This stunning driving route takes in incredible stretches of scenic coastline along quiet country roads. Along the way you’ll find hidden gems and breath-taking spots to pull over and enjoy the view. From sandy beaches to rocky outcrops between quaint coastal villages and towns, you’ll find so much to enjoy on this driving route.
The route is circular and runs through Dumfries & Galloway as well as southern Ayrshire, incorporating part of a UNESCO Biosphere and Galloway Forest Park, Britain’s largest forest park. Driving this route is the ideal way to uncover the character of south west Scotland, with a variety of spots to uncover the heritage and natural beauty of the region while enjoying unique experiences.
What are the Top Spots on This Route?
A ruined religious hub that offers romance and history. The abbey was founded by Lady Dervogilla in the 13th century in tribute to her husband, John Balliol, whose embalmed heart she carried with her in an ivory casket. While here you may find time to visit the nearby Caerlaverock Castle on the other side of the River Nith. This impressive moated castle was a medieval stronghold that resembles something you might see in the movies.
Mull of Galloway Lighthouse
Situated at Scotland’s more southerly point, the Mull of Galloway Lighthouse allows you to go on a guided tour and get a feel for what it would be like to be a lighthouse keeper in the exhibition. The views that surround the lighthouse are impressive and you’ll be able to see guillemot birds gracefully diving into the sea and hear kittiwakes calling, the Mull of Galloway is also a RSPB nature reserve. During Spring and early Summer you’ll be able to enjoy the beautiful wildflowers that carpet the coastline as you take a stroll to enjoy the incredible views.
Logan Botanic Garden
Just half an hour up the road from the rigged coastline of the Mull of Galloway you’ll find the serene Logan Botanic Garden, an exotic paradise of plants from around the world, including plants from as far afield as Australia, New Zealand, South and Central America and Southern Africa. The warmth of the gulf stream allows for a range of tropical plants to be grown here, such as palm trees, giant gunnera, and African daisies, all of which flourish and bring vibrant colour to the garden in Spring and Summer. A visit to the garden is fantastic for plant enthusiasts who know what they’re looking at or for casual visitors who like to stroll in attractive surroundings and take some lovely photographs.
A little off the route, but well worth the detour, Culzean (pronounced Kull-Ane) Castle is an impressive attraction. With hectares of lush estate land, walled gardens, walking trails, a beach, deer park, and even an adventure playground, it’s the ideal place to stop off for a few hours. Dating back to 1792, the castle interior includes a striking oval staircase and ornate displays of arms, pistols and swords adorning the walls. It’s even possible to stay in this castle in the Eisenhower suite, named after the former US president, who was gifted part of the castle and visited on four occasions. From the outside the castle is strikingly impressive and distinctive both in design and the colour of the sandstone from which it is built.
Scottish Dark Sky Observatory
Set deep within the Galloway Forest in the Dark Sky Park, the Scottish Dark Sky Observatory offers you the chance to observe the stars through powerful telescopes on cloud-free nights. While you’re in south Ayrshire there’s plenty of other things to enjoy during the day as well, from visiting the birthplace of Robert Burns in Alloway or heading north to Cumnock for a tour of the incredible Dumfries House, one of Scotland’s most impressive stately homes. In nearby New Cumnock you can enjoy the open air swimming pool, re-opened in 2017, a rarity in Scotland.
An incredible art land attraction that has been created out of an old coalmine and transformed by the architect Charles Jencks into a unique representation planetary, astronomical and cosmological events. As you explore the installation you’ll find huge stone structures and enjoy stunning views of the Upper Nithsdale Valley. In nearby Sanquhar you can enjoy the Tolbooth museum’s tales of miners and other aspects of cultural heritage in the area.
Explore the South West Coastal 300 by Motorhome
There’s no better way to travel the South West Coastal 300 at your own pace than by luxury motorhome. Journey at your own pace, stopping off when and where you want to enjoy attractions, take a walk or just relax in beautiful surroundings. Remember, this is just a guide and there’s much more to see in Scotland’s south west, so take the time to explore your own way. That’s the beauty of travelling by motorhome hire, you have the freedom to decide where your adventure takes you each day.