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Day trip from Cumbria to lower Scotland help please?

Wodonga, Victoria...
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Day trip from Cumbria to lower Scotland help please?

We will be staying in Lake Windermere for the first week in December 2014 and given the time of year decided not to do Scotland but have previously enjoyed the highlands immensely. Is a day trip up to the borders worth a visit? We love quaint villages, and landscapes and ruins etc but from Google images I can't seem to pick a destination....it seems a bit hit and miss. Any ideas?

South Pole
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1. Re: Day trip from Cumbria to lower Scotland help please?

I personally would make better use of a day out by heading into Yorkshire to places like Sedbergh, Ingleton & the Dales.

From Windermere to southern Scotland, unless you drive up through the Lakes area via Keswick, is a dull busy stretch of motorway travel accompanied by lots of HGVs. Once past Gretna stick to the quiet Solway coast roads as the main A75 heading for Dumfries bypasses most villages, is nose to tail lorries at times all heading for Irish ferries at Cairnryan & notorious for accidents. Either that or you will be stuck behind a tractor for several miles at 25mph!

Southwest Scotland is nothing like the Highlands, although quite pretty in places. Alternative might be to head up to New Galloway forest area - more hilly & you may see herds of wild goats. Not much in the way of ruins or interesting small towns or villages.

BTW keeps plans flexible. December could see heavy snow & blocked roads & even if no snow the roads north from Windermere could be shrouded in thick fog over Shap.

Edited: 29 August 2014, 10:12
Edinburgh, United...
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2. Re: Day trip from Cumbria to lower Scotland help please?

Head to Kirkcudbright on the Solway Coast. It's the "Artists" town and had plenty there to occupy anyone for a day.

South Pole
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3. Re: Day trip from Cumbria to lower Scotland help please?

Even Kirkcudbright needs decent weather, although agree it would be a nice town to head for using the "scenic" roads coastal route. Also keep in mind the very short daylight hours in December - you may well be driving back in darkness so the return scenery will be hidden! If you intend to use the A75 check the ferry times at Cairnryan to see where the biggest gap will be in the traffic. I travel regularly along the road from Gretna to Newton Stewart & avoiding HGV traffic times can make the journey not only much faster, but more relaxing & I spend less time breathing diesel fumes!

If a ferry arrives from Ireland at say 2pm those lorries will hit Dumfries bypass by 4pm.

Edinburgh...
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4. Re: Day trip from Cumbria to lower Scotland help please?

You could drive up the A7 through Jedburgh or Hawick to Melrose and visit some of the borders abbeys. But that's coming on for a 3 hour drive. A return could be westwards via Peebles and Moffat then the motorway.

[I take it back: it would take the same time as Kirkudbright]

Edited: 29 August 2014, 17:46
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5. Re: Day trip from Cumbria to lower Scotland help please?

The Devils Porridge Exhibition at Rigg.

The Aviation museum in Dumfries.

The Camera Obscura in Dumfries.

The Burns Centre in Dumfries.

The Grey Mares Tail waterfall near Moffat.

The castle ruins at Lochmaben.

Caerlaverock Castle and wetlands centre.

Sweetheart Abbey.

Galloway Forest and Dark Sky Area and Observatory.

The Red Kite centre, and red deer park near New Galloway.

Westlands Activities near Annan.

Gretna Outlet Village and Green.

Mabie Farm Park.

To mention a few :-)

Ian.

Scotland, United...
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6. Re: Day trip from Cumbria to lower Scotland help please?

Its a lovely part of the country especially on a sunny day. To the a above suggestions i would add wigtown home of the famous book festival and some fabulous bookshops. You could include a wee stop there on a day tour. Bladnoch whisky distilleryand shop are just outside wigtown

UK
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7. Re: Day trip from Cumbria to lower Scotland help please?

Forgot about those :-)

As I did:

Threave Castle;

MacLellan's Castle;

The Reivers Road from Carlingwark Loch;

The Merkland Cross;

Carsluith Castle;

Cardoness Castle.

Ian.

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8. Re: Day trip from Cumbria to lower Scotland help please?

Sorry, above should have read Clatteringshaws Loch, not Carlingwark.

There is also Dundrennan Abbey.

Ian.

Wodonga, Victoria...
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9. Re: Day trip from Cumbria to lower Scotland help please?

thanks for that....I will prob heed your advice and pop into Yorkshire too. Thanks for your effort in writing this...it won't go to waste!

Wodonga, Victoria...
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10. Re: Day trip from Cumbria to lower Scotland help please?

just brilliant...thanks all, its a massive head start being given these tips, ....I'll research them all and make some choices!