Thelma & Louise knew it, as did Cheryl Strayed (author of adventure memoir ‘Wild’) and Elizabeth Gilbert (of ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ fame): there’s nothing like heading out on a new adventure or journey of self-discovery to explore new places and find oneself. With a surge in women-only retreats and women-only travel companies, there couldn’t be a better time to hit the open road.
Approximately 5.6 million women visited Scotland on a holiday in 2017*. Whether heading out with gal pals or taking the leap to explore a destination alone, the country offers a variety of exciting breaks and experiences for women with an appetite for adventure and Dumfries and Galloway is really worth a look.
From scenic driving routes, white-knuckle challenges, female-dominated events, mindful retreats and tasty food & drink, the only question is how long to stay. Check out the following suggestions for an escape route to South west Scotland and beyond. And get packing!
Thats the Spirit
The Crafty Distillery near Newton Stewart offers fantastic engaging tours, showing how they create their award-winning Hills & Harbour Gin, with artisan local produce or tasty cocktails on offer, Crafty Distillery has something for everyone. Find out More HERE.
A Lovely Brew
Sulwath Brewers in Castle Douglas take great pride in the production of their products which are brewed traditionally, with no concentrates, colourings or extract and with accent on the taste of yesteryear. they offer a bespoke tours of their brewery and you can find out more HERE.
Women’s Tour of Scotland 2019
9-11 August 2019
A brand-new annual global female cycling event has chosen Scotland as the backdrop for its very first event. The Women’s Tour of Scotland will follow a 350km route across the country and promises to show off Scotland’s breath-taking landscape and further cement its place as an international sporting events host. The tour will show the importance of female cycling and will take place over the course of three days in August with the route to be announced soon. A mass participation event will occur on the same three days with 5000 participants from across Scotland and beyond able to participate. Not to be missed!
Check out www.womenstourofscotland.com for full details, when available.
Fancy a drive?
Scotland’s South West Coastal 300 route boasts epic scenery, stunning coastal views and beautiful beaches, including Kirkcudbright the Artist Town in Dumfries and Galloway. South West Scotland Coastal 300 is a new touring road route created by Visit South West Scotland. Done the NC500? Now try the SWC300 – its a lot nearer!
For more on Scotland’s driving routes, check out www.visitscotland.com/drivingroutes
These boots are made for….
Whether it’s a mountain climb, or a scenic stroll, Scotland offers a walk for every ability. The ruggedcoastline from Portpatrick to Killantringan in Dumfries and Galloway is a popular one for dogwalkers and ramblers alike;RSPB Nature Reserve at the Mull of Galloway,The nature reserve at the Mull of Galloway is a 30 acre site and contains a huge variety of wildlife. There is a visitor centre where you can view the colonies of sea birds on the cliffs from cliff mounted cameras including guillemots, razorbills and kittiwakes. You may even see a puffin or two. On the nearby Scare or Scaur Rocks are enormous colonies of gannets
On the clifftop heathland, there is much to be seen as well. Rare butterflies, birds such as the linnet and the stonechat and maybe some hares or a deer. Peregrines are also regular visitors.
Guided walks are held every Wednesday from 1pm to 3pm throughout the open season (April to the end of October).
Find out more about walking in South west scotland HERE
When a walk’s just not enough
Those looking for an adrenaline-filled experience can head to the Laggan Outdoors adventure centre, offering activities susch as Zipwire, Archery, Segway Rides, Clay shooting and much more. Plus Dumfries and Galloway offers some of the worlds best mountain biking – The 7stanes are world-class mountain biking centres that span the south of Scotland. Their award-winning trails offer some of the best mountain biking in the country and attract riders from all over the UK and beyond.
Heading to Scotland to escape from it all, the Kagyu Samye Ling Monastery and Tibetan Centre provides an unexpected sanctuary near Dumfries in the south-west of Scotland. The first Tibetan Buddhist Centre to have been established in the West, it provides opportunity to book courses such as mindfulness and yoga, or simply to stroll around the peace gardens, temple and Tibetan Tea Rooms. Overnight accommodation is also available, depending on availability (www.samyeling.org/visiting)
Looking for the perfect long-weekend retreat? Dumfries and Galloway can offer everything, from luxury Snugs, Fantstic B&B’s and holiday cottages with hot tubs like the ones at High Kirkland near to Kirkcudbright, to Historic luxury by the sea at Balcary Bay, and great value Caravan breaks at Auchenlarie and many other sites across the region.
For more information on breaks to Scotland go to www.visitscotland.com/holidays-breaks