afternoon – Cycle or minibus in this National Scenic Area to view Carrick shore area. Visit Kirkcudbright artists’ town for a town walk in old High Street around art galleries and museum. Cookery school visit option. Evening – Special evening meal with local produce including Galloway beef, scallops, pate, venison. An outdoor ‘Scottish Night’ with pipe bands during July and August.
Day 3 – West Galloway, Scotland’s book town and whisky distillery.
Morning – Minibus into the Galloway Hills to a nature reserve, part of a Unesco Biosphere then to Kirroughtree Forest mountainbiking centre and speak to Dark Sky Park ranger. Visit the town of Newton Stewart.
Afternoon – Visit the old county town of Wigtown, Scotland’s book town, for a walk around town and harbour area and visit to Bladnoch whisky distillery. Option to visit the earliest Christian community in Scotland with new ‘roundhouse’ reconstruction in Whithorn. Evening – An option for eveing meal and ‘jam session’ music, then return late to same accommodation in Kirkcudbright. Option to return to Kirkcudbright by the Galloway Forest Park and Queens Way.
Day 4 – History, Heritage and Archaeology
Morning – A coast tour to visit Dundrennan Abbey, where Mary Queen of Scots spent her last night in Scotland in 1568. Continue by the coast to Balcary Bay, Dalbeattie ‘granite town’ to visit Roan’s dairy farm. Option for a short golf lesson (invented in Scotland) before lunch. Lunch – At coast hotel beside a marina.
Afternoon – Continue in this National Scenic Area known as The Scottish Riviera visiting small villages. Visit a small village where over 20,000 in 1850. Visit celebrated poet Robert Burns's house in Dumfries.
Evening – A riverside walk and visit to Robert Burns favourite pub with eveni ng meal - haggis option. Another pub ‘jam session’ option in ‘one of the coolest villages in the UK’ - The Times.
Day 5 – Dumfriesshire
Morning – Visit the Twelve Apostles, the largest stone circle in Scotland, then to the old smithy at Keir Mill where the world’s first pedal cycle was invented in 1839 and to Drumlanrig Castle, with castle tours.
Lunch – in the Castle kitchens.
Afternoon – A countryside tour over a hill to a castle near a loch beside the pretty town of Lochmaben where the family of King Robert the Bruce lived. Continue to the town of Annan and the Annandale whisky distillery for a distillery tour. Return to Dumfries.
Evening – ‘Last night’ evening meal in Dumfries with whisky tasting.
Day 6 – Depart Day
Transfer to Lockerbie for train to Edinburgh or elsewhere.
Tour Extension – by 2 or 3 days
The far west and far east parts of Dumfries and Galloway region have not been visited within the five tour days.
We offer a day west to Wigtownshire as far as the most southerly point in Scotland, the Mull of Galloway with visits to the pretty port of Portpatrick and the ferry port to Northern Ireland.
Similarly, for another day, we offer a day east to the Devil’s Porridge museum and onto the marriage centre of Gretna Green, before visiting the former woollen mill town of Langholm and on to a budhist monastery on top of a hill. Lastly, as another extra day, we offer to arrange a ‘city break’ day or longer in Scotland’s capital before overseas visitors depart from Scotland.
Book this tour
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