Justin's website

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Weather

Dumfries Weather Station

Dumfries & Galloway

LINKS:  Tourism websites,   Pubs etc,   Things To Do,   Scenic Drives,   Walks


Background

Dumfries and Galloway is one of 32 unitary council areas of Scotland and is located in the western Southern Uplands. It comprises the historic counties of Dumfriesshire, Stewartry of Kirkcudbright and Wigtownshire, the latter two of which are collectively known as Galloway. The administrative centre is the town of Dumfries.
Following the 1975 reorganisation of local government in Scotland, the three counties were joined to form a single region of Dumfries and Galloway, with four districts within it. Since the Local Government etc. (Scotland) Act 1994, however, it has become a unitary local authority.

Southerness Point Tide Times and Heights

  • Population: 150,000 (approx.)
  • The largest town in the region is Dumfries with a population of 31,600 (2011 census). It is the 23rd largest town/city in Scotland. The two other main towns are Stranraer (10,800 pop.) and Annan (8,300 pop.). All other settlements have populations of 4,500 or less.
  • Population density is 60 people per square mile compared with the Scottish average of 168 and a UK of 707.
  • Agriculture accounts for 70% of the area with woodland covering another 25%. These are also the 2 main industries
  • Area: 2,481 square miles (6,426 square km)
  • Is it safe to swim at south of Scotland's beaches?
  • Map of Beach Water Quality - 2021
  • The village of Wanlockhead is the highest village in Scotland, at a height of more than 1,350 feet above sea level
  • Galloway Forest Park (299 sq mi) in the west, is the largest forest in the UK and it was designated the UK’s first Dark Sky Park in 2009 where low light pollution means that more than 7,000 planets and stars are visible
  • Kirkpatrick MacMillan invented the bicycle in the tiny village of Keir Mill in 1839

Tourism websites

Site Notes
Visit South-West Scotland A good online resource for tourism in South West Scotland. Also has an events list
Visit Scotland - Dumfries Visit Scotland website specific to Dumfries
Visit Scotland - Dumfries & Galloway Visit Scotland website specific to Dumfries & Galloway
Tripadvisor Tripadvisor - Things to Do in Dumfries and Galloway.
'Pack The Suitcases' Blog 8 places to visit in Dumfries and Galloway. 'Pack The Suitcases' is a travel blogging wesbite run by Caroline!
Museum Net Lists most Museums in the UK
Lonely Planet Guide - Dumfries & Galloway Lonely Planet Guide for Dumfries & Galloway
D&G Online website A host of information about Dumfries and Dumfries & Galloway with links to sites throughout south west Scotland.
D & G Culture Council tourist website for D & G. Visit Dumfries and Galloway Council’s museums and galleries in south west Scotland is scenic, unspoilt and full of surprises!


Pubs etc

Name/website Google
Location
Google
Score
Notes
Lockards Farm 1 miles
4 mins
4.0 Marstons pub. Pretty good food and cheap - 20 mins walk away
The Swan 3.5 miles
10 mins
4.4 Big nice looking pub at Kingholm Quay on the River Nith. Good food and can sit in beer garden.
The Boathouse Glencaple 7 miles
17 mins
4.5 Right by the Nith and nice location. Apparently good!
Bruno's Italian Restaurant 1.5 miles
5 mins
4.7 Very popular and good food in Dumfries
Cavens Arms 1.7 miles
7 mins
4.6 Good grub and in central Dumfries
The Steamboat Inn 15 miles
30 mins
4.6 Lovely pub right on the coast with access to beach and a coastal walk. Great food and good beer.


Things to do

(Listed in order of distance from home)

Name of Attraction How
Far?
Notes Rating
(1-5)
Walk?
Dumfries and Galloway Aviation Museum 3 miles
8 mins
Adults:£6.00, Children:£5.00, Family (2 adults + 2 children):£18.00. Private charity.
The Dumfries and Galloway Aviation Museum is a volunteer-operated aviation museum located in and around the World War II-era watch tower (control tower) at the former RAF Dumfries, located two miles north east of the centre of Dumfries, Scotland, which was in service from June 1940 until 1957, when it closed.
No Here
Here
Dumfries Museum and Camera Obscura 4 miles
10 mins
Museum: Free. Camera Obscura: Adults £3.60, Concessions £1.80. Dumfries and Galloway Council.
Dumfries Museum and Camera Obscura, located in Dumfries in Dumfries & Galloway, is the largest museum in the region. The museum has extensive collections relating to local and history from the pre-historic era. The museum also has the world's oldest working Camera Obscura. Admission is free, however a small fee applies for the Camera Obscura.
✓✓✓½ Here
Here
Caerlaverock Castle 10 miles
25 mins
Adult:£6.00, Child (5-15):£3.60. Owned by Historic Environment Scotland.
With its moat, twin towered gatehouse and imposing battlements, this awe-inspiring castle is the epitome of the medieval stronghold and one of the finest castles in Scotland. Although ruined, Caerlaverock is still a substantial structure and you can explore many different features within its unique triangular ground plan.
NOTES: Nice interesting ruined castle with small walk and cafe near by.
✓✓✓ Here
Drumlanrig Castle 19 miles
30 mins
Castle, Gardens & Parkland approx £12. Privately owned.
Set in the 80,000 acre Queensberry Estate complete with Country Park and Victorian Gardens, Drumlanrig Castle presents one of the finest examples of late 17th century Renaissance architecture in Scotland and an internationally renowned art collection. Beyond the castle are over 40 acres of enchanting gardens and a wide range of activities including walking, mountain biking, adventure playground, wildlife watching, Scottish Cycle Museum, Landrover tours, Ranger-led walks, events programme as well as shopping and catering.
No Here
Threave Garden and Estate 22 miles
33 mins
National Trust - Prices Here
Threave’s wonderful garden has been created over the years by students of the Trust’s School of Heritage Gardening – and is a fine example of landscaped beauty. The garden is divided into a series of smaller gardens to showcase different styles, including a rose garden, rockery and walled garden.
At the centre stands Threave House, designed in the Scottish Baronial style in 1871 for the Gordon family. Many of its rooms are displayed as they were in the 1930s.
The wider estate caters for more adventurous tastes, and includes our flagship bat reserve. The nature reserve is a Special Protection Area for breeding waders and wintering wildfowl – pink-footed geese and Greenland white-fronted geese are regular visitors.
NOTES: House open only by pre-booking a tour on certain days. Gardens are fairly big and well worth a visit. Cafe good for light bites etc.
✓✓✓✓ No
Raiders’ Road Forest Drive 30 miles
45 mins
Fee of £2 per car, payable by card or in coins. Run by Forestry and Land Scotland.
One of two forest drives in Galloway Forest Park, this drive is an easy way to see more of the Park's woods and wildlife without having to walk too far.
It's a 10 mile two-way forest drive, which is open to vehicles between April and October and for walkers, cyclists and horse-riders year-round. There is a small fee of £2, payable by card or in coins.
There are various places to stop along Raiders' Road. Head for Otter Pool car park, about half way along, for the perfect riverside picnic spot with plenty of room on the grassy banks to play. Alternatively, stop at Stroan Loch for peaceful waterside views, an old viaduct and the start of the scenic but strenuous Buzzard Trail.
More info here
See image of route
Route on google maps
No Here
Grey Mare's Tail Waterfall 30 miles
45 mins
Best known for its magnificent waterfall - the fifth highest in the UK - and uniquely dramatic scenery, Grey Mare's Tail is a superb example of a hanging valley. The area boasts a rich history as well, and is important for its rare upland plants and wildlife. NOTE: Can be very busy. ✓✓✓✓✓ Here
Broughton House & Garden 30 miles
45 mins
National Trust - Prices Here
The home of ‘Glasgow Boy’ Hornel sits in a Japanese-inspired garden and hosts an impressive collection of art
NOTES: Interesting house which can be done by a free guided tour (or not). Gardens are not big but quite interesting
✓✓✓ Here
Laggan Outdoor 37 miles
45 mins
Website Here
Activities include: zip wire, archery, segway, clay pigeon shooting, grass sledging. "Got the chance to ride this zip wire, we hadn't booked as didnt even know it was there but whilst holidaying in the area discovered this great place. Lovely cafe with nice food and loved the grass sledging too"
No Here
Dumfries House Estate 46 miles
1 hour 10 mins
Dumfries House Estate - Prices Here. Admission to Dumfries House is by guided tour only. There is no charge for admission onto the Estate
Dumfries House is a Palladian country house in Ayrshire, Scotland. It is located within a large estate, around two miles (3 km) west of Cumnock. Noted for being one of the few such houses with much of its original 18th-century furniture still present, including specially commissioned Thomas Chippendale pieces, the house and estate is now owned by The Prince's Foundation, a charity which maintains it as a visitor attraction and hospitality and wedding venue. Both the house and the gardens are listed as significant aspects of Scottish heritage.
More info here
No No
Galloway Forest Park 50 miles
1 hour
Free - apart from car park charges. Run by Forestry and Land Scotland.
Galloway Forest Park is the UK's largest at over 97,000 hectares. it is only part of the wider Galloway forest area managed by Forest Enterprise Scotland at 116,000 hectares. it is a working living environment producing 650,000 tons of timber every year to make houses, pallets, paper and chip boards. The forest park is also host the UK's first Dark Sky Park. An area where the night time environment is protected for all living things and where you can see the universe open up in front of your very eyes - weather permitting! There is a superb red deer attraction that allows you to get up close to UK's largest mammal. Tours are available in peak season. The famous 7stanse mountain bike trails are also available along with many wonderful walking trails.
PDF Guide to Galloway Forest Park
See map of Galloway Forest Park
No Various
Crafty Distillery 50 miles
1hr 10mins
Adults: £12.50. Privately owned.
Nestled on the edge of Newton Stewart our modern grain to glass distillery pumps out gallons of tasty stuff and delivers panoramic views over the Galloway Hills. Here you can learn about our unique distilling approach and enjoy a taste of our award winning Hills & Harbour Gin. Enjoy a tour of our distillery, and learn how we make our very own spirit from scratch and the process for making our gin. After the tour you can then enjoy a perfect serve of our Hills & Harbour Gin. Hungry?
No Here
Mull of Galloway Lighthouse 85 miles
2 hrs
Exhibition & Lighthouse Adults:£5, children under 14:£1.50. Mull of Galloway Trust.
The Mull of Galloway is Scotland's most Southerly Point and an unspoiled paradise for visitors seeking peace and tranquility. We hope you will enjoy your visit and discover for yourself the beautiful countryside, beaches, splendid views and warm climate. Climb Scotland's most southerly Lighthouse, visit our Exhibition of Lighthouse History, RSPB reserve and visitor centre and Gallie Craig coffee house
No ?


