Things to do in D&G

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Things to do in D&G while staying at Curlew Cottage

Things to do in D&G is no problem while staying at Curlew Cottage. Since it is surrounded by the Moffat hills, Dumfriesshire countryside with good transport routes across and out of the region. 

The best way to spend a family day on holiday

  • Our best family days are spent at Curlew Cottage enjoying the peace, hot tub, wildlife, walks and fishing.

You must walk up the road to 800 acres of Auchenrodden forest  or for a more gentle walk drive to Eskrigg Naure reserve in Lockerbie

  • The cottage isn’t far from the popular 7 stanes mountain biking centres at Ae forest and Mabie forest.
  • Sorry to lower the tone but there is a Costa, MacDonalds and M&S at the Service Station in Johnstonebridge. There is also a well stocked duck pond walk round.
  • The scenery and food in Dumfries and Galloway are amazing. However if you are at a loss for things to do I have listed some of my ideas and grouped them by town.



Lockerbie– Historically a market town with gift shops, coffee shops and Eskrigg Nature Reserve which is great for dog walking and wildlife watching.

  • Just Be! – Located in the heart of town, Just Be offers you a relaxed and friendly atmosphere to enjoy some of the best coffee and locally sourced, freshly cooked food in the region. Whether it’s Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner we design each menu with passion, imagination and give all our dishes that ‘Just Be’ twist .
  • Townhead and Kings Arms are great local pubs offering a bar meal or pint.
  • Eskrigg Nautre Reserve Eskrigg Reserve is on the site of an old curling pond. It occupies seven acres and contains a mixture of habitats including mixed woodland, grassland, heathland, willow carr, sedge bed, reed bed, stream and pond each with its own associated flora and fauna. If you can keep your voice down you are guaranted to see a Red Squirrel.
  • Dryfesdale Lodge Visitor’s Centre– Visit this tribute to the community of Lockerbie situated by the Lockerbie Air Disaster Memorial and Garden of Remembrance.
  • Applegarthtown bird sanctuary– Applegarthtown, with its wetland habitat, is internationally recognised for its highly successful artificial sand martin nesting banks.
  • Lockerbie Golf Course Founded in 1889, the original 9 hole course at Lockerbie was designed by legendary James Braid, extended nearly 100 years later when a further 9 holes were added. Lockerbie is a good parkland course providing a challenging but fair test of skill for golfers of all abilities, with lovely views over the Annandale Valley, the Solway and beyond to the Lake District.
  • Chariots of Fire- Driving and Riding Centre is located 4 miles north of Lockerbie. It is well worth booking in advance.
  • Lockerbie Station- Park for free and take a 1 hr train ride to Glasgow or Edinburgh or a quick 20 minutes to Carlisle.


Lochmaben– A small town that boasts three lochs and is 8 miles from Dumfries. The lochs in and around Lochmaben – Kirk Loch, Castle Loch and Mill Loch – provide excellent opportunities for sailing and fishing. Lochmaben is also on the route of the Annandale Way long-distance walking trail.

  • Lochmaben has a long and intriguing history that dates back to the 13th century. Lochmaben Castle was the home of Robert the Bruce when he was Lord of Annandale and a statue of Bruce stands before the town hall. Lochmaben was also the birthplace of William Paterson, the co-founder of the Bank of England.
  • Castle Loch Walk- a 3 mile walk around this historic Castle Loch path- absolutely stunning!
  • Lochmaben Golf CourseIf Robert the Bruce had been a golfer, this would have been his home course. The site of his castle is close to the second green, and from the third hole you can see the remains of the defensive motte.
  • This course is as famous for its picturesque loch side setting and friendliness, as it is for its historical connections.  A very popular, well presented course with superb greens, Lochmaben is suited to all handicappers.
  • Barony Country Foods  operate a small, award winning traditional Scottish smokehouse and retail shop onsite here in Lochmaben. Using this age-old smoking process combined with unique recipes and methods we produce delicious Scottish smoked salmon, smoked trout, game and poultry


Moffat is a historic spa town in the Annandale Valley wide, tree-lined high street retains many of its original characteristics and the town has strong connections with both the Moffat and Johnstone clans. A sheep farming town in years gone by, this history is depicted by the Ram Statue on the high street. The Devil’s Beef Tub, a large depression in ground north of the town, aided the sheep and cattle rustlers who operated in the area, allowing them a place to hide the animals before moving them on.

