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craigadam-mapDumfries & Galloway

In Dumfries & Galloway we feel privileged to be living amidst some of the most beautiful landscapes in Scotland, with over 200 miles of quiet, unspoilt coastline, rolling hills, vast moorlands, enormous forests and small enchanting woods, mountains, tranquil lochs and rivers.  We truly live in a land of  contrasting landscapes and unspoilt beauty –  making a trip to  enjoying the outdoors a pleasure whatever the weather.

The following is just a taster of what’s available to see, do and experience in and around Dumfries and Galloway:


 

Explore Galloway Forest Park

Explore the Galloway Forest Park, the largest forest park in Britain covering over 300 square miles of spectacular forest, moorland and lochs rising towards the rugged grandeur of the granite mountains. The Galloway Forest Park is teeming with wildlife. The red deer range, wild goat park, red squirrel feeding stations increase your chances of getting up close to nature. Birds of prey also make the forest their home, with buzzards a common sight, golden eagles more elusive and rare red kites, successfully introduced to the region in 2001.

Galloway Forest Park is also home to the UK’s first dark skies park, with some of the lowest levels of light pollution to be found anywhere in Europe.

 


 

Miles and miles of quiet beaches & gardens

Quiet sandy beaches, genuine warm welcomes, top class attractions and activities that make the most of the natural beauty surrounding them.

Glorious gardens that bask in the balmy air of the Gulf Stream, nature reserves, forest walks and cliff top views of swooping seabirds and castles to dream of.

 


 

Inspiring towns & villages

From getting arty in Kirkcudbright, The Artists’ Town with a fascinating artistic heritage and a thriving artists community today to food and drink shopping in the region’s Food Town of Castle Douglas – Dumfries and Galloway really has it all.

Check out the best of Scottish Painting at the Summer Exhibition – ‘Home Again’ featuring paintings by artists associated with Kirkcudbright, at the Town Hall and visit The Tolbooth for an intriguing insight.  Join in the Kirkcudbright Summer Festivities, with Children’s Festival, Medieval Fayre, parade day and Scottish nights each Thursday, culminating in the fabulous Tattoo in the shadow of the castle.

Revel in a meander around Castle Douglas, Dumfries & Galloway’s Food Town with its array of local family owned butchers, bakers and delicatessens and savour the delicious flavours!

Visit one of our many agricultural shows, or country fairs for an insight into country life, or take time out to enjoy traditional galas and festivals in our towns and villages throughout the region.

 


 

Dumfries

Dumfries is the largest town in Dumfries and Galloway. Situated on the banks of the River Nith, Dumfries plays host to a wide variety of activities and attractions.

Historically, Dumfries was at one time, home to Robert Burns who is buried at St Michaels. J.M Barrie was educated in Dumfries and Robert the Bruce killed the Red Comyn on the steps of Greyfriars Church in the town. Dumfries has a busy town centre with many well-known high street stores as well as small local shops.

Castle Douglas

Castle Douglas is a small town situated near the centre of Dumfries and Galloway, an ideal base for exploring the region.

The town has an interesting history, especially that of Threave Castle, the stronghold of the Black Douglases.

Castle Douglas has recently been launched as a Food Town and visitors can enjoy a variety of foods in Castle Douglas, whether Eating Out or merely buying quality food products.

 

Kirkcudbright

A beautiful ancient harbour town made famous by a group of Scottish artists called the “Glasgow boys” who made Kirkcudbright their base for retreating from Glasgow.

It is said that there is a particular quality of light that still makes Kirkcudbright a destination for artists.

It is a beautiful town just a few minutes drive from The Old Exchange that has an old high St full of artists galleries and craft shops.

Kippford

About 20 minutes drive along the Solway coast on route to New Abbey is the quaint sailing port of Kippford. This is a great place to come for lunch in one of the two pubs that overlook the bay.

There is a lovely walk along the jubilee footpath that is only one mile that takes you to the equally spectacular bay of Rockcliffe (we named two of our accommodations after these two beautiful coastal villages)

 

Rockcliffe

A beautiful coastal village close to Kippford, there is a small sandy beach with some rocky outcrops with rock pools and is a lovely place to walk or have a picnic on the beach. There is a really nice cafe at the side of the beach, and a Hotel for Dinner. The Hotel also has a galley.

The Ark is one of the smallest shops in the region, but true to its name – it seems to have 2 of everything.

Whithorn

A drive along the coast to the west of The Old Exchange takes you to many of the regions pettiest villages. Whithorn is one of these, it occupies the tip of the Wigtown Peninsula and is just a very pretty place to visit.

It is said St Ninian landed here on his arrival to Scotland. Make sure you have dinner at the pub called the Steam Packet Inn. A perfect place to finish touring on a warm summer evening.