Scenic Drives

LINKS:  Dumfries & Galloway Drives are in the Drives section


Walks

Overview Maps of the Walks


Walks Listed in order of distance from home

# Details Walk
Length
Altitude
climbed
Difficulty
Wet
Distance
from home
Rating
(1-5)
Who
01 Walkhighlands - Dumfries parks etc 4.25 mi
2 hrs
275 ft
1 mi ✓✓✓✓
25/04/2020
J,G,S
02 Walkhighlands - Burns walk, Dumfries 4.75 mi
2.5 hrs
224 ft
6 mi ✓✓✓
29/04/2019
J
03 Mable Forest - Brown Route
Forestry website for Mable Forest
4.3 mi
2 hrs
731 ft
7 mi
17 mins
✓✓✓½ J,L,N,Jo
04 Pathfinder 19v1:16 - Mabie Forest
Forestry website for Mable Forest
5.5 mi
3 hrs
903 ft
7 mi
17 mins
✓✓✓½
18/07/2020
J,L,N,Jo,G,S,R
05 Pathfinder 19:8 - Lochmaben and the Four Lochs 5.5 mi
2.5 hrs
230 ft
8 mi
15 mins
✓✓✓½
10/04/2021
J,L,N,Jo
06 Walkhighlands - Forest of Ae walks
Forestry website for Ae Forest
5.5 mi
2.5 hrs
580 ft
9 mi
17 mins
✓✓✓½
19/05/2021
J
07 Pathfinder 19:3 - The Water of Ae Riverside Trail.
Forestry website for Ae Forest
3.5 mi
2 hrs
250 ft
9 mi
17 mins
✓✓✓½
15/10/2020
J,L,N,Jo
08 Walkhighlands - Waterloo Monument from New Abbey 2.75 mi
2 hrs
600 ft
10 mi
20 mins
09 Pathfinder 19:5 Caerlaverock and the Solway Marshes 3.5 mi
1.75 hrs
310 ft
10 mi
24 mins
10 40 C & C Walks - Conquering Criffel
(same walk as 12 below)
3 mi
2.5 hrs
1650 ft
10 mi
20 mins
✓✓✓✓½
23/04/2021
J
11 Walkhighlands - Criffel from New Abbey 7.5 mi
6.5 hrs
2000 ft
10 mi
20 mins
12 Walkhighlands - Criffel by the Ardwall path 3.25 mi
3 hrs
1655 ft
12 mi
25 mins
✓✓✓✓½
23/04/2021
J
13 Pathfinder 19:4 - Glenkiln 4.5 mi
2.5 hrs
579 ft
12 mi
22 mins
✓✓✓½
06/07/2020
J
14 Walkhighlands - Queensberry 7 mi
5 hrs
1813 ft
15 mi
30 mins
15 25 Walks:19 - Carsethorn to Powillimount 6.5 mi
3 hrs
339 ft
16 mi
29 mins
✓✓✓✓
31/05/2021
07/07/2021
02/08/2021

J,R
J,L,C,G,S,N,Jo
J,Br,Cr,Gr,Ja
16 Pathfinder 19:9 - Up and Down the Annan 6.5 mi
3 hrs
400 ft
16 mi
26 mins
✓✓✓✓
29/05/2021
J,R
17 Walkhighlands - Drumlanrig Castle 10 mi
4.5 hrs
950 ft
17 mi
29 mins
18 40 C & C Walks - Penpoint and Keir Mill 3.25 mi
1.5 hrs
150 ft
17 mi
28 mins
19 25 Walks:25 - Glensone and the Maiden 6 mi
3 hrs
885 ft
18 mi
27 mins
20 40 C & C Walks - Moniaive & Bardennoch Hill 4.6 mi
2.5 hrs
1000 ft
18 mi
33 mins
21 25 Walks:20 - Rough Firth 3 mi
1.5 hrs
300 ft
20 mi
33 mins
22 25 Walks:22 - Palnackie and Orchardton 5.5 mi
3 hrs
540 ft
20 mi
33 mins
✓✓✓✓
09/04/2021
J,L,N,Jo
23 Path 19v2 - Walk 27 - Colvend Coast 10 mi
5 hrs
1000 ft
20 mi
33 mins
24 Pathfinder 19:25 - Black Hill and Well Hill 5.5 mi
4 hrs
1691 ft
21 mi
35 mins
25 Walkhighlands - Well Path circuit 4 mi
3 hrs
800 ft
21 mi
35 mins
26 Walkhighlands - Devil's Beef Tub 14 mi
6 hrs
1850 ft
21 mi
34 mins
27 Pathfinder 19:7 - Moffat Well and Gallow Hill 4 mi
2.5 hrs
500 ft
21 mi
35 mins
28 Pathfinder 19:14 - Screel Hill 3.5 mi
2.5 hrs
1083 ft
22 mi
36 mins
✓✓✓✓✓
various
J,G,S,R,Le
J,Br,Cr,Gr,Ja
29 25 Walks:24 - Screel Hill and Bengairn 7.5 mi
4 hrs
1500 ft
22 mi
34 mins
30 Walkhighlands - Striding Arches 6 mi
3.5 hrs
1250 ft
24 mi
50 mins
31 Pathfinder 19:13 - Rascarrel Bay and Balcary Point 5 mi
2.5 hrs
570 ft
26 mi
42 mins
✓✓✓✓✓
13/04/2019
J,L,N,Jo
32 Walkhighlands - Hart Fell ridges 8.25 mi
6 hrs
3000 ft
26 mi
45 mins
33 Pathfinder 19:19 - Manquhill Hill 6.75 mi
3.5 hrs
900 ft
27 mi
52 mins
34 Pathfinder 19:15 - Water of Ken and Garroch Glen 4.25 mi
2 hrs
550 ft
28 mi
45 mins
35 40 C & C Walks - St Mary's Isle 4 mi
2 hrs
163 ft
30 mi
41 mins
✓✓✓✓
12/04/2021
J,L,N,Jo
50 Walkhighlands - Grey Mare's Tail 2.75 mi
2.5 hrs
919 ft
30 mi
48 mins
✓✓✓✓✓
03/08/2021
J,Br,Cr,Gr,Ja
36 Pathfinder 19:22 - Cairnsmore of Dee 6 mi
3.5 hrs
1700 ft
32 mi
51 mins
37 Walkhighlands - Lowther Hill 7.25 mi
3.5 hrs
1780 ft
32 mi
52 mins
38 Pathfinder 19:11 - Wanlockhead and Lowther Hill 4.5 mi
2.5 hrs
1060 ft
32 mi
52 mins
39 Pathfinder 19:10 - Fleet Forest and Anworth Old Kirk 5.5 mi
2.5 hrs
500 ft
33 mi
46 mins
40 Walkhighlands - Corserine 10.25 mi
7 hrs
3000 ft
34 mi
56 mins
41 Walkhighlands - Brighouse Bay 4.5 mi
2.5 hrs
400 ft
35 mi
53 mins
42 Walkhighlands - Cairnsmore 7.25 mi
5 hrs
2120 ft
37 mi
55 mins
43 Pathfinder 19:24 - Cairnsmore of Fleet 7.5 mi
4.5 hrs
2300 ft
45 mi
70 mins
44 Pathfinder 19:06 - Wigtown 4.5 mi
2 hrs
320 ft
55 mi
75 mins
45 Pathfinder 19:17 - Loch Trool 5.5 mi
3 hrs
900 ft
60 mi
80 mins
✓✓✓✓
21/07/2018
Ju,L,N,Jo,G,R
46 Walkhighlands - Loch Trool Trail 5 mi
3 hrs
473 ft
60 mi
80 mins
47 Pathfinder 19:26 - Caldons Burn and Lamachan Hill 8.5 mi
5.5 hrs
2344 ft
63 mi
90 mins
48 Walkhighlands - The Merrick, from Loch Trool 8.25 mi
5 hrs
3000 ft
64 mi
90 mins
49 Pathfinder 19:28 - Merrick 9.5 mi
6.5 hrs
2800 ft
64 mi
90 mins

