Dumfries and Galloway is a wonderful mix of dramatic coastal scenery and rural farming idylls. There are a wide range of places to visit from the west coast at Stranraer inland to Dumfries, here are just a sample of the historic sites you can see across the county.
The red sandstone ruins of Sweetheart Abbey are remarkably complete. The Abbey was founded by Lady Dervorgilla of Galloway in memory of her husband Lord John Balliol who died in 1268. After his death, Lady Dervorgilla had his heart embalmed, placed in an ivory casket and carried it with her until her death. She and the casket were buried at the Abbey and the monks renamed the abbey Sweetheart in memory of her devotion.
This is a large Tibetan Buddhist Temple and monastic community. The Centre is peacefully located in a quiet rural setting near Eskdalemuir. Open all year round, it offers a programme of courses and teachings.
Bruce's Stone is at the top of the hill on the north side of Loch Trool in the heart of the Galloway Forest Park near Glentrool. It is a massive granite boulder commemorating the first victory by Robert the Bruce over the English army in 1307.
The magnificent ruins of Lochmaben Castle are found near Lockerbie. Dating back to the 14th century the ruins are an excellent example of a Z plan Tower House. Lochmaben has a turbulent history having fallen into English hands under Edward I and thereafter razed to the ground around 1380, it was finally abandoned in the 1600s.
Kirkmadrine Church and graveyard is in Sandhead near Stranraer. The Stones are believed to date from the 5th or early 6th century and are some of the oldest and most important early Christian Memorial Stones in Britain. On display in a glass fronted porch at Kirkmadrine Burial Chapel, the stones have Latin inscriptions commemorating Bishops and priests. The stones are presently removed for conservation by Historic Scotland
There's plenty to see and do at the restored Cotton Mill at Gatehouse of Fleet. Built in the 18th century and now restored as both an exhibition space and a visitor centre, the main floor houses a permanent exhibition on Gatehouse, it's history and heritage, while the Faed Gallery has exhibitions by local artists.
Located within the churchyard of Kirkcolm Church in Stranraer - and dating from the 10th century, the Viking carved stones are an interesting relic of Scotland's connections to the Vikings. The stones are elaborately carved and well worth a visit.
The Torhouse Standing Stones are located 4 miles from Wigtown. Believed to date from the Bronze Age, the Stone Circle of Torhouse consists of 19 large granite boulders. There are three standing stones in the centre of the circle known as King Gauldus's Tomb. Most of Scotland's stone circles are found in the north east so this location is very unusual.