Dumfries and Galloway has something for everyone, from mountain biking to chocolate workshops. Find out more about what’s on offer below.
Kirkdale Estate is on the doorstep of Gatehouse of Fleet set in Fleet Valley a National Scenic Area and also on the edge of the magnificent Galloway Forest Park. The top of the Fleet valley offers spectacular scenery and the Viaduct is where the Alfred Hitchcock “The 39 Steps” was filmed.
There is hill walking for all levels and long distance cycling along forest roads. The mid valley offers a gentler landscape with walks along the river and through woodland. At the foot of the valley the expanse of Fleet Bay opens up with many sandy beaches perfect for days at the beach.
Dumfries and Galloway offers some of the best mountain biking in Europe and is a Mecca for those in the know.
The 7stanes are seven mountain biking centres spanning the south of Scotland, from the heart of the Scottish Borders to Dumfries and Galloway.
Kirroughtree Route – 7 Stanes Mountain Biking – Dumfries and Galloway ‘Stane’ is the Scots word for stone, and at each of the 7Stanes locations, you will find a stone sculpture reflecting a local myth or legend.
Kirroughtree (pictured), one of the largest of the 7 Stanes biking centres, is situated in the Galloway Forest Park, only 10 minutes from Kirkdale Estate and offers nearly 70 kilometres of trails.
Bike hire is available for all the family.
Photograph courtesy of Forestry Commission Scotland.
There are fabulous golf courses to suit every level in Dumfries and Galloway from the popular family friendly 9 hole nearby in Gatehouse of Fleet to the championship course at Southerness. Glenluce has an excellent 18 hole true links course and Kirkcudbright a wonderful parkland 18 hole course with magnificent views.
There is a great choice of tennis courts in the area. Holiday cottage guests are welcome to book the court at the Estate. There is also a newly resurfaced all weather tennis court nearby at Gatehouse of Fleet beautifully situated in countryside by the golf course. Tennis courts can also be found at Kirkcudbright and Castle Douglas.
Being a coastal area, sailing is all around you either from the sandy beaches at Cardoness and Mossyard or inland at the Galloway Activity Centre at Loch Ken.
Loch Ken offers a whole host of adventure activities – sailing, stand up paddle boarding, windsurfing, kayaking, combat laser tag, archery, climbing wall and more. Booking is essential. There is a waterside café with indoor and outdoor seating.
There is a huge choice of activities for children of all ages in the area, including mountain biking, walking, sailing, windsurfing, sandy beaches, rock pools, golf, tennis, horse riding, swimming, fishing, laser quest, archery and much more.
The Cocoa Bean Factory at nearby Twynholm, 10-15 minutes away, offers a fantastic experience for children with chocolate making workshops and a wonderful outdoor and indoor play area and café.
Galloway Activity Centre at Loch Ken offers sailing courses for children, teenagers and adults. It also runs very popular multi-activity courses (by the day or week) from ages 6+ (approx) offering sailing, stand up paddle boarding, windsurfing, laser-questing, orienteering, climbing wall and café.
Glentrool visitor centre offers walking, biking, running, cafe, amongst the most stunning scenery.
Forrest Estate Experiences
One of the best sporting facilities available in Scotland offering a full range of clay pigeon shooting (one to one or in groups), trout fishing and rifle shooting located on a stunning 11,000 acre estate at St John’s Town of Dalry in Dumfries and Galloway.
Fishing and Sea Angling
Galloway Fisheries Trust covers eight major rivers in Dumfries and Galloway. The waters on which the Trust works provide an amazing array of freshwater lochs and rivers which support some of the most diverse fish populations in Scotland. The FishPal website also provides a wealth of information about fishing in Dumfries and Galloway. For sea angling boat charter please see Isle Adventures run by Derek Farr from the Isle of Whithorn, 01988 500 344.
The Solway Firth is one of the best sea angling locations in the UK. The warm water of the Gulf Stream attract most of the fish found in British waters. Up to fifty species may be caught from a boat and up to nine from the shore is quite possible. Please see the Solway Firth Partnership for more information.
Guests staying at Kirkdale Estate holiday cottages or lodge owners can also benefit from the fabulous sea fishing with direct access to the coastline at the Estate.