Key - Difficulty Description
Easier walks, mostly on well defined paths, with no special difficulties.
Slightly harder walks. Paths may be indistinct, navigation skills required.
Moderate hillwalks. Terrain will be steep, map reading skills essential. This grade includes the most straightforward and popular Munros.
Harder hillwalks. Can include longer walks and pathless sections calling for more careful navigation. There may be scree and minor scrambling. This grade is quite broad and includes the bulk of the Munros.
Tough by hillwalking standards; these routes can be very arduous or include trickier scrambling. This grade includes the hardest or most strenuous Munros.
Key - Wet/Boggy Description
Walk is usually completely dry underfoot.
The route may be slightly boggy in places.
Much of the walk may be dry, but there are sections which can be very wet. Waterproof boots recommended.
Underfoot conditions are likely to be very wet in parts all year round.
It's a swamp. Snorkel recommended.

Genealogy

I have put on-line a pretty extensive family tree of the HOW family - HOW Family Tree



Useful Genealogy Links

Site Name/Link Description
GENUKI Newbies' Guide to Genealogy & Family History
UK National Archives The National Archives of the United Kingdom has a wide variety of free research databases online.
UK BMD This site has thousands of links to genealogy research sites for the UK.
British Family History This website will tell you everything you need to know about genealogy so you can begin your journey into the past. It could also tell current family historians some information they didn't know or weren't sure about.
BBC Family History BBC Guide to Tracing your Family History (archived now).
millionmilesecrets.com How to plan a successful genealogy trip
Cyndi's List A massive and comprehensive, categorized & cross-referenced list of links that point you to genealogical research sites online.


Search for Records - Free

Site Name/Link Description
www.freeukgenealogy.org.uk Free UK Genealogy provides free, online access to family history records
FamilySearch Church of Latter Days Saints. One of the best free resources available for World Wide record
FreeREG Our objective is to provide free Internet searches of baptism, marriage, and burial records, that have been transcribed from parish and non-conformist registers of the U.K. It is a part of the FreeUKGEN family.
FreeBMD FreeBMD is an ongoing project, the aim of which is to transcribe the Civil Registration index of births, marriages and deaths for England and Wales, and to provide free Internet access to the transcribed records. It is a part of the FreeUKGEN family.
FreeCEN This project aims to provide a "free-to-view" online searchable database of the 19th century UK census returns.. It is a part of the FreeUKGEN family.
British-Genealogy.com British-Genealogy.com is dedicated to assisting people with their British family history research.
BMD Registers.co.uk/ The Official Non-Conformist and Non-Parochial BMDs Service with online searches of birth, baptism, marriage, death and burial records. Includes records for Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, Protestant Dissenters (Dr Williams Library), Wesleyans and Independents. This site also includes 100,000 records of births, baptisms, marriages, deaths and burials of British subjects overseas and on board ships in the 19th and 20th centuries. A basic search is free with fees for advanced searching and to download images.
GEN UKI GENUKI provides a virtual reference library of genealogical information of particular relevance to the UK and Ireland. It is a non-commercial service, maintained by a charitable trust and a group of volunteers.
Deceased Online A central database for UK burials and cremations. The free name search returns full names, date and place of burial or cremation. Fees apply to access register scans or transcripts, grave photographs and location maps.
LDS IGI Batch Numbers This site has sorted IGI Batch Numbers by County and Parish. This allows you to search for specific LDS IGI records by a County/Parish.
Kent Archaeological Society - Churchyards Kent Churchyard Monumental Inscriptions (M.I.s) & other notes.

Lake District

The Lake District, also known as the Lakes or Lakeland, is a mountainous region in North West England. A popular holiday destination, it is famous for its lakes, forests and mountains (or fells), and its associations with William Wordsworth and other Lake Poets and also with Beatrix Potter and John Ruskin. The Lake District National Park was established in 1951 and covers an area of 2,362 square kilometres. It was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2017. It includes the mountain Scafell Pike, the highest mountain in England. It also contains the deepest and largest natural lakes in England, Wast Water and Windermere respectively.

Things to do

Name of Attraction How
Far?
Notes Rating
(1-5)
Walk?
Aira Force 63 miles
1hr 17min
National Trust Car Park. For 300 years visitors have been drawn here, where rainwater runs from the fells into Aira Beck and thunders in one 65-foot leap over the falls. Yet, Aira Force is much more than an impressive waterfall. A network of trails weaves its way from Ullswater lakeshore to Gowbarrow summit, passing towering Himalayan firs, rare red squirrels, woodland glades, picnic spots and views out across Ullswater. You can start your day in Glenridding and arrive by boat, taking in the sights of Ullswater Valley along the way, then stroll back to Glenridding through Glencoyne Park and along the lakeshore. Ullswater valley is truly breathtaking, with its beautiful lake nestled amongst towering fells. The epic scenery and relative underdevelopment compared to other areas of the Lake District gives Ullswater a secluded and tranquil feel. ✓✓✓✓✓ Here
Ullswater Lake 63 miles
1hr 17min
Ullswater is the second largest lake in the English Lake District, being about nine miles (14.5 km) long and 0.75 miles (1.2 km) wide, with a maximum depth a little more than 60 metres (197 ft). Ullswater's visitor centre website describes it as the most beautiful of England's lakes; it has been compared to Lake Lucerne in Switzerland as a tourist destination.
See map of Ullswater
Ullswater Steamers
✓✓✓✓✓ Here
Here
Lake Windermere 91 miles
2hr 13min
More than ten miles in length, Windermere is England's largest lake that offers a wide variety of summer recreation including cruises, fishing, boating, sailing and scuba diving. ?


Tourist Websites

Site Notes
www.LakeDistrict.gov.uk Official Lake District National Park Authority website
Go Lakes Official Tourist website for the Lake District
Tripadvisor - TTD in the Lakes Tripadvisor - Things To Do in the Lake District


Walks

NOTE: The links to the walks will not work as they are private.

# Details Walk
Length
Altitude
climbed
Difficulty Wet Distance
from home
Rating
(1-5)
01 Collins SW:02 - Round Buttermere 4.25 mi
2 hrs
500 ft 70 mi
1hr 38mins
02 Crimson SW 03:12 - Silver Bay 3.5 mi
2 hrs
670 ft 66 mi
1hr 20mins
✓✓✓✓✓
03 Collins SW:08 - Aira Force 2 mi
1 hrs
300 ft 63 mi
1hr 13mins
✓✓✓✓✓
04 Collins SW:09 - Glenridding & Greenside Mine 3.5 mi
2 hrs
670 ft 66 mi
1hr 20mins
✓✓✓✓

Key - Difficulty Description
Easier walks, mostly on well defined paths, with no special difficulties.
Slightly harder walks. Paths may be indistinct, navigation skills required.
Moderate hillwalks. Terrain will be steep, map reading skills essential. This grade includes the most straightforward and popular Munros.
Key - Wet/Boggy Description
Walk is usually completely dry underfoot.
The route may be slightly boggy in places.
Much of the walk may be dry, but there are sections which can be very wet. Waterproof boots recommended.
Underfoot conditions are likely to be very wet in parts all year round.

2021 August Holiday

General Info


Directions

The Property is located in a very small hamlet called Kilham the self contained wing of a large victorian estate house with its own drive and separate entrance. The post code is TD12 4QS, the property shares this code with a number of neighbouring cottages and a sat nav bossily takes you past the property to what was the old bakery for the estate! Just look out for the big house and the access is on the right as you pass through a row of cottages.

It is 6 miles from Cornhill-on-Tweed, 15 miles from Kelso martket town with Sainsburys who deliver here, 18 miles from Berwick-on-Tweed which has tesco, asda asda who both deliver too. Berwick on Tweed is a mainline station and is 3 hours and 40 minutes from kings cross, you can hire a car at the station.

Satelite view of way into property

The timings below may vary significantly from your timings depending upon traffic conditions and does not allow for stops.


The Property

Kilham House (a large Victorian Estate House) was transformed from a traditional farmhouse into a small country house by a substantial extension built in 1926. The appearance was enhanced by the use of identical 12-pane windows throughout. This West Wing (where we are staying) is 2880 sq ft in size, sleeps 10 to 12 people in 5 bedrooms. It has 3 bathrooms and 2 WC's.

