Wigtownshire one of the most authentic places on earth Outdoor activities and sightseeing near Arduaine
Outdoor activities and sightseeing near Arduaine

Tourist Attractions & Scotland's Landscape - explore from Arduaine Bed & Breakfast Guest House

Wigtownshire in Galloway   -  one of  "The 50 Most Authentic Places on Earth"  (British Airways magazine)  

CLICK on underlined words - to find out more.  /  ENLARGE PHOTO with your mouse.

Events 2011:  What's On:  click here             Churches in Wigtown


A Royal Burgh 1457, Covenanters, now Scotland's Book Town:  Wigtown

Experience the freedom:   Golf - Birdwatching - Geese migration - Ospreys - Red Kites - Satellite tracking - RSPB & WWT Nature Reserves - Mountain biking - Cycling - The Galloway Hills - Walking Festival - Walking, Hiking, RamblingA Walk in the footsteps of Robert the Bruce - The Southern Upland Way

Explore and discover: Pre-historic & Neolithic & Bronze Age SitesCeltic Crosses - Castles - Country Houses & Stately Homes & Historic Houses - National Trust for Scotland (NTS) -  Mary Queen of Scots - Covenanters - Gardens - Whithorn, Cradle of Christianity - St Ninian - Kirkcudbright, Artists' Town - Harbour villages - LighthousesInternational Dark Sky Park - Beaches - Artists' Open Studios - Gem Rock Museum - Belfast, Glasgow, Edinburgh

King Robert the Bruce - Robert Burns, Scottish Poetry - Literature, John McNeillie, Ian Niall - Arts & Crafts, Charles Rennie Macintosh - Talks in Wigtown programme

Follow your tastebuds:   Whisky Distillery - Smokehouses

Restaurants:  Eating Out   Gluten Free diet: Eating Out

Retail therapy:   Art Galleries - AntiquesCrafts 'handmade in Galloway Scotland' - Second hand Book shops - Nice shops

Is there enough to do at Arduaine to stay for a few days?

Absolutely, and for much longer! There is easily enough for you to explore to stay even longer than a week:  12 different tours for 12 full days out with your car are waiting for you (full details in your bedroom pack) besides local walks in Wigtown to take in great panoramic views or to the bird hide or along the seashore and cliffs to a Scottish castle, or visiting the many book shops - after all:  Wigtownshire is named among the world's top 50 most authentic destinations to visit, selected by a panel of 19 travel experts and writers, e.g. Tony Wheeler founder of Lonely Planet and author of The Lonely Planet Story, and e.g. Alain de Botton philosopher and author of The Art of Travel, e.g. Clive Aslet editor-at-large Country Life magazine. 'Authentic travel' is the latest trend to find genuine experiences. Authentic tourism is growing in popularity because it is more inclusive, more liberating, and maybe more open to personal interpretation. (Wigtownshire is the only place in Scotland which made it onto the top 50 list, beside world-famous names such as Paris, Venice, or Lord Howe Island in the South Pacific, or Zanzibar. - see the up-market British Airways magazine "BA High Life magazine", Nov 2008)

We also have a comprehensive collection of maps for you and we are happy to suggest tailor made itineraries to make sure you make the best use of your time in the area - without feeling exhausted! – And when back at ‘base’ you can relax in the comfort of your own private lounge, or sit outside on the patio and take in the clean fresh sea air.

For the discerning Couple  -  relax & unwind in "The Master Suite" with your own private lounge.

“The perfect spot from where to explore." Barbara W, Australia

  • An extensive folder with leaflets and information on events and on what to do and see awaits you. There are also cycle maps. Ordnance Survey Maps for walking or touring may be borrowed. And the detailed Guide to 12 different tours for 12 full days out by car: see the real, the authentic Scotland.

Tourist Attractions:  Sightseeing & To Do - EventsLinks

(all distances are approximate)

For your Diary:  Literary Wigtown Book Festival in Scotland’s Book Town,

               Fri 23 Sept – Sun 2 Oct 2011

Wigtown Book Town  &  Osprey watch  &  Nature Reserve
Wigtown, an old county town where the whole centre with its large square is a protected conservation area with the original houses still in place, a small population (900) Scotland’s National Book Town is over a thousand years old and steeped in history; for instance the Covenanters memorials. This small village and ancient Royal Burgh (on 28 April 1457 Royal charter granted by King James II) has today over a dozen second hand book businesses and more than a quarter of a million titles to offer, and is home to the largest second-hand book shop in Scotland with over a mile of shelving and roughly 65,000 books, as well as a 200 year old whisky distillery and a golf course (T. +44 (0) 1988 403354:  9 holes, parkland, PAR 68, length 5462 yards; handicap certificates are not required: click here for Visitors Green Fees).

'Handmade in Scotland' Art & Craft Shops: get all those presents for birthdays, special occasions, or Christmas; "The-Book-End-Studio" in the square is run by artist Julie Houston where she sells some of her modern paintings and specialises in crafts handmade in Galloway; original paintings and prints are available in The-Picture-Shop / Art Gallery; there is also a very nice Antiques Shop "Traditions" with beautiful furniture, antique jewellery and pretty collectables. Just round the corner from the historic County Buildings (with the clock tower) there is landscape watercolour artist William Neal in his studio which overlooks Wigtown Bay.

Churches in Wigtown & nearby:  Baptist Church, Catholic Church, Church of Scotland, Episcopal Church. mass times: click here               back to top

Birdwatching at Wigtown Bay, an estuary with large areas of saltmarsh and mudflats, it is the largest Local Nature Reserve in Britain, ideal for birding with a bird hide less than 10 minutes walk from the town centre. From late September until mid-late April Wigtown Bay and areas further east in the Solway (Mersehead, Caerlaverock) play host to 50,000 of over-wintering Arctic geese in 6 species: Barnacle Geese (= Branta leucopsis) hundreds near the bird hide, Pink-footed Geese (= Anser brachyrhynchus) in their 1000s in the saltmarshes and near the bird hide, also Greylag Geese; Greenland White-fronted Geese at Loch Ken, Brent Geese at Loch Ryan (very small numbers of Canada Geese in Dumfries & Galloway, but not in Wigtown Bay); also wild Whooper Swans in large numbers and Mute Swans can be watched in Wigtown. They come to escape the bitter winters of their arctic breeding grounds. Wigtown Bay Visitor Centre (free), County Buildings, Wigtown - open all year.

March 2011 and also planned for 2012:  Wild Goose Chase events - a Wildlife Spectacle: Geese on migration

Arctic Geese, Whooper Swans on migration.  Special Wildlife experience. The best time is March here in Wigtown Bay Local Nature Reserve, which is the largest in Britain: 50,000 geese in 6 species - an experience not to be missed.  Nature at its best. 

