About this book
Written by resident experts, this new, thoroughly updated second edition of Bradt’s Dumfries and Galloway remains the only full-blown guide to this increasingly popular southwest corner of Scotland. The region is covered in depth, from Eskdale in the east to Scotland’s southern tip at the Mull of Galloway, via Annandale, Nithsdale, Dumfries, The Stewartry, The Machars and Moors, and the Rhins. Lively descriptions, historical anecdotes and enthusiastic writing combine with hand-picked accommodation recommendations to reveal one of Scotland’s best kept secrets.
New attractions and features covered in this edition include Kirkcudbright Galleries, an increased focus on wildlife and birdwatching, and a round-up of the many distilleries and breweries in the region. There are also specialist contributions covering everything from smoking fish and meat, creating a Himalayan garden in the hills of the Southern Uplands, conservation along the Solway coast, and the sport of curling. New walks and a good range of hotels and restaurants not previously included have also been added.
Dumfries and Galloway is proving ever-more alluring to discerning visitors in search of grand views, peace and isolation, bustling harbourside towns, craft shops and galleries, cafes and restaurants, mountains and coast, wildlife and outdoor pursuits. all the ingredients for a successful UK break. Even the weather can defy expectation, for the far west is warmed by the Gulf Stream and gardens here are replete with palm trees and southern hemisphere plants. You can be at Scotland’s highest village in the morning, on a deserted sandy beach in the afternoon, and in Europe’s first Dark Sky Park, gazing at the stars, in the evening. Wildlife lovers will also be in their element as all of Scotland’s ‘big five’ iconic species can be seen: golden eagle, red squirrel, harbour seal, red deer and European otter. In the surrounding waters look out for minke whales, porpoise and dolphins, while Caerlaverock at the eastern end of the region plays host each year to the staggering annual spectacle of thousands of barnacle geese settling on the WWT reserve.
No matter your interest, Bradt’s Dumfries and Galloway is an ideal companion for a successful trip.
About the author
Donald Greig first came to Dumfries and Galloway at just five weeks old on a family holiday. Many more holidays in the area followed before he moved to the region permanently in 2013. A travel publisher and writer by trade, he has worked for guidebook companies in the UK and Australia and for seven years prior to returning to Scotland was Managing Director of Bradt Travel Guides. He has also written for a range of national publications, including Scotland on Sunday and Independent on Sunday newspapers, Wanderlust, the UK’s leading travel magazine, BBC Countryfile magazine, and The List magazine. Some of his earliest memories are from Dumfries and Galloway: bluebells in spring in Carstramon wood at Gatehouse-of-Fleet, holidays spent on the beach at Sandgreen and Rockcliffe, fish and chips by the harbour at Kirkcudbright. simple pleasures which continue to attract visitors today as much as they did 40 years ago. ‘Dumfries and Galloway has never lost its appeal for me’ he says; ‘I still find the area’s mix of landscapes, distinctive cultural identity and pace of life hugely alluring and I never tire of exploring what’s on my doorstep.’ Based in the Southern Uplands, he and his partner and co-author, Darren Flint, have also written two walking guides to the region and love welcoming guests to their small B&B, Summerlea House (www.moffatbedandbreakfast.co.uk), in their home in Moffat’s conservation area.
Darren Flint is a relative newcomer to the area, settling in Dumfries and Galloway in 2013, yet he was hooked from the outset. Now based in Moffat, he divides his time between managing local environmental, conservation and community projects, writing and, with his partner and co-author Donald Greig, running their small B&B, Summerlea House (www.moffatbedandbreakfast.co.uk). Since 2014 he has been Project Officer with the award-winning Castle Loch Lochmaben Community Trust, a Site of Scientific Interest, Ramsar Site and Special Protected Area of national and international importance for its birdlife. He has also run Moffat Community Nature Reserve and continues to work as Community Development Officer for the parish of Kirkmichael near Dumfries, as well as helping to run the River Annan Trust. He is an avid naturalist with a particular fascination for butterflies and, along with getting his hands dirty with practical habitat work out in the field, he enjoys inspiring the next generation with a passion for the outdoors and protecting its wildlife. He likes nothing better than donning his walking boots and uncovering those hidden corners we all dream about.
Going Slow in Dumfries & Galloway
Some practical matters, Making the most of Slow Dumfries & Galloway, Some historical perspectives
ANNANDALE & ESKDALE
Getting around, Upper Annandale: Moffat & the north, Mid Annandale, Lower Annandale, Eskdale
Getting around, Upper Nithsdale, Mid Nithsdale, Lower Nithsdale
DUMFRIES & THE NITH ESTUARY
Getting around, Dumfries, Nith Estuary: east side, Nith Estuary: west side
Getting around, The Glenkens & Loch Ken, Galloway Forest Park, Castle Douglas & the East Stewartry, Gatehouse of Fleet & the West Stewartry, Kirkcudbright & the southern coast
THE MACHARS & THE MOORS
Getting around, Newton Stewart & around, The Moors, Wigtown, Whithorn, Stairhaven to Port William, Port William & Monreith
Getting around, Glenluce & the east, Stranraer, The North Rhins: east of Loch Ryan, The North Rhins: west of Loch Ryan, Portpatrick, The South Rhins, The Mull of Galloway