Newton Stewart Dumfries and Galloway


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Galloway Forest Dark Sky Park logo

Stargazers Welcome

Dark Sky Park status was recently awarded to Galloway Forest Park, making this the first in the UK, and only the third worldwide. Clear skies and the lack of light pollution makes this an excellent area for astronomy.
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Walkers are Welcome

Newton Stewart also has Walkers are Welcome
status which connects us to other towns and villages throughout Britain which have something special to offer walkers. So far we are one of only three in Scotland.



Dumfries and Galloway Council

Welcome to Newton Stewart  - Gateway to the Galloway Hills

The aim of this web site is to act as a guide to the many attractions, events and activities, available in and around the picturesque market town in the centre of Galloway, south west Scotland.

Also included is information for visitors about places to stay, where to shop & eat, services available and how to travel to and around this beautiful, unspoilt area.

Cairnsmore of Fleet

The Galloway Hills & Galloway Forest Park

Galloway has the unique benefit of a range of magnificent hills, set around and within the vast Galloway Forest Park, the largest in Britain with 300 square miles of forest, moorland, lochs and peaks. Combined with rolling farmland and over 200 miles of coastline, the opportunities for healthy, natural, outdoor activities are almost limitless. Newton Stewart sits at the geographical centre of this outdoor enthusiasts' paradise.


Activities & Attractions

The possibilities are endless! Hillwalking here is superb. Large unspoiled areas of great natural beauty and tranquility are dominated by the Merrick at 843m and the slightly lower Cairnsmore. The latter and Wigtown Bay are world class nature reserves, where ornithologists flock to watch the geese and other migrant birds during the winter and spring. There are trails, developed by Forest Enterprise, for walkers and cyclists, woodland walks and unlimited coastal pathways. Beautiful, uncrowded beaches are a paradise for families with children. Outdoor activity centres offer adventure sports such as kayaking, mountain balling & water ski-ing. This is also a very popular area for gentler pursuits such as photography, art and nature studies.

The River Cree, Newton Stewart, Gateway to the Galloway HillsThe River Cree gives access for salmon anglers, while trout and coarse fishers are provided with excellent sport in the local burns and lochs. Sea angling is available from both shore and boat.
In season, deer stalking and rough shooting may be pursued in the vicinity, while for others, the town boasts an 18-hole golf course, tennis courts and green bowling.
The town's Merrick Leisure Centre is available to the public at weekends and during the holidays for swimming and indoor sports.

The community-owned Cinema will crown the entertainment provided by hotels and public houses.
Further interest and enjoyment may be discovered in the local Museum housed in the old St. John's Church, and within an hour's drive you will find many fascinating and varied visitor attractions.

Newton Stewart Clock

The Ideal Holiday Location

Easily accessible from the central belt of Scotland, from the north of England and from Northern Ireland - less than 3 hours drive from Glasgow, Edinburgh, Carlisle or Newcastle and a short hop on the ferry from Belfast.
In spite of it's ease of access from these major population centres, Galloway remains largely unknown as a holiday destination and consequently does not suffer the overcrowding and high prices of the Highlands or the Lake District. The pace of life is slower, there are few traffic jams, and the people are welcoming and helpful.

Bruce's Stone at GlentroolHistoric Interest

This picturesque and friendly market town was founded in the mid 17th century by William Stewart, youngest son of the 2nd Earl of Galloway. The "New Town of Stewart" was granted Burgh status by charter from King Charles II, allowing a weekly market and two annual fairs to be held.
Sited on the banks of the River Cree, the town has prospered and may be regarded as a gateway for the Galloway Hills to the north and east, and to the historically important area known as the Machars to the south & west. It was on a pilgrimage to the shrine of St. Ninian at Whithorn, in 1329, that Robert the Bruce forded the river where the present handsome Cree Bridge stands.
The area is richly populated by castles, monuments, earthworks and archaeological sites of interest, which may be explored at leisure.



You will find an excellent range of accommodation to suit all tastes and budgets. Choose from one of the many comfortable Hotels in Newton Stewart itself, top quality Guest Houses, or perhaps the personal touch of the cosy Bed & Breakfasts in the area.
For those who prefer the freedom and informality of self-catering holidays, there are country cottages & farmhouses, chalets, caravans & camping - all maintained to the highest standards.


Shopping & Services

Newton Stewart is the hub for the large rural area of Wigtownshire known as the Machars. As such it offers a wide variety of shops, services and businesses which provide visitors and local people alike with a friendly, personal service.
There is a good choice of cafes & restaurants in Newton Stewart.

However you choose to spend your time, and however long you stay for, have a good holiday and haste ye back!

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