Another trip to Scotland – short break in Newton Stewart (1)

Another trip to Scotland – short break in Newton Stewart (1)

We have holidayed together many many times in Scotland and I have travelled pretty extensively on my own by motorbike over the years (my most recent bike trip there was in August last year)

I have said many times over the years that I don’t think I will ever get bored of visiting Scotland. And a recent short break in Dunfries and Galloway lived up to expectations.

This short trip was with our nephew Andy and so was a little different than our last break two months ago when we had stayed up near the Isle of Skye.  On this occasion we stayed in excellent accommodation in Newton Stewart a small town on the River Cree.

We almost cancelled the trip

We came very very close to cancelling the trip. On the Monday evening (we were going on Wednesday morning) my wife had the most innocuous  of accidents whilst walking with our three year old Grandson.

The resulting injuries from a simple trip were lengthy. Injuries included multiple wrist fractures, multiple fractures to two fingers as well as other cuts and bruises and a horrible knock to the face which in turn damaged some teeth.


We spent over fourteen hours in A&E before returning home for some much needed rest.

The decision to continue the trip was down to two things: neither of us wanted to let Andy down at such short notice and my wifes logic was that she may as well be uncomfortable in Newton Stewart as be uncomfortable at home.

We’re glad we made the trip, although obviously there were some limitations due to the accident – but my wife and I have pretty much resolved to return (hopefully next year) and ensure that we really do make the most of the accommodation and location.

Gretna Green

This was Andy’s first trip to Scotland and as we were taking a short break we had opted for a destination that was an easy drive. From home to our accommodation in Newton Stewart is just a little over 200 miles and can be done in less than four hours if a direct route is taken.

But as this was Andy’s first Scotland trip we had decided that we would stop at Gretna Green for a coffee. We have stopped there a few times as it’s decent enough for a refreshment stop but other than that then I’m not so sure. One shop selling ‘tourist’ type goods seems pretty much like another really.

Horses for courses but …

The attraction of getting married there is a little lost on me. So whilst I understand the romance of the location in times gone by, and maybe the intimacy of the small chapels and ‘anvil’. The romance of it sort of seems a little undone by the the coachloads and car loads of tourists ambling by.

It reminded me of when we were in Budapest in September of last year and whilst walking near the Fisherman’s Bastion we saw two wedding couples having pictures taken and having to wait until tourists had moved out of shot etc. Horses for courses of course but it seemed to lack privacy and romance – scroll through the picture gallery at this link to see what I mean about the Budapest weddings.

Picture gallery – Gretna Green

Some pictures here of our refreshment stop at Gretna Green. Clicking on any of the images will open a picture gallery that can be clicked or scrolled through.

Aviation Museum

After refreshments we headed off to the Dumfries & Galloway Aviation Museum a small independent museum located about 20 miles or so from where we had stopped at Gretna Green. This was a place that I had ‘stumbled on’ a few years ago whilst on a motorcycle trip and heading towards Stranraer and I knew it was worthy of a visit.

It’s located on the site of the former RAF Dumfries airfield in Heathhall, Dumfries and I gather  is about three miles from Dumfries town centre.

The aviation museum is much improved since I was last there and has seen continued development of the site and facilities. I love places like this, it really is so good and well worth a visit.

The Dumfries and Galloway Aviation Museum is a volunteer-operated aviation museum and is basically located in and around the World War II-era watch tower at the former RAF Dumfries air base which was in service between 1940 and 1957. It has a fascinating history which you can read about here.

Picture gallery

There are plenty of pictures here from our visit to the museum and as ever clicking on any of the images will open a picture gallery that can be clicked or scrolled through.

Very decent accomodation at Woodbank

We stayed in great accommodation just a stone’s throw from the small town of Newton Stewart. Woodbank was as well-equipped as any place we have stayed at, was private and peaceful with an excellent garden that backed onto the river and decent off road parking as well … and super comfortable beds.

I suppose the simple test question about any accommodation is ‘would you stay there again?’ … in this case it’s a resounding yes and in fact we hope to return next year.

Picture gallery

You can find plenty of information about Woodbank with a simple google search (Woodbank Newton Stewart). There are pictures here of the accommodation and garden

Clicking on any of the images will open a picture gallery that can be clicked or scrolled through.

You can go to Part 2 by clicking this link

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