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13th March 2020 Mark Campbell

How to spend 48 hours in Dumfries and Galloway

You will be surprised how much you can pack into 48 hours in Dumfries and Galloway. Take some inspiration from our weekend guide.

Day one

There are two distinct landscapes in Dumfries and Galloway – the rocky coastline and the gently undulating green fields inland, dotted as they are with fascinating towns and villages. To explore the best of both worlds, spend your first day following one of two road routes, the South West Coastal 300 or the Solway Coast Heritage Trail, to visit the beautiful villages, beaches and bays on the shoreline.

Along your journey, be sure to stop off at as many places as time allows. Kippford is three miles from Dalbeattie. It is a narrow village popular with the yachting fraternity. From here you can take the Jubilee footpath and walk to the neighbouring village of Rockcliffe.

Kippford is a small village along the Solway coast

Kippford is a small village along the Solway coast

Kirkcudbright is an attractive harbour town, six miles off the main A75 road. It features the ruins of 16th-century MacLellan’s Castle, the Tolbooth Art Centre and Harbour Cottage Gallery, all worth a visit. Kirkcudbright is also a great place to stop for lunch, with a tasty variety of eating places on offer.

Creetown enjoys cult status as it was the filming location for classic movie The Wicker Man. The former fishing village is also home to the award-winning Gem Rock Museum. Drummore is the most southerly village in Scotland. The village has stunning views from its beach and great waters for sailing. Here too, there are plenty of options for dining out. And don’t miss the small village of Port Logan, south of Stranraer. It packs in a lovely sandy beach, exotic gardens, a lighthouse and marine life centre.

Kirkcudbright features the ruins of 16th-century MacLellan’s Castle, the Tolbooth Art Centre and Harbour Cottage Gallery, all worth a visit

Day two

Inland on your second day, it would be tempting to be at one with nature again and spend your time exploring Galloway Forest Park and its wildlife. But if you want to see more human life, visit some of the larger towns and villages in the area.

Dumfries is rich with historical importance, with monuments and buildings devoted to the likes of Rabbie Burns and Robert the Bruce. But it is also the main centre for shopping, eating out and entertainment. If you’re travelling north-south by train, Lockerbie is the only stop in the region on the West Coast Main Line. The sandstone-rich town is also a great place to shop and eat out.

Moffat is just off the M74 motorway and offers many independent shops to browse round. It’s the home of Moffat Toffee and was also Europe’s first Dark Sky Town, with light pollution kept at a minimum. Newton Stewart was once a manufacturing centre for both cotton and carpets. Today it attracts more people for biking, hiking and angling. As a market town, it has a good range of local produce on offer, as well as offering household names and independents among its retailers.

New Galloway is the smallest royal burgh in Scotland. It is a good base for taking part in sports and leisure activities, being right next to both Loch Ken and Galloway Forest Park. And the village of Parton hosts the Scottish Alternative Games every August – the lowland version of the Highland Games.


Discover more of Dumfries and Galloway…

5 to try – Dumfries and Galloway attractions

5 to try – Dumfries and Galloway restaurants

5 to try – Dumfries and Galloway shops

5 to try – Dumfries and Galloway nightlife venues

5 to try – Dumfries and Galloway cultural attractions

Image credits: ©VisitScotland/Damian Shields/Kenny Lam/Paul Tomkins

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