The furthest you can go to the south west in Scotland is to the small ‘hammer-head’ shaped outcrop called the Rhins of Galloway just north of the English/Scots border. If you are looking for an interesting staycation then do explore its potential. The whole of the Rhins offers a stunning coastline which draws birdwatchers, walkers, campers, windsurfers who enjoy the more activity based holidays. For example, the Southern Upland way starts at Portpatrick and heads through the sparse Galloway countryside. The Galloway Hills around Glen Trool offer plenty of challenge to hillwalkers but are not as intimidating as any of the mountains of the Highlands. As part of the Galloway Forest, it is an area that can be explored by car, bike or by stopping and taking a walk.
Be warned, as it is Scotland the weather can vary but as this is the west coast the weather is influenced by the Gulf Stream and doesn’t usually have such severe winters (there can be exceptions!). But this influence means there are some wonderful gardens to explore, especially the Botanic Gardens near Port Logan with the Logan House Gardens right next door. Castle Kennedy Gardens are worth a visit too.
Local communities in this region have been working hard to improve and promote their
areas, which helps with attracting visitors as well as making life better for residents. Portpatrick have safeguarded their harbour which now brings many boat loving visitors along. The Mull of Galloway community bought the very tip of the Mull which includes a beautiful lighthouse. The Community Fund also built a visitor centre and a very popular and value-for-money cafe. A good place to retreat to when the inclement weather blows in! If you are in the area during August then look out for the Scottish Alternative Games at New Galloway. Visitors are made very welcome and you can compete in the Hurlin’ the Sheaf, the Tractor Pull (both a gents and ladies event) or just place a bet on the snail races. We were fortunate to have the most glorious summer day for our visit!
We found plenty of good places to eat but we sometimes made a point of looking online for reviews. We hope to make another visit in the future as we have only seen a small part of a region that isn’t far from us but offers such a contract to our part of the Borders. Go and explore before everyone else discovers it too!