Galloway is a surprisingly unknown part of Scotland and is still remarkably unspoilt. It borders the northern shore of the Solway
Firth, famous for migrating birds and empty, rocky coves and beaches. This
is a fantastic area for cycling and walking holidays too - both along the coast and in the Galloway hills. There are miles of long-distance cycle tracks through Galloway and some superb off-road mountain bike tracks too. It is a bird-watchers paradise as the mild climate attracts numerous rare species, and the tidal marshes are wintering grounds for barnacle geese and many other waterfowl.
Dumfries & Galloway is the gateway to Scotland, and Dumfries itself was
home to Robert Burns. The main tourist towns are Castle Douglas, Port
Patrick, Newton Stewart, and Wigtown. Kirkcudbright was an
artists colony in the late 19th century and it is a picturesque place with
brightly painted houses - this is one of the most enchanting towns in
Scotland and is still home to many artists today. Wigtown is Scotland's book town - a great place for a if you
enjoy rumaging in secondhand book shops. Stranraer, in the far west corner of the region, is the port for ferries to Ireland, and the famous village of Gretna Green lies at the border with England.
There are plenty of historical sights to explore and prehistoric stones abound: - Whithorn, where St Ninian landed, with its fascinating archeological site; Dundrennan Abbey, where Mary Queen of Scots stayed before setting sail to England; the medieval ruins of Caerlaverock Castle; Sweetheart Abbey, which is one of Scotland's most poignant monastic ruins.
With a mild climate the gardens of Dumfries and Galloway are wonderful places to
visit on holiday. Castle Kennedy Gardens and are a must for
garden lovers - sub-tropical plants and tree-ferns flourish and you feel as though you are in an foreign land. It is Scotland's most exotic garden and the walled garden is a particular highlight of a visit. Threave Gardens, near , owned by the National Trust for Scotland, is a beautiful Victorian garden, with a wonderful restored kitchen garden.
Outdoor family holiday activities: walking, cycling and riding are very popular in Dumfries and Galloway. The many holiday homes and restored farm cottages available for rent make the perfect self-catering base for your family's vacation activities in Scotland.
Drumlanrig Castle, north of Dumfries, is a gorgeous pink sandstone palace, set in the Lowther Hills. Home of the Duke of Buccleuch, this impressive house with stunning furniture and paintings, is a major tourist attraction in the area and definitely worth a visit if you are staying the the south west of Scotland.
Galloway Forest Park covers 250 sq miles of magnificent terrain - you can walk the many trails surrounded by exceptionally lovely scenery. Lonely moorland, peat bog, hills, lochs and rivers make this an unforgettable part of Galloway to spend your vacation. Galloway Forest Park is one of only four 'Dark Sky Parks' in the western world and the only one in the UK. The great wilderness of the park has the darkest sky in Europe and stargazers flock here to experience it. Free of any light pollution, it provides a rare opportunity to experience the amazing views of the milky way, stars and planets. If you are looking for then there are plenty of excellent vacation cottages, hotels and bed & breakfasts available in Gallowy.