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Dumfries Local Information: 10 top things to know... more

  • 1. History

    Dumfries is a town near the English/Scottish border, and much of its history is centred around this fact. The story of Robert the Bruce, the man who won Scotland’s independence, is told through various buildings, ruins, fields and caves in the area. Famous Scottish poet Robert Burns spent the latter part of his life in Dumfries and the town has many sites to visit relating t...Read moreo this famous former resident. There are plenty of castles to visit in this border region and each one has its own piece of Scottish history to tell. Read less

  • 2. Now

    Dumfries is a popular tourist destination. It is close to the Scottish border and Gretna Green – the mecca for young couples wanting a quick wedding. This market town is surrounded by stunning Scottish countryside and is considered the main town of the Dumfries and Galloway region. The town has a campus of the University of Glasgow and so has a lively student population.

  • 3. Events

    The Dumfries and Galloway Arts Festival runs for nine days at the end of May and includes music dance, theatre, literature, children’s events, visual arts and films. Performances take place in various venues throughout the town. The Dumfries and Galloway Wildlife Festival runs for two weeks at the beginning of April and celebrates the great outdoors. Events include exhibitio...Read morens, cooking demonstrations, arts and crafts, badger watches and more. The Spring Fling is a four-day celebration of art and craft that takes place in June. Artists, makers and designers open the doors of their studios to members of the public and events such as bike rides, walks and ceilidhs take place. The Dumfries Agricultural Show is a one-day event in August featuring competitions, displays, entertainment and more. Read less

  • 4. Attractions

    The National Museum of Costume takes visitors on a journey through fashion from the Victorian era to the present day. This attraction, in Shambellie House, is open from March to November. The Dumfries and Galloway Aviation Museum includes the restored Control Tower of a former WWII airfield, an aircraft collection and aircraft artefacts. Mabie Farm Park has an astroslide, boa...Read moreting pond, bouncy castle and jumping pillow, grass slide, play fort, go-karts, play park, train, trampolines and more. Dalscone Farm Fun has indoor and outdoor play areas, animals, go karts and more and is a popular day out for families. The Dumfries Museum is based in an 18th century windmill and takes the visitors through the history of the region and its people. The Camera Obscura is situated at the top of the building and offers panoramic views of the town and countryside. The Robert Burns Centre tells the story of the famous bard’s time in the town. Fans can also visit the sandstone house where he lived in Burns Street. There are plenty of castles to visit in the Dumfries and Galloway region. Caerlaverock Castle includes a moat, twin towered gatehouse, exhibition, children’s adventure park, nature trail, shop and café. Threave Castle is situated on an island on the River Dee and can only be reached by boat. This attraction includes a huge 14th century tower. Read less

  • 5. Things To Do

    Visitors wanting to learn more about Robert the Bruce can follow a trail of all the sites that played a role in his life. The Robert the Bruce Trail takes you back 700 years to where he grew up, how he was influenced and where he forged his skills. A Dumfries Town Trail is also available. There are plenty of ways to enjoy the countryside around Dumfries, including cycle routes...Read more, horse trails, horse and carriage rides and walks. The Galloway Forest Park is the largest forest park in Britain, and covers 300 square miles. The park is home to a vast selection of wildlife including a herd of ancient breed wild goats, red deer and stags. Read less

  • 6. Business

    The modern Loreburne Shopping Centre, in the heart of the town, is home to 21 stores, including many high street names. The town centre itself offers big names as well as many independent local traders offering specialist shopping. The town centre is the subject of an ongoing regeneration project that includes improving the shopping environment and encouraging more retailers t...Read moreo move in. Many new businesses have opened in the town as a result. Gretna Gateway, in nearby Gretna, is an outlet shopping village offering discounted prices on many designer labels. This shopping centre also has parking, dining and play facilities. Read less

  • 7. Transport

    By road, the A75 links Dumfries to the M6 leading south, and the M74 leading north. The A75 also leads to the east coast. National Express and Stagecoach offer coach routes from Dumfries to many other UK destinations. Local buses also offer good services within the Dumfries and Galloway region. Trains run to Dumfries from other major towns and cities in the region. The neares...Read moret airport is Glasgow Preswick, which is about 51 miles from the town and offers domestic and international flights. Read less

  • 8. Entertainment

    The Robert Burns Centre doubles up as a film theatre in the evenings, showing all the latest releases. The Theatre Royal, in Dumfries, is the oldest working theatre in Scotland and is run by voluntary group the Guild of Players. It is used for the Guild of Players' own productions and for performances from visiting companies.

  • 9. Famous Landmarks

    The triangular-shaped Caerlaverock Castle is over 400 years old and includes a moat, twin towered gatehouse and imposing battlements. The castle has many stories to tell, including two major sieges. In the town centre itself is the regenerated Nith Viaduct, which links north west of Dumfries to the town centre.

  • 10. Interesting Fact

    Kirkpatrick Macmillan, born in Dumfriesshire in 1812, is the man credited with inventing the first pedal bicycle, which he rode into the town on its first test journey


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