The Rhins of Galloway showcases a harmonious coexistence between nature and human activity, earning it UNESCO Biosphere status in July 2023. Nowhere is this more evident than at journey’s end, the Mull of Galloway, Scotland’s most southerly point. The area is an RSPB site with stunning views of wildlife, scenery and the rugged beauty of this peninsula. The locals will tell you on a clear day you’ll see ‘Five Kingdoms’ – the Isle of Man, Scotland, Ireland, England and Heaven!

Anyone touring through the Rhins will spot the lighthouses dotting the peninsula, which tell the story of the historical importance of shipping along this coast. Join the cycle trail linking these six lighthouses and admire the stunning coastal views while you delve into the area’s maritime heritage.

Guided by these lights, ships came and went through Loch Ryan. Today the water is significant for what lies beneath it – the last sustainable native oyster bed in Scotland. These local oysters are the focal point for an annual festival each autumn in Stranraer. 

The town is also the start of the long distance cycling route, the Kirkpatrick C2C, with a spur loop down to Portpatrick.  This sea front town was once the departure point for lowland Scots seeking a better future. Today there are harbour front pubs and restaurants offering prime seating for a sunset view or perhaps you might be lucky enough to spot the aurora as it lights up the sky. Portpatrick is also the starting point for the incredible cross-country walking route, the Southern Upland Way.  As you head north along the coast keep one eye to the sky for the fabulous birds and an eye below for marine mammals including dolphins which frequent these waters.