18 Apr Dumfries & Galloway
Some of the region’s finest attractions lie in the gentle hills and lush valleys of Dumfries & Galloway. Ideal for families, there’s plenty on offer. Galloway Forest is a highlight, with its sublime views, mountain-biking and walking trails, red deer, kites and other wildlife, as are the dream-like ruins of Caerlaverock Castle.
Adding to the appeal of this enticing region is a string of southern Scotland’s most idyllic towns. Warmed by the Gulf Stream, this is the mildest region in Scotland, a phenomenon that has allowed the development of some famous gardens.
The ruins of Caerlaverock Castle, by Glencaple on a beautiful stretch of the Solway coast, are among the loveliest in Britain. Surrounded by a moat, lawns and stands of trees, the unusual pink-stoned triangular castle looks impregnable – in fact, it fell several times. The current castle dates from the late 13th century. Inside, there’s an extraordinary Scottish Renaissance façade to apartments that were built in 1634. With nooks and crannies to explore, passageways and remnants of fireplaces.
It’s worth combining a visit to the castle with one to Caerlaverock Wildlife & Wetlands Centre, a mile east. It protects 546 hectares of salt marsh and mud flats, the habitat for numerous birds, including barnacle geese.
Caerlaverock Castle is a hidden gem that is worth a visit on your tours of Scotland.