Nestled among the rolling Galloway hills are lochs awaiting discovery, paths awaiting explorers and views to take your breath away. Catch the wind in your sails on Loch Ken or catch glimpses of Loch Trool as you ascend the South of Scotland’s highest peak, the Merrick.  It is not for nothing that UNESCO has certified almost the entire area as the Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere, making it truly a world-class environment for nature and people. 

Some of the country’s best gravel trails exist in this glorious corner of southern Scotland – head to the Raider’s Road, the Cairnsmore of Fleet National Nature Reserve and the Big Water of Fleet viaduct for a thrilling intro to these trails.  

But your exploring does not have to happen at speed, slow down and listen for the calls of the raptors overhead or just to the wind as it plays through the branches on the trails of the Galloway Forest Park. Above all this earthly glory is a celestial spectacle that comes alive at nightfall. The UK’s first International Dark Sky Park is here just begging to be discovered. 

Dumfries and Galloways’ designated Food Town, Castle Douglas serves as an excellent entry point on the eastern side of all this natural wonder, providing excellent food and drink as well as accommodation. Further west Gatehouse of Fleet is becoming a focal point for the gravel cycling racing circuit hosting two major events. 

Sitting at the mouth of the River Cree is Newton Stewart, a market town where it is believed Edgar Allan Poe spent some time in his younger days. Traditions old and new are celebrated here – a thriving traditional music scene is celebrated at the local arts centre while outside of town a modern gin distillery offers tours and tastings with stunning views over Wigtown Bay.