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Dumfries and Galloway Travel Tips

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Castle Douglas

Castle Douglas is a thriving market town with a wealth of individual shops to explore no "clone " town this. Located within the beautiful countryside of Dumfries and Galloway and set between beaches hills, forests and Lochs it is an ideal place to stay and explore the area - Steve

Castle Douglas Town Details

Lockerbie

Lockerbie is a historic town in Dumfries and Galloway in southern Scotland situated close to the River Annan 14 miles east of Dumfries and 26 miles north of the Scottish/English Border. The town was founded in the 18th century by the Johnstone’s of Lockerbie; by 1750 it had become a significant town hosting Scotland’s largest lamb fairs. Lockerbie became a burgh in 1863. In medieval times Lockerbie was famous for the ‘Lockerbie Lick’ or a slashed face due to the battles between the Johnstone and Maxwell clans. Today Lockerbie is internationally known for the tragedy of the terrorist attack on 21st December 1988 when a bomb exploded on board a Boeing 747 Jumbo Jet Pan AM flight whilst flying over Lockerbie, killing the 243 passengers and 11 villagers. The Dryfesdale Lodge Visitor Centre Trust has exhibition rooms with a memorial to the victims of the 1988 tragedy and a tribute to the strength of the community, there are also displays of pre-historic origins and heritage. Surrounded by scenic countryside Lockerbie is a popular tourist resort with the railway station close to the town centre and several hotels and holiday accommodation to choose from, there is busy high street with many shops and plenty places to eat. Architecturally interesting buildings include the Town Hall, built in 1880 from a distinctive red-stone in Scottish Baronial style with an impressive clock-tower. The town of Lockerbie lies tucked away in the verdant locale of Dumfries and Galloway. But it was brought to the world’s attention on the 21st December, 1988, when Pan Am Flight 103, bound for New York, was destroyed by a terrorist bomb, killing 270 people. 270 people were killed (Eleven from Lockerbie) when the fuselage of the jumbo jet came to a rest in Sherwood Crescent. 20 years on, the senselessness, the rawness and the barbarity of the atrocity still has the same chilling resonance. Former Libyan intelligence officer, Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi, is currently serving 27 years in Greenock prison for the bombing. There is little closure for the people of Lockerbie: al-Megrahi protests his innocence and is appealing the conviction, and the sense of loss is one that will take generations to heal. A visit to Lockerbie today is one that both captures this poignancy, and one that sees a small, vibrant rural town that has carried itself with tremendous dignity throughout its troubles. The town’s memorial gardens stands in tribute to the fallen, and the same could be said of the town itself, whose sense of community has never been stronger. Lockerbie’s location in the Scottish Borders has been one of historic importance. At the perimeter of tribal boundaries as well as national borders, Lockerbie was a settlement on one of the most visited trading routes through Scotland’s history. The Iron Age ruins at Burnswark are said to have belonged to the Novantae tribe, and with the remains of an Antonine fort close to the site, it would appear that Lockerbie’s appeal was shared by tribe and empire alike, as the Romans made the way north, and ultimately to defeat. King Edward I was another visitor to the area. When making his way home after tasting victory at the Battle of Falkirk, 1298, he set up camp at Lochmaben, and erected a peel on the south shore of Castle Loch. It is not so much its strategic importance that makes Lockerbie attractive to its contemporary visitors; it is the tranquility and the unspoiled surroundings that make the town a great stop-off when discovering Dumfries and Galloway. Lockerbie swings in late October, when its Jazz Festival showcases both domestic and international artists, and those seeking the ultimate retreat from the tyranny of modern living and a little spiritual healing can make the 15 mile drive north to the Kagyu Samye Ling Monastery. Europe’s oldest Buddhist Monastery welcomes people of all faiths, and set against the River Esk, it is the ideal venue for reflection

Lockerbie Town Details

Stranraer

Stranraer is a large historic town in Dumfries and Galloway situated on the south-west coast of Scotland at the head of Lochryan. The town lies a short distance from the Scottish/English Border and approximately a two hour drive from Glasgow. The settlement grew up around Stranraer Castle built in 1511 and was Burgh of Barony from 1596. By 1600 Stranraer was an important market town and awarded Royal Burgh status in1617. The military road was built through Stranraer linking Dumfries to Portpatrick the main port for Ireland at the time, although this allowed Stranraer to take advantage of its natural shelter and build its own harbour c1700 with further construction of two piers in 1820 and 1840. In 1861 the railway arrived from Dumfries establishing Stranraer as the main port in the area and with the ferry taking only 90 minutes to Ireland Stranraer became known as ‘Scotland’s Gateway to Ireland’. Stranraer is a popular tourist destination and an ideal location for touring the attractions of Dumfries and Galloway. Stranraer is also known as the ‘Gateway to the Rhins of Galloway’ as the road north leads to Scotland’s most southern point the Mull of Galloway. The town itself is well equipped for holiday-makers with a busy town centre, shops, hotels, guest-houses, B&B’s, pub, inns and plenty of places for eating out. The Stranraer Town Trail is an easy walking tour; historic features include the medieval tower-house Stranraer Castle now known as The Castle of St John. There is an 18-hole championship golf course on the shores of Lochryan with views over to Ailsa Craig and the Isle of Arran. Other local attractions include Castle Kennedy and Gardens, Logan Botanic Garden and Creetown Gem Rock Museum with exhibits from all over the world The Southern Upland Way is a 212 mile walk from Portpatrick, passing just south of Stranraer, heading east to Cockburnspath with picturesq

Stranraer Town Details

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