These are some of the other features:

  • Photo Album of House
  • WiFi at the property is not fast (very rural) and may well not be available in all rooms. The code is b358ccce49. There is also a Devolo and the code is RFYM-ANKG-LYCH-BMKV
  • Mobile phone reception at the property is likely to be poor to non existent. EE coverage map reports no reception.
    WiFi Calling may work if it is supported by your mobile and network.
  • What's provided: Sheets and towels, a welcome hamper with a bottle of wine, free range eggs and a loaf of bread from a local master baker!
  • Ping pong table!
  • Selection of board and card games including Scrabble, Monopoly, chess, droughts, Pictionary, Who Wants to be a Millionaire and others, plus books and DVDs

Northumberland National Park

We are staying at the northern tip of the Northumberland National Park which is the northernmost national park in England. It covers an area of more than 1,050 square kilometres (410 sq mi) between the Scottish border in the north to just south of Hadrian's Wall, and it is one of the least populated and least visited of the National Parks. The park lies entirely within Northumberland, covering about a quarter of the county.
The park covers several distinct areas. In the north are the Cheviot Hills (where we are based), a range of hills that mark the border between England and Scotland. Further south, the hills give way to areas of rolling moorland, some of which have been covered by forestry plantations to form Kielder Forest. The southernmost part of the park covers the dramatic central section of Hadrian's Wall, dating from the Roman occupation.


Things to Bring

  • Sturdy waterproof shoes as a minimum. Preferably boots. This is in addition to your normal shoe wear.
    Trainers are not good enough for walks (unless waterproof and sturdy) unless you like walking with soaking feet.
  • Light waterproof jacket (if I am not supplying). It’s August BUT we are in the Scottish mountains!
    Ideally small enough to put in your rucksack.
  • Small rucksack (25l/35l) if you have one (for drink, sandwich, warm clothing etc)
  • Shower gel, shampoo, toothpaste etc

Local Eats Nearby


Supermarkets

  • Lidl, (20 mins, 13 mls), 31 Shedden Park Rd, Kelso, TD5 7AL. (0800 – 2100 Mon-Sun)
  • Co-op, (16 mins, 8.5 mls), 34 High St, Coldstream, TD12 4AS. (0700 – 2200 Mon-Sun)
  • Sainsbury, (18 mins, 12 mls), Pinnaclehill Industrial Estate, Kelso, TD5 8DW (0800 – 2200 Mon-Sun)
  • Tesco Superstore, (26 mins, 17 mls), Ord Rd, Berwick-upon-Tweed, TD15 2XG (0700 – 2300 Mon-Sat)
  • Morrisons, (28 mins, 19 mls), 24 Loaning Meadows, Berwick-upon-Tweed, TD15 1UQ (0700 – 2200 Mon-Sat)

Tourist Websites

Site Notes
Official National Park Official Northumberland National Park website
Visit Northumberland website Official Visit Northumberland website
Countryfile Guide to National Park Countryfile Guide to Northumberland National Park
National Parks UK National Parks UK - Northumberland
Tripadvisor Tripadvisor - Explore Northumberland
The Beach Guide The Beach Guide - Northumberland


Places of Interest

(Listed in order of distance from home)

Place How Far? Notes Walk
Bamburgh Castle 24 mi
40 mins
The King of Castles, a fortification has dominated this site since Anglo-Saxon times when it was the capital of the kingdom of Northumbria. The current structure with Keep, curtain walls, towers and ramparts dates from the 1500's to the Victorian restructuring of Lord Armstrong. There are fourteen rooms open to the public including the spectacular Kings Hall, with over 3000 items of artwork, furniture, china and porcelain. The separate Armstrong and Aviation Artifacts museum gives visitors a glimpse into the creativity and industrial genius of Lord Armstrong, with a look at the aviation legacy created by his company after his death. The cafeteria serves great, fresh food and then a wander around the battlements completes a great day out.
https://www.bamburghcastle.com
Cost: Adult: £11.75, Child: £5.75 (aged 5-18), Family (2 adults + 3 children): £29.95
Yes
St Aiden Beach 26 mi
41 mins
"Miles of golden sands to walk along and enjoy especially with the backdrop of Bamburgh castle.Not particularly easy to reach if you are in a wheelchair or disabled as the paths from the park through the dunes are very narrow and not wheel chair friendly as we observed while walking through to the beach." N/A
Ross Back Sands Beach 20 mi
35 mins
"Yet another beautiful strip of Northumberland coastline which is well worth the effort to get there. The walk to the beach is interesting and if you are lucky you might catch sight of local hares and birds of prey who benefit from the peace and unspoilt environment. The path is well signed and takes you through a small private hamlet initially on the farm estate. Once you pass through the undulating dunes you are rewarded by stunning sandy beaches with lots of space and very few people" N/A
Alnwick Castle 26 mi
40 mins
Alnwick Castle is one of the largest inhabited castles in England. Home to the Duke of Northumberland's family, the Percys, for over 700 years, it has witnessed drama, intrigue, tragedy and romance. From stunning art collections and sumptuous State Rooms to medieval crafts and Potter-inspired magic, a visit to Alnwick Castle fires the imagination.
https://www.alnwickcastle.com
Cost: Adults - £8, 16 and under - free
N/A
Serenity Farne Island Boat Tours 27 mi
44 mins
Serenity Farne Island Boat Tours offers a wide range of boat trip to the Farne islands in Northumberland. Our boats have toilets on board and our catamaran has disabled access when the tides are right. All ages are welcome as well as dogs. Our skippers and crewman are there to help you with any question you like so pleased do not hesitate to ask. If you want to know about our day to day adventures before you arrive, then why not have a look at our blog.
https://farneislandstours.co.uk/
Costs: Fairly costly for boat trip and additional costs to land (NT owned)
N/A
Cragside House and Gardens 28 mi
41 mins
"Whilst we are NT Members and visited for free, I'm conscious that it is quite pricey for non-members (currently £13.00 per adult/ £38.00 per family for house and gardens). It is however, well worth the price if you make a full day of it! Extensive gardens, unique hydro-electric power system, remarkable house, great childrens play areas and a delightful 5-6 mile drive all within the site with numerous stop-off points to enjoy walks, picnic areas and lakeside views. The cafe/restaurant is not cheap but the food we had was delicious. Note that the House is not open every day - check out the national Trust for details and restrictions, especially during gthe Winter months."
https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/cragside
N/A
Brinkburn Priory 32 mi
46 mins
Brinkburn Priory is tucked away amongst the woodland, within a picturesque loop of the River Coquet. Lace up your boots and take a scenic ten minute walk from the car park to discover this hidden gem. The 12th-century church of the Augustinian Priory was completely re-roofed and restored in the mid-19th century. It is one of the best examples of early Gothic architecture in Northumberland. See the striking stained glass windows and William Hill organ. And while you're there sing a song to appreciate the beautiful acoustics of the building. Discover the disheveled interiors of the abandoned manor house. Following the closure of the priory in 1536, some of the monastic buildings were re-used within the maze-like structure of the house. Hunt out hints of its former grandeur as you explore - the peeling wallpaper, degraded plasterwork and damaged wood panelling are fascinating. Then take the stairs down to the cellar where the kitchen used used to be and check out the rusty old range.
https://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/brinkburn-priory
Costs: Adult £6.50, Child (5-17 years) £3.90, Family (2 adults, up to 3 children) £16.90
N/A
Jedburgh Castle Jail & Museum 23 mi
35 mins
Jedburgh Castle Jail & Museum is an attraction that looks like a grand castle – but inside is a different story! Visit the cell blocks of this 1820s jail and discover what life was like for prisoners and staff in what was a model prison in its day. The building is also home to Jedburgh’s town museum, exploring the traditions, industries and the lives of famous people of the town. Lots of children’s activities make this a fun family day out.
Costs: Admission is free: donations are welcome.
Jedburgh Castle Jail & Museum
N/A
11. Great Scenic Drive - Alnmouth to Holy Island N/A Coastal. 37 miles. The Northumberland Coast Area of Outstanding National Beauty covers the last 40 miles of England’s far north-eastern tip before the Scottish border. For most of its length the only thing between you and the North Sea is a wide strip of grassy dunes and sandy beaches, once the landing point for raiding Viking longships. The area’s embattled past is evident everywhere – Northumberland has more castles than any other county, several of which are strung along this sparsely populated stretch of shoreline, along with numerous pele towers (fortified keeps where signal fires were lit to warn of approaching danger).
Starting at Alnmouth, work your way northwards on the A1068, B1339 and B1340, passing Boulmer, Dunstanburgh Castle, Beadnell, Seahouses and Bamburgh, before skimming over the causeway at low tide to the Holy Island of Lindisfarne, home of a medieval monastery and 16th-century castle. Be sure to check the tides to plan your drive back – the causeway can disappear unnervingly quickly.
Route on Google Maps
N/A


Walks

Viewranger - Walks nearby

(Listed in order of distance from home)