Read on-line, photos: (these wild geese winter here: Solway - Wigtown Bay)

Pink-footed Goose  (= Anser brachyrhynchus)

Barnacle Goose  (= Branta leucopsis) breeding on Artic Island of Svalbard

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After an absence of over 100 years, Ospreys (Pandion haliaetus, or fish-eagles in other languages) returned in 2001 to Galloway to breed. See photos and read the osprey diary on-line and here in Wigtown watch their family-life in the nest, live Apr-Sept until they return to Africa for the Winter (other months recorded footage), all year free in the Wigtown Bay Visitor Centre in the County Buildings Wigtown; the CCTV camera shows amazing pictures as it is only 5ft / 1.5 m from the nest which is at a secret location in Galloway:

2011:  EP, the male, arrived back from Africa on Fri 25 March. The female, H/D, arrived on Sun 27 March.  3 eggs laid, each about 3 days after the previous egg in mid-Apr.  3 chicks hatched: Mon 23 May, Tue 24 May, Thu 26 May.

2010:  Sat 27 March the male Osprey EP returned from wintering grounds in West Africa (bells were rung from the clock tower of the County Buildings) and on Thu morning 1 April the female Osprey H/D was spotted first time this season on the nest (again the bells were rung in jubilation and to let everyone in Wigtown know that she had arrived).  Wigtown Bay Visitor Centre quickly filled with locals and visitors who had heard the bells ringing and they were rewarded as both birds were on the nest together. 3 eggs were laid later in April and 3 chicks hatched early June. All 3 chicks were raised successfully. All ospreys disappeared from the area in Sept, each bird flying on its own - not as a group. We just hope the chicks survive this dangerous migration to Gambia / Senegal / West Africa; over 50% of the chicks don't survive their first year.

2009 in Galloway & on Wigtown CCTV:  female Osprey "H/D" returned from Africa Thu 2 April; male Osprey "EP" returned on Tue 7 April. 3 eggs laid 24th+27th+30th April. 1st egg hatched at 7:45am on Tue 2 June - and the town-bells were rung! Unfortunately this chick died in the afternoon on Thu 4 June.  Egg number 2 hatched Sat morning 6 June - again town-bells were rung. 3rd egg unfortunately did not hatch. - Our chick has grown very well and seemed to be bigger than its father at the time before its first flight and due to its size it is thought that it is a "girl" as female ospreys are about 10% larger than the male. -  It has been ringed with a blue ring with white letters BA (the colours of the Scottish Saltire in the year of 'Homecoming').  - All 3 birds of our osprey family left Galloway the first week in September on different days to make the long and dangerous flight individually on their own to their wintering home in West Africa, that is the Gambia or Senegal maybe.  Everyone here wishes them a safe journey.  -  As none of "our" birds is satellite-tracked we will not know of their fate and just hope the two adults EP and H/D (metal ring G8344) will arrive back here in their summer home end of March / early April next year. - The young bird BA will stay in Africa for a few years until maturity before making its flight back to Scotland.  Perhaps we will see it in five year's time as we were able to see AW born 2004 this year on its first recorded sighting back in Scotland; maybe earlier or maybe never - the mortality rate during the first year is over 50% unfortunately.

2009 in Dumfriesshire: young male with green ring "AW" (hatched 30 May 2004 in the Galloway nest i.e. 'our' nest on camera in Wigtown, first flight 24 July 2004 when the town bells rung in Wigtown to let everyone know of this event, last seen on the Galloway nest on 13 Sept 2004 before first migration to Africa; parents: father orange ring "BS" hatched 1993 Loch of the Lowes, has since died during migration Sept '06/April '07; mother orange ring "H/D" and metal ring "G8344" hatched 1998) . "AW" has found an unringed partner who was seen in Dumfriesshire last year with a different osprey partner (they had a nest, but no eggs). This is the first time the young male Osprey green ring "AW" has been seen since his migration in Sept 2004. And they have 3 eggs!!! (1st egg seen Mon 27 Apr, 2nd egg seen Fri 1st May, 3rd egg seen Mon 4 May). This is a first for osprey-eggs in Dumfriesshire for about 200 years - it is about that long ago that ospreys were breeding there. - Their 1st chick hatched Sun 7 June and growing up well; other 2 eggs did not hatch.

Some "history" of our "Galloway" ospreys: in 2008 for the first time 3 young chicks ! ! ! (in 2007 no chick as the male BS did not return/had died and female H/D did not mate with new male EP as she was waiting in vain for her partner BS; 1 chick 2006: metal ring only with numbers 1392805 on its right leg; 2 chicks 2005: green rings "DB" + "DA", 2 chicks 2004: green rings "AV" + "AW", all ringed; and probably 1 chick 2003 and also 2002 which were not ringed and this was before the camera was installed, 2001 busy nestbuilding); hatching dates 2008: Fri 6 June, Sun 8 June, Tue 10 June; ringed on Wed 16 July (white ring "BB" on oldest chick, no white ring on 2nd chick as this ring broke and therefore it has only a small metal ring, white ring "BA" on youngest chick) usually their first ever flight is made aged 49-56 days:  chick BB made it first flight aged 50 days on Sunday afternoon 27 July - and duly all the bells from the clock tower of the County Buildings were rung! This brought huge numbers of people (locals & visitors) into the visitor room and BB obliged and did a few more brief flights to the great delight and applause of everyone present who watched this on the live-TV screens.

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Covenanters’ Monuments – The Killing Years
The Wigtown martyrs Margaret Wilson (18 years) and Margaret McLoughlin (63 years) are being remembered with the covenanters’ monument which stands high above this small town on Windy Hill from where there are beautiful views of the pastures and rolling countryside of The Machars peninsula, the peaks of the Galloway Hills and of the sea and Wigtown Bay. Their graves are in the parish churchyard; the martyrs’ stake where they were executed in 1685 by drowning in the incoming tide is in the saltmarshes (easily accessible via a boardwalk). Those sad times are referred to as ‘the killing years’, when covenanters were being persecuted for their religious beliefs in Scotland.        back to top

Bladnoch Whisky Distillery & Visitor Centre open all year
Scotland’s most southerly whisky distillery. Take a tour and sample some of the fine lowland single malt Scotch whisky. A must for any whisky lover! Distillery tours, gift shop, fishing, canoeing, river and woodland walks – or attend the Whisky School.     1 mile / 1.5 km from Wigtown in Bladnoch      back to top

Retail therapy:  Art Galleries - Crafts - Antiques - Books - nice shops

Wigtown:  art gallery with original paintings & prints by Scottish artists; craft shops 'handmade in Galloway Scotland'; "Traditions": antiques shop with furniture & decorative items; several gift shops; over a dozen second hand book businesses.

