Cream o' Galloway, Dumfries & Galloway

Families

With farm parks, castles, wildlife and a raft of mind-boggling outdoor adventure activities to try, Dumfries & Galloway and Ayrshire in the south west of Scotland are amongst some of the best places for a family holiday in Scotland.

For this itinerary, base yourselves in the south of Dumfries & Galloway, in the area at the southern end of the Galloway Forest Park. Gatehouse of Fleet, Kirkcudbright, Castle Douglas, Dalbeattie and along the Solway coast are all great family holiday destinations.

This itinerary takes Gatehouse of Fleet as your starting point and suggests a range of fantastic days out that are all within easy travelling distance (no drive is longer than 1 hour 35 minutes). Choose the family holiday ideas you like best or pack in as many attractions and activities as you can.

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7

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515

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Base yourself in southern Galloway and enjoy great days out in Dumfries & Galloway and Ayrshire.

Destacado

Seeing red deer and wild goats in the Galloway Forest Park, castles, farm parks, pottery making, pony trekking, adventure activities.

Áreas recorridas

South west Scotland

ver la ruta completa

Día 1

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A fun family day out in Galloway

Kickstart your family holiday on a day out packed with fantastic family attractions. Day one takes you to Cream o' Galloway, a huge farm adventure park, Brighouse Bay, a beautiful beach complete with rock pools, and Galloway Wildlife Conservation Park, where you can see nearly 100 scurrying, slithering and playful animals.
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Cream o' Galloway, Dumfries & Galloway © Dumfries & Galloway Council/Mark Geddes

Cream o' Galloway

It would be easy to spend a whole day trying all the activities at Cream o' Galloway. Your kids will have a ball exploring this vast attraction, with its huge adventure playground, bouncy aerial netting area, flying fox, slides, pedal kart track, visitor centre and fun indoor play areas - plus miles of beautiful walks and nature trails.

This is a great stop for lunch too. Make sure to sample some of the luxurious cheese and ice cream that is produced on this family farm.

  • Travel time - by car from Gatehouse of Fleet: around 10 minutes
  • Opening - Seasonal
  • Café - Yes
  • Toilet facilities - Yes

Brighouse Bay

Get your kids out amongst nature at the beach at Brighouse Bay. Spend time looking for sea creatures in the rock pools and building castles on the soft sand – remember your bucket and spade!

This is also your family’s first chance to try pony trekking (you’ll get another chance on day three too). Book a trek at Brighouse Bay Trekking and Riding Centre, which is next to the beach.

  • Travel time – by car from Cream o’ Galloway: around 25 minutes
  • Opening – All year
  • Café - No
  • Toilet facilities – No

Galloway Wildlife Conservation Park

See nearly 100 animals from around the globe, including Asian small clawed otters, meerkats and Scottish wildcats. Watch your kids' faces light up as they see the animals up close and explore the trails through the park - it's a great way to introduce them to animal conservation too.

  • Travel time - by car from Brighouse Bay: around 25 minutes
  • Opening - Seasonal
  • Café - Yes
  • Toilet facilities - Yes

Travel time back to Gatehouse of Fleet: 25 minutes

Día 2

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Adrenaline-filled fun, plus make your own pottery

On day two you and your family have a huge choice of adrenaline filled activities to try, from adventure activities at Laggan Outdoor Activity Centre to mountain biking at Kirroughtree 7stanes mountain biking centre. Alternatively, for something a little less high energy and a lot more creative, stop off at Mossyard Farm Pottery to hand-make your own souvenirs.
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Laggan Outdoor Activity Centre, Dumfries & Galloway © Laggan Outdoor Activity Centre

Laggan Outdoor Activity Centre

This fun-filled activity centre offers a raft of activities that your kids will remember for a long time to come. Try your hand at archery, glide down the UK's longest zip wire (820 m), tour off-road on a Segway and much more. Choose your favourite activity to try or book a package and spend a half or full day here.

