Wildlife and Nature Holidays
Our base in Castle Douglas ' food town' is an ideal location from which to explore the many nature reserves and other wildlife areas of the Stewartry or wider Dumfries and Galloway.
Within a few miles of the town we have Threave Estate nature reserve, the Galloway Kite Trail and Ken Dee Marshes nature reserve. Further afield there are many other noteable wildlife locations, including Caerlaverock nature reserve, featured in BBC TV Autumn Watch. The Wild Seasons website also gives an up to date view of what's happening in the area.
While travelling to these locations, whether by bicycle, by car or even by bus, we suggest the most scenic routes and other places of interest along the way.
Galloway Forest Park, Dark Sky Park and Biosphere
At three hundred square miles area, the Galloway Forest Park is the largest forest park in the UK. Largely in the Galloway Hills, it is often referred to as the ‘Galloway Highlands', offering breathtaking scenery from ancient woodlands to quiet lochs. This area is also significant as one of the world's few Dark Sky Park and now also recognised as the Unesco Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere.
In addition to the hills of central Galloway, there are also interesting uplands further east, e.g. the Lowther Hills, with Wanlockhead, the highest village in Scotland, and the Nith Valley with Drumlanrig Castle. Similarly further west where the Southern Upland Way walking route passes through the hillside village of New Luce.
The Solway Coast
Dumfries and Galloway has three of Scotland's National Scenic Areas, all of them by the coast in central Galloway. The Fleet Valley NSA around Gatehouse of Fleet cover both coast and the river valley. The East Stewartry Coast NSA covers 'the Scottish Riviera' and over 10 miles of coastline. Near Dumfries, the largest town in the region, is the self-explanatory Nith Estuary NSA which covers the village of Carsethorn where many emigrated to USA, Canada and Australia during the late 1700s and early 1800s (20,000 in 1850)!
With two hundred miles of coastline in total there are endless opportunities – both summer and winter - to observe wildlife and nature, including thousands of barnacle geese in the winter at Caerlaverock and Mersehead.
RSPB Nature Reserves
We are fortunate to have several RSPB (birds) and other nature reserves in Dumfries and Galloway. Apart from the ones already mentioned, some others are also worth a visit -
Mersehead - on the coast around half an hour from Castle Douglas.
Wood of Cree - in the Cree river valley near Newton Stewart
Mull of Galloway - at the most southerly point in Scotland
Of course, there are other reserves and other places which are popular with wildlife watchers, such as Bellymack Farm near Castle Douglas where a daily red kite feeding spectacle is well worth viewing.
Book this tour
You can pay a 25% deposit now online to book this tour. We also accept other forms of payment; please see the payment section of our services page for details.
You can also use the enquiry form lower down the page to ask us any questions