Art Galleries:  Wigtown "The Picture Shop-Gallery", Stranraer "Waterloo Gallery", several both in Castle Douglas and Kirkcudbright

Antiques:  "Traditions" in Wigtown, "Priory Antiques" in Whithorn, "Douglas House Antiques" in Newton Stewart, "Osborne Antiques" in Kirkcudbright

Nice Shops: Wigtown, Castle Douglas, Kirkcudbright     back to top

Nature Reserves – RSPB and WWT Reserves – Bird Watching – Red Kites –Satellite tracking
Wigtown Bay Local Nature Reserve, the largest in Britain, with saltmarshes, Wigtown Bay (part of the Solway Firth and sea), River Bladnoch estuary; a 10 minute stroll to bird hide for birding, 5 minutes walk to saltmarshes; winter visiting birds, e.g. arctic geese from Iceland and Greenland and Svalbard / Spitsbergen. Wigtown Bay Visitor Centre (free), County Buildings, Wigtown - open all year.

RSPB Reserves, the nearest is in Wigtown: newly aquired by the RSPB Crook of Baldoon click on the link for info & guided walks with the RSPB ranger (we did a guided walk in April and watched a Peregrine Falcon (wow!);  more RSPB reserves (west to east): Mull of Galloway (visitor centre, CCTV seabirds), Wood of Cree (8 miles / 12.8 km), Ken Dee Marshes, Mersehead (visitor centre).

Caerlaverock WWT Wildfowl & Wetlands Centre open all year, in winter wild geese from the High Arctic archipelago of Svalbard, of Whooper Swans from Iceland and wild ducks and wading birds (arriving from as far away as West Africa and Arctic Russia). WWT is satellite tracking Whooper Swans between their breeding grounds in Iceland and their wintering grounds in Britain and Ireland, as well as Barnacle Geese: follow their epic journeys on-line: http://whooper.wwt.org.uk/whooper 

WWT Caerlaverock is 9 miles / 14 km southeast of Dumfries, 3 miles / 4.8 km to Caerlaverock Castle.

Red Kites (Milvus milvus) released 2001 near Laurieston at the edge of the Galloway Forest Park; watch from the bird hide at Laurieston to see them feeding, tour the 30 mile Red Kite Trail by car or do one of the walks.

Closer to Wigtown (5 miles / 8 km), the moorland areas around Mochrum Loch are also worth a visit.        back to top

Artists’ Studios Open in Wigtown  &  Port William   -  workshops
Commission a portrait or buy a painting from resident artist Julie Houston; meet William Neal in his studio with his tranquil landscape or abstract watercolour paintings - both in Wigtown. In Port William you find 'Hoopoe Prints' - the studio of artist/ printmaker Lisa Hooper, where you can see and purchase artwork, or why not try printmaking out for yourself as she runs courses / workshops in different techniques.

Scotland's Premier Art and Craft Open Studios Event: Spring Fling

3 days every year at the end of May:  the most successful open studios event of its kind in Scotland. 28-30 May 2011 with over 80 established artists and makers in Dumfries & Galloway; it's free!  The weekend is all about visiting studios, meeting artists and makers who are not usually open to the public; seeing them at work. If you think of purchasing a piece of art directly, please bring your chequebook as most do not take credit cards. Instead of driving around in your own car to hop from studio to studio, why not join the tour bus.                                          back to top

28 - 30 May 2011: Spring Fling more info / or request brochure

The Cradle of Christianity & Saint Ninian   -   Celtic Crosses

-   Mary Queen of Scots

The Whithorn Story & Whithorn Priory  -  Historic Scotland Museum
Long before Saint Columba and Iona, Christianity arrived in Scotland via Whithorn with Saint Ninian in 397AD. (Reference-Book: Peter Hill, Whithorn & St Ninian, The Excavation of a Monastic Town 1984-91, 651 pages. Fiction-Book; Donna Brewster, My Ninian, 349 pages.) Todays small laid back town once contained a large cathedral to which Scottish Kings and Queens (Mary Queen of Scots came in 1566) together with ordinary people made regular pilgrimages. The fascinating history is told in the visitor centre with audioshow, exhibition of excavation and museum with one of the finest collections of Celtic Crosses: the Latinus Stone was erected around 450 AD and is the oldest surviving Christian memorial in Scotland. Wander around the excavated monastery, ruins of the medieval cathedral-abbey and crypt. There are a further 9 related sites in this area. 10 miles / 16 km

OPENING TIMES 2011: 1 April to 31 October. 7 days a week. 10:30 am to 5:00 pm.

(excavation site & ruin accessible all year) plan your visit

Annual Whithorn Lecture 2011:    Alex Woolf BA, M Phil, FSA Scot, History Lecturer, University of St.Andrews,   will speak on:   Conquest and Cohabitation:  Britons, Saxons and the Church of Whithorn,   at Whithorn Primary School,   On Sat 17 Sept 2011 at 6.00pm. (For further info, or to book, please contact:   The Whithorn Trust, 45/47 George Street, Whithorn, Wigtownshire, DG8 8NS.  Tel 01988 500508)

St Ninian’s Cave (Ancient Monument, Historic Scotland)  &  St Ninian’s Chapel (Historic Scotland)

The cave at the sea shore was, by tradition, the retreat of St Ninian; he would have walked here from his abbey and church in Whithorn to be alone with his thoughts and prayers. Car park 2 miles / 3 km south of Whithorn. Walk along Physgill Glen, where the forest floor is covered with bluebells in spring, down to the sea shore (20 minutes); the cave is to the right. "St Ninian's Cave is so quiet and remote that visiting becomes a spiritual experience" (BA High Life magazine, Nov '08: authentic travel: The 50 most authentic places on earth).

The Catholic Diocese of Galloway holds an annual pilgrimage to St Ninian’s Cave on the last Sunday in August in the afternoon. 12 miles / 19 km from Wigtown

St Ninian’s Chapel faces the sea just beyond the small village of Isle of Whithorn; car park at the harbour, 4 miles / 6.4 km from Whithorn. It now stands as a restored reception chapel from the 1300s although excavation revealed traces of an earlier chapel from the 1100s. It was used by pilgrims travelling by sea to the shrine of St Ninian in Whithorn. 14 miles / 22 km from Wigtown     back to top

Kirkcudbright – Artists’ Town (say: Cur-'cooo-bree)
The National Trust for Scotland property Broughton House with its nationally important Robert Burns collection is in the attractive port of Kirkcudbright. Cross the threshold and enter the world and former home of well known Scottish artist E A Hornel of the ‘Glasgow Boys’. In the early 1900s 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 those summers. Today you can admire his paintings and those of his fellow artists throughout the house and gallery. - The famous mystery crime writer Dorothy L Sayers stayed regularly and wrote some of her best loved ‘Lord Peter Wimsey’ mysteries here; the book ‘The Five Red Herrings’ is set in Galloway and this town. There are many things to do in this pretty place, with interesting art galleries, museums (Stewartry Museum, Tollbooth Art Centre Museum), and shops, and its colourfully painted houses. Visit the Miniature Artist Jane Gibson RMS HS in her studio (she regularly exhibits in London), she is a member of the ‘Royal Society of Miniature Painters, Sculptors and Gravers’; studio in Kirkcudbright open once a week on Fridays or by appointment click here for more info. 20 miles / 32 km       back to top

many, many Castles  &  5 Historic Abbeys  &  30 Historic Scotland sites
Fiercely independent and in former times a strategically important place, Galloway had many castles, keeps and towerhouses to fend off invaders, as well as the five great churches and abbeys. Most of these are open to the public.

