Why Galloway

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The Complete Scotland Experience

Exaggerating? Of course - but not much. After our cyber-tour of Galloway (next in this section) you'll know what we mean. Personally we know and love most of Scotland, but Galloway offers the authentic Scotland experience in greater breadth than any other single region of Scotland.

Few people know this. So the lemmings troop north, a veritable caravan of caravans and coach tours, thinking that Scotland begins at Loch Lomond. Good! We escape the hordes - see below.

A Few Trump Cards

  • Dumfries & Galloway has a tenth of all Scotland's land area;
  • But a low population;
  • NO COACH TOURS, and altogether fewer tourists than elsewhere;
  • No crowds, no queues, no traffic jams;
  • And ... NO MIDGES!

OK, the last is only partly true: in some inland areas where Sphagnum Moss is found, midges come out late on still summer days - but it's NOTHING LIKE the poor old Highlands. In much of Galloway, notably our area and around the coast, there are almost NONE to speak of. I have walked the Galloway Hills in peak midge season (July/August) and even there I have encountered none. And of course for 75% of the year you don't even need to think about midges.

Controversial Comparisons

The Lake District is a victim of its own success: packed with tourists, cars and coaches nose to tail, hill paths eroded by millions of boots. And frankly it's all a bit slick now - nature has been tamed. Galloway has all the hills and lochs with their raw, wild edge untouched - it's a quintessentially Scottish landscape, you sense it instantly and instinctively. It's also much more varied, and has a much more attractive coastline. And you can spend a day out there without seeing a soul. The Americans, Germans and Japanese don't find Galloway on a hit-list of Britain's top ten tourist attractions in their copycat tourist guidebooks - they "do" the Lakes!

Personally we love the Highlands and go there for holidays ourselves (I love mountains), but they also suffer from organised mass-market tourism. A major curse is coach tours - everywhere you find mediocre hotels geared up exclusively for them. The other day I was in Oban, officially the regional capital of the West Highlands and Islands, and gateway to the western isles - as such it ought to be a great wee harbour town, a beacon. But frankly it was dispiriting and down-at-heel, ruined by the low-grade coach tour. Even its once glamorous (and still quite expensive) flagship hotel now feels institutional and ragged at the edges. If the Highlands go on like this, we'll soon see Polish pipers in polyester kilts playing plastic pipes for tourists ...

Next in this section

  1. Galloway Tour

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01556 502211
From abroad:
+44 1556 502211


Gelston Castle Holidays, Gelston, Castle Douglas, Dumfries & Galloway DG7 1SW
Self-catering holiday cottages Scotland, Luxury holiday accommodation Scotland
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