Places to Visit

There are exhibition centres, activity centres, wildlife parks and wildlife viewing opportunities, historic houses, castles, and abbeys, beautiful gardens and speciality shopping, cafés and restaurants, all within a near radius of Gatehouse.

Gatehouse has the Mill on the Fleet, a visitor and exhibition centre with a full exhibition programme of temporary exhibitions running through the season.  The main exhibition floor holds displays on the history and heritage of Gatehouse and the Fleet Valley. A visitor operated remote camera allows visitors to scan up and down the river for wildlife.  The Mill also contains the Gatehouse Tourist Information Centre, a well stocked shop, and the biggest bookshop outside Wigtown. Many events take place at the Mill throughout the season.  The Riverside Café provides light meals and snacks throughout the day and weather permitting, there's no better spot than the terrace overlooking the river.
Phone: (01557) 814099
Web: www.millonthefleet.co.uk


Between Gatehouse and Kirkcudbright lies Cream O' Galloway, with home-made ice cream, restaurant, nature and play trails, wildlife and picnic sites. Very popular with families.
Phone: (01557) 814040
Web: www.creamogalloway.co.uk


Kirkcudbright usually has several commercial art galleries, as well as the Tolbooth which houses temporary exhibitions, and the Stewartry Museum.  Also in Kirkcudbright is McLellans Castle, in the care of Historic Scotland. Broughton House, in the care of the National Trust for Scotland was the home of the artist Hornel, with many of his paintings on show, and a spectacular garden.
Phone: Kirkcudbright Tourist Information Centre on (01557) 330494


Kirkcudbright is also home to its very own Wildlife Park which is home to, amongst others, Pygmy Goats, Llamas, Racoons and Wallabies. A good day out for both children and adults.
Phone: (01557) 331645


The nearby town of Creetown has the popular Gem Rock Museum - with itsworld class collection of gemstones, crystals, fossils, rocks and minerals. A fully interactive museum with lots to see and do for all the family
Phone: (01671) 820357.
Web: www.gemrock.net


Newton Stewart has its cinema, recently refurbished, with both live and recorded shows, and its museum.
Phone: (01671) 402431
Web: www.nscinema.co.uk


Old Castles

Cardoness Castle at Gatehouse is a popular visitor attraction, with its office in the cottage below it.
Phone: (01557) 814427
Further details of Cardoness Castle can be found on the Historic Scotland web site at:
www.historic-scotland.gov.uk


Rusco Castle by Gatehouse has been recovered as a private house, but is open to visitors by appointment.
Phone: (01557) 814471


Carsluith Castle on the road westward is open to the public, and has a fine view over the Cree estuary and a cafe.


 To the east, McLellan's Castle at Kirkcudbright is really a fortified town house, open to the public.


 Near Castle Douglas, Threave Castle stands on an island in the river Dee, giving excitement to children who are taken over to it by boat.


 

Archaeology


Cairnholy
, to the west of Gatehouse, contains two neolithic burial chambers. The hills above it have numerous burial cairns, stone circles, and carved rocks dating from both the Neolithic and bronze age. Bronze age farm sites abound in the hills around Gatehouse. There are about a dozen iron age forts around Gatehouse, including Trusty's Hill Fort, with its carved stone by the gatehouse with its Pictish symbols.


 

Fabulous Gardens - some with Visitor Centres and Cafes


Cally Gardens
is a specialist perennial plant nursery housed within an 18th century walled garden. A treasure trove of unusual varieties, it offers a stunning display of the mature plants which it specialises in. The gardens which are situated on the edge of Gatehouse are approached through the ornate gateway to the Cally Palace Hotel and are open to the public from Easter to September.


Threave garden, near Castle Douglas, is a beautiful botanic garden run by the National Trust for Scotland.
Phone: (01566) 502575


Into Wigtownshire, Glenwhan Garden by Dunragit is an extraordinary garden entirely created in the last quarter century, including its two lakes.
Phone: (01581) 400222


A little further on, Castle Kennedy Gardens are famous for their rhododendrons in May and June, and the enormous earth-works, carried out by the army.


And at the bottom of the Rhins of Galloway, Logan Garden is famous for the semi-tropical plants.
Phone: (01776) 860231


The Dumfries and Galloway Gardens and Nurseries Association Website has details of and links to many more gardens and nurseries in the region.

Golf

Golf is very popular in the area, with over 20 golf courses within a 50 mile radius of Gatehouse.

Visit the Golfing section here.

Special Places

Bluebells


Bluebells
During the early summer the woodlands around Gatehouse are carpeted with bluebells.  Both Castramont and Cally Woods are particularly popular for viewing them. More.  

Cambret Moor


Cambret Moor
A stone circle consisting of a central stone and circle of 28 smaller boulders.  The interior of the circle was strewn with smaller cobble-sized stones. More.
 

Caerlaverock


Caerlaverock Castle
One of Scotland's greatest medieval castles - about an hour away, south of Dumfries.  Can be combined with a visit to Sweetheart Abbey, the New Abbey Cornmill, (both also Historic Scotland), Caerlaverock Bird Reserve, or The National Museum of Costume at New Abbey. Historic Scotland:read more.
 

Cairnholy II


Cairnholy II
One of a pair of well preserved Neolithic tombs in a spectacular location. More.  

Cardoness Shore


Cardoness Shore
As the tide goes out the many rocky islets are gradually uncovered around the edge of the shore, excellent for rockpooling. More.  


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