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Things to do in Dumfries and Galloway

Top recommendations from locals

From sightseeing to hidden gems, find out what makes the city unique with the help of the locals who know it best.
Museum
“Alloway the birthplace of Robert Burns, visit Burns cottage and the interactive museum ”
  • 27 locals recommend
Park
“Have a walk round the gardens no matter what the weather, or in the sunshine, take a picnic and head to the grass area next to the swan pond”
  • 28 locals recommend
Other Great Outdoors
“Lovely drive from Ayr trough the forestry commission - stop for a picnic and breathe in the fresh air”
  • 24 locals recommend
Castle
“Carlisle castle is a must see attraction for visitors to Carlisle. It was built during the reign of William II of England (William Rufus) who was the son of William the Conquerer who invaded England in 1066.”
  • 20 locals recommend
History Museum
“Worth a visit, exhibits a lot of Carlisle's Roman history, also has a cafe and close to the shops for shopping ”
  • 18 locals recommend
Nature
“There are guides in most rooms of the castle, who are always happy to answer questions. Information sheets are provided in each room, which detail the architecture, furniture, objects and paintings. Highlights of the castle include Adam’s sweeping Oval Staircase and a fine collection of paintings and furniture. Children love to spot the Lego figure hidden in each room. Explore the grounds of Culzean by following the waymarked trails. From shingle beaches to soaring cliffs, a towering pagoda to a huge Deer Park filled with deer, llamas and Highland cows, there really is something for all the family to fall in love with there.”
  • 15 locals recommend
Store
“Get a scoop or two of there organic and ethical dairy ice cream a short walk or drive from the cottage. ”
  • 23 locals recommend
Health and wellness
“Make a point of having their afternoon tea - it's really special and does not disappoint”
  • 15 locals recommend
Castle
“Really unique three sided castle close to the coast. Excellent visitors centre and cafe . Has events throughout the year that bring the castle's history to life. ”
  • 15 locals recommend
Recreation Center
“Have an outdoor adventure or a spot of lunch with a great view. A lovely day out.”
  • 16 locals recommend
Place to eat
“The Lakes Distillery, Bassenthwaite, Nr Keswick, CA13 9SJ. brew Gin, Whiskey and Vodka. They have free parking, amazing hand crafted gates, great cafe with outdoor seating in the courtyard and garden, cosy indoor seating, very good toilets, Lamas (or they may be Alpacas!), brewery tour and gift shop.”
  • 14 locals recommend
Historic Site
“Home of the Duke of Buccleuch. 25 minutes drive from Leadhills. Fabulous grounds and woodland to walk in. You can hire bikes here and ride the the off-road bike tracks through the forest. There is also a fantastic adventure playground here. Castle open occasionally for visits. ”
  • 10 locals recommend
Food
“Fab for young kids under 12..making their own chocolate. Adults can chill in the cafe. Outside play area also. ”
  • 17 locals recommend
Natural Feature
“A walk up skiddaw will offer spectacular views from the top on a nice day. ”
  • 9 locals recommend
Other Great Outdoors
“Home of our National Bard. Robert (Rabbie) Burns is recognised the world over as one of the finest poets who ever lived. ‘O wad some Pow'r the giftie gie us To see oursels as ithers see us!’ Traditional Scottish cottage. They used to sleep next to their animals for warmth........ We hope Woodside is cosier than that!”
  • 6 locals recommend
Food
“Castle Brewery, Castlegate, Cockermouth, CA13 9NE. Local brewed Ales, Brewery Tour and cosy Pub... tucked away just before the old Castle, on the left hand side, up Castlegate.”
  • 10 locals recommend

Top restaurants

Pub
“Local Pub that offers a relaxing place to eat good food, enjoy a drink and meet the locals.”
  • 8 locals recommend
Restaurant
“Still retaining many of the old features from its monastic days including a tunnel that once ran under the city to the Cathedral, the Thin White Duke has became one of Carlisle's favoured eating and drinking establishments.”
  • 8 locals recommend
Restaurant
“Amazing restaurant in Castle Douglas with a focus on local and foraged produce. Early evening menu is good value Mon-Thur, also open for lunch.”
  • 8 locals recommend
Bar
“Recently renovated and beautifully decorated. Good food and drinks. There is a nice bar next door (T-Bar) with live music most nights.”
  • 3 locals recommend
Hotel
“Fabulous local restaurant open for lunch and dinner (booking advised). A short walk from The Smithy Seaside Cottage.”
  • 7 locals recommend
Bar
“Great food and a lovely place for lunch or dinner. Really lovely atmosphere. ”
  • 8 locals recommend
Bar
“One of our favourite places to eat I would highly recommend the chicken skewers, food is amazing as is the atmosphere. ”
  • 6 locals recommend
Restaurant
“Quince and Medlar, 13 Castlegate Drive, Cockermouth, CA13 9EU. Amazing vegetarian and vegan food. Pre booking essential.”
  • 9 locals recommend

Get to know Dumfries and Galloway

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