I love Scotland. Anyone who knows me or just spent a few minutes with me, will be informed about this passion of mine by me gushing at them. Probably, right after “hello.”
And before you ask: No, this love of Scotland is not Outlander related. I was always a lover of all things British, even as a small kid, I loved books set in the UK by British authors (especially featuring castles) and so it was small wonder that I ended up living in the UK. My first trip to Scotland was in 2003 with my (now) husband and it was love at first sight. Thankfully, my husband and my daughter equally love Scotland, so at least once a year (often twice) we head up north and explore.
Our mission is to visit all parts of Scotland and last summer, we went to Dumfries and Galloway. On various trips up north, we would always say: “Oh look this part seems nice.” as we speed along the motorway. Last year, we decided to stop for once and use Dumfries as our destination.
I looked for cottages along the stretch of coast between Kirkudbright and Newton Stewart and settled on one at Kirkdale Estate. We stayed at Kirkdale Bank, which is a lovely cottage sleeping 6 (although I have to admit, that 6 would push it a bit, so two families sharing may not be ideal, but one family with 4 children that would work) and it was plenty big enough for the three of us.
I admit that my heart sank initially when we arrived as a busy A-road was thundering past above the cottage. One thing I go on holiday for is to escape the constant road and traffic noise I have whilst living in the city. Admittedly, it was fine inside the cottage (thick walls) and down by the sea you could hear nothing.
A short walk down a private path leads you to this. For the entire week, there was always only us there. We had several BBQ dinners on the beach, went rockpooling and just hang out down there. That was the most fantastic aspect of this holiday and without a shadow of a doubt what makes this holiday cottage.
Dumfries and Galloway is beautiful and it is really Scotland in minituare. The Galloway Forest park provides hills and mountains and lochs and forest and wildlife and all of that was a mere 10 minutes away from the cottage. We went mountain biking, went for hikes and explored, it was lovely.
Another highlight was seeing the Red Kites at the Red Kites Farm. No, the Red Kites are not being farmed, but a farmer near Kirkudbright has been putting food out for them for years and years, so every afternoon they gather and come down to pick up their food. We walked into the hills behind the farm and saw them soar and it was the most wonderful sight to behold.
We also expored Wigtown, as a booklover it was a must, but sadly it was soooo rainy, I did not take any pictures, but I did buy books and ate lovely cake.
On a sunny day (they happen in Scotland), we went to Culzean Castle, free for us with our National Trust membership (total bonus of holidaying in the UK) and we had an excellent tour of the castle and a meander through the grounds. Best playground ever, despite the fact that the zipline was out of action that day.
A short walk up a hill from our cottage, is a neolithic burial site called Cairn Holy, the husband was desperate to time travel back and become a chieftain or something, but alas, the stones did not transport him through time.
Dumfries is definitely a place to visit again for us, we are thinking about a long weekend later in the year as it is only 4 hours from Birmingham. The closest Scottish destination for this Scotland lover.