  • Travel time - by car from Gatehouse of Fleet: around 10 minutes
  • Opening - Please check opening times
  • Café - Yes
  • Toilet facilities - Yes

Mossyard Farm Pottery

Unleash your creative streak and spend some chilled out time as a family creating your own unique souvenirs to take home. Select your favourite item from a range of figurines and ceramics, including coasters, egg cups, piggy banks and plates.

This is a good activity to try towards the start of your holiday as many of the pieces you can choose from need to be left at the pottery to be glazed and fired. They’ll be ready to pick up within 3 – 4 days (some pieces can be taken away on the day too – just ask).

Nearby, become a family of wildlife explorers at Mossyard beach or head to the Galloway Smokehouse and the adjacent Galloway Fisherman Café for a tasty lunch.

  • Travel time – by car from Laggan Outdoor Activity Centre: around 5 minutes
  • Opening – Please check opening

Kirroughtree 7stanes mountain biking centre

The south of Scotland is famous for its world class 7stanes mountain biking centres. At Kirroughtree, in the lush Galloway Forest Park, you’ll find fun mountain biking trails ranging from green (easy and suitable for the whole family) to black (severe and a real test of your skills).

You can hire bikes at the Break Pad Bike Shop & Hire which is located beside the visitor centre or from Kirkcowan Cycles in Newton Stewart.

  • Travel time – by car from Mossyard Farm Pottery: around 25 minutes
  • Opening – Please check opening
  • Café – Yes
  • Toilet facilities – Yes

Travel time back to Gatehouse of Fleet: 30 minutes

Día 3

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A pick 'n' mix family day out

On day three you'll travel by boat to Threave Castle, craft your own chocolate creations at the Cocoabean Company and enjoy a leisurely horse or pony trek through the lush Galloway countryside at Lochhill Equestrian Centre.
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Threave Castle, Dumfries & Galloway

Threave Castle

Exploring a real-life Scottish castle is pretty cool, but a visit to Threave Castle is even more of an adventure than most - its set on its own private island and you take the passenger boat across the river to reach it. The boat jetty is a 15 minute walk from the car park too, making this a real family adventure. Your kids will love playing games and exploring the castle ruins when they get there too.

  • Travel time – by car from Gatehouse of Fleet: around 20 minutes
  • Opening - Seasonal
  • Café - No
  • Toilet facilities – there is an adapted toilet by the car park on the mainland but there are no toilet facilities on the island.

The Cocoabean Company

With chocolate-making classes, indoor and outdoor play areas and an airy café serving up tasty meals and snacks, kids will be in heaven at this lovely chocolate factory. Sit back with a hot drink as you watch your children concentrating on making their own chocolate creations – they get to keep what they’ve made too! This is a great stop for lunch.

  • Travel time – by car from Threave Castle: around 15 minutes
  • Opening – All year
  • Café - Yes

Lochhill Equestrian Centre

Enjoy a family horse and pony trek through the luscious Galloway countryside. Kids will love getting to know their pony and enjoy the freedom of riding through the countryside atop their surefooted companion.

  • Travel time – by car from the Cocoabean Company: around 10 minutes
  • Opening – All year

Travel time back to Gatehouse of Fleet: 15 minutes

Día 4

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A day out in the Machars and Rhins of Galloway

Spend a day further west exploring two beautiful peninsulas, known as the Machars of Galloway and the Rhins of Galloway. On day four you’ll step inside a recreated Iron Age roundhouse at the Whithorn Story before visiting the most southerly lighthouse in Scotland at the Mull of Galloway Experience.
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The Whithorn Story, Dumfries & Galloway © fitsthepicture/Alan Love

The Whithorn Story

Enjoy the drive around the coast to Whithorn. Kids will enjoy seeing the colourful houses in the town, exploring the Whithorn Story museum, visiting the recreated Iron Age roundhouse and exploring Whithorn Priory. The centre has a café where you can enjoy lunch too.