  • Kayantics  What they Offer. Wood fired Pizza; Come And Stay; Canoe & Kayak; Mountain Biking; Bushcraft; Raft Building; Water Safety & Cold Water Shock; Education/Residential Camps; Book online;
  • Dark Sky Spirits  are a small, independent whisky blending company, based in the Dark Sky town of Moffat, in the south of Scotland. Whisky Shop. SHOP NOW.
  • Superb Walks and hill climbs with a good selection of shops and cafes selling Scottish produce.
  • Grey Mare’s Tail a dramatic waterfall with a plunging 60 m drop. As well as seeing cascading streams tumble into the Moffat Water Valley, you can gaze upon a landscape marked by glacial erosion from millions of years ago.
  • The Greenfrog café has a garden centre, small softplay and playground, bait fishing pond and fly fishing ponds
  •  Moffat Farmers Market On the Second Sunday of the month from  11 am until 3pm at the town hall. It is worth a visit. This market sells locally produced crafts and foods
  •  Buccleuch Arms Hotel– DG10 9ET The Beef tub Bistro sells our own Millbank Venison burgers as part of their “build your own burger” menu.
  • Brodies of Moffat Restaurant, Gin Bar, Wine Bar & Coffee Lounge. Go Dine, Wine & Relax with us, we use local seasonal products and produce many items fresh on a daily bases.


Dumfriesa historic market town that more than lives up to its local nickname, the Queen of the South. Located in the southern region of Dumfries and Galloway and connected by lovely russet-hued sandstone bridges which straddle the banks of the River Nith, this former royal burgh has an interesting history and special connection to Scotland’s National Bard.

  • Carlaverack Castle– DG14RU is owned by Historic Scotland and Caerlaverock Castle is a moated triangular castle first built in the 13th century. It is located on the southern coast of Scotland
  • Carlaverock Wetlands Reserve– a huge bird reserve right next door to Carlaverock Castle. DG14RS
  • Drumuir Ice Cream– DG14PX  Ice cream parlour, cafe and small play area. This is a very popular stop which won’t break the bank.
  • Kilnford Farm Shop –– stocks a vast range of local produce and host a superb tea room DG2 8PT
  • Dalscone Farm Park– family fun in soft play and outside activities. This is one of the cleanest Park Farms I have ever been to with great food and a well stocked toy shop too.
  • Dumfries Museum– a small local free museum located next to the camera obscurer. Dock Park is a local council park located across the river from Halfords it is a must to visit since it has a coffee shop for weary parents. There is a Pizzeria hidden away next to the park which uses a real wood fired pizza oven
  • Dumfries Farmers Market – On the first Sunday of the month from  10.30 am until 2.30pm at the railway station. It is worth a visit, but I suggest you arrive before 1pm since things seem to sell out fast. This market is a speciality local food  and craft market.


Thornhill is a traditional village with some beautiful gift and clothes shops. You do need quite a big purse for some of the boutiques. Thornhill is a village between Dumfries and Sanquhar and its focal point is the Mercat Cross.

The origins of Thornhill may date as far back as the Romans but the village in its present form was planned in 1714 and designed to be a staging post on the recently developed road between Dumfries and Glasgow. A number of the village’s 18th century coaching inns are still in business.

  •  Drumlanrigg Castle Historic Scottish castle & visitor attraction in Dumfries & Galloway, former Douglas stronghold & home to the Duke of Buccleuch KB. A very impressive castle with beautiful grounds and adventure playground.
  • Buccleuch and Queensbury Hotel DG35LU always offers a good evening meal.


Annan– is a town on the north shore of the Solway Firth and is just eight miles from the English border. Annan lies on the east side of the River Annan and began as a river port in the 14th century.

