The back view of Isla Cottage Bed & Breakfast
The back view of Isla Cottage Bed & Breakfast
Isla Cottage Bed & Breakfast, Springholm, Castle Douglas DG7 3LP
Isla Cottage Bed & Breakfast, Springholm, Castle Douglas DG7 3LP

Some of our favourite places

There are so many beautiful, quiet and unspoilt places in Dumfries & Galloway these are just a few of our favourites nearby.

We love walks in the Galloway Hills. Try out Screel it is not that high and many trees have been cut down now giving wonderful views across the Solway and if you are feeling fit carry on to Bengairn.

A visit to Caerlaverock Wildfowl & Wetland Centre where you could spend much of the day. BBC's Autumn Watch was filmed here in 2015.  Why not combine it with a visit to Caerlaverock Castle both have lovely tea rooms or Glencaple tea room overlooking the River Nith.

You can't beat a walk/drive/cycle in the Galloway Forest Park.  This picture was taken near Murray's Monument - a great place for a picnic, feed the goats or watch the deer nearby.  A visit to see the "Eye" beside the Black Loch is a must!

Kippford is a lovely coastal village with a delightful walk through to Rockcliffe.  There are two hotels, a craft shop and tea room. Visit the Barnbarroch pottery or play 9 holes at Craigieknowe golf course.  Our French friends called it the Scottish Rivieria - they just loved it.

Castle Douglas is a small market town just 10 minutes away by car.  It has some very individual little shops and is called the Food Town. There are many eating places and fast food shops as well as 3 supermarkets.  Picnic at Carlingwarck Loch at the bottom of the town or pick up a fish supper from Moores Fish & Chip shop on the way instead.

National Trust properties Threave Gardens, Castle Douglas (great for viewing red squirrels at the hide) and Broughton House & Garden in Kirkcudbright are well worth a visit. Kirkcudbright is the Artists Town which holds many exhibitions throughout the year as well as summer festivities.  Quaint houses and streets to wander around and a few shops, cafes and a ruined castle.

Mersehead RSPB Sanctuary is also worth a visit and combine it with the beach walk back to the carpark.  Members get free parking, visitors £3.

Osprey/Peregrin Falcon viewing at Threave Estate and a visit to Threave Castle includes a short boat trip! Afterwards continue on to the bird hides where deer are often spotted.  There are toilets at the parking area and a small visitor information centre. Plenty of walking can be done from here.

You cannot visit Dumfries & Galloway without a drive around the coast.  New Abbey has beautiful Sweetheart Abbey.  Feeling fit and equipped why not climb Criffel or Waterloo Monument.  Pop in to Abbey Crafts for a cup of tea. Love antiques then there is one here. A village pond, shop, hotels and an old working Corn Mill plus Shambellie House for exhibitions.

The Red Kite Trail - a new viewing centre at the feeding station Bellymack Farm, near Laurieston.  Drive on through Laurieston on a narrow road to Gatehouse of Fleet with stunning views.  Do stop in Gatehouse a very small town with an Old Mill, a few shops, walks and of course tea rooms!

Newton Stewart is the closest town to Merrick our highest hill in Galloway. It is 4 miles to the top but if you change your mind walk round Glentrool instead.  We have maps to assist you.  Remember the midge spray!

Loch Ken is a favourite with everyone no matter the season.  Popular with fishermen and for watersports. Crossmichael, Dalry, New Galloway and Laurieston are small places along the way to stop off at.  Visit Catstrand and Kitty's Tea Room in New Galloway offering the most wonderful cakes and traditional afternoon/high teas and like Isla Cottage uses china!

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© Caroline McKean