First Impressions of Dumfries & Galloway


Despite being a mere 80 miles from my home town in Scotland, this past week I visited the Scottish town of Dumfries (and the surrounding region) for the first time. And I must admit, I am ashamed that it has taken me this long to get there! The region has a long Scottish history and a quiet countryside charm that consumes the surrounding areas of the town that make it the perfect day trip or weekend destination for those based in the Central Belt near Edinburgh or Glasgow.

The Forgotten Town & Region

The region of Dumfries & Galloway is one that is often forgotten or missed out by tourists coming to Scotland. Situated in the South West of the country, Dumfries & Galloway is a little bit out of the way for people driving up from England as it involves taking a turn off from the main motorways that go up to Edinburgh, Glasgow, and the Scottish Highlands, i.e. the more well known areas of Scotland. In my personal opinion it is definitely worth taking that turn off into the region and making some time to visit. One of the main benefits being that much of the city and surrounding regional countryside has been very well preserved and is not over run by tourists. It’s a city and a destination in Scotland that suits people looking to explore without the huge tourist crowds or price tags. You get a chance to see and experience Scotland from more of a locals perspective.

Outdoor Sports & Activities

The Dumfries & Galloway countryside is an ideal location for fans of outdoor sports and adventure. The landscape is so varied – with flat plains, rolling hills, and beautiful coastline that you have the perfect landscape for a variety of outdoor sports and adventure sport activities.

The Laggan Outdoor Activity Centre was a particular highlight for me personally. They offer outdoor adventure activities such as the longest zip wire in Scotland, Segway driving, Zorbing (mountain balling), glass sledging, archery, clay pigeon shooting, mountain boarding, and more. However, as someone who always travels on a budget what appealed to me most was how affordable they offered these fast action activities. They are honestly the cheapest adventure sports company I have found in Scotland so far and I plan on making a return soon in the summer. For example, to go mountain balling (zorbing) at Laggan it is just £12 per person. This is an activity that would typically cost you around £25 – £45 per person in Scotland.

However, if adventure sports is not your thing you may be more interested in other outdoor sports such as golf. For keen golfers or those looking to learn, Dumfries & Galloway also has over 30 golf courses to choose from including some which are top class PGA standard. We stayed at the Aston Hotel in Dumfries which happens to offer particularly budget friendly golfing holiday deals. Although golf isn’t my personal cup of tea, I can definitely recommend a good hotel and the Aston Hotel in Dumfries is certainly that! Their customer service really was second to none and it really made them stand out.

A Huge Variety of Things to do…

I think what I loved most about Dumfries & Galloway was that even if the weather was bad (which happens a lot in Scotland), there was still lots to see and do. Top indoor attractions include the Camera Obscura in Dumfries which gave us an unusual way of viewing the Dumfries townscape, and also the Cream O’ Galloway farm where you have the opportunity to make your own ice cream from local produce. Cream O’ Galloway farm also offers you the opportunity to tour the farm and has an incredible indoor & outdoor play area which I must admit brought out the big kid in me!

Overall the experience I had touring Dumfries & Galloway these past few days was highly positive. The local people and local business owners in particular seemed very passionate about their local area which is always nice to see. Certainly in terms of a destination with a huge range of things to do that suit all ages there is not really anywhere better that I have come across in Scotland or indeed in the UK, and for that reason I hope that if you ever come to Scotland that you visit Dumfries & Galloway on your way.

2 Responses to “First Impressions of Dumfries & Galloway”

  1. Ben says:

    Love this article jane! I like how you always bring to life areas that we don’t usually see advertised as much as the tourist hot spots!

  2. Kay says:

    I’ve never been to Dumfries and Galloway either Jane!

    I’m sold on the much cheapness activities at the Laggan Outdoor Centre… £12 for zorbing? That’s only a couple of pints and a packet of nuts!

    Something else for the ever growing list…


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