  • Annan Distillery would be a super stop en-route if Heading south on M74. Although it is newly opened to the public and does not have any of its own Whisky yet, it is a superb place to stop for a coffee and have a look round the recently renovated distillery. Annandale Distillery, Annan, Dumfriesshire DG12 5LL
  • Annan Museum a small free museum right in the centre of Annan demonstrating our local history.
  • Dino Park at Hetland Garden Centre DG1 4JX. A very popular garden centre and cafe with a Dinosaur park for the little ones. Great fun.
  • Dalton Pottery- Art cafe where you can decorate your own ornaments and table ware.
  • Powfoot Beach – a family favourite beach for picnics and dog walking
  • Powfoot Golf Course- situated right next to the sea.  Powfoot presents a mix of both links and parkland golf, delivered to the highest standard with all the right ingredients in terms of length, quality, setting and character.  The course winds through an extensive plain of sand, with heather lined fairways and a persistent wind blowing off the Solway Firth.  Predominantly links, Powfoot’s final 3 holes are of a distinctly parkland nature, a legacy of the Victory Garden that was cultivated here.
  • Powfoot hotel– Situated along the picturesque Solway coastline, with stunning views of the Lake District. The Powfoot Hotel welcomes you with a warm smile, high quality food, great selection of drinks and wines and a friendly service.
  • The Devils Porridge-  The Devil’s Porridge Museum tells the story of HM Factory Gretna, the greatest munitions factory on earth in World War One. 30,0000 people worked in the Factory, 12,000 of them women

Castle Douglas- The Food Town Castle Douglas is also known as the food town and has a fantastic selection of shops ranging from chocolates and ice-cream parlours to 4 butchers shops.

  • Sulwath Brewers DG7 1DT a micro brewery on King Street .
  • Threave  Gardens and Castle– This is a National Trust property, both a visit to the Gardens offer superb walks. There is a really nice cafe at the gardens too. DG71RX
  • Galloway Activity Centre DG73NQ,  lots of water related things to do on Loch Ken
  • Farmers Market

Kirkcudbright- The Artists Town- The shops have many cafe’s and Local Art Gallery’s. There are some of the best beaches and views in Scotland along the coast line.

  • Farmers Market on 4th Sunday of the Month from 10 am until 2pm in the town centre
  • The Chocolate Factory DG64NP- if a great family day out with soft play, outsidGe play area, cafe and of course chocolate tasting and chocolate making opportunities



Cream O’Galloway DG72DR – A  very successful farm shop and visitor attraction with nature walks, farm tours, soft play, tree house and of course ice-cream tasting
Creetown Gem Rock Museum DG87HJ
Gather DG72ES – Whether you want to pour over the papers with a latte in hand or sink sundowners with friends as you watch the sunset over the sea, Gather is a place to relax and reconnect.


New Abbey/Beeswing- There are lots of beautiful beaches along this stretch of coastline towards Dalbeattie.

  •  Climb Criffle–  569m climb over 5km it should take 2.5 to 3hours  to see a 360 degree view of the region and Cumbria, well worth the hike.
  • NTS Rockcliffe – bird reserve
  • Loch Arthur Farm Shop – is a 5 star organic farm shop at Beeswing just outside Dumfrie. This farm makes all their own bread,cheese,vegetables and meat DG2 8JQ
  • Maybie Forest DG28HB- offer amazing walks and cycle rides
  • Mabie Farm Park DG28EZ – family fun with rope swings, animals to feed and plenty of scope for adventurous play.
  • Sweet heart Abbey– New Abbey DG28BY, a beautiful ruined Abbey with neighbouring tea room and gift shop.


Superb beaches too right along the Dumfriesshire Coastline


If you are stuck for things to do in D&G go slightly further afield

  • Walby Farm Park-  National farm attraction of the year 2015. Best food & beverage & customer service excellence 2015. Bronze winner visit england awards for excellence 2014
  •  Energi– after an exhilarating session jumping! Or why not just sit back, relax with complimentary wi-fi and enjoy what Fusion has to offer.
  • Eden Rock Climbing wall- Eden Rock Carlisle is one of the biggest and best indoor bouldering walls in the UK, located just off the M6 in Carlisle. We offer a huge range of climbing and training facilities for all ages and abilities. So whether you’re 7 years old or 70, a total beginner
  • Dumfries House– part of The Prince’s Foundation. Set in 2,000 acres, this stunning Estate and 18th-century house with its unrivalled collection of Chippendale furniture has something for everyone.
  • New Lanark– Founded in 1785 with a focus on philanthropy, education and the welfare of the mill workers, New Lanark became a model for industrial communities that was to spread across the world in the 19th and 20th centuries. New Lanark was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2001




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