 

New Abbey

At the heart of this spectacular village is Sweetheart Abbey, a ruin that was once the centre of Christianity in Scotland. It was where Dervogilla, wife of John Balliol King of Scotland (and founder of Balliol College Oxford) she lost her husband but kept his heart close to her at all time’s in a casket.

She was finally buried here with the casket. It is truly a romantic location and is often used for weddings. There is a lovely tearoom next door.

Wigtown

This is a charming town with a broad high street and lots of bookshops. There are bookshops that specialise in different topics alongside a selection of cafe’s and on a sunny day Wigtown is a lovely place to amble around.

I’m often founding browsing in the oldest bookshop where there are comfy armchairs and a plentiful supply of coffee. I also particularly enjoy lunch in the feminist bookshop across the road.

Testimonials

Richard Bath of Scotland on Sunday recently stayed at Craigadam, he was reviewing another establishment and was going to include Craigadam as an alternative but was so impressed with Craigadam that he changed his article to make it all about Celia and Richards magnificent establishment.  Here's what Richard had to say: CRAIGADAM has an enormous number of things to recommend it as a dining destination. There's the warm welcome of owners Richard and Celia Pickup, plus the fact that the majority of the food is organically grown by Richard and sold through their farm shop. Perhaps you might be lured by the fact that the price tag is by no means exorbitant, or by award-winning chef Celia's posh farmhouse comfort food. Or maybe you'll just like the traditional oak-panelled dining room, with its family paintings, views over the Dumfriesshire countryside It's communal dining, with one huge mahogany table seating up to 20 people, just one sitting and no menu. If the setting was a bit grander than most houses, it was nevertheless a bit like going around to friends for dinner, with drinks and chat in front of the roaring log fire in the drawing room beforehand, and another hour and a half of convivial blether over the food. The only other place where I've come across this eating format is Alta, the self-consciously fusty ski-only resort in Utah, which successfully uses it as a ploy to get its stiff-lipped skiers to build bonds which ensure they come back year after year. The downside is the possibility that you might find yourself seated next to someone fantastically boring or irritating. That wasn't my fate, though: as well as two friends who lived locally and had joined me for the evening, the other guests were: a fisherman and his wife, a Canadian over from Vancouver for some rough shooting, a couple just using Craigadam as a base for exploring the area and two Aussies from Brisbane who were tracing their ancestry through nearby churches. All were decent company, all had a tale or two of their day to tell. (Celia's comment - this is always the case, people often worry that they may sit next to someone dreadful, but find the opposite, that conversation is good and they share the most amazing experiences) Just 20 minutes west of Dumfries, Craigadam is a classic Dumfriesshire farmhouse: square, Georgian and obviously put up during the period when money from Hong Kong and the Far East flooded into south-west Scotland. The grounds have a sweeping, Capability Brown style to them, with fields studded with Highland cows and hedgerows infested with partridge. Behind the house is a working farm and 20,000 acres of shooting and stalking, which at this time of year guarantees guests. The farm and shooting have a huge influence on what appears on the plate in the evenings. As well as running the hotel and shoot, the Pickups have diversified into selling organic game and lamb, and have installed a smokery. The result is that virtually everything that's eaten comes from the farm and the shoot. This, in turn, means that the sort of dishes you're likely to be presented with include pheasant, partridge, pigeon, woodcock, venison, duck, rabbit and lamb, with pates and terrines a favourite. It is, in short, a genuine old-fashioned country house shooting hotel We started off with four huge chunks each of hot-smoked salmon off the nearby Solway Firth, which got Walter the fisherman all worked up ahead of his trip to the river Nith the next day.The huge portrait in the dining room of Celia as a child out shooting with her father shows that she is no novice when it comes to working with game and lamb. She grew up at Craigadam and has been cooking its produce since she was in her teens, a fact which became obvious when a main of lamb shank arrived. This is one of the easiest dishes to cook, but the quality of the meat stood out, while the sauce was nicely understated and the vegetables perfectly al dente. This wasn't flashy fine dining, just a sensible portion of decent comfort food to resuscitate guests who've been sightseeing, fishing or on the hills all day. We rounded off with that old farmhouse favourite of bread and butter pudding with a twist. Not only does Celia fry the bread in butter in old-school and dangerously calorific style, but rather than just using raisins or even soaking them in brandy, they're left overnight in a pot of rum. With either cream or proper home-made custard, the end result is a gloriously decadent and alcoholic version of my favourite pudding. If the portion sizes had been very sensible, and the wine very good (you choose your own bottle from a small but impressive and surprisingly inexpensive selection), we were nevertheless too keen on sinking into the sofas in the drawing room with coffee and some dainty petit fours to contemplate the usual Craigadam post-dinner ritual of an hour in the snooker room, which is also the site of a substantial whisky bar and an honesty box. Safe to say I'll leave that pleasure until the next time - because the one thing that's for sure is that there will be a next time.
 
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