Things to do in Dumfries Scotland

Things to do in Dumfries Scotland
Dumfries Scotland is located just a 20 miles north of the border with the county of England.

Apart from walking tours of the town, a vacation to Dumfries Scotland offers plenty of outdoor opportunities such as hiking at the Galloway Forest Park and water activities along the Dumfries coast line.

If you are traveling to Dumfries Scotland for the first time, the town is famed by the nearby ruins of Sweetheart Abbey and ‘The Merrick’, which is the highest mountain in southern Scotland.

Things to do in Dumfries Scotland: Outdoor Activities

Hiking, Climbing & Biking

Galloway Forest Park

If you are looking to explore Scotland’s natural scenery during your Dumfries Scotland vacation, the Galloway Forest Park is only 40 miles west of the city center.

If you are visiting Galloway Park for the first time, it’s best to start at one of the park’s visitor centers such as Glentrool visitor center.

To get there, take the A712 road towards Newton Stewart and then take the A714 road towards Glentrool Village where you’ll find directions to the Glentrool visitor center.

Once there, the park has plenty of marked hiking and biking trails around Loch Trool, as well as designated picnic areas.

If you love climbing, the park is also home to ‘The Merrick’, which is one of the highest peaks in Scotland, standing at over 800 meters.

If you are a climbing or hiking enthusiast, the town of Newton Stewart is home to a few tour operators that offer organized day treks to the summit of ‘The Merrick’.

Drumlanrig Castle and Country Park

If you are traveling to Dumfries Scotland with kids, one of the best places to enjoy outdoor activities it’s at Drumlanrig Castle and Country Park.

This place offers many facilities and many easy hiking and biking trails, as well as a kid’s play areas where the little ones can climb and roam freely.

Camping & Water Activities

Another excellent place for finding fun outdoor activities it’s along the coastline of Dumfries Scotland.

In fact, Dumfries Scotland is just 20 miles from the coastline, which is home to beautiful sandy beaches and cliff tops where you can enjoy breathtaking views of the sea.

For instance, Sandyhills Bay is home to a camping and caravan site where you can enjoy camping overlooking the beach.

Sandyhills Bay is only a 30 minute drive south of Dumfries Scotland, along the A710.

Another popular area not far from Sandyhills it’s Rockcliffe, which is also home to a couple of sandy beaches.

Things to do in Dumfries Scotland: Places of Interest

Dumfries Museum and Camera Obscura

If you are a history buff, the Dumfries Museum and Camera Obscura is one of the best museums in the UK.

The museum, which is housed in an old windmill, is an exciting place where you can learn more about the region’s early history, weapons and tools used.

The Camera Obscura section is actually located on the windmill’s tower and it is great vantage point for amazing views of the city.

Sweetheart Abbey Ruins

The Sweetheart Abbey Ruins are located in the village of New Abbey, just 7 miles south of Dumfries Scotland.

The 13th century Sweetheart Abbey is one of the most popular abbeys, and the ruins of this abbey are one of the best preserved in Scotland.

You can take a stroll around the abbey and appreciate the standing parts of this monastery, the gardens and a very old cemetery.

Drumlanrig Castle

If you are visiting Dumfries Scotland for the fist time, a visit to a castle is a must-add on your itinerary.

For instance, you can tour the beautiful Drumlanrig Castle, which is a 17th century castle located on Drumlanrig Mains, just 15 miles north of Dumfries’ city center.

You can tour the castle, the gardens and the Country Estate, although the Castle itself is only open between March and August.

Wanlockhead Village

If you are adding Drumlanrig Castle to the itinerary, Wanlockhead Village is just a further 10 miles from Drumlanrig Castle, along the A76.

This village is famed for being Scotland’s highest village, located on a 500 meter elevation.

At the village, you can explore the Lead Mining Museum and an 18th century library, which is one of the oldest in Europe.

Kagyu SamyƩ Ling Monastery

Visiting the Kagyu SamyƩ Ling Monastery is, undoubtedly, one of the most popular things to do in Dumfries Scotland.

If you’ve never seen a Buddhist temple before, you can come here and get a real glimpse of a gilded temple, statues of Buddha and the famous thangkas art works.

To get to the temple, take the A709 route towards Lockerbie and from there the B723 road towards Eskdalemuir (around 35 minutes by car).

Things to do in Dumfries Scotland: Shopping

For a bit of shopping, head to the High Street where you can find small stores and boutique type shops.

Also, along Irish Street, you can find the popular Loreburne Shopping Centre and Marks & Spencer store where you can enjoy a bit of retail shopping.

Things to do in Dumfries Scotland: Nightlife & Entertainment

The nightlife in Dumfries consists mainly of pubs and bars offering live entertainment such as karaoke and sport nights.

The High Street and the area around is where you’ll find most of the pubs and bars such as the popular Globe Inn pub.

Entertainment-wise, the town is home to an Odeon Cinema (Queen Street) and the Robert Burns Center (Church Street) where you can catch the latest releases.

Things to do in Dumfries Scotland: Events & Festivals

Dumfries Film Festival

If you are movie buff and love indie movies, the Dumfries Film Festival is held in late April. The event aims to promote the indie films and is a great event to see up-and-coming talent.

Knockengorroch Festival

If you travel to Dumfries in late May, you can catch the Knockengorroch Festival, which aims to promote Celtic heritage.

This family-friendly event is home to live entertainment, workshops and play areas for the little ones.

Dumfries & Galloway Wildlife Festival

The Dumfries & Galloway Wildlife Festival is held in early April and if you are traveling with kids, this is one of the most popular events to attend.

During the two-week long festival, everyone can enjoy nature-based activities such as walks that include wildlife spotting.

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