Attractions

On this page we have listed some of the local towns and villages, along with things to see and do in the vicinity.


Bladnoch lies one mile south along the A714 from Wigtown, it has a pretty row of around forty houses but the most important buildings in the village by far straddle the main road at its southern end.

Here lies a tipplers heaven! After a welcome pint in ‘The Brig En‘’ (The Bridge End to non-Gallovidians), those partial to a fine malt can stroll over the road to Bladnoch Distillery, where adopted Scotsman Raymond Armstrong (a native of Northern Ireland) got back into whisky production in 2000.

The river here has only two miles to go before it reaches the sea, and a pleasant walk can be had upstream, on the distillery side along a good path.

Things to see and do around Bladnoch

Distillery. Scotland's most southerly distillery nestles on the green banks of the river Bladnoch (Tel: 01988 402605) . Click link to visit website. www.bladnoch.co.uk
Baldoon Castle. Built in the 16th century of which only one wall still remains standing. Sir Walter Scott's "The Bride of Lammermmor" is based on the true story of Janet Dalrymple who was forced to marry Baldoon heir David Dunbar.
Bridge Bladnoch. A two- span bridge built in 1866 by Stephenson.



Garlieston Locked away in a sandy cove, the scenic village of Garlieston, which despite its modest size has much to offer beyond its idyllic setting.

The earls’ former seat - Galloway House - still stands in isolated splendour in fine woodlands a mile south from the village, and its gardens are open to the public throughout the year.

Garlieston’s deep water facility did not go unnoticed in times of dire need. The gigantic concrete ‘Mulberry Harbours’ which anchored the 1944 Normandy landings were constructed and tested here, one section still visible out in Rig Bay. A small museum depicting the history of the Mulberrys is well worth a visit.

Things to see and do around Garlieston

Rigg Bay. The famous ‘Mulberry harbour’ or floating harbour for the World war two D-Day landings, was built and tested here. Remains of which can still be seen in the bay.
Galloway House. Woodland garden with a number of alternative walks through formally laid grounds. (Tel: 01988 600680). Click link to visit website. www.gallowayhousegardens.co.uk


The Isle of Whithorn, or “The Isle” as it is locally known. Where is the island alluded to in the title? Therein lies a story.

Prior to the 19th century there was indeed an Isle of Whithorn, the name referring to the high land behind the attractive quayside row wherein stands the Steampacket Inn. Then only a shingle sand bar - covered but briefly by the sea at high water - connected the island to the mainland .

The original isle’s seclusion was much prized in ancient times, as any visit to this evocative place will inform you. On a clear day ‘The Five Kingdoms’ are visible from the isle’s promontory. Scotland, England, the Isle of Man, Ireland and The Kingdom of Heaven complete the all-round panorama.

Here stands St Ninian’s chapel, holy cell of the travelling saint who first brought Christianity to Scotland in the 4th century.

Things to see and do around The Isle of Whithorn

St Ninian's Chapel. Greatly restored chapel to St Ninian was built in the 14th century, although excavations have revealed traces of a previous chapel on the same site dating from the 12th century.
“Solway Harvester”. Memorial made from Galloway granite to the seven men who died when their boat went down eleven miles off the coast of the Isle Of Man on January 11th 2000.
Isle of Whithorn Castle has the distinction of being probably one of the last tower houses built in Scotland.



Monreith

Things to see and do around Monreith

Kirkmaiden Church. Secluded church and graveyard which contains a plaque to a drowned French naval captain washed ashore 200 years ago.
Carved bronze Otter
. Memorial to author Gavin Maxwell who died in 1969. Sits on headland overlooking Kirkmaiden chapel and St. Medan's golf course.
Monreith Animal World. Set in 12 acres of scenic countryside with a variety of animals and birds. (Tel: 01988 700217)
Monreith has three fine beaches all within a short distance of each other.
St. Medan Golf Cub. Scotlands most southerly 9 hole golf course with 18 tees. (Tel: 01988 700 358) Click link to visit website. www.stmedangolfclub.com



Newton Stewart The town grew up principally as a mill and market town in the 18th and 19th centuries, but like most Scottish mill towns, the looms fell silent years ago.

The market still remains at the south side of the town - worth a visit if you would like to see some of Scotland’s finest stock going under the hammer.

Newton Stewart has other claims to fame. It is a border town, forming Wigtownshire’s outpost on the Cree’s right bank before crossing the old bridge below the clock tower into the county of Kirkudbrightshire.

Together the two counties form the ancient province of Galloway, which Scottish kings and queens could depend upon for some of the country’s best fighting men.

The town is an excellent starting off point for fishing, cycling and hill walking or climbing. A range of mountain bike trails thread through the forests above the salmon and trout rich Cree, while the Galloway Hills are only 15 minutes away. There a huge expanse of mountain and moor lies ready to be explored.

Things to see and do around Newton Stewart

Newton Stewart Angling Association
. Permits available (Tel:01671 401127). Click link to visit website.www.troutandsalmon.net
Wood Of Cree Nature Reserve. RSPB Largest ancient woodland in southern Scotland, birds include Pied Flycatchers, Redstarts & Wood Warblers. (Tel:01671 402861).
Kirroughtree Visitors Centre. Waymarked trails and cycle routes. Please check for opening times. (Tel:01671 402165). Click link to visit website. www.forestry.go.uk/gallowayforestpark
Glentrool/Bruce's Stone.12 miles north of Newton Stewart, climb Merrick, the highest peak in southern Scotland or walk the Southern Upland Way. (Tel: 01671 402420)

Portwilliam Despite its small size (population around 500) Portwilliam still manages an attractive little square, Maxwell Square, named after the family upon whose lands the village was originally built. A gaggle of small shops, a restaurant and a hotel huddle round it for mutual protection against salty squalls, while a tennis court, bowling green and football pitch lie above the seafront.

