Self Catering 3 Stars

Kippford and The Solway Coast

Dumfries and Galloway

Things to look out for

The Sea

The Solway estuary is tidal, so be aware of tide times and deep channels in the mud.

elm cottage - solway firth

Rough Island is out of bounds in May and June while birds are nesting.

When visiting the island at other times look out for the tide or you may find yourself enjoying island life for the next 12 hours!


Please support our local shops.

The Village shop is mainly a gift shop but she does have fresh milk and cheeses.

There is a first class grocer at Colvend and a small shop at the Caravan Park at Barnbarroch for emergencies.

Dalbeattie has a range of good shops including three excellent butchers and a wonderful old style ironmongery. Corsons the Baker has the best doughnuts in the land... go early, they sell out very fast!

Banking facilities are also available in Dalbeattie.


Our favourite eating place is the Anchor, the local pub which does good pub grub. The Back Bar has not changed in my lifetime!

If you want a change, try the Mariner in the village or the Clonyard on the Colvend road.

The Restaurant and Shop at Locharthur, Beeswing is hugely popular and does delicious soups and bread and amazing cakes in the restaurant area. The shop has the best selection of quality organic produce in the area including meat, cheeses, vegetables and fruit.

Cavens Restaurant with Rooms at Kirkbean is a pleasant upmarket venue majoring in local produce.

The Balcary Bay Hotel , Auchencairn gets good reports for eating and has a marvellous setting by the shore. It is an old smuggling house.

Carlo’s Restaurant in Castle Douglas does good Italian fare and not too pricey. Tel 01556 503 977 211 King Street opposite the Clock Tower.

The Selkirk Arms Hotel in Kirkcudbright is one of our favourite haunts and the reports are excellent….. and it has Rabbie Burns connections!

The Lawrie Arms in Haugh of Urr also does good pub grub.

We hear that the Steam Boat Inn at Carsethorn has changed hands... would like to hear reports of it.

In the other direction we recommend Casa Mia in Dumfries. a bit more up market.

The NTS Restaurant at Threave Gardens, Castle Douglas does tasty lunches and teas.

The Fish and Chip shop next to the Fish shop in the Harbour Square Kirkcudbright does great food. Take your own bottle.

elm cottage - solway firth

Local Food.

The region has a fine reputation for good local food. Seek out excellent butchers in Dalbeattie and Castle Douglas.

There is a fish van on the Market Hill in Castle Douglas midweek and he can be found at Kilnford farm shop on the edge of Dumfries on Thursdays and Fridays and Loch Arthur Beeswing on Friday afternoons... the best fish around.

The Locharthur shop at Beeswing (see above) has a great selection of home made cheeses... their other outlets are Harrods and Fortnum and Mason.!!

elm cottage - solway firth


We have provided a pack of information about Dumfries and Galloway. The following is just a rough guide to some of the many things that you might like to do. We recommend you buy the local paper for What’s On in the region.


The Solway Yacht Club, Kippford. Visiting yachts welcome. No boat hire or tuition available. tel 01556 620 312

Galloway Sailing Centre, Loch Ken, nr Castle Douglas. Sailing/windsurfing/canoeing. Tuition and hire. Excellent centre for water sport tuition. tel 01644 420 626

Horse riding

Barend Riding Centre, Sandyhills. Accompanied rides or lessons. tel 01387 780533 or 780632


Dalbeattie is now a major cycling centre with the opening of the Seven Stanes tracks through the Forest. Fantastic mountain biking. Plus a range of routes to suit all ages and abilities.

Bike Hire + repairs

There is an excellent bike hire shop in Dalbeattie called MPG Cycles, Millo Place Garage, High Street Dalbeattie. Tel 01556 610 659
CD Cycle Centre, Castle Douglas. tel 01556 504542
Grierson and Graham, Dumfries. tel 01387 253405
Nithsdale Cycle Centre, Dumfries. tel 01387 254870
Rik’s Bike Shed, Mabie Forest. tel 01387 270275


It is possible to hire a boat for deep sea fishing. Inquire at the Slipway.

The River Urr is well known for its seatrout and salmon. Day tickets can be purchased from the local Dalbeattie Angling Club at Miller McCowan’s Tackle Shop at 43 High Street, Dalbeattie Tel 01556 610 270


The area has lots of good golf courses from championship level at Southerness to the small Par 3 course at Craigieknowes at Barnbarroch. Colvend has quite sensational views and you can eat at the club house.