The castles of Dunskey, Carsluith, Cardoness, Threave, Caerlaverock, Sorbie Tower are amongst the most accessible, with the particular romantic settings of Dunskey perching on a cliff top west of Wigtown at Portpatrick and Threave on its own tiny island further east of Wigtown (where at the shore you ring the bell for the ferryman to take you over). Other castles in this area: Castle of St. John, Castle Kennedy, Lochinch Castle, Cruggleton Castle, and Maclellan's Castle.

The remains of the great cathedral churches and abbeys of Galloway are all open under the banner of Historic Scotland. These are (west to east) Glenluce Abbey, Whithorn Priory (abbey & cathedral church), Dundrennan Abbey, Sweetheart Abbey and Lincluden-Collegiate Church & Abbey.

You will be surprised to see that some of our castles are not ruins, in fact they are still inhabited: e.g. Isle of Whithorn Castle (built 1674), Rusko Castle (built 1500-1550) - impressive towers of stone. And Barholm Castle (built in the 1500s) with an atmosphere of late Medieval times has just been fully restored from a ruin in 2006; now exclusive use available of this romantic five-storey Scottish castle for a holiday live like a laird. (the history of The Renovation, the painting of the ceiling in the Great Hall, do a Virtual Tour: the owners story)

All 30 Historic Scotland properties & places open to the public in Dumfries & Galloway, looked after by Historic Scotland (it's the equivalent of English Heritage in Scotland):

No 1 - 10,  No 11 - 20,  No 21 - 30 (click on each to see all 30)

Historic Houses - Stately Homes - Country Houses - National Trust for Scotland / NTS

Dumfries House is not in Dumfries but in South Ayrshire (featured on Antiques Road Show several times) and was designed 250 years ago by renowned architect brothers John, Robert and James Adam; it is an imposing Palladian mansion built 1754-1760 for the 5th Earl of Dumfries (hence the name "Dumfries House") . Today the house is widely acknowledged as one of the most architecturally significant stately homes & country houses within the United Kingdom. It is internationally renowned for its unique collection of rococo furniture dating from the mid-1700s and the largest collection of Chippendale furniture worldwide. It was never open to visitors, until Prince Charles opened Dumfries House for the first time ever to the public on Friday 6th June 2008. Tours are available by pre- booking through the website www.dumfries-house.org.uk. No visitor access without a pre-booked ticket for joining a guided tour. See the newspaper article in 'The Daily Telegraph' 27 May 2011: click here to read the article with photos

Drumlanrig Castle  is one of the family seats of the Duke and Duchess of Buccleuch and Queensberry and ancient Douglas stronghold. So, if you want to visit a grand stately home with a celebrated art collection, it's the magnificent 'Pink Palace', Drumlanrig Castle, one of the finest examples of late 17th century Renaissance architecture in Scotland.

2011 season opening: Castle (inside: tour on your own or join a guided inside tour) 1 April  - 31 August (inclusive) daily 11 am - 4 pm;

Gardens and 90,000 acre Queensberry Country Estate  1 April - 30 September (inclusive) daily 10 am - 5 pm

Threave House and Garden (NTS = National Trust for Scotland) A Scottish Baronial House.  

2011 season:  Garden, Visitor & Countryside Centres, Restaurant, Gift Shop, Plant Centre and Glasshouses: 11 Feb to 31 Mar, Fri-Sun 10-5; 1 Apr to 31 Oct, daily 10-5; 1 Nov to 23 Dec, Fri-Sun 10-5. House: 1 Apr to 31 Oct Wed-Fri and Sun 11-3.30.
Visit to house by guided tour only and visitors are advised to book in advance.

Estate: all year, daily.

Broughton House and Garden (NTS) A fine 18th century artist's town house with a treasure trove of collections and a magically secret garden. House and Garden 2011: 1 Apr to 31 Oct, daily 12-5 (last entry 4.30)

Culzean Castle (NTS) The National Trust for Scotland's premier property. 2011 Opening: Castle: 1 Apr to 31 Oct, daily 10.30-5 (last entry 4).

Free Entry to all NTS properties for members of the English National Trust and members of the National Trust for Scotland.

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6000 years history:  Pre-historic Sites - Stone Circle - Chambered Cairns

This area of Scotland is steeped in history and tells a story stretching back over six thousand years. Galloway was a centre of prehistoric population, and at Cairn Holy there are a pair of burial chambers and cairns with gigantic standing stones, spectacular in their setting in the hills, dating from the Neolithic and Bronze age (3000-1800 B.C.). From this hillsite place you can see far out onto the sea, as far as the Isle of Man. (20 minutes from Wigtown, off the A75 near Carsluith)
There are several cup and ring marked rocks dating from the Bronze age (1800-1200 B.C.). These markings are particularly common in Galloway as well as in Argyll, but absent in other parts of Scotland and their purpose is unknown. One of those sites is Drumtroddan cup and ring marked rocks which also has nearby the stunningly tall Drumtroddan Standing Stones. 8 miles / 13 km, on B7021
One of the best preserved stone circles in Britain is Torhouse Stone Circle. It consists of a ring of 19 rounded granite boulders set around 3 larger boulders forming a threshold. Its central stones are in an alignment facing Cairnsmore-of-Fleet mountain (summer solstice sunrise) and the Fell of Barhullian (winter solstice sunset).
3 miles / 4.8 km, next to the B733       back to top

12 Galloway Gardens & several Nurseries
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 (west to east) Logan Royal Botanic Garden , Logan House Garden, Ardwell, Dunskey, Castle Kennedy Garden, Glenwhan; 4 gardens are found on the Machars peninsula on which Wigtown sits and these are Maggie's Garden at "Dunmore" in Wigtown, Galloway House Garden, Claymoddie Garden & Galloway Plants, Woodfall Gardens; - a bit further away Cally Gardens, Broughton House Garden in Kirkcudbright (NTS = National Trust), and Threave (NTS). – Not forgetting specialist nurseries like Elizabeth MacGregor who regularly exhibits her cottage plants at the world-famous RHS Tatton Park Flower Show where she regularly is awarded a Gold Medal !.