  • Travel time - by car from Gatehouse of Fleet: around 50 minutes
  • Opening - Seasonal
  • Café - Yes
  • Toilet facilities - Yes

Other great attractions in the Machars of Galloway include Garlieston Beach and Wigtown Bay, where your kids can play on the sand, and Monreith Animal World, where you can see curious animals.

Mull of Galloway Experience

Step inside the towering, white lighthouse and climb the 115 steps to the top of the tower. Kids (and adults) will be amazed by the stunning views from their lofty vantage point – you can even see across the water to Cumbria and Ireland. Look out for swooping gannets, fluttering butterflies and leaping dolphins from the RSPB reserve which surrounds the lighthouse too!

  • Travel time – by car from the Whithorn Story: around 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Opening - Seasonal
  • Café – Yes, at the Gallie Craig Coffee House which is next to the lighthouse.

Travel time back to Gatehouse of Fleet: 1 hour 20 minutes

Other great attractions in the Rhins of Galloway include Logan Botanic Garden, full of exotic plants, and Castle Kennedy Gardens, which often has ranger-led activities for kids.

Día 5

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A family day trip to Ayr

Enjoy a fun day out further afield in the lovely seaside town of Ayr. Day five takes you to the Heads of Ayr Farm Park, where kids can meet a range of animals and have a go at lots of fun activities, Craft Daft, where they can make their own souvenir to take home, and Pirate Pete’s, with its mind-boggling play areas, fun park and laser storm.
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Heads of Ayr Farm Park, Ayrshire

Heads of Ayr Farm Park

This huge farm park will keep your kids entertained for hours. Just some of the huge range of activities on offer includes meeting small animals in the Farmers Yard, having a blast in the indoor Play n’ Wild Barn, bouncing on the jumping pillows, quad biking, bumper boats and much more.

  • Travel time – by car from Gatehouse of Fleet: around 1 hour 35 minutes
  • Opening – Seasonal
  • Café – Yes
  • Toilet facilities – Yes

Craft Daft

Calling all creative kids! Step into Craft Daft and choose from a great selection of ceramics to paint, including animals and money banks. Kids will love picking out their favourite model and bringing it to life with a rainbow of colours, plus you'll have a wonderful souvenir to proudly display once you get home.

  • Travel time - by car from Heads of Ayr Farm Park: around 15 minutes
  • Opening - All year

Pirate Pete’s

With a huge adventure play area for older children and soft play for little ones, Pirate Pete’s is a kids’ wonderland. Other great activities to try include the all-action laser storm, video games station, fairground rides in the outdoor fun park and mini golf. If you’re hungry, grab a bite to eat in Sam’s Diner, the Ice Cream Parlour or Scoopalicious ice cream kiosk.

  • Travel time – walk from Craft Daft: around 15 minutes
  • Opening – Indoor Play and Laser Storm: all year. Outdoor Fun Park: seasonal.
  • Café – Yes

Travel time back to Gatehouse of Fleet: 1 hour 35 minutes

Día 6

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The Galloway Forest Park, plus adventure activities

Nothing beats a day out in the fresh Scottish air. On day six you’ll head into the Galloway Forest Park to visit the Red Deer Range and the Wild Goat Park before getting stuck into a range of outdoor activities at Galloway Activity Centre, including kayaking on Loch Ken or scaling the climbing tower.
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Galloway Activity Centre, Loch Ken © Dumfries & Galloway Council/Mark Geddes

Red Deer Range

Watch your kids’ faces light up in wonder as they see wild red deer roaming at the Red Deer Range. Scotland is famous for its majestic red deer and the range is home to around 60 of these beautiful creatures. Watch them from the shelter of the wildlife hide and look out for regular Meet the Deer events.

