The Solway coast enjoys the effects of the Gulf Stream so the area has a very mild climate with snow a rarity along the coast. Kirkconnell House nestles in the Nith valley and is protected from most strong winds by the 1800’ hill to the west known as Criffel and its slightly lower summit Knockendoch.
The local brewery in Castle Douglas has two beers of the same name which can be sampled on a brewery tour. Alternatively a walk to the top of Criffel can give views to the Isle of Man & the Lake District and takes about 2 hours.
At the bottom of Criffel is our local village, New Abbey, an attractive thriving place with many traditional cottages. Apart from the pub serving food and a teashop it has a well stocked general store, bowling green, the ruins of Sweetheart Abbey and a fully restored corn mill. Just down the coast is the village of Carsethorn with its award winning seaside pub and usually fairly deserted beach.
Along the coast are two good sandy beaches Powillimount and Sandyhills whilst a bit further on is Rockcliffe which has rock pools and also is the start of a very gentle one mile walk to Kippford on the Urr estuary. Along the way are a few golf courses, varied fishing, a few potteries / galleries, lovely views and assorted places to eat.
Worth a visit are also the Annandale distillery at Annan, the Chocolate Factory at Twynholm and Cream of Galloway at Castle Douglas with its wide choice of delicious flavours of ice cream and cheeses.
Heading towards Dumfries from Kirkconnell House there is Mabie Forest which has many walks and all grades of mountain biking trails (inc. black) as well as the Mabie House Hotel which has a good reasonably priced menu. Also nearby is Mabie Farm Park which seems to be very popular with our younger visitors and at Beeswing the Loch Arthur coffee & farm shop for the not quite as young .
Close by Scottish Natural Heritage have re-established the raised bog at Kirkconnell Flow.There is car parking and information signage plus walking tracks. We’ve actually seen tiny carnivorous plants growing wild on the site.
Dumfries is a very accessible town with lots of free disc parking (take a disc from our supply in the house). The local tourist information office is near the river which runs through the centre of Dumfries.
The main food shops are Morrisons, Aldi, Lidl & Tesco 24 hour. (For speciality foods visit Castle Douglas). There are a large number of restaurants and takeaways some of which will deliver to the house and a wide range of services and retailers.
Historically Dumfries has featured in many significant Scottish events although it is probably best known for its links to Robert Burns who, along with Bonnie Prince Charlie, is thought to have visited Kirkconnell House.