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Southern Scotland, South of Edinburgh and Glasgow

David Cross (DavidX) from England

This will be the shortest of my Scotland notes because I hope anyone with the time will head further north or to the islands. The odd places given here, from east of the M74, are more in the nature of possible stops on the way to Edinburgh or further north. Either area described west of the M74, or the tiny bit at the far south-east combined with England's far north-east, would make a few days break for those lacking in time or disinclined for a longer journey. In this case a day trip should be made to Edinburgh if at all possible.

ST Google Map - Southern Scotland: Detailed Google Map by DavidX for Southern and Central Scotland

East of M74

The towns and abbeys of Jedburgh, Kelso, Melrose and Selkirk are very pleasant and any of them makes for a good break. Innerleithen has an old print works owned by the National Trust of Scotland which provides an interesting stop, possibly combined with a visit to the pleasant town of Peebles. The Far South-East is listed separately.

Either the A7 or the A701 provide very pleasant, relaxed routes to Edinburgh avoiding the bustle of the faster main route.

West of M74

Caerlaverock near the Solway Firth is a good spot to eat lunch and watch the geese but otherwise the interest to me lies beyond New Galloway and Newton Stewart.

Galloway Forest Park

This is a very scenic area with Loch Troon being the obvious place to park and the start for a number of fine walks. Loch Doon with its castle, reached from much further north, is also a worthwhile target.

Beyond Newton Stewart

More precisely the area to the south of the A75 as it heads west from Newton Stewart. The beaches around the Isle of Whithorn and Port William, particularly the one containing St. Ninian's Cave used to be, and I hope still are, pretty uncrowded and quite as good as any better known ones. There is also an abbey at Whithorn itself.

Further West - the Rhins of Galloway

Unlike the Mull of Kintyre, this area does not have Sir Paul to sing about it but the Mull of Galloway at the far south is another very scenic headland. There are fine beaches all around and very good botanical gardens at Port Logan. Stranraer and Cairnryan are ferryports for Northern Ireland.

The Far South-East

I have only visited this area in combination with the north-east of England and I believe the coast stays good north-west of this bit right up to North Berwick. However I have stuck to what I know, though not entirely to Scotland.

St Abbs and Eyemouth

This is an area of lovely bays combined with the highly scenic St Abbs Head and Wheat Stack.

The Southernmost Broch

Unless you are planning to see this type of prehistoric building (broch) further north you should not miss a trip to see this one, which as far as I know is the only one for a very long way. It lies north of the B3655 near the little known but very beautiful Whiteadder Water and you really need an Ordnance Survey map to explore around here.

The next places are in England though many English do not realise how much of the country is left north of Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

Berwick upon Tweed (England)

This fine town is brim full of history and has passed many times between the two countries, Lindisfarne or Holy Island. Easy enough to get to at low tide by road and not possible at high tide. It is a good idea not to get stranded as there is not a great deal there other than the castle - to put it mildly! The priory is worth seeing but I was a bit disappointed in the castle. However the island is unique in England and a trip is well justified.

Further South (England)

Both the Cheviots and the northern Northumberland coast are rewarding. Two other places well worth a visit are the village of Warksworth which is still almost mediaeval in design and the Chillingham white cattle which are actually wild.

Google Maps

ST Google Map - Southern Scotland: Detailed Google Map by DavidX for Southern and Central Scotland

ST Google Map - Northern Scotland: Detailed Google Map by DavidX for Northern Scotland and the Islands

Resources

Websites for southern Scotland.

www.uktouristinfo.com: UK Tourist Info, Borders, for area east of M 74


David Cross was born in Plymouth but is now a "happily naturalized" Yorkshireman. He has grand-children in Wales and Scotland. David is a moderator on the World Travel Experience forums - groups.yahoo.com/group/worldtravelexp/. See David's Slow Travel Member page.

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