The nearest garden is in Wigtown itself, a gem of a private garden, "Maggie's at Dunmore"; open on Sat/Sun in the summer; there are 3 others on the Machars peninsula.

6 miles / 9.7 km to the nearest outside Wigtown        back to top

Harbour Villages:  Machars peninsula - Rhins peninsula
Here on the Machars peninsula are the three picturesque harbour villages of Garlieston (6 miles / 9.5 km), Isle of Whithorn (12 miles / 19 km), Port William (10 miles / 16 km), and also on the Rhins peninsula are three harbour villages: Portpatrick with fishing boats, romantic cliff top ruins of Dunskey Castle (30 miles / 48 km) and then Port Logan and Drummore (ca 40 miles / ca 60 km) not far from the Lighthouse at Mull of Galloway which is Scotland’s most southerly point and has very high cliffs and RSPB nature reserve with visitor centre and CCTV cameras to show the nesting birds.        back to top

Five lighthouses are on the west coast of the Rhins of Galloway peninsula at the Irish Sea with the Irish coast visible, the 3 tallest ones are from south to north: Mull of Galloway Lighthouse built in 1830 by Robert Stevenson, open to the public at weekends in the summer – this is as far south as you can go in Scotland without falling off the 260ft / 80m cliffs, views of the Isle of Man; 25 miles / 40 km further north Killantringan Lighthouse; after 15 miles / 24 km at the northern tip Corsewall Lighthouse which is not only a still fully functional lighthouse but now a hotel with restaurant (restaurant open to non-residents); the smaller ones are at Port Logan and at Portpatrick. - In Isle of Whithorn on the Machars peninsula is a distinctive white tower - the Cairn - which has been a mariner's landmark for close on two centuries.     back to top

Logan Fish Pond & Marine Life Centre
Fully restored Victorian Fish Larder (which served Logan House): Historic and unique tidal pool, created in a natural geological feature – a blow hole which formed some time during the last Ice Age, stocked with fish and other marine life. At Port Logan, close to the village where the TV series ‘2000 acres of Sky’ was filmed. 1 mile / 1.5 km from Logan Royal Botanic Garden. (ca 1 hr from Wigtown)

Gem Rock Museum
One of Scotland’s top tourist attractions with one of the finest privately owned collection of gemstones, crystals, minerals, gemstone objects d’art and fossils in Britain; only 20 minutes away in Creetown.         back to top

Castle Douglas - Food Town
Marketing itself as Scotland’s Food Town, Castle Douglas is not only home to many butchers shops but also to one specialising in handmade chocolates, fine deli’s and cafés – the main street has a number of shi-shi shops with unusual and interesting stock you won’t find anywhere else. 30 miles / 48 km

Smokehouses – Cheeses – Local Delicatessen
The nearest smokehouses which produce smoked products such as smoked salmon, other fish, as well as meat are just across the bay: Galloway Smokehouse and Marrbury Smokehouse with its café (Marrbury is supplier to Michelin-star restaurants and the world famous restaurant at Gleneagles). A good selection of delicatessen, including locally produced cheeses (from ewes-, goats-, cows-milk) and Marrbury products as well as Rowan Glen Yoghurts are available in Newton Stewart at Owens the Butchers where we buy their Award-winning Sausages "Best in south-west Scotland" for your breakfast. (6 miles / 9.5 km).         back to top

Galloway has many excellent golf courses including one on our doorstep :-

Wigtown and Bladnoch Golf Course is about 10 minutes walk from us. T +44 (0) 1988 403354 - open all year, no booking required: 9 holes, parkland, PAR 68, length 5462 yards; handicap certificates not required. (If you wish to play at the weekend, perhaps it's best to phone.)

Green Fees for Visitors 2011: 18 holes £22 (OAP's £17), 9 holes £13 (OAP's £11), Day Ticket £27, Week Ticket £66.

St Medan Golf Club near Monreith is Scotland's most southern golf course, well worth exploring being next to an inviting sandy beach with spectacular cliffs and unparalleled views of the open sea and Luce Bay, the Mull of Galloway & Lighthouse, the Isle of Man and on a very clear day, the Mountains of Mourne in Ireland (12.9 miles / 20 km). Full visitor information on their website.

There are 20 golf courses within one hour’s drive from Wigtown, 4 are less than 30 minutes drive. (Full details available, brochure in your bedroom info folder; golf-pass available from tourist information: 3-Round Pass from £80 = play on 3 courses over 5 consecutive days; 6-Round Pass from £120 = up to 6 rounds on any of the participating courses over 5 consecutive days. To buy your Golf Pass phone tourist information office on T 01387 245566; contact us if you want to know more).

We are about 1 hour drive south of the world-famous Turnberry golf course.

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Mountain Biking – The 7 Stanes: Glentrool - Kirroughtree
Some of the best and most exciting mountain bike trails in the world are right on our doorstep. The 7Stanes network consists of trails across Dumfries and Galloway, and draws thousands of cyclists to the region every year. The nearest trail (and arguably the best; - cyclists are even flying in ‘for the day’ from America!) is Kirroughtree, 8 miles away, with routes to suit all abilities and nearly 30 miles of singletrack in the Galloway Forest Park; also Glentrool near beautiful Loch Trool. The Galloway Forest Park has plenty of interesting waymarked walks too. 8 miles / 12.8 km from Wigtown.
Bikes can be hired at Kirroughtree, plenty of choice.            back to top

Wigtown is on a cycle route and there are a number of signposted routes in The Machars (the peninsula on which Wigtown sits). This area offers the space and pace to suit cyclists with unspoilt scenery, contrasting landscapes, a mild climate and a wealth of history and heritage to explore. The whole of Dumfries & Galloway is fast becoming one of the most cycle friendly places in the UK. The National Cycle Network traverses the region, taking in more than 130 miles / 210 km of stunning scenery, rugged coastline and vast forests. (maps in your bedroom info pack)   back to top

Galloway Hills (and Galloway Forest Park, the largest in Britain)
The last wilderness – these stunning hills may lack some of the drama of the Highlands but they also lack the huge number of people who flock there. The Galloway Hills are full of wildlife (Red Squirrels, Wild Goats, Red Deer, Golden Eagle, Red Kite), bleak moors, dotted with tranquil upland lochs, stunning views, and 200 square miles / 518 km² of solitude. There is something for everyone in this landscape which John Buchan so loved and which inspired his book ‘The 39 Steps'. Newton Stewart, the gateway to the hills, is 6 miles / 9.5 km from Wigtown. If you are into climbing there are lots of good crags to test your skills; see the Needlesports website for locations and routes. back to top

International Dark Sky Park - a UK first !

BIG NEWS: Galloway Forest Park is officially recognised as a Dark Sky Park. It's the only one in the UK; others are in the USA.