  • Travel time – by car from Gatehouse of Fleet: around 35 minutes
  • Opening – Please check opening
  • Café and toilet facilities – There's no café or toilet facilities at either the Red Deer Range or Wild Goat Park. You can stop for a comfort break at the nearby Clatteringshaws Visitor Centre (5 minutes’ drive from the Red Deer Range) which also has a lovely café. Alternatively there are plenty of places to stop for something to eat in New Galloway (15 minutes’ drive from the Red Deer Range).

Other great family attractions in the Galloway Forest Park include the 7stanes mountain biking centres at Kirroughtree and Glentrool. Nearby places to hire bikes include the Break Pad Bike Shop & Hire at Kirroughtree visitor centre or Kirkcowan Cycles in Newton Stewart.

Wild Goat Park

Just five minutes drive from the Red Deer Range you’ll find the adjacent Wild Goat Park which is home to around 50 British primitive goats. This ancient breed of goats are full of character and sure to delight your kids with their cute looks and cheeky antics.
Stop here for a picnic and enjoy watching them roaming around you. Remember not to feed the goats though – they’re on a strict diet!

  • Travel time – by car from Red Deer Range: around 5 minutes
  • Opening – Please check opening
  • Café and toilet facilities – There’s no café or toilet facilities at either the Red Deer Range or Wild Goat Park. See Red Deer Range for places to stop for a comfort break.

Galloway Activity Centre

Make unforgettable family memories at the Galloway Activity Centre at Loch Ken. Kids and adults can have a go at a range of outdoor activities, from archery and laser tag on dry land to stand up paddle boarding and having fun with inflatables in the loch’s wobbly waterpark. You can book anything from a 1.5 hour session to a half day, a full day or even an all-inclusive residential package here.

  • Travel time – by car from Wild Goat Park: around 25 minutes
  • Opening – All year
  • Café – Yes

Travel time back to Gatehouse of Fleet: 45 minutes

Día 7

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Your final day of family fun

Head east towards Dumfries to explore a range of great attractions. On day seven you’ll visit Mabie Farm Park before heading to Caerlaverock, where your young royals can explore Caerlaverock Castle before visiting the unusual wildlife at the WWT Caerlaverock Wetland Centre.
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Caerlaverock Castle, Dumfries

Mabie Farm Park

Meet animals including Shetland ponies, llamas and sheep and watch your kids’ excitement as they feed their favourites. The park also boast plenty of fun attractions, including paddle boats, an indoor play barn, trampolines, jumping pillows and much more.
Enjoy a picnic al fresco in the farm park (bring a portable barbeque to make full use on the on-site BBQ area too!) or pop into the tearoom to choose from a great selection of soups, sandwiches and sweet treats. Dumfries also has plenty of lovely cafés if you fancy heading into town.

  • Travel time – by car from Gatehouse of Fleet: around 50 minutes
  • Opening – Please check opening
  • Café – Yes
  • Toilet facilities – Yes

Caerlaverock Castle

Surrounded by its own moat and built in an unusual triangular shape, kids will have a blast exploring the ruins of Caerlaverock Castle. There are multiple levels within the castle to explore as well as a short nature walk through the woods to the site of the old castle.

  • Travel time – by car from Mabie Farm Park: around 30 minutes
  • Opening – All year
  • Café – Yes
  • Toilet facilities – Yes

 WWT Caerlaverock Wetland Centre

Stop in at this lovely centre to begin your wildlife adventure. Enjoy a family ramble across flower fields in the summer months, looking out for butterflies and swooping ospreys as you go, or visit from October to April to see thousands of migrating birds, including Svalbard barnacle geese and swans.

Tip - Look out for free daily wildlife safaris and family events.

  • Travel time – by car from Caerlaverock Castle: around 10 minutes
  • Opening – All year
  • Café – Yes
  • Toilet facilities – Yes

Travel time back to Gatehouse of Fleet: 1 hour 5 minutes

Resumen

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