Details (Viewranger link) Walk
Length
Walk
Duration
Height
climbed
Max
Elev
Surface Difficulty Distance
to start
Done?
1-5
Local walk along disused railway
Only Justin can view this as it is private
4.8 mi 2.5 hrs 394 ft 311 ft Moderate Medium 3 mi / 6 mins ✓✓
09/08/2021
Yeavering Bell 3.6 mi 2.5 hrs 1026 ft 1135 ft Moderate Medium 3 mi / 6 mins
Ring Chesters Round 5.1 mi 3 hrs 1126 ft 1107 ft Moderate Medium 4 mi / 9 mins ✓✓✓✓
11/08/2021
Hethpool Linn & Yeavering Bell 6.5 mi 3 hrs 1513 ft 1131 ft Rough Medium 3 mi / 6 mins
Humbleton Hillfort 5.2 mi 3 hrs 1040 ft 925 ft Moderate Medium 9 mi / 15 mins
The Harthope Valley 3.7 mi 2 hrs 646 ft 993 ft Moderate Medium 9 mi / 17 mins
Breamish Valley Hillfort Trail 4.6 mi 3 hrs 933 ft 1090 ft Moderate Medium 19 mi / 30 mins
Cochrane Pike Walk 4.3 mi 2 hrs 787 ft 1091 ft Moderate Medium 19 mi / 30 mins ✓✓✓½
10/08/2021
Holy Island (coastal walk) 6.5 mi 3 hrs 270 ft 45 ft Moderate Easy 20 mi / 33 mins
Linhope Spout (Breamish Valley) 3.2 mi 1.5 hrs 470 ft 1007 ft Moderate Medium 22 mi / 39 mins
Bamburgh to Seahouses (coastal walk) 7 mi 3.5 hrs 380 ft 102 ft Moderate Easy 24 mi / 37 mins
Craster, Howick & Dunstanburgh (coastal walk) 7.3 mi 3.5 hrs 490 ft 139 ft Moderate Easy 31 mi / 52 mins
Craster to Dunstan Steads (coastal walk) 4.5 mi 2.5 hrs 254 ft 134 ft Moderate Medium 31 mi / 52 mins

Drives/Tours

LINKS:  The Big Four,   Great Scottish Drives,    Dumfries & Galloway Drives,   AA Best Drives Scotland,   Temp Drives

Drive Related websites

Site Notes
Visit Scotland
Scotland's most scenic drives with overview map and descriptions
Top Gear The very best driving roads in Scotland
Hostel World The 12 best road trips around Scotland
Absolute Escapes 7 Incredible Scottish Roads That You Need to Drive


The Big Four

  • These are the 4 main "official" Scottish Drives
  • These are all circular routes.
  • The drive durations shown are non-stop times
  • The Google maps (Part 1, Part 2 etc) are split up only because of limations with Google.
Name/
Start
Maps Length Notes Website Rating
(1-5)
South West Coastal 300

Dumfries
Overview

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3
314 mi
8 hrs 30 mins
The South West Coastal 300 is a new Scottish driving route extending some 300 miles through the tranquil and scenic south-west region of Scotland, the circular road route takes in numerous attractions. The SWC300 features fabulous coastlines, including two lowland peninsulas, and several traditional seaside hotspots of Ayrshire. Inland, the route winds through a delightful rolling countryside, edges atmospheric forests and crosses dramatic moorlands. The SWC300 sticks as much as possible to quiet country roads although inevitably there are some shorter stretches that are busier with traffic. website 1
website 2
website 3
website 4

video
North Coast 500

Inverness Castle
Overview

Clockwise
Part 1
Part 2

Anti-clockwise
Part 1
Part 2
516 mi
14 hrs
The North Coast 500 is a 516-mile scenic route around the north coast of Scotland, starting and ending at Inverness Castle. The route (also known as the NC500) was launched in 2015 and serves up some of the most picturesque scenery in Europe as you travel these narrow, winding roads from Inverness to John O'Groats and back down the coast. It has enough surprises over the 500 plus miles to make you think about the country in an entirely different way, although every traveller will share a similar appreciation of stunning isolated landscapes and breathtakingly wild coastal scenes along the way.
NOTE: This is a usually a very busy route with quite a lot of single track roads and many campervans to deal with! Book accomodation well in advance.
website 1
website 2
website 3
website 4
website 5
website 6

video

Hints and Tips video
Heart 200

Stirling
Overview

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3
240 mi
7 hrs 30 mins
The Heart 200 is a new touring route of approximately 240 miles around Perth, Stirling, the Trossachs and Highland Perthshire – the very heart of Scotland. In addition, the route uniquely links Scotland’s two national parks, Loch Lomond & the Trossachs and the Cairngorms.
But what distinguishes the Heart 200 from the famous North Coast 500 is that it is designed around major trunk roads, with a well-established built infrastructure, and there’s scope to accommodate increased numbers of tourists year on year.
So, if you’re daunted by driving on single track roads and getting stuck behind campervans, then Heart 200 is for you. But be assured there’s no compromise on spectacle. The Heart 200 takes in some of Scotland’s most historic towns and cities, including Stirling at its southernmost tip. Travellers will be immersed in the captivating and unspoilt landscapes of Scotland’s two national Parks, as well as skirting the banks of Loch Tay. And that’s just a few landmarks along the route.
website 1

website 2

website 3
North East 250

Spittal of Glenshee
Overview

Part 1

Part 2
260 mi
7 hrs
This is a 250 mile self-drive road trip that includes Speyside, Aberdeenshire, and the Cairngorms National Park. It’s home to excellent whisky distilleries, fantastic stretches of coastline, cute villages, museums, castles, golf courses, and epic scenery. It’s also a much less travelled route than some of Scotland’s other road trips, making for an overall fantastic experience. It passes through the spectacular mountain passes of the Cairngorms National Park, the famous castles of Royal Deeside, the Granite City of Aberdeen, the rugged North Sea coastline to the east, and the picturesque seaside villages of the Moray Firth Coast. website 1
website 2
website 3

video


Great Scottish Drives

# Name of Road Map/
Website
Start
Finsh
Length Notes Rating
(1-5)
1 A82 map

website
Glasgow

Fort William
109 mi
2 hr 34 min
The route through Glen Coe is one of the best driving routes in Scotland – and quite rightly so. Towering mountains loom overhead as you wind your way through this majestic glen. Stop at the Glencoe Visitor Centre to find out how the glen was formed and discover its clan connections. Coming from either Glasgow or Edinburgh are both great Glencoe driving routes. Travelling from Glasgow will take you along the banks of Loch Lomond or if you choose to travel from Edinburgh you’ll pass The Kelpies – famous horse sculptures created by Andy Scott – as well as Stirling Castle. ✓✓✓✓✓
2 A9 map

website
Stirling

Inverness
143 mi
2 hr 42 min
"The most beautiful A-road in the world", according to Telegraph Travel's Head of Print, Ben Ross.
3 A830, A861 and B8007 map

website
Mallaig

Tobermory
63 mi
2 hr 41 min
"Scotland’s west coast is a road tripper’s dream, however, the best section – if you ask me – is not on the North Coast 500. Instead, drive from Mallaig across the Ardnamurchan peninsula and on to the Isle of Mull. Drive through the volcanic landscape of this remote peninsula. Visit white sands that challenge the Caribbean and indulge in those stunning west coast sunsets!"
4 Snow Roads Scenic Route map

website
Blairgowrie

Grantown-on-Spey
90 mi
2 hr 19 min
For a exhilarating road trip, the Snow Roads Scenic Route in Scotland doesn't disappoint. As well as a thrilling ride with a stunning backdrop, there are plenty of things worth a detour on the way. Traversing the highest public road in Britain, the Snow Roads Scenic Route is a 90-mile drive through the heart of the Cairngorms National Park in the Scottish Highlands. The hills are strewn with castles, off-grid whisky distilleries promise roadside detours and you’ll spot stags posing on heather. ✓✓✓✓✓
5 Galloway Tourist Route map

website
Gretna Green

Ayr
106 mi
2 hr 57 min
Take in Galloway Forest Park on this delightful route from Gretna to Ayr and stop off at superb attractions, including Threave Castle and the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum. There’s also ample opportunity for adventure with woodland trails to explore on foot or by mountain bike and the waters of Loch Ken for a whole range of thrilling watersports.
6 Clyde Valley Tourist Route map

website

website
Abington

Hamilton
47 mi
1 hr 47 min
Looking for lush countryside and amazing wildlife? Check. Historic castles and industrial heritage? Check. Outdoor pursuits and family-friendly experiences? Check. For all this and more, turn off the M74 at Abingdon and take the scenic route to Hamilton where you can also extend your journey on to Glasgow.
7 Fife Coastal Route map

website

website
Kincardine

Newport on Tay
81 mi
2 hr 48 min
With the Kincardine Bridge and the Tay Bridge at either end, the Fife Coastal Route traces a meandering path along the glittering Firth of Forth coastline, passing places such as the Royal Burgh of Culross, the beautiful fishing towns in the East Neuk and historic St Andrews.
8 Borders Historic Route map

website

website
Longtown

Dalkeith
79 mi
2 hr 7 min
The only tourist route that begins outside Scotland, the Borders Historic Route picks up near Carlisle before passing into the lush countryside of the Scottish Borders. Follow the route to Edinburgh and explore the charming villages you pass en route before reaching Scotland’s historic capital city.
9 Argyll Coastal Route map