Dark Sky is where you see lots of stars, while cities today often have just black skies without the stars due to the amount of light pollution. More than 80% of the population never see a truly dark sky with millions of stars. Read about Dark Skies in this article from NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE.

Guided Walks – join the WalkFest (biggest walking festival in Southern Scotland)
in it's 10th year in 2012, a week of guided walks in May exploring the wild hills, rugged coastline and rolling countryside of Galloway, many are led by members of the Galloway Mountain Rescue Team: e.g. the Merrick 2,764 ft / 843 m highest of the Galloway Hills (strenuous walk), - walks for different abilities, some are a real challenge and aimed at the very fit outdoor enthusiast others for the average walker.  Programme & on-line booking www.newtonstewartwalkfest.co.uk  

dates for next year 2012:  Fri 11 - Thu 17 May 2012

Walk with a personal guide
If you enjoy walking but do not have the experience to use a compass: you may wish to join the Galloway Mountain Guides and Sandy White (phone 01556 504305, evenings), a qualified mountain leader. Also Map and Compass Workshops and Hill Navigation practice sessions for occasional / leisure walkers. A scheduled full day group walk out on the wild hills and remote lochs – or a private walk tailored to what you would like to do. Obviously, contact should be made well in advance before leaving home for Scotland.                    back to top

Walking - Hiking - Rambling:  join a group - guided walks
Information on walks is in your bedroom information pack; you are welcome to borrow our Ordnance Survey Maps. -
On Saturdays throughout the year the Wigtownshire Ramblers Group meets for day-long walks (phone 01671 402733, day or evenings). Stout walking boots essential plus rain gear, rucksack, packed lunch etc.

On Tuesdays, Apr-Sept, "Wigtown Talks and Walks" (talks Oct-Mar, walks Apr-Sep), a local Wigtown group meets informally for half-day or day-long walks in beautiful and interesting areas in the Machars (the peninsula an which Wigtown sits) and a bit further afield in Wigtownshire and Galloway; charge: £2 per walk for non-members (Note: participants walk entirely at their own risk; no dogs allowed on walks); an opportunity to meet friendly people, share your love of the outdoors, discover the area (car-sharing option to start of walk; exact meeting place will be confirmed: contact Arduaine B&B).  Remember to take water on the walks and also wet-weather gear, just in case. 

2011 walking programme is finalised mid-March 2011 (walks on Tuesdays 2-3x per month), see below  (walk with a small local group) full details can be obtained from Arduaine B&B for visitors who stay with us; car-sharing option.

Convention is for intending walkers to contact the walk leader the evening before the event in case of changes.

Take water and wet-weather gear.

Sorry, no dogs can be taken on the walks.

£3 for non-members

5 Apr - Cairnsmore of Fleet NNR's Inbyre Walk.   A gentle introduction, with spectacular views of the Clints of Dromore and Fleet railway viaduct. Surplus energy may be expended later in Cally Woods. Optional lunch in Gatehouse.  1.5m

Meet 10am Newton Stewart (6 miles from Wigtown)

19 Apr - Circuit of Loch Trool.   Beat the midges by doing this moderate walk early in the season. Optional lunch at Stroan Bridge Visitor Centre.  5.5 m

Meet 10am Newton Stewart

3 May - Knockman Wood and Garlies Castle.    A fairly easy walk through lovely woods and over moorland to reach a melancholy ruin.  5m

Meet 10am Newton Stewart

24 May - St Ninian's Cave and Picnic.   A very gentle stroll down Physgill Glen to the seaside. Bring lunch.   3m

Meet 10am Newton Stewart, or 10:30 Kidsdale car park, NX 431366

31 May - Wood of Cree.   A cracking wee walk in a super RSPB reserve. Bring your binoculars to spot the summer migrants!  Optional picnic lunch.   2.2m

Meet 10am Newton Stewart

7 Jun - Clachan of Myrton.   This is an easy walk via the Monreith Estate, with two optional diversions to ancient monuments. Bring lunch. Recommended visit to Monreith Animal Park after.   Up to 7m

Meet 9:30am Newton Stewart, or 10am at Back Bay car park, NX 364400

28 Jun - Ardwell Estate and Aldouran Glen.   Two short walks with short drive between. Bring lunch for seaside picnic. Optional visit afterwards to farm shop for cream tea - recommended.  1.5m and 2.5m

Meet 10am Newton Stewart, or 10:45am beach car park, NX 109454

5 Jul - Orchids Galore!    Our annual stroll in an SSSI to admire wild orchids in profusion.   0.5m

Meet 2pm approx 30 minutes drive from Wigtown

19 Jul - Port Logan Circular.  Scenic walk above location for 'Two Thousand Acres of Sky' TV-series, then fish pond or garden? Bring lunch.   3m

Meet 10am Newton Stewart, or 10:45 Port Logan.

2 Aug - Creetown to Cardoon Ponds.    An easy route there and back through lovely Balloch Glen. Optional lunch at the Gem Rock Museum.   3.3m

Meet 10am Newton Stewart

30 Aug - Glenamour to Kirroughtree.    A wooded walk to the visitor centre for halfway refreshment. Lunch optional.   5.5m

Meet 10am Glenamour car park, NX 440670

6 Sep - Members' Suggestions  (or:  The Glenkiln Sculptures.  An easy walk with a difference to a 'sculpture park' near Shawhead. See pieces by Henry Moore, Rodin and Epstein set in a remote, scenic glen. Involves 2 hours travel total there and back. Bring lunch.   4m

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Long Distance Footpath – The Southern Upland Way
Coast to coast, west to east in 212 miles / 340 km - much more challenging than the Highland Way!   Scotland's longest and arguably most dramatic and unspoiled Long Distance Route.                                      

This peninsula on which Wigtown sits, The Machars, has 40 miles / 64 km of coastline and secluded beaches with good swimming. Rigg Bay in Garlieston is 6 miles / 9.5 km from Wigtown, St Medans a sandy beach with towering cliffs on the west coast of the peninsula is about 10 miles / 16 km. Nearby Monreith has a lovely long sandy beach, as have Auchenmalg and Stairhaven. Other secluded spots can be found all around the coast. Sandy beaches are best visited at low tide as sometimes the large expanse of fine sand is only exposed during low tide. Snorkelling is great here at high tide with exceptionally good visibility. More beaches with great character are on the Rhins peninsula along Luce Bay, as well as at Port Logan among other places.           back to top


Talks in Wigtown 2011 / 2012 season
Oct-March, Tuesday afternoons, almost every week on natural history and other subjects. "Wigtown Talks and Walks" group (talks Oct-Mar, walks Apr-Sep)

