A day out in Dumfries and Galloway

W e start out from the cottages and drive to Newton Stewart. At the A75 roundabout we turn right towards Dumfries and visit Creetown and the award winning Gem Rock Museum. Here we all enjoy the truly astonishing display of natural minerals in all shapes and sizes. We also visit the shop, lapidary exhibition, and cyber-cafe.

Carsluith and Kirroughtree Forest Park

Returning on the A75 towards Dumfries again and a short distance away we visit Carsluith Castle, with it's 'Smokehouse Cafe' and views over Wigtown Bay.

The Sawmill woodland walkBack on the A75 we turn right again and perhaps turn left and visit Kirroughtree Forest Park Visitor Centre (signposted), see the red squirrels feeding, and explore the forest trails. There is an excellent childrens play area here by the Visitor Centre.

Cairnholy ancient Cairn

Towards Dumfries again and take the left signposted turn a few miles further on, driving up into the hills to see Cairnholy Cairn, a 4,000 year old burial cairn set on a hilltop overlooking Wigtown Bay and here admire the views.

Kirkdale Victorian sawmill

Coming down the hill we see a sign to the Kirkdale Water Driven Sawmill and Nature Trail. kirkdale-sawmill.org.uk Here (open Mon.- Fri.) we are shown the old sawmill (1830's) restored to it's former glory, and take the nature trail up to the pond, along a wooded path, with many wild flowers and are lucky enough to see the Kingfisher and some Dippers hopping from stone to stone in the river.

Cairnholy Cairn

Leaving the sawmill and turning not back towards the A75 but branching left up the old road we proceed up into the hills again with magnificent views over the Solway Firth and come out on the A75 by Auchenlarie. Here we turn right and after a few hundred yards see the sign to Mossyard beach on the left.

MCS recommended beach at Mossyard

Turning left and over the cattle grids we proceed towards the farm and there take a sharp left down the hill to Mossyard beach car-park. (2008 Marine Conservation Society recommended - Highest water quality) Here we take our picnic and walk down to this charming beach, the children enjoy seeing the thousands of shells and paddling in the sea.

Mossyard

Mossyard Beach Dumfries and Galloway

Quiet secluded beach off the beaten track located off the A75 towards Gatehouse of Fleet. More beaches at Rigg Bay Garlieston and Monreith south of the cottages.

Kirroughtree

Kirroughtree Forest Park

Kirroughtree Forest Park - view to the Galloway Hills from the walking trail. There are now World Class mountain bike trails established here.