website

website
Tarbet

North Ballachulish
136 mi
3 hr 31 min
If you’re a fan of seafood, sea air and stunning sunsets then the Argyll Coastal Route will be the drive of your life! Set off from the banks of Loch Lomond to explore Scotland’s west coast and travel the scenic route to Fort William. Discover the excellent produce of Loch Fyne, the fascinating history of the Kingdom of Dalraida at Kilmartin and the astonishingly diverse landscapes – from sea shores to mountain top.
10 Clyde Sea Lochs Trail map

website
Dumbarton

Arrochar Village
46 mi
1 hr 31 min
Loch Lomond is a popular destination for many visitors, but have you ever ventured further? The Clyde Sea Lochs Trail takes you into the heart of the coastal communities to the south west of Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park. This established driving route is well sign posted and easy to follow, with panels packed with information located at each of the points of interest along the way, all with good car parking nearby. Start the route in Dumbarton or further north in Arrochar, with plenty to explore in between.
11 Highlands 140 map

website
Spean Bridge 140 mi
5 hrs
NOTE: Includes a ferry. Highlights include the 'Road to the Isles', the Glenfinnan Monument and Viaduct, the stunning west coast and the villages of Arisaig and Morar, board a ferry at Mallaig to Armadale on the Isle of Skye and head back over the Skye Bridge via Kyle of Lochalsh and Eilean Donan Castle through one of Scotland’s most beautiful glens, Glen Shiel, and at the end you can pay tribute to our soldiers at the commando memorial at Spean Bridge with views of Ben Nevis.
12 A82 map

website
Glasgow

Inverness
174 mi
4 hr 9 min
"The A82 is one of my favourite roads to drive in Scotland. Most people who plan a road trip in the Scottish Highlands will find themselves on this road eventually. Yet they usually don’t spend nearly enough time on it to really appreciate everything it has to offer. Running from Glasgow to Fort William and on to Inverness, the A82 leads to and past some of the most iconic places in the Scottish Highlands. Even though you could drive the entire route in 4-5 hours, I recommend spending at least 2 days on the route including an overnight stop around Glencoe or Fort William. There are many things to do in Glencoe!"
13 The Road to the Isles (A830) map

website
Fort William

Mallaig
43 mi
58 min
"Beginning at the foot of Ben Nevis the so-called Road to the Isles winds its way west from the mountains towards Mallaig by the sea. Along the way, it takes in some of the most stunning scenery Scotland has to offer. Photo opportunities present themselves around almost every corner. Atmospheric lochs, majestic mountains and stunning beaches make this section of road one of my all time favourites."
14 West Scot 300 Overview

map

website
Tarbet 288 mi
7 hrs
This route emcompasses 3 fantastic smaller routes: Argyll Coastal Route, The Road to the Isles, and the best of the Glencoe to Glasgow A82
15 zzz map

website
zzzz zzz mi
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Dumfries & Galloway Drives

The Drives

# Name of Road Map
Website
Start
Finsh
Length Notes Rating
(1-5)
1 A712 Map

website
New Galloway

Newton Stewart
19 mi If the first section of this road only got 4 stars because of the surface, then this is an easy 5 star road. It’s and epic drive, especially when it gets up on to a plateau in the hills. The tarmac flicks-flacks through perfectly cambered bends, before a superb final descent into Crocketford. This is fourteen miles of the very best driving in the region.
If it wasn’t for the surface the A712 would be 5 stars. The start is perfect, like a Nurburgring set in the New Galloway forests. In fact the first section has such good tarmac, I had “The Queen’s Way” down as one of the best roads in the UK. What a shame that after a few miles the surface changes and gets bumpy, especially for stiffly sprung cars. It’s still a fantastic road though, always twisty except when it runs briefly along side Glatteringshaws Loch.
✓✓✓✓
01/06/2021
2 A702
Dalveen Pass
Map

website 1

website 2
Elvanfoot

Carronbridge
16 mi The Dalveen Pass is the most southerly and the longes of the three passes that cross the Lowther Hills and reaches a height of 1,148 ft (350 m). This road is simply one of the best roads in the country. The run out of Elvanfoot consists of endless wide sweeping corners, full of camber, visibility and a decent enough surface. Crossing the summit, the road then changes scenery, clinging to the side of Well Hill as it descends into the valley. Despite the lack of hairpins, the decent is almost alpine, and is certainly nice and quick. The Dalveen pass is an absolutely awesome road, and in my eyes, the best in the region. ✓✓✓✓½
21/04/2021
3 B729 Map

website
New Bridge

Kirkland
12 mi "A wicked road, very very good" to quote my Dictaphone. The reason: well it starts with a fantastic snaking drive up the valley next to Steilston Hill. After this, it runs between dry stone walls and as it follows (and offers some excellent views of) Dalwhat Water north. Look out for cyclists, as the Bicycle was invented just down the road at Keir Mill. Road Info: Turn right, heading north, in Dunscore at the roundabout.
4 A745 Map

website
Dalbeattie

Castle Douglas
6 mi As this road starts with traffic lights, it’s best to be the first car in the queue. The reason; the hill climb out of Dalbeattie is stunning, with a real screamer of a long hairpin. This road is definitely worth waiting at the lights for.
5 A708 Map

website

website
Moffat

Selkirk
35 mi From the spa town of Moffat, the A708 spears diagonally across border country to Selkirk. It's a classic drive that dilutes the magic of the Highlands into a truly iconic stretch of road. Options to turn it into a loop are many and varied and, at 35 miles, there's more than enough room to stretch your legs.
Grey Mare's Tail Waterfall is also on this drive and makes a fabulous walk (see above in Dumfries Walks) although can be very busy.
✓✓✓✓½
25/04/2021
6 B797
The Mennock Pass
Map

website

website
Mennock

Abington
15 mi The Mennock Pass is the middle of the three passes that cross the Lowther Hills and reaches to a height of 1,352 ft (412m) as it leaves Wanlockhead. The Mennock Pass is a great road. The climb between Stood Hill and Thirstaine Hill follows a great valley with a real feeling of wilderness. Beyond the summit the road is never straight, following a small stream and cutting through the rugged rocky scenery. The surface is mostly good; however there are a couple of dodgy sections with broken surfaces. ✓✓✓✓½
21/04/2021
7 B7040 Map

website
Elvanfoot

Leadhills
9 mi The B7040 gives you a good excuse to drive the Mennock Pass (see above) twice as it links Elvanfoot to the Middle of the B797 at Leadhills, creating a small loop. The sceneary is very pretty. It’s a very good road, fast and twisty, and passing through some cool scree formations. The road has a rally stage feel, with some excellent second and third gear sections, and is definitely worth the trip, especially if it forces you to repeat the Mennock. ✓✓✓✓
05/05/2021
8 A710 Map

website
Dalbeattie

Dumfries
26 mi Reaching its peak on a freshly tarmaced section alongside the, the A710 is a great twisty stretch of road. With craggy hillsides on one side and the sea on the other, it is also very scenic and the best of the coastal routes alongside the Solway Firth: highly recommended. ✓✓✓½
Various
9 B740
The Crawick Pass
Map

website
Sanquhar

B7078
15 mi The Crawick Pass is the most northerly of the three passes that cross the Lowther Hills and reaches a height of 945 ft (288 m). This pass has more gentle rolling hills than the Mennock and Dalveen passes and is not quite so impressive, however the good quality road surface (with a few exceptions) and lovely sweeping roads makes for an excellent driving experience. ✓✓✓½
05/05/2021
10 B702 Map

website
St John's Town of Dalry

Thornhill
21 mi Like the other roads in the area the B702 follows a simple recipe. Most of them are of such a high standard that it comes down to the surface to dictate just how good it is. In the B702’s case its pretty good, which makes for yet another good stretch of road. This time it’s twenty-five miles, which means another half an hour of uninterrupted driving. Life shouldn’t be this good.
11 Raiders' Road Forest Drive Map