- detailed programm out late August and then published here -

Talks Venue: Wigtown & Bladnoch Golf Club, everyone welcome

Time:   2:30 pm

Tickets available at the door (no pre-booking), everyone welcome:  £2

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Scottish History – King Robert the Bruce (1274-1329)
At Bruce’s Stone at the head of Loch Trool the battle of Glentrool (1307) is being commemorated where Robert the Bruce defeated the English; an important step towards Scottish independence. Find out more by reading up on a walk in the footsteps of Robert the Bruce round the "Cradle of Independence"

Scottish Poetry – Robert Burns - 250th anniversary year 2009
Robert Burns’ birthplace – cottage & museum in Alloway/Ayr at Burns National Heritage Park. Ellisland Farm, his farm, just a few miles outside Dumfries. Robert Burns Centre/Museum and mausoleum in Dumfries. Broughton House in Kirkcudbright holds a nationally important collection of his works. – We have a special map ‘Burns Heritage Trail’ for you to borrow.       back to top

Scottish Literature – John McNeillie = Ian Niall
John McNeillie (1916-2002), author of more than 40 books, wrote under the pen name of Ian Niall; he grew up here and his book ‘The Wigtown Ploughman’ is just one of his books set in this area.        back to top

Scottish Artist - Arts & Crafts - Charles Rennie Macintosh
A day trip to Helensburgh (3 hours) near Glasgow with a visit to the Hill House, the building designed and furnished by Macintosh (now open under the National Trust for Scotland) or to Glasgow with more arts & crafts attractions related to him (2 hours).     back to top

Day Trips further afield – Belfast – Glasgow – Edinburgh
Belfast 45-50 minutes drive to Stranraer or Cairnryan ferryport; as a foot passenger board the 10 a.m. (approx) departure ferry; then by open-top bus or taxi to city centre. Glasgow by train from Barrhill or Girvan or in 2 hours by car.
Edinburgh 3.5 hours drive by car.           back to top


-  Events 2011:   What's On : 

Festivals  -  Exhibitions  -  Talks  -  Guided Walks

in & near Wigtown  -  a selection

NOTE: Events/Dates in the past are taken off this list, to give a better overview

A pity if you have missed this fantastic event the press is raving about::

Fri 23 Sep - Sun 2 Oct 2011...... 10 days Wigtown Literary Book Festival www.wigtownbookfestival.com  

mark the dates for next year in your diary so that you don't miss out:

Fri 28 Sept 2012 - Sun 7 Oct 2012

For more events / What's On - - - see below:

Birdwatching River Bladnoch estuary at Wigtown Harbour

spot birds, such as: Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, Hen Harrier, Peregrine Falcon, Buzzard, Little Grebe, Curlew, Shoveler, Teal, Tufted Ducks, Mallards, Starlings, Cormorants, King Fisher, Tawny Owl, Widgeon, Pintail ducks, Lapwings; Mute Swans, Pintail Ducks, Shell Ducks, Red Shank, Heron, Golden Plover, and others.

From late Oct to early April the talked-about winter visitors amongst others: Whooper Swans from Iceland,1000s of Pink-footed Geese (= Anser brachyrhynchus), several hundred Barnacle Geese (= Branta leucopsis).

Wigtown Harbour Birdhide, free, open every day, never closed

on Wednesdays 2-4pm meet an expert with telescope in the bird hide

RSPB - Crook of Baldoon Guided Walk - nr Wigtown

Catch the tide with the Warden for an informative walk trough the reserve. Learn about the resident wildlife and our ongoing conservation work. Bring binoculars and walking boots or wellingtons.

Booking (not essential): Paul Tarling 01988 402130

Meet: RSPB Crook of Baldoon car park, DG8 9AQ, NX 445530

Thu 27 Oct , 12noon (until approx 2pm), approx £2.50 (less for RSPB members)

Autumn Colours Photography - nr Glentrool / Loch Trool

As part of Interantional Year of Forests, join photography enthusiasts Andrew Jarrott and Lucy Hadley on a walk through the Glentrool Oakwoods looking for the Autumn Colours.

Booking essential: Forestry Commission Scotland 01671 402420

Meet: Glentrool Visitor Centre, NX 372786

Thu 27 Oct, 1:30pm

Feeding Red Kites Open Day (RSPB)

See the wild Red Kites massing at the feeding station as they come to feed. RSPB staff will be on hand to show you these magnificent birds, provide information and answer questions about kites and how to help wildlife during the winter months.

Booking (not essential): Calum Murray 01556 670464

Meet: Bellymack Hill Farm, nr Laurieston, DG7 2PT, NX 688652

Sat 29 Oct, 1:30pm (to approx 4pm) (FREE)

RSPB - Crook of Baldoon Guided Walk - nr Wigtown

Hopefully, migrating geese have arrived by now from their Arctic breeding places.

Catch the tide with the Warden for an informative walk trough the reserve. Learn about the resident wildlife and our ongoing conservation work. Bring binoculars and walking boots or wellingtons.

Booking (not essential): Paul Tarling 01988 402130

Meet: RSPB Crook of Baldoon car park, DG8 9AQ, NX 445530

Sun 13 Nov, 12noon (until approx 2pm), approx £2.50 (less for RSPB members)

Sun 27 Nov, 12noon (until approx 2pm), approx £2.50 (less for RSPB members)

Sun 11 Dec, 12noon (until approx 2pm), approx £2.50 (less for RSPB members)

Red Kite Roost Watch (RSPB)

Join the RSPB officer to watch wild Red Kites as they come in to roost together, in woods of the Galloway Kite Trail. Help us to survey the poulation in Galloway by counting kites as they come in to roost.

Booking essential: Calum Murray 01556 670464

Meet: on the Galloway Kite Trail, detail given on booking

Sun 8 Jan 2012, 2:45pm (to approx 4:30pm) (FREE)

Sun 15 Jan 2012, 2:45pm (to approx 4:30pm) (FREE)

Wild Goose Chase March 2012

mostly FREE events, various locations across Dumfries and Galloway

Information: Elizabeth Tindal 01988 402401 or email Rangers@dumgal.gov.uk

1 - 31 March 2012

Bluebells Galore !   -   Millions of Bluebells flowering in the wild

from about early April until approx early June, Wigtownshire

Walk Fest the biggest walking festival in the South of Scotland:  Mountains, Hills or Coast; transport provided.   Qualified guides are mostly members of the Galloway Mountain Rescue Team. 

In it's 10th year, a week of guided walks exploring the wild hills, rugged coastline and rolling countryside of Galloway.

Fri 11 - Thu 17 May 2012 - it's the time of year with often the most sunshine !!!

programme & on-line booking www.newtonstewartwalkfest.co.uk

Scotland's Premier annual Art & Craft Event in Dumfries & Galloway

Art & Craft Open Studios Weekend 'Spring Fling' (throughout the region of Dumfries & Galloway): about 90 established artists & craftmakers open their private studios to the public, hugely popular - chance to buy with no sales pressure whatsoever. More info or download program: click here

3 days end of May / or early June 2012 (exact date to be confirmed)

(Bank Holiday traffic ?  Not here !  Our busiest main road the A75 Euroroute is much quieter than any minor road in the Yorkshire Dales!)

