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Gardens and Art in Dumfries & Galloway

Dumfries and Galloway in the south-west of Scotland is a true hidden gem for those wishing to explore the UK, it has all the qualities of destinations like the Lake District but none of the crowds. The scenery in this part of Scotland is truly stunning, from the bright green, rolling hills inland to the dramatic crags and cliff-lined vistas of the coastline. As well as containing three of Scotland’s National Scenic Areas and being a haven to wildlife, particularly birds, Dumfries and Galloway is also renowned for its association with art and literature. Furthermore, warmed by the Gulf Stream, the weather here is milder than many other parts of Scotland and creates the perfect climate for flowers to flourish. As a result, Dumfries and Galloway is home to some of Scotland’s most spectacular gardens.

Tour highlights can include:

  • Castle stay in 5* luxury accommodation
  • Michelin star dining
  • Sample the excellent seafood of the Dumfries and Galloway coast
  • Visit Scotland’s National Book Town
  • Visit the “Artists’ Town”
  • Visit Dumfries and Galloway’s best gardens
Weight: 
20

What's included...

Day 1 - Glasgow Arrival
After arriving in Glasgow we will have lunch in the city’s West End at renowned seafood restaurant, Crabshakk – the perfect way to whet our appetites for our trip to the coast. If time allows we will wonder the short distance to Kelvingrove Park and take a look around the Kelvingrove Museum and Gallery. Beginning our journey to Dumfries and Galloway we will drive to South Ayrshire where we will spend the night at Glenapp Castle. We will spend the rest of the day enjoying the beautiful gardens, luxury facilities and fine dining on offer at this enchanting 5* hotel.
Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow, Scotland
Day 2 - Portpatrick
After breakfast we will say farewell to Glenapp and drive into Dumfries and Galloway. Our first stop will be the Castle Kennedy Gardens where we will spend the day exploring the grounds: 75 acres of sculptured landscapes and magnificent avenues, romantically situated around the ruins of Castle Kennedy and surrounded by two lochs. From here it is a short drive to Knockinaam Lodge, Portpatrick where we will be staying for the next two nights. This exclusive country house hotel commands stunning views of the coast and its restaurant has been awarded a Michelin Star.
Portpatrick Harbour and Lighthouse, Dumfries & Galloway, Scotland
Day 3 - Portpatrick
This morning we will explore the picturesque harbour town of Portpatrick and sample some of Dumfries and Galloway’s famous seafood at Campbell’s restaurant. Campbell’s may not look like much from the outside but it enjoys a fantastic seafront location with fabulous views of the harbour and, more importantly, it is renowned for its fresh crab and lobster dishes. After lunch we will drive further down the coast to take a look around Logan Botanic Garden. The warming influence of the Gulf Stream has allowed gardeners in Logan to create an exotic paradise in sunny Scotland, growing plants from South and Central America, Southern Africa and Australasia that are rarely seen in the UK.
Logan Botanic Gardens, Dumfries & Galloway, Scotland
Day 4 - Isle of Whithorn & Wigtown
This morning we bid farewell to Portpatrick and continue on along the south-west corner of Scotland’s coast. Driving to Isle of Whithorn, we will spend the morning exploring St Ninian’s Cave and the cliffs around St Ninian’s Chapel. There is a pleasant walk through woodland and across the stony beachfront to the small sea cave which was supposedly used by St Ninian (Scotland’s first saint) as a place of solitude and retreat. Since the Middle Ages the cave has been a place of pilgrimage for Christians and many tokens, dedicated to lost loved ones, have been left inside by visitors. After taking in the breath-taking sea views from the cliffs by St Ninian’s Chapel we will have lunch in Isle of Whithorn’s Steampacket Inn. Another unassuming building, this harbour-side hotel restaurant is also famed for its brilliant fresh seafood. This afternoon we move on to Wigtown, Scotland’s National Book Town, and relax as we look around the town’s famous bookshops and cafés. This town is full of history, as a short walk to the atmospheric churchyard will attest, and plenty of information is on offer for those who want to learn. Dinner this evening will be in the fantastic Craft pub a relatively new addition to Wigtown, this trendy new eatery serves wonderful modern food, as well as a fantastic selection of beers and whiskeys, in a stylish setting. After dinner we’ll drive the short distance to Kirroughtree House, a refined country hotel at the southern edge of Galloway Forest Park and our home for the next two nights.
Isle of Whithorn, Dumfries & Galloway, Scotland
Day 5 - Kircudbright
Today we will be visiting Kirkcudbright, dubbed “the artists’ town” since it started attracting artists in the late 19th century. The picturesque harbour town now has a rich artistic heritage which is displayed in the several museums and galleries that populate Kirkcudbright. One of the finest of Kirkudbright’s attractions is Broughton House and Garden, a living museum to artist and member of the Glasgow Boys, E A Hornel. His former house, the building is now a monument to his life’s work, full of paintings by himself and his contemporaries and also containing, in his library, one of the largest collections of the works of Robert Burns. At the back of the house is a fantastic surprise; a small but staggeringly beautiful garden. This evening we will return to Kirroughtree House to dine in the hotel’s award-winning restaurant, which specialises in showcasing the very best of Dumfries and Galloway’s natural larder.
Wisteria in Broughton House Garden, Kircudbright, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland
Day 6 - Galloway Forest Park and Drumlanrig Castle
The start of our journey back to Glasgow will takes on a scenic drive through Galloway Forest Park, stopping at Clatteringshaws Loch along the way. While inside the park, surrounded by forested hills, wide lochs, cool-flowing rivers and with only wildlife for company, it is easy to feel part of the wilderness and let thoughts of the modern world outside melt away. Once out of the forest we continue on to Drumlanrig Castle, an imposing structure set in a beautiful country estate. We will take a private guided tour of the castle, learning about its 600-year history and discovering the world-renowned Buccleuch art collection, which includes pieces by Gainsborough and Rembrandt among others. This evening we will stay and dine in Crossbasket Castle before departing from Glasgow next day. Crossbasket Castle is a 5* exclusive luxury hotel just outside of the city with restaurants overseen by the legendary French chefs, Albert and Michel Roux.
Galloway Forest Park, Dumfries & Galloway, Scotland

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