The raised beach and adjacent heights were much favoured as a place of settlement in ancient times, and the coastline is littered with iron age, bronze age and early religious sites.

Only a mile or so inland several woodland walks around Monrieth house offer a pleasing alternative to shoreline pursuits, while Drumtroddan’s giant standing stones still stand as proud testaments to a time long before Scotland was forged.

Things to see and do around Portwilliam

Chapel Finian. 10th - 11th century chapel on the shore of Luce Bay. It was probably used by pilgrims on their way to St Ninian's shrine.
Drumtroddan Standing Stones.The setting of three standing stone placed some three or four thousand years ago.
Drumtroddan Cup and Ring Stones. This part of Scotland has a considerable number of sites with cup and ring marked stones. Drumtroddan has some of the more spectacular examples.
"Time to stand and stare”. Statue by Andrew Brown situated on harbour front. Created by Andrew as a reflection of local life.
Barsalloch Fort Set on a raised beach which was eroded by the sea after the Ice Age, Barsalloch Fort was a D-shaped fortified farmstead.




Whithorn Few towns of a comparable size in Scotland, let alone Galloway can lay claim to having a historical heritage as rich as Whithorn’s.

Kings and queens of Scotland long regarded Whithorn as one of their ‘must visit’ destinations on pilgrimages round the country, the bones and priory of St Ninian, that bringer of Christianity to what the Romans then called Caledonia, awaiting the royal train’s arrival.

Whithorn itself is a fine example of a small Scottish town, laid out in the traditional linear pattern. Almost a mile long from north to south.

An excellent centre for exploring the southern Machars, Whithorn’s other attractions include the house where Jeanie Donnan, a Galloway poet was born and Rispain Camp, one of the finest earthworks in all Scotland, built by the Romans as a defensive outpost during their brief sojourn here.

Things to see and do around Whithorn

Whithorn.com. Comprehensive website of Whithorn, its surroundings and history. Click link to visit website.www.whithorn.com
Whithorn Priory
. The site of the first Christian church built by St. Ninian in Scotland in 397 A.D
St Ninian's Cave
. Thought to be where St. Ninian retired for prayer and meditation.
Swallow Theatre. From live drama to poetry reading. Click link to visit website. www.swallowtheatre.com
Clay Target Shooting. For Skeet & Sporting clay target shooting. A real blast! (Tel: 01988 500032). Click on link to visit website www.silverfoxclaytraps.com



Wigtown Wigtown is a traditional market town, but its layout sets it apart from almost anywhere else in the country. Its mediaeval square still retains its original wine-bottle shape, distinguishing the town from most of its peers, which tend towards a linear form.

It reeks of history and legend, with associations to pre-Reformation Scotland, the Wars of Independence and the Killing Times, when die-hard Covenanters died for their faith under the sword tips of Charles 2nd’s revenge.

Down on the atmospheric reclaimed salt marsh, the Galloway Hills rearing up to the east, lies the supposed site of the drowning of ‘The Wigtown Martyrs’, two local women who refused to place king above Christ and perished for their pains.

Those of all faiths and none cannot help but be moved by an ancient sense of place here, the granite memorial stone a bleak reminder of cruel times.

Today Wigtown is Scotland’s National Book Town, and boasts numerous book shops and associated craft businesses - so even in inclement weather, there’s plenty of literary Aladdin’s caves to while away a few hours.

Things to see and do around Wigtown

County Buildings
. 1862 Impressive Victorian Gothic building and former County Head Quarters for Wigtownshire.
Torhouse Stone Circle
. Consisting of nineteen stones, this Bronze age circle is the largest of its type Scotland.
Windyhill Martyrs Monument. Commemorates two 17th century Covenanters who died for their christian beliefs.
Martyrs Stake. The approximate site of the drowning of the two 17th century women Covenanters.
Parish Churchyard. Tombstones of Covenanters including the table-tomb of martyr Margaret Wilson.
Harbour. Small quayed basin on bank of the Cree estuary constucted in 1822. Used by commercial sailing ships until the late 19th century.
Off Road Driving Centre. Using Land Rover Discoveries with instruction (Tel: 01988 402213). Click link to visit website. www.wigtownoffroad.co.uk
Wigtown Bay Nature Reserve. Largest local nature reserve in Britain with thousands of wintering water birds (Tel: 01988 402401) Click link to visit website. www.dgcommunity.net/wblnr
Ospreys. Live CCTV link gives you an unprecedented view of Osprey life. The County Building offers superb views of Wigtown Bay. Click link to visit website. www.dgcommunity.net/osprey

Other places of interest
Barnbarroch Whauphill
Sorbie Tower Sorbie
Barrhobble church Mochrum
Rispain Camp Whithorn
Barrsalloch Fort
Mull of Galloway Lighthouse
Logan Botanic Gardens
Castle Kennedy Gardens Stranraer