Please sign in to post.

Quaint Village around Dumfries area?

We are driving through England on the way to Northern Ireland during part of our vacation this fall. My husband has tee times booked for Saturday (Royal Portrush) and Sunday (Royal County Down) in Northern Ireland. We will be staying in St. Albans on Thursday night after our arrival... we will need to get somewhere close to the Cairnryan ferry area in Scotland on Friday night so we can crossover to Larne early on Saturday morning.

Rick Steves' books do not have much to say about the whole area of Dumfries & Galloway... Since the drive from St. Albans to that area of Scotland is about 5 hours, we have a couple of options. We can either sightsee places on the way up and look for bare bones accommodation near the ferry, or we can drive up to Scotland and look for a quaint village to spend the night and have a little fun there. Since we have been through much of England (as recently as last year), I would be more inclined to opt for a stay in a cute Scottish village.

We are looking for a nice little picturesque village to stay in that is not too far from the ferry. All suggestions are welcome! Thanks!

Posted by
4740 posts


The drive from St Albans to Cairnryan is likely to take 7 hours with no stops and no traffic delays. I would budget 9 hours for this mammoth journey including rest stops and lunch break - sorry, but no way it can be done in 5 hours. So, this is likely to be a full day of travel with little time for looking at much en route.

The D&G area is worth a look - the countryside is great but without the scale and magnificence of the Highlands. I would recommend staying somewhere like Port William, Portpatrick or Gatehouse of Fleet, although the latter is c an hour short of the ferry terminal, which may give you a little longer to look round this gorgeous area.

Depending on how late in the year you are there, look out for deer rutting on the hillsides. The Whithorn peninsula is a nice drive, but you may have had enough driving! We had a week in D&G in October and barely scratched the surface as there is lots to do! We rented a cottage but try trip advisor for recommendations.

Is the ferry booked? You can get to Belfast from Liverpool, which is a much shorter drive from St Albans and then only 40 minutes from Belfast, but the ferry is longer.

Posted by
5559 posts

I find that viamichelin indicates that this trip is 7.5 hours. Maybe you should think about this a bit differently. What if you took the train to Carlisle and picked up a car there? You can catch an 8:30 train and be in Carlisle before lunch. Then you can spend the afternoon driving to the Ferry or stop in one of the recommended places. This might be less stressful.