A Brief Travel and Tourist Guide to Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland

IntroductionDumfries and Galloway is located in Southern Scotland and borders the English county of Cumbria. Historically, the region is entwined with significant events in Scotland’s history, especially around the time of 1300 AD. Its rural areas are often sites of natural beauty, and parts of Dumfries and Galloway are part of Historic Scotland with many tourist attractions open during the summer months.Threave CastleThreave Castle was built in the 1300s and was home to Archibald Douglas, better known as “Archibald the Grim”. Threave Castle became Archibald’s stronghold after he was awarded an earldom by King David II for the services to Scotland that the Douglas family had performed. Archibald’s father, Sir James Douglas “The Good” had been entrusted to take Robert the Bruce’s heart to Jerusalem, but had been killed by Moors in Spain. The family had also played a significant role in quashing rebellions that sided with the English. Subsequently, the black heart symbol became synonymous with the Douglas family.This is just a snapshot of the history that is contained within the walls of Threave Castle. It’s grim yet fascinating history is made all the more real by the ferryman that takes you across to Threave Island. The castle is now part of Historic Scotland and is open during the summer months.Laggan OutdoorLaggan Outdoor features outdoor activities catering for the family and the serious outdoor enthusiast. Mountain Balling, Water Balling, Clay Pigeon Shooting, Archery, Segway, Mountain Boarding, and Grass Sledging are all catered for. Though they angle the marketing towards team builders, families are welcome as are stag and hen parties. They are situated on a particularly beautiful piece of Galloway coastline.Old Blacksmith’s Shop Gretna GreenGretna Green is famous for marriage on the fly. A little like marriage in Las Vegas only there is no casinos and a lot less tack. The Old Blacksmith’s Shop contains an anvil and coach museum, tartan and tweed shop, and other attractions which all tell the story of Gretna Green and how it became home to the runaway marriage.The Grey Mare’s TailThe Grey Mare’s Tail is Scotland’s deepest waterfall. Water falls 200 feet into a valley and fills Moffat water far below Loch Skeen the starting point of the waterfall. The surrounding area is a nature reserve owned by National Trust for Scotland. There are excellent walking routes beginning or ending at The Grey Mare’s Tail and due to the valley forming due to geological erosion, the Grey Mare’s Tail is a site of geological interest.Robert BurnsRobert Burns is arguably Scotland’s greatest poet, and has written enduring poetry which has survived generations. For much of his adult life, the great man lived in Dumfries, and there are several monuments in his honour. Many Dumfries and Galloway tourists tend to visit the site, which is an organisation dedicated to preserving the memory and works of Robert Burns to learn more about Scotland’s greatest poet.There is a range of holiday and vacation rental accommodation in Dumfries and Galloway, and throughout Scotland.