The 201st annual Wigtown Agricultural Show (rare breeds of sheep, cattle including Belted Galloways, Ayrshire cows, poultry show, alpacas, rare breeds of turkeys, food & crafts marquees, entertainment

-  HRH The Princess Royal  visited the show in 2011 to mark its 200th year.

Click here: www.wigtownshow.org.uk

Wed 1 Aug 2012 , 8am-5pm, Wigtown & Bladnoch Showground

programm with over 150 events is published approx between end of July and early/mid-Aug 2012 - - accommodation in Wigtown is now often snapped up before the programme is even published !   - -   do book early !


“A must-attend event in Scotland’s cultural calendar”Festival recommendation by The Times 

One of the “best autumn festivals in the world” Festival recommendation by the Telegraph.co.uk

Winner of the prestigious Scottish Thistle Award:  Best Event in Scotland

Set in the idyllic Galloway countryside, Wigtown's festival hosts some of the biggest names in books.

Wigtown Book Festival in Scotland’s National Book Town, 10 days:

Fri 28 Sept 2012 – Sun 7 Oct 2012    www.wigtownbookfestival.com

Combine days of exploring the area, National Trust houses & gardens, walks along the coast or in the hills  . . .   with visits to the festival !

Wigtownshire - "one of the 50 most authentic places on earth" (quote "BA High Life magazine").


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Eating Out - "tested" by our guests (small selection: there are many more)

(marked "GF" if gluten free diet "tried" by guests)

In Wigtown:

Bayview Restaurant, Bank St (evenings Fri/Sat/Sun, lunch Tue-Sun)

Café Rendevous (closed evenings), South Main St / Agnew Crescent

Ploughman (pub, restaurant) South Main St, T 01988 403236

ReadingLasses (café & bookshop day-time open; open for pre-booked dinner Fri + Sat evening), South Main St

In Bladnoch: (1 mile / 1.5 km from Wigtown)

Bladnoch Inn (pub, restaurant), T. 01988 402200 ("GF")

"The Machars": (our peninsula)

Clansman (restaurant), Port William, T. 01988 700344 ("GF")

Kirkinner Inn (pub with separate restaurant), Kirkinner, T. 01988 840252

Steam Packet Inn (pub, restaurant: several sea food dishes on menu), Isle of Whithorn, T. 01988 500334 ("GF")

In the area:

Café Cree (café), Newton Stewart

Campbell's (restaurant: many sea food dishes), Portpatrick, T. 01776 810314

Creebridge (restaurant), Newton Stewart, T. 01671 402121

Galloway Arms (pub, restaurant), Newton Stewart, T. 01671 402653

Indian Restaurant, Victoria St, Newton Stewart

L'Aperitif (Italian restaurant: well known chef Douglas Lisi), Stranraer, T. 01776 702991 (evenings Fri / Sat, closed Sun, lunch weekdays)

Selkirk Arms (restaurant: well known chef Chris Walker), Kirkcudbright, T. 01557 330209 ("GF")

Unicorn - Chinese Restaurant, Victoria St, Newton Stewart (T.01671 403939) ("GF")

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Church Services - Mass Times

Baptist Church, Wigtown: Sun 11 am, 7 pm (Minister Stephen McGarva, T. 01988 402635)

Church of Scotland, Wigtown Parish Church: Sun 10:00 am (Rev. Eric Boyle, T. 01988 402314)

Catholic Church: Sat 6 pm Wigtown "Sacred Heart", Sun 10 am Newton Stewart "Our Lady and St Ninian", Sun 12 noon Whithorn "St Martin and St Ninian" (Fr Ben Lodge CP, T. 01671 402182) -

annual diocesan pilgrimage with Mass at St Ninian's Cave at the sea shore:  Sun 28 August 2011, Mass at 4 pm

Episcopal Church, Challoch nr Newton Stewart: Sun 9 am (Holy Communion), Sun 10:30 am "Matins" on 1st Sunday of the month, on other Sundays Holy Communion  back to top



A.P. and R. Baker, Booksellers Wigtown (Archaeology & History & Art Books, - largest stockist in Scotland), free paper catalogue 10x year (catalogues now also on-line), they prefer to deal with their customers the traditional way to provide better customer service: please phone for books or a paper catalogue or information T. 01988 403348

The Bakehouse, dedicated to the literary arts live (24 miles / 38 km from Wigtown)

The Swallow Theatre (6 miles / 9.6 km)

The Galloway Meat Company, Organic Meat by Mail Order
Drive a Tank (5 miles / 8 km)
Cream o’ Galloway (Fair Trade Ice Cream makers, Organic Farm, Nature Walks)
The Bookshop, Wigtown
Self Catering Holiday Home , in Wigtown - a very nice one

Self Catering Castle luxurious Barholm Castle, £825 low season

Wigtown & Wigtown Bay


Wigtown & Wigtown Bay

Bladnoch Whisky Distillery

Bladnoch Whisky Distillery

 Bladnoch Single Malt Whisky

Bladnoch Single Malt Whisky
St Ninians Chapel

St Ninian's Chapel 14th C


Whithorn Priory

Whithorn Priory

Doorway Whithorn priory

Doorway Whithorn Priory
Torhouse Stone Circle

Torhouse Stone Circle
Cairnholy II, chambered burial cairn

Cairn Holy II - chambered burial cairn

Cairnholy I, views to Isle of Man

Cairn Holy I, views to Isle of Man

Boats at Garlieston

Boats, Garlieston Harbour
Lobster pots at Isle of Whithorn

Lobster Pots, Isle of Whithorn

Corsewall Lighthouse & restaurant

Corsewall Lighthouse & restaurant
White sands at Mossyard beach

White Sands, Mossyard Beach

Rocky coast at West Tarbet

Rocky Coast, West Tarbet
High cliffs at Mull of Galloway

High Cliffs, Mull of Galloway

Belted Galloway Cattle

"Belties", Belted Galloway Cattle

Highland Bull

Highland Bull
Springtime - Lambs on the road

Springtime, Lambs on the Road
Carsluith Castle & Marrbury Smokehouse

Carsluith Castle 16th C, Marrbury Smokehouse

Cardoness Castle

Cardoness Castle 15th C

Cairnsmore-of-Fleet mountain from Kirroughtree

Cairnsmore-of-Fleet 2331ft / 711m

from Kirroughtree Visitor Centre

Remote Loch

Remote Loch

Wall turrets at Mochrum Loch

Mochrum Loch, Wall Turrets



landscape photo on top of page © Shaun Bythell; all other text and photos copyright Barbara Lever.