of Scotland, Galloway
the granite plug of an extinct volcano, stands ten miles off the
western shore of this land of lochs, moors and high hills in lowland
Scotland. Forested uplands cut by ravines form the hinterland
to the peninsula of The Rhins, and beneath its rocky spine are
gardens where the influence of the mild Gulf Stream allows subtropical
plants to grow.
with 19th-century lighthouse and castle. Its bluish granite is
source of stones for curling.
Walled garden, hawthorn avenue and wooded walk around 18th-century
Ardwell House. The Machars visible across Luce Bay.
Sandy bay featuring sea angling and swimming is overlooked
by revenue men's barracks of 1820s and by Auchenmalg to the north.
Gaelic for 'village on the shore'. It was 18th-century
smugglers' headquarters. River Stinchar's tidal creeks and lagoons
provide refuge for terns and other birds.
Remote Carrick Hills village by the Water of Gregg. Red-sandstone
church of 1891 now private house.
Cairnsmore of Fleet
Six-mile return walk to 2331ft summit was mentioned in
John Buchan's The Thirty-Nine Steps. Walk begins near Palnure.
Castle Kennedy Gardens
Gardens encompassing two castles were laid out by Field
Marshal Lord Stair and troops in 18th century. Features terraces,
lily pond and separate gardens of Stair family's Castle Lochinch.
Gem museum has an agate containing drop of water said to
be 2 million years old. Granite clock tower commemorates Queen
Victoria's 1897 Diamond Jubilee.
Popular resort, sea angling centre. Seven ancient kingdoms
can be seen from Mull of Galloway. Double Dykes crossing the mull
believed to be work of Picts.
Wooded 250 miles of
countryside topped by 2766ft Merrick. Lochs include Loch Trool
and Clatteringshaws Loch. Features include deer range, wild goat
park, forest trails among glens, waterfalls.
Galloway House Gardens
Laid out in 1740s as pleasure gardens for Galloway House,
they include rare handkerchief tree and heronry. Open daily.
Popular fishing centre protected by sea wall, with sea-angling
boats for hire. Village's brightly painted houses are best viewed
from bay road. Galloway House Gardens 1 mile south.
Sandy beaches, safe swimming, fishing all attract visitors.
Visit boatyard where wooden fishing boats are built, also distillery.
Killochan Castle, 16th century, lies 3 miles north-east.
Sixteenth-century Castle of Park to the west overlooks
village from across Water of Luce. Twelfth-century Cistercian
abbey ruins retain chapter house with vaulted ceiling, Gothic
Go by Water of Minnoch's foaming rapids to reach glen.
Road finishes above the waters of Loch Trool, where Bruce Stone
marks 1307 rout of English by Robert Bruce's men. For the energetic,
a path leads 4 miles to the summit of Merrick's 2766ft, highest
point in Southern Scotland.
Hilltop gardens where exotic trees and shrubs flourish
in Gulf Stream climate. Views over Luce Bay among rocky outcrops
and cascading waterfalls.
Isle of Whithorn
Busy though unspoiled sailing resort. St Ninian landed
on grassy peninsula (once the isle) in AD 395 on return from Rome.
Iron Age fort, ruined 13th-century chapel.
Tiny, isolated church where three of Britain's earliest
known inscribed Christian stones stand. Two, praising 5th-century
priests, were being used as gateposts.
Fourteenth-century castle with keep on western shore. It
was moved from an islet in loch flooded for hydroelectricity.
Logan Botanic Gardens
Gulf Stream keeps garden of sub-tropical trees and flowering
shrubs virtually frost-free. Note the avenue of Chusan palms.
Now a suburb of Newton Stewart, though far older. Ruined
medieval church, ivy covered; also sparious 19th-century church.
Churchyard yew is reputed to be 800 years old.
Village with safe, sandy beaches. Ruined Kirkmaiden chapel
contains local Maxwell family tombs, and plaque to drowned French
naval captain washed ashore 200 years ago. Gavin Maxwell otter
memorial on headland.
Mull of Galloway
Headland with 250ft cliffs topped by 1830 lighthouse. Views
from here of Lake District, Isle of Man and Ireland's Antrim Hills.
Obelisk stands above shell of cottage where Alexander Murray
was born in 1775. A self-taught shepherd boy, he became professor
of Oriental languages at Edinburgh University.
Small town with museum of local history including farmhouse
kitchen and blacksmith's forge. Cree Bridge, built in 1813, backed
by riverside gardens.
Palgowan Open Farm
A 7000 acre hill farm offering afternoon tours. Livestock
rearing, the making of 24 miles of dry-stone walls explained.
Livestock includes shaggy, long-horned Highland cattle, Blackface
Fifteenth-century castle with chesspiece tower, enlarged
in 1844 by Spencer Boyd. Mural by William Bell Scott follows curving
staircase. Pre-Raphaelite artists including Holman Hunt and Dante
Gabriel Rossetti painted here. Visits by appointment only.
Port Logan Fish Pond, excavated 1800, served as fresh fish
larder for Logan estate owners. Land-hungry feudal laird said
to have built up main road above house-top level to drive out
Colour-washed houses line promenade. Ferry link to Ireland
before 1862. Irish elopers were married in 17th-century church.
Dunskey Castle ruin nearby.
The Queen's Way
Scenic road alongside Galloway Forest Park linking New
Galloway and Newton Stewart commemorates Queen's Silver Jubilee
of 1977. Picnic spots, forest trails.
St Ninian's Cave
Cave where first Christian missionary to Scotland prayed
after arrival in AD 395. Crosses are carved into nearby rock.
Near loch is promontory site of herb garden, now featuring
100 species set in individual beds. Garden planted beside mounded
remains of Soulseat Abbey.
Seaside resort, ferry terminal for Lame, Northern Ireland.
Castle of St John now visitor centre. North West Castle, shaped
like a ship, was home of 18th-century polar explorer Sir John
Torhouse Stone Circle
Sixty-foot diameter Bronze Age circle. There are 19 stones
in the circle and three boulders set in line in the centre. It
is thought it may have been a burial site. Ruins of Baldoon Castle,
3 miles south-east, the setting for Sir Walter Scott's The Bride
Twelfth-century priory ruin, said to be built on site of
St Ninian's 5th-century church Candida Casa, or 'white house',
retains barrel-vaulted crypt, roofless nave. Site has been excavated
to reveal foundations of Viking trading settlement, and coins
and gaming pieces from earlier times.
Martyrs' Memorial Stone marks spot where two anti-Episcopalian
women who refused to recant their religion were, in 1685, tied
to stakes in River Bladnoch to drown in rising tide. Working distillery
of 1814, creamery, tiny museum.