The Attractions of South West Scotland
For Your Interest and Enjoyment

Return to : Dalbeattie Domain

[Introduction] [South Ayrshire] [Mull of Galloway] [Machars]
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Galloway Forest Park] [Kirkcudbright and Gatehouse] [Dalbeattie and Castle Douglas]
[Nithsdale and Dumfries] [Annandale and Eskdale]
[Dumfries & Galloway Golf Links] [Nature Reserves in Dumfries & Galloway]

The Mull of Galloway

The Mull of Galloway is at the south west tip of Scotland, probably one of the finest sea-scapes in this area. It is a place of contrasts; there is a western coast with high cliffs, with inland a rolling landscape that is bordered by raised beaches, sandy shores and the neck of flat land that links the Mull to the Galloway Hills. That neck is bounded by a couple of completely different bays. To the north is the anchorage of Loch Ryan, with the ports of Stranraer and Cairnryan, with a merchant and naval history stretching back before the Vikings. To the south is Luce Bay, a wide and shallow bay used by birds and holidaymakers, but with the dramatic Royal Air Force bombing range in the centre of its mouth.

Stranraer and Portpatrick are the two principal towns of the Mull, both having an interesting ferry port history, although Portpatrick is now a cheerful seaside town that looks as if it should be in Cornwall. Ferries leave from Cairnryan on Loch Ryan, in themselves a fine attraction for tourists. Along the coast on the east side of the Mull's 'hammer head' are some good beaches, notably at Sandhead and New England Bay. There are two excellent beaches on the west side, - Port Logan and the finest at Killintringan Bay near Black Rock Head lighthouse. The warmth of the Gulf Stream has allowed gardens to flourish; the best-known are the Rhododendron and Azalea collections of Castle Kennedy and Ardwell House, and Tropical collection of the Logan Botanic Gardens.

Quality Farm Holidays can offer Bed and Breakfast or Self-Catering at the following locations in or near the Mull of Galloway :-
Spoutwells, Stranraer, - Bed and Breakfast and Self-Catering.
Bankfield, Glenluce, - Bed and Breakfast.
Jacob's Ladder, Whauphill, - Bed and Breakfast.
Laggan Farm, Ballantrae, - Bed and Breakfast.
Laggan Stables, Ballantrae, - Self-Catering.

Long Distance Path :

Southern Uplands Way : This impressive long-distance path runs all the way from the Irish Sea at Portpatrick's harbour across the Scottish Borders to Cockburnspath on the North Sea. Quality Farm Holidays can offer lodgings for the dedicated walker at Stranraer, Glenluce, Bargrennan, Barrhill and St. John's Town of Dalry. You may plan a walking holiday around these stopovers with confidence.

Gardens and Nurseries :

Castle Kennedy : This hosts a remarkably fine collection of azaleas and rhododendrons, at their best in May-June. Also a ruined castle and an interesting country park. Telephone : 01776-702024.

Logan Botanic Gardens : Sub-tropical plants bloom here, in the shelter of its walled garden and the warmth of the Gulf Stream. Telephone : 01776-860231. Fax : 01776-860333.

Ardwell House and Gardens : This garden between Sandhead and Drummore has an excellent collection of Azaleas and Rhododendrons. Telephone : 01776-860227.

Meadowsweet Herbs : Soulseat Loch near Castle Kennedy is the home of an interesting and unusual display of herbs. The house and the gardens stand on the site of a mediaeval grange where Premonstratensian monks cultivated medical herbs. Meadowsweet and Alkanet grow freely there. Visiting by appointment. Telephone : 01776-820288.

Glenwhan Gardens and Nursery, Dunragit : Landscaped hillside gardens of 12 acres started in 1979. A plantsman's garden. Licenced tea rooms. Recommended to writer.
Telephone : 01581-400222. Fax : As phone.
E-mail : glenwhan@glenluce.org.uk
Website : http://www.glenluce.org.uk/glenwhan.htm

Soleburn Garden Centre, Leswalt : The largest garden centre in the west of Dumfries and Galloway. Extensive display. Childrens' play area, tearoom, parking, toilets.
Telephone : 01776-870644.


Museums and Monuments :

Kirkmadrine Stones, Sandhead : 5th century early Christian gravetones in glazed apse outside a church. Well signposted from Sandhead. Run by Historic Scotland. Free entry.

Stranraer Museum : Wigtownshire farming, folk life and archaeology.
Telephone : 01776-705088.

Castle of St. John, Stranraer : Late mediaeval tower house re-used as a Victorian prison. Interpretive displays.
Telephone : 01776-705088.

Dunskey Castle, nr. Portpatrick : 16th century castle ruins on the cliffs about a mile south of Portpatrick. Excellent views.

Lochnaw Castle, nr. Stranraer : Private estate with old tower-house, set in landscaped gardens with loch.


Holiday Beaches :

Killintringan Bay : Near Black Rock Head Lighthouse. Approach to car park steep. Sands clean and view excellent.
Sandhead : Extensive car park near beach. Beside the village of Sandhead. Sand reasonable.
Port Logan : In the bay of the port. Sand fairly clean. Parking nearby.
New England Bay : Sheltered clean beach. Parking adjacent. Possibly the best in terms of accessability and interest.


Other Attractions :

Logan Fish Pond & Marine Life Centre : Tidal pond and interpretation covering the species of fish in this area. Open March - October.
Telephone : 01776-860300.

Ryan Centre Swimming Pool, Stranraer : Swimming pool, sauna, sun beds, spa pool and games hall. Theatre and cafeteria. Parking adjacent. Open seven days a week. A good wet-weather holiday venue.
Telephone : 01776-703535.

Mull of Galloway : The lighthouse built by Telford is on the most southerly part of Scotland and offers extensive views. The cliff and the land near the lighthouse is an RSPB bird sanctuary.

The Waterloo Gallery, Stranraer : Paintings, mainly by local artists with fresh exhibitions every 5 - 6 weeks.
Telephone : 01776-702888.

For details of local golf courses go to Dumfries & Galloway Golf Links.
Go to Nature Reserves for details of local wildlife reserves.


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All text and images © 1999 Richard Edkins of Dalbeattie Internet.
Attractions of South West Scotland website started 17th January 1998.
Last updated 24th August 2004.