Don’t forget to talk to Steve and Sarah about bird-watching, fishing, biking, cycling or walking. They love them!To give you a hint of what to expect at McMurdoston itself – we’ve seen barn and tawny owls, great-spotted woodpeckers, nuthatches, yellowhammers, red squirrels, tree-creepers, roe deer, hares and tree sparrows from within the 3 surrounding acres. There are gorgeous walks from the door, many giving you panoramic views to the Lakes and the Lowther Hills.
Auldgirth is the nearest village, just 2 miles away along quiet lanes. The historic Inn at Auldgirth, stomping ground of Rabbie Burns, has recently been impressively refurbished under new ownership and serves delicious, locally-sourced food prepared by award-winning chefs. Just opposite is The Hamans, where you can get a tasty snack, a slice of home-made cake and a hot drink, and check out some interesting local goods on sale in the shop.
Dunscore village – well-frequented by cyclists and walkers – is only 3 miles away and also has a welcoming bar, where you may be lucky enough to find live music playing and where you can buy bar snacks.
The fishing enthusiast is well catered for with top-class fly-fishing on the River Nith or on one of many local lochs – there’s excellent coarse fishing not far away too.
If you’re a cyclist you really are in luck… the famous 7stanes trails are all around us (we’re mid-way between Mabie and Ae) and what’s more, the bike was invented just a pedal-ride away in Keir Mill.
If you prefer your exercise on two feet you’ll find wonderfully quiet lanes to explore, hundreds of acres of moorland, or challenging hill-walking.
Golfers could try out some of the dozens of excellent courses within a short drive.
You could even take to the sea, since the beautifully varied coastline is only a half hour’s drive away.
Wildlife & Gardens
For the wild-life enthusiast there are stunning sites like Threave Castle and its ospreys, the beautiful RSPB reserves at Mersehead, Loch Ken and Caerlaverock (all within 30 – 40 minutes’ drive), or one of the spectacular gardens in this unusually warm part of Scotland (all thanks to the wonderful Gulf Stream!).
History & Art
For the historically-minded, Ellisland – home of Robert Burns – is under 2 miles from McMurdoston, and Drumlanrig Castle is just a half hour’s drive. You’ll also be astonished by the number of famous outdoor sculptures to be found locally.
Numerous amenities are available in nearby Dumfries including an ice rink, cinema and a wide variety of restaurants and pubs. Nearby Thornhill and the food town of Castle Douglas also offer enticing shops and galleries. Wigtown – a must for the book-enthusiast – is only an hour away.