Castle Douglas

You will find this hidden gem, between the towns of Dalbeattie and Gatehouse of Fleet. For a small town, there are tons of things to do in Castle Douglas is not short of tourist attractions and events.

Many tourists are drawn to this 18th-century market town as they want to sample its local produce and charming Scottish hospitality.

Learn more in our complete guide of things to do in Castle Douglas.

Things to do in Castle Douglas

If you are wondering where to begin while visiting this charming a town in Dumfries and Galloway read out top things to do in Castle Douglas below.

Castles, star gazing and eating (lots) will be on the agenda during your visit to Castle Douglas. There is so many things to do in Castle Douglas, so if you are visiting here for a weekend or a short break, make sure you plan your activities in Castle Douglas before you arrive.

My Voyage Scotland lists its top things to do in Castle Douglas below.

Carlingwark Loch

Beside Castle Douglas is Carlingwark Loch, which is dotted with little islands.

At Carlingwark Loch, there is something for everyone as it is great for boating, learning to sail and picnicking. There is a caravan park and a kids’ playground here.

At the far end of the loch is National Trust for Scotland’s Threave Garden, House and Estate which is open to visitors all year.

The Stewartry Agricultural Show

things to do in castle douglas

Locals will tell you that this is one of the main highlights in Scotland’s agricultural calendar as many have been going to the show since for many years.

The Stewartry Agricultural Show happens annually on the first Thursday in August. The show kicks off at 9am and it is a great day out for all the Family, as there is so much going on.

This event brings communities from across Dumfries and Galloway together as many travel to the town to watch animals of all shapes and sizes parade during the annual judging at the Stewartry Agricultural Show.

Once you have finished admiring the animals, make your way to the beer tent where you can enjoy a pint during prime Scottish summertime.

Threave Castle

things to do in castle douglas

Threave Castle is open from March until the end of October every year. If you are travelling to Castle Douglas during this time, do not miss this four star VisitScotland attraction.

The castle is cared for by Historic Scotland and was built in the late 14th century by Archibald the Grim, Lord of Galloway. This castle is a little tricky to get to as it is situated on an island in the middle of the River Dee. As it is only reachable by boat, your journey to here will begin yet Kelton Mains farm. You will then walk for ten minutes through the fields until you arrive at the River Dee.

From here you can catch a boat across to the island. Here you will find a small jetty and a brass bell with a rope pull. Ring the bell loudly – little adventurers love this bit – and the boatman will come across from the island to take you to the castle.

Brockloch Eco Retreat

Every child dreams of the perfect treehouse – and we have found one in Kirkpatrick Durham, near Castle Douglas.

You will fall in love with this which is dreamy treehouse is nestled deep inside enchanting wood and features a skylight for star-spotting. This is the perfect adventure for families and couples that want to spend a night or two living in the wilderness.

This popular destination is also home to an eco bothy which appeared on Channel 4’s Amazing Spaces.

The Galloway Forest Park

things to do in castle douglas

Britain’s largest forest park is just over 20 minutes away from Castle Douglas.

Galloway Forest Park was established in 1947 and is often referred to as ‘the Highlands of the Lowlands’, over 800,000 thousand visitors travel to the park each year to admire the stunning scenery.

Take a wander through this ancient woodland and spot the local wildlife that lives within the grounds. Great for families that want to experience the Scottish outdoors; walking, cycling and fishing are excellent choices when visiting the park.

Dark Sky Observatory

things to do in castle douglas

Within the attraction mentioned above, you will find the Galloway Forest Dark Sky Park – one of only two ‘gold tier’ dark sky parks in the UK.

Loved by star watchers, the Scottish Dark Sky Observatory is situated here in the Galloway and Southern Ayrshire UNESCO Biosphere. You will find it on a hilltop site on the edge of the Galloway Forest Park. Given its status, this tourist attraction near Castle Douglas has been recognised internationally as “a world class environment for people and nature”.

This trip would add something special to your trip to Scotland as it has been rated as one of the top four Designed Landscapes in the country, by Historic Scotland.

Food Town

Foodies will love it here, and after working up an appetite during your forest adventures you will be ready for a traditional Scottish ‘scran’.

Castle Douglas is a designated Food Town. It is well known for seeking local produce and quality food and drink.

There are around fifty local businesses within Castle Douglas’s radius that sell a variety of Scottish specialities.

Day trip to Dumfries

Castle Douglas is located around 18 miles from Dumfries, make sure you make a stop off at this market town during your trip!

Start at Dumfries Museum and Camera Obscura, the largest museum in the region. The museum features a great variation of collections, some which give visitors an insight into local history and others the pre-historic era.

The town is full of rich Scottish history and during your trip, you can also visit the house that Robert Burns wrote some of his most famous poems during your visit to Dumfries.

This is a must-see tourist attraction for any Burns’ enthusiast as you can view original manuscripts and personal belongings of Scotland’s National Bard – hid desk and chair still sits in the house’s study.

More things to do in Dumfries & Galloway

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