Feel the history in every step

by Sara Barton, 16th June 2022
Dumfries & Galloway Insider | Jane Morrison Ross | Garlieston Beach
Feel the history in every step
Jane Morrison Ross discusses her love of the South and how she encourages visitors to support local.

Jane Morrison Ross, CEO of the South of Scotland Enterprise (SOSE) works across the south of Scotland from the Borders to Dumfries and Galloway. In her first year in the job she has traversed the land from Eyemouth to Stranraer and everywhere in between. She admits to a particular passion for the area around Whithorn.

“This is one of the areas of Scotland that I love more than any other. It’s unique. I don’t think there are many places where you feel as rooted in history. This is the cradle of Christianity. The heritage here is just incredible.”  Would she say its her favourite place? “I’m not allowed really to have a favourite but I do gravitate to the coast, so that might give you a clue.”

Jane Morrison Ross drinks in the history and archaelogy on offer at the Whithorn Museum & Whithorn Priory.

Island upbringing

That draw to the water is mirrored by her own upbringing, having grown up on an island. “Coming to Whithorn reminds me of home. It’s just a perfect place to be in any weather,” she enthuses. “In the summer, the sky is blue, the sea is amazing. But in the winter, it is spectacular. The storms are beautiful,” she says.

Her free time is also consumed by the coast as she has three boys who enjoy being active and what better way than to explore the coasts and beaches of the south of Scotland. “You can not beat Dumfries and Galloway. Around Whithorn, the beaches are stunning – Drummore is one of my favourite beaches to swim at as well.”

But it is not just the coast that appeals. “There are some amazing walks through the UNESCO Biosphere as well. You can be up the top of a hill and feel as though you’re in the middle of the highlands, somewhere like Glencoe. Or you can be in the Galloway Forest Park spotting red deer.” She encourages visitors to take their time and explore the area.

climbs in Southern Scotland, the Merrick
Experience the flora and fauna of the Galloway and Southern Ayrshire UNESCO Biosphere while climbing the Merrick in Dumfries & Galloway

Variety is the spice of the south

“My experience of the south of Scotland is it’s incredibly varied from one region to another. From one village to another. The culture is different, the landscape is different. One thing that there is in common though is the people, and the people are amazing,” she says.

In her role as CEO at SOSE Morrison Ross is there to support the future economic growth of the area and crucially she works to support communities of all sizes. “We get to listen to people and we get to hear what communities want to see happen across the south. And I have to say they have a real vision and ambition to take things forward for the future,” she says.

Jane’s Favourite Five

Tour the Bladnoch Distillery near Wigtown.
  • Whithorn Priory & Museum – cradle of Christianity; Celtic Crosses; Reconstruction of historic buildings
  • Go to the beach – Garlieston Beach;  Drummore along from Whithorn
  • Bladnoch Distillery, near Wigtown
  • Go walking in the UNESCO Biosphere
  • Further afield, visit Logan Botanic Gardens an amazing collection including some unlikely tropical plants, unlike any other garden in Scotland.