Overview

website

website
A762

A712
10 mi Fee of £2 per car, payable by card or in coins. Run by Forestry and Land Scotland.
One of two forest drives in Galloway Forest Park, this drive is an easy way to see more of the Park's woods and wildlife without having to walk too far.
It's a 10 mile two-way forest drive, which is open to vehicles between April and October and for walkers, cyclists and horse-riders year-round. There is a small fee of £2, payable by card or in coins.
There are various places to stop along Raiders' Road. Head for Otter Pool car park, about half way along, for the perfect riverside picnic spot with plenty of room on the grassy banks to play. Alternatively, stop at Stroan Loch for peaceful waterside views, an old viaduct and the start of the scenic but strenuous Buzzard Trail.
12 A713 Map

website
Castle Douglas

Damellington
35 mi One very wet road, two motorbikes, and one Elise; ingredients for an excellent, if hairy, drive. The bikes caught me at about Carsphairn, and I was already really enjoying the road, it’s one of the fastest roads in the area, and a real license loser. I was on my own, or I had been until that point, so I let them past and decided to see if I could keep up. Bikes are quicker on anything but very twisty roads, but the rain played to my favour and I was able to keep up with the second bike for ten minutes or so, trusting his speeds into blind corners and marvelling at their confidence in the wet. Eventually the long straights told and they edged leaving me alone with the road once more. It’s a great run, a backbone to the area that all the other roads seem to run to. Luckily this means that it’s an obvious choice for a drive in the area, which is a good thing, as its one of the best.
13 A714 Map

website
Newton Stewart

Girvan
30 mi An absolutely brilliant road, the first part climbs into the low hills via excellent sets of corners at an excellent pace. It then drops out of the countryside and tracks the river Duisk, using more twists and turns than the river itself. These are punctuated by the odd humpback bridge river crossing, each with tight scrabbling corners on either side. The road then opens up as it combines forest with open countryside all the way to Newton Stewart. The A714 has a good surface and is wide and even has overtaking places. Despite the single speed camera sign, there were no cameras on this road.
14 Unmarked Roads Map

website
Straiton

A714
22 mi Running through exciting sounding places such as, Black Hill and Rig of the Shalloch, and passing close to a Robert the Bruce battleground, I had high expectations for this road. The first five miles or so are very good, the road is wide and takes itself into the heart of the Galloway Forest Park. Fittingly, at Loch Moan, the road then becomes single track and worthy of a moan, It’s a reasonably wide single track road though and you can take a decent pace into it. In fact the quietness of the road makes it’s easy to relax and go a bit too quick. ✓✓✓✓
01/06/2021
15 B741 Map

website
New Cumnock

Girvan
32 mi This thirty mile stretch across the south Ayrshire countryside is a good stretch. It’s nice and quiet and has some excellent sections with good flowing corners. The four or five mile section with restricted width and passing sections is not too painful; the corners have been widened so you can take good lines through them. Much of this part of the road is open, saving the problem of constantly crawling around blind bends. Road Info The road joins the A713 for a mile at Dalmington. Also, in Dalmington, heading east to New Cumnock, take the left at the mini roundabout in front of the shops. In Straiton the road also comes to two junctions: again, heading east, turn right at the T junction (signpost Dalmington) then right after the post office onto Dalmington Road (no signpost). In Dailly turn left (heading west) at the T junction, then left 500m at the next T junction, just outside the village (signpost Girvan).
16 A77 Map

website
Stranraer

Girvan
30 mi The A77 is a trunk road and after a ferry comes into Stranraer expect it to be wedged full of trucks and a nightmare. With this in mind, do whatever it takes, sit in a lay by, stay up all night, whatever, to get the Glen App section to yourself. My first experience of the road was at night. I was on my own all the way from Girvan to Outside Stranraer and it was epic. The cat’s-eyes led the way and the reflective posts guided me into each corner as it placed itself straight into my top ten night drives. During the day it’s good, if it’s empty. In fact I think Glen App has aspirations on the Nurburgring, or it certainly feels so, as you straight line the corners and clip those - oh so - intimidating Armco barriers. One star when it’s busy, five stars when it’s not.
17 B734 Map

website
Girvan

A714 via Barr
14 mi Anyone staying with this road from beginning to end deserves a medal. I lost count of the times I reversed up to junctions, or swore, as another sign pointed me in the seemingly wrong direction during my hopeless search for Barr. Maybe it was tiredness, or the rain, but I swore never to try this road again. Aside from the swearing or silence, filled with a background of snatched gears or reversing whine, my Dictaphone did contain some positive comments. The descent, from the Mull of Milijoan, into Barr is a fantastic section of road and worth the effort. Uphill it would be better: I’ll try again one day. Road info (for what its worth): After two miles, turn right in Old Dailly, signpost Barr. In Barr, turn right over the humpback bridge, signpost Pinwherry.
18 B734 Map

website
A714

A77
8 mi The second half of the B734, joining the A714 to the A77 is a good road. It’s wide, with fast open corners running through some nice countryside, and is worth the effort. Road Info: After five miles, heading west, turn right to stay on the B734, otherwise the road becomes the B7044.
19 A711 Map

website
Kirkcudbright

Dumfries
32 mi The first section of this road to Dalbeattie follows the Solway Heritage Coast Trial and starts with an excellent uphill stretch. After this the road straightens up and is fast and flowing all the way to Dalbeattie. After Dalbeattie the road stays fast and flowing with some sweeping corners. There is quite a lot of traffic in running between Dalbeattie and Dumfries which slows progress, despite the ample overtaking. ✓✓✓
Various
20 A762 Map

website
New Galloway

Ringford
15 mi Good fast and twisty, with a fine section alongside Loch Ken. Perhaps not as good as some of the other roads out of New Galloway, but good, all the same


"AA Best Drives Scotland"

From the AA book "Best Drives Scotland"


  • These are all circular routes. This book (ISBN: 978-0749567996 available from Amazon here) probably has one of the best lists of Scottish road tours that has ever been published.
  • The drive durations shown assume assume no stops!
  • The Google maps (Map 1, Map 2 etc) are split up only because of limitations with Google maps.
  • The drives at the top of the table are located in the South of Scotland and move North as you go down the table.
# Name/
Start
Maps Length From Home
From Lel
Description Rating
1 The Land O' Burns

Ayr
Overview

Map 1

Map 2
118 mi
3 hr 36 min
60 mi
1 hr 27 min
This journey along the Clyde coast is one of the finest in this part of Scotland, glorious views over the Firth of Clyde to Arran and the smaller islands of the Clyde. With such views, no wonder that many Scots retire to this area. For the visitor, is scenery provides the backdrop to many places associated with Robert Burns national poet and the Scots favourite literary figure.
2 Galloway and the Covenanters

Newton Stewart
Overview

Map 1

Map 2
152 mi
4 hr 14 min
50 mi
1 hr
Many visitors overlook this south-western corner of the country, but there is a wealth of picturesque villages, historic building, sandy beaches and other attractions in this almost forgotten land. It is mainly agriculture and the great absence of industry and big towns that has meant that many Antiquities have been preserved an older building Styles have survived. This is one of the warmest dry parts factors that have helped Foster agriculture and palm trees!
3 Queen of the South

Dumfries
Overview

Map 1

Map 2
121 mi
3 hr 32 min
0 mi
5 min
The Muddy creeks on the north-western shore of the Solway Firth were Havens to Smugglers bringing contraband into Scotland. Giving such a tradition, it comes as no surprise that the areas most famous figure was an excise man none other than Robert Burns, who pent his final years in the Dumfries area. The castles and granite towns of the coast contrast with the large forest and rolling Farmland inland.
4 Seeking Gold

Lanark
Overview

Map 1

Map 2
120 mi
4 hr 7 min
55 mi
1 hr 7 min
Although the Clyde is normally thought of as an industrial river, the upper reaches are strong with Orchards and market gardens. Add a few castles and an impressive canyon and the Clyde Valley soon becomes one of the most surprising areas in this part of Scotland. The moors and Hills above the valley are no less interesting and they have been home to Iron Age people, romans and Farmers and weekend gold prospectors!
5 Taking the Waters

Moffat
Map
122 mi
3 hr 38 min
20 mi
31 min
The tour follows many important river courses as they wind their way through the hills of the Southern Uplands, the land of the shepherd and the forester. Although the areas population has never been large, it has certainly seen many visitors. Some were unwelcome as a came to raid and plunder; others the early tourists, time to sample the peaceful countryside and the delights of two of the country's most southerly spas.
6 Walter Scott Country

Melrose
Map
114 mi
3 hr 32 min
64 mi
1 hr 47 min
The name of Sir Walter Scott is writ large in this area. He lived and worked here and also became one of Scotland's greatest novelists, extent that the Waverley novels gave their name both to a local railway line and to Edinburgh's main railway station. This is also the land of the ruins of the great border Abbey's, impressive mediaeval buildings that stand as monuments two man craftsmanship and powers of destruction.
7 The Border Country

Edinburgh
Overview

Map 1

Map 2
147 mi
4 hr 29 min
78 mi
1 hr 57 min

50 mi
1 hrs 9 min
The Border Country, of which this is part, has long seen the coming and going of armies and the number of castles around here is a measure of how dangerous and area of this once was. Much of the coastline is rugged, and the cliff scenery quite spectacular, though in the north of the region the coastal scenery becomes gentler, giving way to find beaches and grassy links that are ideal for golf. Inland, the rich agricultural district of the mirth support many pretty villages, most of which Nestle under the shelter of the Lammermuirs.
8 Argyll Coast and Castles

Oban
Map
180 mi
5 hr 5 min
169 mi
3 hr 22 min

90 mi
2 hrs 12 min
Although this route is only a couple of hours drive away from the industrial heartland of Scotland, it nevertheless encompasses some superb Highland scenery. The highly indented coastline, backed by 3000ft high hills, provides a backdrop to some fascinating places like the 5,000 year old cairns at Kilmartin, mediaeval castles and a picturesque setting of Crinan Canal
9 Doon the Watter

Paisley
Map
138 mi
5 hr
84 mi
1 hr 30 min

10 mi
20 min
The Cowal Peninsula is made up of a group of narrow peninsulas, shaped like a grasping hand trying to get a hold of the northern shore of the island of Bute. The narrow, twisting ring roads of Cowal give ever-changing vistas over the sea lochs and the great estuary of the Firth of Clyde, the busy waterway that linked local communities before the arrival of the Railway and the motor car.
10 Rob Roy Country

