Explore the Mull of Galloway on Scotland's West Coast. One of the UK's best-kept secrets
You may not have heard of some of the places we will be visiting on this new and exciting tour to the west coast of Scotland, but it is a beautiful and fascinating part of Britain, and one heavily influenced by the sea. As well as experiencing the scenery of Dumfries & Galloway and southern Ayrshire, we will visit one of Scotlands top botanic gardens and come face to face with Highland Coos. The journey to and from Scotland is very much part of this holiday, travelling out through parts of Cumbria and the Lake District and returning along Hadrians Wall and the northeast of England.
Join your driver and fellow travellers on the coach and drive through the Midlands to Trentham Gardens in Staffordshire for a lunchtime break. This afternoon we will continue to our overnight stop, the Best Western Premier Hotel Leyland in Lancashire.D
Enjoy a day of fabulous scenery as we divert off the motorway through Cumbria for a peep at the Lake District. Our morning coffee break will be in Bowness on the shore of Windermere. We will then climb the narrow, winding Kirkstone Pass over to Ullswater, driving along the length of the Lake and re-joining the motorway. After another stop in the famous border village of Gretna Green we head west on the final leg of the journey to our Hotel on the edge of Stranraer.B, D
We start the day with sightseeing in Portpatrick, a pretty picture-postcard harbour from where, on a clear day, there are superb views over the Solway Firth to Ireland and the Isle of Man. Next, we will visit Logan Botanic Gardens, Scotland's most exotic garden. Due to its almost subtropical climate, you will find plant treasures from South and Central America, Southern Africa and Australasia. We round off today with a spectacular drive to Scotland's most southerly point at the tip of the Mull of Galloway. As well as admiring the views, you can visit the Exhibition of Lighthouse History, see the Vintage Engines and Foghorn, and have refreshments at the glass encased coffee house.
This morning we enjoy a scenic drive along the shore of Loch Ryan then up the Firth of Clyde coast with views of Ailsa Craig. Just outside Ayr is the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum, and we will visit to discover the life and times of Scotland's favourite son and his writing. Our second stop of the day will be at Culzean Castle, former seat of the Kennedy Clan and cared for by the National Trust.B, D
We will journey inland to Galloway Forest Park, making a short stop at the Red Deer Range. We continue to Clatteringshaws Visitor Centre overlooking the loch of the same name. in the afternoon we head to Kitchen Coos and Ewes at High Airyolland Farm for a guided tour to see Highland Cattle in their natural environment. There will also be a sheep shearing demonstration and a cream tea in the farmhouse kitchen to round off the day.B, D
We leave Scotland's west coast and drive back over the border, to follow the course of Hadrian's Wall. Our lunchtime stop will be at Chesters Roman Fort and Museum. A garrison of 500 cavalry troops was housed here for about 300 years and today you can still see the foundations of all four gates of the fort, the courtyard, hall, regimental shrine and well-preserved baths. The last stage of today's route takes us through the hills of the North Pennines to the Holiday Inn at Scotch Corner for an overnight stay.B, D
After breakfast we will head home via the motorway network, reaching the waiting taxis by then end of the afternoon.B
The 19th century North West Castle Hotel is situated on the outskirts of Stranraer in Dumfries & Galloway, and was once the home of the Arctic explorer Sir John Ross. The spacious and homely bedrooms have tea and coffee making facilities, hairdryer and free Wi-Fi. From the residents lounge there are views along Loch Ryan. Leisure facilities include an indoor pool, sauna and spa bath. The Hotel even has its own indoor curling rink. There is a lift.
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