The region is home to an abundance of rare wildlife, lush green forests and sandy beaches, many of which form part of the UNESCO Biosphere covering Galloway and Southern Ayrshire. In 2009 the Galloway Forest Park was also unveiled as the UK’s first, and Western Europe’s largest, Dark Sky Park.

The area is the warmest part of Scotland and the undiscovered 200 miles of coastline along the Solway Firth are often referred to as the Scottish Riviera thanks to its secluded rocky coves and quiet beaches.

From Drummore and Stranraer in the west to Langholm and Canonbie in the east and from Kirkconnel and Sanquhar in the north to Powfoot and Kirkcudbright in the south Dumfries and Galloway covers almost 6,500km. It is home to fewer than 150,000 warm and welcoming people whose love of getting together to share good times and have earned the region its reputation as a happy and friendly place.

Living in Dumfries & Galloway

In addition to spectacular countryside and outside pursuits Dumfries and Galloway offers you and your family beautiful and affordable housing, easy and convenient commutes and a more relaxed quality of life.

Many of our doctors have been drawn to the region by the exceptional career opportunities but the improved work life balance and focus on family life are also great attractions.

The region offers all the advantages of life in local towns with friendly and safe neighbourhoods and good quality facilities on your doorstep. In addition, the main city centres are within reach if on occasion you want a little more.

Housing

Dumfries and Galloway properties are as diverse as its scenery. Town flats, family homes, cottages in the country and the occasional manor house are all available for sale or rent.

Housing in the region offers excellent value for money and for the cost of a London flat (around £200,000) you could set up home in a:

  • beautifully appointed traditional granite 4 bedroom town house in Dalbeattie
  • detached 3 bedroom rural cottage with stunning sea views near Kirkcudbright
  • luxury 3 bedroom penthouse with river views close to the centre of Dumfries
  • 2 bedroom farmhouse with outbuildings, mature gardens and additional land near Stranraer
  • secluded 5 bedroom detached family home with generous gardens and outbuildings in Annan

In recent times house prices have dropped in Scotland, making it a buyers market.

While most properties are sold through estate agents or solicitors (lawyers), you can also buy privately from the owner – though you will still need a solicitor to do the legal work.

Depending on how long you’re going to be here, you can either buy or rent a home. Whichever you decide to do, you can look forward to a huge range of housing possibilities, in town, the country or even on the coast.

There are a wide range of estate agents, land agents and solicitors who will be happy to help you find the right home for you and your family whether you decide to rent or buy.

Dumfries & Galloway village scene

Education

Schools in Dumfries and Galloway perform consistently well in national rankings.

There are 104 primaries with school roles ranging from 14 pupils at Ae to 140 at Locharbriggs. The primaries feed into the 17 secondary schools, four of which are in Dumfries.

The region also features one further education college – Dumfries and Galloway College, which has campuses in Dumfries and Stranraer – and the Dumfries campuses of the University of the West of Scotland and Glasgow University.

Towns

The region’s main urban centre is the busy 800 year old University town of Dumfries which is home to just over 31,000 people. The town is celebrated for its strong historical links to Scotland’s most famous poet, Robert Burns, whose final resting place is in St Michael’s Church Yard. Dumfries hosts the annual Big Burns Supper – a 9 day extravaganza of music, theatre and comedy – and is home to the Robert Burns Film Theatre, which is run by the local Council to provide an alternative film-going experience.

Castle Douglas is the region’s renowned Food Town where around 50 local businesses work together to provide a unique shopping experience. It’s a great place to visit if you love the outdoors too with walks around Carlingwark Loch, the National Trust for Scotland attraction Threave Estate and historic Threave Castle which can only be reached by boat.

Kirkcudbright sits on the banks of the River Dee and boasts the region’s only working commercial harbour. The town was a well known artists’ colony for around 100 years up to the 1950’s and it is said that the main attraction was the excellence of the light. These days people come for Broughton House and Garden, the Annual Tattoo and, of course, the delightfully quirky Galloway Wildlife Conservation Park.

Nestled in the heart of the Southern Upland Ways is the historic spa town of Moffat which dates back to the 17th Century. Moffat is a vibrant, bustling place that provides a warm welcome to the visitors who flock to the town to visit the nearby nature reserves, walk to the Grey Mare’s Tail or in the Devil’s Beef Tub or enjoy the many cultural attractions on offer. There is a vibrant music scene and in the summer Moffat Gala and the world famous Sheep Race are not to be missed.

Dumfries & Galloway bridge scene

Attractions

There’s always something to do in Dumfries and Galloway and whatever our preference you will find an event, exhibition or show to suit your tastes.

Agricultural shows are held at locations across the region throughout the summer months including Dumfries, Stranraer, and Stewartry Shows.

The Big Burns Supper is held annually in Dumfries in January. This nine day extravaganza features music, theatre, comedy dance, burlesque and children’s entertainment. Many of the acts put on their shows in the world famous Spiegeltent with its luxurious and intimate ambience.

The Dumfries and Galloway Arts Festival takes place over 10 days in May. Since the 1970’s this event has consistently attracted an eclectic mix of world-class performances to rural locations. It is now regarded as Scotland’s largest rural multi-artform festival, with more than 170 artists performing at 60 events in 30 venues across the full breadth of the region.

Eden is Scotland’s boutique festival and it has its home at Raehills between Moffat and Dumfries. Known for its support of new young talent this festival has a commitment to involving young people, supporting artists, bringing people to the region and taking a sustainable, environmentally conscious approach.

Farmers’ Markets are a popular feature and these are held regularly in Creetown, Wigtown, Dumfries, Lockerbie, Moffat and Langholm. The markets are the perfect showcase for a wide range of delicious local food and drink and beautiful handmade crafts.

The Galloway Country Fair is hosted by Buccleuch Estates at Drumlanrig Castle in mid August. This traditional two day celebration of rural life showcases food and drink, country sports, entertainment, rural crafts, children’s activities and much more to provide an excellent day out for every member of the family.

The region is home to the Wickerman Festival which is now in its 14th year. Known as Scotland’s premier alternative festival it has been likened to the world famous Glastonbury Festival and features several stages which have attracted bands such as Primal Scream, Scissor Sisters, James, Feeder, the Coral and Magic Numbers to name just a few.

The Wigtown Book Festival in September and October is described as a 10 day literary party with over 200 events designed to celebrate writing in all its various guises. The 2014 festival featured inputs from TV presenter Claire Balding, Graeme Obree the Flying Scotsman and esteemed local poet Hugh McMillan.

Dumfries & Galloway attractions
Dumfries & Galloway beach scene