South West Scotland

Travel Guide Europe United Kingdom Scotland South West Scotland

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Introduction

South West Scotland is a lowland region of Scotland, a triangle bounded to the west by the Firth of Clyde and to the south by the Solway Firth. It's mostly rural, but with a strip of resort towns along the Clyde coast and industry inland.

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Geography

There is plenty of variety here from the uplands of the Forest of Galoway to the delightful coastline from Port William to Ayr.

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Towns and villages

  • Ayr
  • Girvan
  • Stranraer
  • Portpatrick
  • Port William
  • Whithorn
  • Wigtown
  • Newton Stewart
  • Gatehouse of Fleet
  • Kirkudbright
  • Castle Douglas
  • Dalbeattie
  • Annan
  • Dumfries
  • Locherbie
  • Lochmaben
  • Ecclefechan
  • Gretna
  • Port Logan
  • Cairnryan

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Sights and Activities

  • Glen Trool - beauty spot in the Forest of Galloway -start of numerous walks.
  • Logan Botanical Gardens - on the west coast of the Rhinns of Galloway.
  • The Mull of Galloway does not feature in a song by Sir Paul but in other respects is comparable with the Mull of Kintyre.
  • Culzean castle and Gardens on the west coast.
  • Whithorn and area - some fine coast and quite a bit of history.

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Getting There

By Plane

For Ayrshire the best option is usually Glasgow Airport (GLA IATA) for its wide choice of flights, internationally and within UK. It's 8 miles west of the city so you drive straight onto the roads south-west. For Clydesdale consider using Edinburgh, and for Dumfries & Galloway you might also consider Newcastle or even Manchester.

Prestwick Airport (PIK IATA) is just north of Ayr so it's obviously closer, but has few flights. These are mostly Ryanair flights, many seasonal, to Med destinations such as Alicante, Barcelona, Malta, Pisa, Rome and Tenerife.

By Train

The northern part of this region is commuter-land for Glasgow, with frequent trains from Glasgow Central station. These lines stretch down the west coast as far as Stranraer.

The southern part, the Solway coast, is cut off by hills. Dumfries has direct trains every hour or two from Glasgow via Kilmarnock and New Cumnock but has better services to Carlisle via Annan and Gretna Green.

By Boat

Being near Northern Ireland, there are a number of ferry routes into the south west of Scotland. There are typically at least two sailings a day and a single passenger ticket costs from around £25 to £40, depending on the time of year. Taking a car on the ferry costs from £70, again depending on the time of year and ticket type. The ferry operators regularly have special offers and online discounts, so check all of the websites before booking.

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This is version 4. Last edited at 18:14 on Jul 7, 20 by Utrecht. 1 article links to this page.

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