Dalbeattie, Castle Douglas, Kirkcudbright, New Galloway and Gatehouse all have courses.

Weekends are usually busy and booking might be advised. Weekdays are much more quiet.


There are good tennis courts in the park at Dalbeattie.

elm cottage - solway firth

Bird Watching

* Rough Island is a NTS bird sanctuary.
* Mersehead, Southwick - RSPB reserve with excellent facilities for watching geese in numbers in the winter.
* Loch Ken, RSPB reserve, Nature Conservation Area.
* Caerlaverock Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust. Nr Dumfries. Winter birds Sept - April, Summer Walks May - 01387 770200.
* Mull of Galloway. Two hours drive to spectacular lighthouse towering above steep cliffs. RSPB have centre there and there is a new prize winning restaurant, Gallie Craig, perched on the cliff top. Open every day in the summer and selected days in the winter.
*** Visit the Red Kite Trail at Loch Ken Marshes north of Castle Douglas. The Bellymack farm is a feeding station where the birds can be seen regularly in numbers.



You are right by the path across the hill to Rockliffe and you can take the low road or the high road. Work up an appetite for breakfast ….try an early morning walk up the Muckle, the hill right behind the house….. spectacular views to the sea. Walks thro the wood will bring you out further afield in the village or even at the caravan park.

Dalbeattie Forest.



The area has a great many first class gardens probably at their best in the Spring through to June.

elm cottage - solway firth


The Mote of Mark, 5th C. fort.

Orchardton Tower, 15th C. round tower.
North Glen Gallery, Glassblowing.

Abbey - associated with Mary Queen of Scots.

Long sandy beach.

Championship Course plus an additional 18 hole golf course.
One of the oldest lighthouses in Scotland.

John Paul Jones' Cottage and Museum.

New Abbey
Sweetheart Abbey.
Working Corn Mill. Our grand children love visiting the Mill. The Miller demonstrates the water wheel working twice a day and is a great character.
Shambellie House Museum of Costume. Good for a wet day with children’s activities.

Castle Douglas: Food Town
Castle Douglas continues to build its reputation as the Food Town and has some very good small shops and also a new Tesco store. The main street also has a number of good boutique type shops, a chocolatier, and some lovely arts and crafts shops. Both Designs and the McGill Duncan Gallery right at the bottom end of the street are well worth a visit to see local artists.

Threave Castle. This is one of our favourite destinations with children. You walk the path to the river Dee, then ring the bell and the ferryman takes you over by boat to the castle

NTS Threave Gardens, west of Castle Douglas

The town has an increasing number of first class small food shops and some interesting galleries and craft shops.

At least an hour’s drive away up the Nith Valley with, close by, the magnificent Drumlanrig Castle, seat of the Dukes of Buccleuch. First rate collection of pictures and furnishings. Good restaurant. Open Easter to October.

Kirkcudbright : Artists Town
One of our favourite days out. Start at the Tolbooth, visit NTS Broughton House, McClelland Castle, the Kirkcudbright Museum, Harbour Art Gallery and buy fish for your supper in the fish shop down by the harbour. Lots of good small picture galleries in this Artist’s Town. In particular the High Street Gallery majors on work by artists connected to Kirkcudbright over the last hundred years including the Glasgow Boys.

New Galloway and the Glenkens

Drive up the West side of Loch Ken and take a detour through the forest on the Raiders Road to Clatteringshaws Dam then back to New Galloway and Dalry: the emerging Bird Town.

Shore Route West.

From Dalbeattie follow the coast by Palnackie, Auchencairn, Dundrennan to Kirkcudbright then on through Borgue to Gatehouse of Fleet. Wonderful scenery, pretty villages and pub grub along the way.

Strong local connections with Robert Burns. Visit the house in which he died and the Globe Inn, his favourite drinking place.

If you have got this far you deserve to have a happy holiday!

If you have any problems or need further information or advice contact the agent Discover Scotland/G. M. Thomson, 27 King Street, Castle Douglas. 01556 504030 and ask for Jane or, give us a ring at 01387 730 210. Someone is usually at home in the evenings.

Barbara Kelly, Elm Cottage , Kippford, Colvend, Dalbeattie DG5 4LJ. Tel 01556 620 260. Home 01387 730 210