Around and About
Adjacent to the park are the RSPB Ken-Dee Marshes bird reservation, the “Galloway Kite Trail” , the kite feeding station in Laurieston and the Galloway Forest Park with its 300 square miles of beautiful green forest, heather-clad hills, wealth of wildlife and two of the 7stanes mountain biking centres, Glentrool and Kirroughtree, which offers our visitors many opportunities to walk, climb, cycle and bird watch. At night, it is also one of the best spots in the UK for stargazing with the naked eye, as it's the first Dark Sky Park in the UK and one of only two in Europe!
Among pursuits enjoyed on the Park and Loch Ken are fishing, sailing, water skiing and walking.
Loch Ken Water Ski School and its Marina, only one mile up the road, has a cutting edge water-ski & wakeboard boat and a highly trained professional team, with activities including ringos, banana boating and speed boat trips.
The Galloway Activity Centre, on the banks of Lock Ken 5 miles from our park, offers a wide range of outdoor activities on and off the water, to choose from Sailing, Windsurfing, Powerboating, Kayaking, Canoeing, Outdoor Laser Quest, Archery, Mountain Biking, Orienteering, Climbing/Abseiling and more...
Dumfries and Galloway covers an area of some 2,457 square miles and has a population of only 147,000 people. There are many different kinds of scenery found in the area - high hills, glens, woodlands, rivers, lochs and some 200 miles of coastline with many fine sandy beaches.
The region has a long and colourful history, is rich in archaeological sites, and has associations with many famous historic and literary figures. Within the region, the quiet country roads offer unhurried touring opportunities.
Robert Burns spent the last years of his life in Dumfries. He is buried in St Michael's churchyard in the town and the Burns centre beside the River Nith in Dumfries is worth visiting.
The Dumfries and Galloway Tourist Guide lists 115 places of special interest. Included are the early Christian 'Whithorn Excavations', 'Priory and Museum' - the site of the first Christian church in Scotland; Sweetheart Abbey, nineteen castles, including Drumlanrig, the home of The Duke of Buccleuch; and eight gardens including the National Trust Garden at Threave, Castle Douglas.
There are a number of bird sanctuaries, 'open' farms, countryside parks and forest walks, plus many museums, craft workshops, galleries and other attractions.
If you are coming with children there are plenty of nearby attractions to take them too, the Cream O' Galloway Ice Cream Visitor Centre has ice cream tasting and indoor and outdoor activities for children, the Cocoabean Company where kids can make chocolate creations in interactive workshops or Mabie Farm Park that offers a fun day out for all the family.
Dumfries and Galloway also hosts several events throughout the year, there is the Big Burns Supper in January, the Wildlife Festival around Easter, DG Arts Festival in May - June, Spring Fling Art Festival in late May / early June and Flavour Fortnight in August / September just to name a few...
Visitors to Galloway are assured of a warm welcome - as one of the most remarked-upon attractions of the area is the friendliness of the local people.