Touring in Ayrshire / Dumfries area

Feb 13, 2022
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Has anyone got any memories of trips here to share?

I usually go flying past on the A74(M) on my way up to the Highlands. I feel a little bit apprehensive going up to a Scotland to a non mountainous area! My mum and stepdad will be going on a cruise early June next year and I'll be looking after the dog for two weeks. He's never been as far as Scotland. Whilst I can quite happily sit in the car for ten hours, I don't want to make it too much of an ordeal for the dog. and so looking to limit the distance. I was planning to go a bit further to the Kintyre peninisula but that was going to push the journey times up a lot. Another thing I read is that the midges aren't so bad on the coast, so that would be a bonus.

Planning a roughly ten day itineary:

Kendal CC&C: two nights ( ~5 hours)
Thomaston Farm, Maidens, Ayrshire: six nights ( ~4 hours)
Undecided site in the Yorkshire Dales for two nights.
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Looks like there are some lovely places around there going by some of the pictures I am finding. I'm quite keen on stopping at Thomaston Farm CL, but I am open to suggestions. Looking for quiet coastal type campsites with EHU. CL ideally with toilet, but not worried about showers.

I'm interested to hear of people's trips to this apparent "forgotten corner" of Scotland and any recommendations of places to visit.
 
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Oct 8, 2006
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Remember - if you are interested - that Dumfries and Galloway is recognised as the best dark sky location in the UK.
 
Feb 13, 2022
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Remember - if you are interested - that Dumfries and Galloway is recognised as the best dark sky location in the UK.
I did read that. I've got bit of a headache now I've been looking at sites for so long. It's looking like the Thomaston CL is the one. I want to go somewhere I can have a firepit in the evening and gaze up at the stars.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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The Logan Botanic Garden near Stranraer is worth a visit and don’t worry about the lack of mountains there are plenty of areas for good walking and the little coastal villages are a delight. If you are interested in books then Wigtown is worth visiting and there’s a top class butcher in the town.
 
Jan 3, 2012
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We have been to Culzean Castle & country park it perched on Ayrshire cliffs we loved the history of this place so i would say it worth a visit if you have time .
 

Sam Vimes

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Sep 7, 2020
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I've stayed at the CAMC club sites in Ayr and Killin and found them to be the usual standard for club sites. The one in Ayr was a little crowed but also had good access for public transport, if I remember correctly.

Also found a CL site at Annan Water but can't recall what it was called.
 
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May 7, 2012
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The trip looks reasonable to me although the route back to the Yorkshire Dales can depend on the traffic on the A66. If you are planning other routes in the Dales check them out on Google Earth or other sites as some of these can be tricky.
I do not know the site at Maidens but the general area is good for touring and we have never had midge problems there.
 
Feb 13, 2022
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Amazing pictures Sam. I like sitting out at night with a firepit and looking at the stars. Looks like an ideal location for it. I've always wanted to properly see the Aurora. Only seen a faint shimmer in the sky down here when I was a kid once. I went to the Isle of Lewis in September 2014 and the aurora appeared up there a week after I left! :(
 

Sam Vimes

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Sep 7, 2020
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Thanks Chris. We have a couple of good caravan sites on Skye but winters can be wet and windy. I've had some Aurora alerts recently which have been the highest I've seen but the weather was appalling - typical:(

The Aurora doesn't look that good to the naked eye. Those shots were a 30sec exposure which brings out the colours.
 
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Jan 3, 2012
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Thanks Chris. We have a couple of good caravan sites on Skye but winters can be wet and windy. I've had some Aurora alerts recently which have been the highest I've seen but the weather was appalling - typical:(

The Aurora doesn't look that good to the naked eye. Those shots were a 30sec exposure which brings out the colours.
They are still brilliant
 
Jun 20, 2005
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Take a week out and stay a few nights at Ayr Craigie Gardens CAMC.
Then take the ferry across to the Isle of Arran
We stayed at Sea Shore. A beach side site. Views of Ailsa Craig , beautiful. Next door is a hotel serving great food. Arran is Scotland in miniature. Well worth a weeks detour.
 
Jan 3, 2012
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Take a week out and stay a few nights at Ayr Craigie Gardens CAMC.
Then take the ferry across to the Isle of Arran
We stayed at Sea Shore. A beach side site. Views of Ailsa Craig , beautiful. Next door is a hotel serving great food. Arran is Scotland in miniature. Well worth a weeks detour.
Hi Dusty i would have agree it worth a stay my brother stop there and went fly fishing he keeps going back .
 
May 7, 2012
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We like the C&CC site at Culzean Castle. Spectacular views across the water but TV reception is rubbish if you want that. Arran is worth a visit, but I would just take a day trip. You do need the car though as the bus service is rubbish and not timed very well to connect to the ferries.
 

Sam Vimes

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Admittedly it was a number of years ago that we went but I found the bus service sync'd very well to the ferry times. We were always amused by the stream of cars, buses, trucks and so on going from the top of the island to the ferry terminal when the boats came in.

We were in a Motorhome at the time and used the bus service virtually all the time. One day though we decided to rent a Smart Car to tour the rest of the island that the buses didn't conveniently cover. Great fun in such a small car.
 
May 7, 2012
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We did go last year and were amazed to see the bus setting off from the stance just as the ferry started to dock. If I remember rightly they were every two hours round the island which is pretty useless.
 

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