Glasgow
Map
188 mi
5 hr 24 min
80 mi
1 hr 26 min

0 mi
0 min
The border between the Highlands and the Lowlands is studded with locks that were gouged out of the Landscape by long lost glasses. Some of the country's best-known lochs are found here, and today's visitors follow in the footsteps of the nineteenth-century Tourists, eager to sample the wild scenery so vividly romanticized by Sir Walter Scott
11 Abbeys, Battlefields & Castles

Stirling
Overview

Map 1

Map 2
95 mi
2 hr 53 min
90 mi
1 hr 36 mins

30 mi
41 min
This historic corner of Scotland has an abundance of important buildings that armies fought over for centuries. Abbeys, grand palaces and austere castles were the prizes thought by the warring parties, and sterling, the gateway to the Highlands, was the Jewel In The Crown that Invaders tried to capture and that the Scots defended to the last. The battle site excavated here testify to the live sacrificed in the centuries of turmoil. But some places can often evaded change and a small coastal town of Culross retains a rich Legacy in its preserved buildings and that time just passed by.
12 Raspberry Fields Forever

Perth
Overview

Map 1

Map 2
120 mi
3 hr 17 min
122 mi
2 hrs 7 min

61 mi
1 hrs 13 min
A rich agricultural area, Strathmore provides the background to this tour which skirts the southern limit of the Grampian Highlands. Prosperous farming communities busy east coasting fishing ports and the industrial town of Dundee add to their interest. In many ways this area is one of Scotland's hidden gems, as it is often missed by visitors who are more intent on heading straight for the Highlands.
13 The Kingdom of Fife

Kinross
Overview

Map 1

Map 2
98 mi
2 hr 52 min
141 mi
2 hrs 37 min

75 mi
1 hrs 43 min
Although never a separate legal entity, Fife earned the title "Kingdom of Fife" through the influence of it ancient abbey in Dunfermline and later its mediaeval university in St Andrews. Cut off from the the country by the great firths of the Forth and the Tay, it has a character that is very different from the rest of Scotland. This is most evident in its traditional agriculture, especially the small white stone buildings with their pantiled roofs that are such a common feature in the many picturesque fishing villages of the East Neuk.
14 The Land of Macbeth

Inverness
Map
107 mi
2 hr 56 min
232 mi
4 hrs 7 min

171 mi
3 hrs 13 min
Inverness strategic position at the meeting point of so many land and sea routes has meant that the town and its surrounding District have seen the comings and goings of many different people. Picts, Vikings and warring Scots clans have all left their mark, but the most significant historical event, the Battle of Culloden in 1746, has left it's mark all over Scotland; in order to understand the history of the Highlands, the battlefields should be visited. This tour encompasses a wide variety of scenery, from the glorious sandy beaches of the Moray Firth to the pine forests that lie below the Cairngorms, a combination that attracts tourists throughout the year.
15 The Malt Whisky Trail

Elgin
Map
87 mi
2 hr 30 min
250 mi
4 hrs 36 min

187 mi
3 hrs 44 min
The seaside towns and villages of Moray have much to offer the visitor: Picturesque harbours, sandy beaches and a wealth of traditional buildings that gives the district its own particular charm. Inland, the District by the peaky Waters of the River Spey are home to many of Scotland's most celebrated whisky distilleries
16 The Fishing Trail

Banff
Map
122 mi
3 hr 9 min
250 mi
4 hrs 30 min
192 mi
3 hrs 40 min
The coastal part of this route visit a variety of harbours, from the small picture postcard ones like charming Crovie to the big, bustling Peterhead. Has its own fascination and each reflects the way in which the sea has been so important to the people of this area. Behind this, the rich countryside, with its landscape of rolling hills, has prosperous farming towns and villages. The long history of settlement in this part of the country is marked by the existence of prehistoric stone circles.
17 Around the Cairngorms

Pitlochry
Map
4 hr 32 min 175 mi
147 mi
2 hrs 35 min

86 mi
1 hrs 40 min
The fact that this tour is the longest one in the region reflect the sheer scale of the Cairngorms. Motorists have to drive around the margins of the hills, but this does allow the visitor many different opportunities to explore the small Glens that cutting to the sides of these great mountains. There is a great deal of variety on the root; the traditional Highland resort of Pitlochry, the more modern Aviemore and the small villages that lie to the east. Walkers will find need to keep them busy on this tour, as will followers of other Outdoor Pursuits.
18 The Castle

Aberdeen
Overview

Map 1

Map 2
147 mi
4 hr 8 min
210 mi
3 hrs 41 min

148 mi
2 hrs 45 min
The visitor to this part of the country might be forgiven for getting the impression there's a castle around every corner. But the district has more to offer than fine old buildings; there are peaceful villages, a rugged coastline and rich agricultural countryside to explore.
19 The Road to the Isles

Fort William
Overview

Map 1

Map 2
190 mi
6 hrs
180 mi
3 hrs 40 min
West of the Highland gateway of Fort William great fingers of land stick out into the sea. These peninsulas are home to scattered crofting communities that are linked by narrow twisting roads offering new views Around Every Corner. Road conditions dictate the progress will not be fast, but that is no draw back when travelling through one of the least visited parts of the mainland, where each Bay and Glenn is worthy of unhurried exploration.
20 The Western Highlands

Fort Augustus
Overview

Map 1

Map 2
295 mi
8 hrs
211 mi
4 hrs 22 min
The length of this tour reflects the paucity of major cross-country routes in the Highlands and the extent to which the sea lochs bite into the west coast. This is the Highlands at its best, with giant mountains providing the backdrop to some unforgettable beaches. Inland, the Great Glen carves a wide gash through the fabric of the land, and this route has been followed over the millennia by successive waves of settlers, missionaries, soldiers and even sailors.
21 The Wild West

Bonar Bridge
Map
166 mi
4 hrs 38 min
270 mi
5 hrs
Two cross-country routes link the eastern village of Bonar Bridge with more dramatic west coast scenery. Europe has Hugh wilderness areas left, but is a visitor's approach the uninhabited Moor and mountain area of Inverpolly, they can get some feeling of just house starkly beautiful and inhospitable the Highland landscape can be. However, the rich harvest from the sea provides many communities with a good livelihood and helps maintain the Highland crofting traditions.
22 Northern Highlights

Dornoch
Overview

Map 1

Map 2
260 mi
7 hrs
275 mi
5 hrs
Much of this long tour around the top of Scotland follows the narrow populated coastal fringe. There seems to be almost no limit to the number of beautiful sandy beaches to be found here, and many of them will be deserted. Caithness, set in a match gentle landscape than Sutherland, has something of a timeless quality about it, especially in the farming areas, and it is rich in prehistoric antiquities that continues to puzzle archaeologists to this day.
23 Easter Ross & the Black Isle

Dingwall
Map
112 mi
2 hr 50 min
244 mi
4 hrs 30 min
In many ways, Easter Ross and the Black Isle are very different from the rest of the region. This is particularly good farming country with large prosperous farms and bustling towns. The blend of gentler Highland landscape with the facilities of seaside resorts makes this district popular with families and those seeking a relaxed tour through pleasant countryside.
24 Over the Sea to Skye

Broadford
Overview

Map 1

Map 2
235 mi
6 hrs 30 min
262 mi
5 hrs 30 min
Skye, the 'Misty Isle', draws to its shores visitors eager to see the rugged grandeur of the Cullen Hills and to experience a place where time passes more slowly than on the mainland. The island is so steeped in tradition and history, and has such splendid scenery that it loses visitors back time and again.
25 Spanish Gold & Celtic Crosses

Tobermory
Map
139 mi
4 hr 51 min
200 mi
5 hrs 10 min
Which interior composed largely of mountains, moorland and bog, Mull's coastline roads link villages, harbours, farms and castles. The sea is never far away, and with a coastline some 300 miles long the views towards the sea are as fine as they are varied.


Temporary Drives

  • These are temporary routes.
# Start/End Maps Length From Home Notes Rating
1 Dumfries ↺ Map
↻ Map
118 mi
3 hr 8 min
0 mi
0 min
Route goes north east from Dumfries and circles back south. Stop at the Grey Mares Tail ✓✓✓½
25/04/2021
2 Dumfries Map 130 mi
3 hr 27 min
0 mi
0 min
Excellent route that goes through the middle of Galloway Forest to the west side and then up and over the top. ✓✓✓✓
01/06/2021
3 Dumfries Map 110 mi
2 hr 40 min
0 mi
0 min
Route goes north and traverses the Lowther Hills and in so doing passes through The Mennock Pass (B797) passing through Wanlockhead which is the highest village in Scotland, The Dalveen Pass (A702) and the B740 ✓✓✓✓½
21/04/2021
2 Dumfries Map 90 mi
2 hr 15 min
0 mi
0 min
Route goes north and traverses the Lowther Hills and in so doing travels North East along The Mennock Pass (B797) passing through Wanlockhead which is the highest village in Scotland, then turns East along the B7040 and then up to The Crawick Pass (B740) tavelling South West along it. ✓✓✓½
05/05/2021
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