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Suggestions for Dumfries and Galloway, Borders area

I am spending a week in the Dumfries and Galloway and Borders area (staying in Kircudbright and Kelso) and would appreciate any suggestions about off-the-beaten track places to go. I'm a particularly interested in short (5 miles or less) walks in the area. We plan to visit the obvious places, e.g., the ruined abbeys around Melrose and Kelso, Abbottsford, etc., but I'm interested in any quirky suggestions that anyone has. Thanks!

Posted by
2023 posts

The Dumfries House is in the area but not in the town of Dumfries and is well worth a visit. It was beautifully restored by Prince Charles and the furnishings are exquisite. Two original Chippendale pieces (large china cabinets) are in one of many well decorated rooms. There is a cafe on the property if you need to wait to visit the house. At the time we visited there was no need to book ahead but only about 18 people can tour at one time and the toured is guided. Each was was attended by a guard. The garden had not been developed at that time but is complete now.

Posted by
742 posts

The Buddhist temple at Eskdalemuir.
There's also a small stone circle about a half mile west of the village.
The Dalveen Pass is just above Thornhill.
Wanlockhead ,Scotland's highest village is close to Moniave.
Bit out of the way, but the Keilder Observatory do evening lectures and the hot chocolate is not bad either

Posted by
1176 posts

Check the Visit Scotland web site for properties and nature walks, etc. in the area. You may be able to buy an Exporer Pass on line that you can redeem at one of their listed sites. There is a Dark Skies area in Galloway Forest Park to look at the Milky Way. Lots of Castles and Cathedrals and Abbeys...way less crowded than the "Highlands".

Posted by
50 posts

We just returned last night from 2 weeks in Scotland and our first stop was Dumfries. Pretty little town, particularly over near the University. I liked Caerlaverock Castle. https://www.historicenvironment.scot/visit-a-place/places/caerlaverock-castle/

We also walked from Caerlaverock over to Wardlaw Hill, but that was because my husband was tracing his roots and is a Wardlaw! It is a beautiful view, though, if you want to walk the Wardlaw Walk (marked at the roadside entrance to Caelaverock)!!