There are plenty of things to do and places to explore, here are a few ideas to get you started.
FAMILY DAYS OUT
All ages will enjoy sampling fantastic organic ice cream at Cream o Galloway. This is a great day out for the whole family –kids will love the adventure playground with go-karts and zip wire. There’s farm tours and nature walks and of course ice cream!
Drive a little further to Dumfries and let the kids burn off excess energy at Dalscone dalsconefarmfun.co.uk. Inside and out there are activities to keep young ones amused. Another option further out of town is Mabie Farm Park. Animals, an Indoor Playbarn, outdoor grass sledging, pedal go karts and a boating pond will easily fill a day’s activities.
Another good day with children is the Galloway Wildlife Conservation Park gallowaywildlife.org.uk in Kirkcudbright. You can pack a picnic and enjoy the fascinating inhabitants of this 27 acre wild animal conservation centre.
For keen cyclists, try the 7 stanes bike trails. These mountain bike centres in Forestry Commission Scotland forests around Dumfries and Galloway and the Borders offer fantastic challenges for all ages.
Don’t want to bring your bikes? Rent them from Wheelie Comfy Bikes in Whithorn.
Biking not your thing? There’s a variety of water and land activities at the Galloway Activity Centre www.lochken.co.uk. Or you can try one of the longest zip wires in the UK at Laggan Outdoor Activity centre.
GARDENS AND NATIONAL TRUST
Southwest Scotland has some amazing gardens and nurseries to visit and enjoy. Logan Botanic Garden is not to be missed. The almost sub-tropical climate allows southern hemisphere plants to flourish. Near Gatehouse of Fleet is Cally Gardens. A walled garden and nursery created by a nurseryman with the eye of an artist – and the spirit of an adventurer.
At Castle Douglas there is the National Trust for Scotland’s Threave Garden and Estate. This is a great one for families of all ages too. The gardens have children’s trail. And children enjoy making the short trip to explore the ruins of Threave Castle, which is on an island in the middle of a river. Summon the ferry by ringing the bell!
Choose a crystal clear sunny day for a drive to Scotland’s most southern tip, the Mull of Galloway. From here it is said you can see the 5 kingdoms – England, Ireland, Isle of Man, Scotland and Heaven! Children may enjoy a stop at the Logan Fish Pond, which was created from a blow hole roughly 10,000 years ago. In 1788, the then Laird of Logan House,Colonel Alister MCDouall came upon the idea to create a fish larder.
RELAX & STARGAZE
Just want to relax? Runa Barr, a qualified massage therapist, will help ease the knots away, visiting the holiday cottages for two guests, or inviting you to her chilled out therapy room just 10 minutes from the cottages.
Dumfries and Galloway boasts the UK’s only Dark Skies Park with plenty of events year round making use of the skies free from light pollution. Guests at Orchard Cottage don’t even need to go that far – you can take a blanket and head up onto the Hill Fort for your own great view of the nightsky.