The Local Area - Dumfries & Galloway-Idle Hour Holidays, Southwest Scotland

Garlieston and the Machars of Galloway

Garlieston started life as a purpose built fishing village in the 18th century, on the estate of the Earl of Galloway, whose home, Galloway House, is a short walk from Tide's Reach. A handful of fishing boats still work out of Garlieston harbour, which is also used by a number of pleasure vessels. The public slipway is directly in front of our property, and a boat park is now available nearby. During the Second World War, the Mulberry Harbours used in the Normandy landings were designed at Garlieston, and relics of these can be seen along the shore.

Garlieston BeachGarlieston bay seen from our front door

The village has a pub, the Harbour Inn, offering good quality meals, and a garage, selling Diesel only, plus a selection of essentials, such as bread and milk - they will also order daiy papers for you. Further shops and facilities can be found in nearby Whithorn and Wigtown - Scotland's national booktown with over 20 bookshops, and a Sunday market during the Summer. The nearest supermarkets are Sainsbury and Aldi in Newton Stewart. Garlieston Bay is an inlet off Wigtown Bay, which is a nature reserve, providing over-wintering for many wild fowl; seals and dolphins can often be seen from the coastal paths which start straight from our front door.


The Machars area was recently voted one of the world's top ten most authentic areas, and visitors will love the unspoilt rolling countryside and quaint small towns and villages, rich in history. As well as its booktown status, Wigtown is well-known for its connections with the Covenanters, overlooked by a monument too the Wigtown Martyrs, imprisoned in what is now part of the town hall before being drowned on the nearby shore.  Nearby Whithorn is home to St Ninian's Priory, founded by the first Christian missionary to Scotland, or visit Glenluce Abbey. There are also numerous pre-historic remains around the area, including the Torhouse Stone Circle near Wigtown and Barsalloch Iron Age Fort overlooking Luce Bay, and various medieval fortified tower houses - such as nearby Sorbie Tower and Cardonness Castle near Gatehouse of Fleet.
Glenluce Abbey

Scotland's southernmost whisky distillery is to be found at Bladnoch, just outside Wigtown, and their visitor centre is due to re-open to the public earrly in 2018. A more recent attraction is the new Crafty Gin Distillery in Newton Stewart, offering tours and tastings. Less alcoholic is the great ice cream made at Cream of Galloway, just outside Gatehouse of Fleet - also offering an adventure playground - and the handmade chocolate at Cocobean, at Twynholm - offering a variety of play activities for younger children.

The local coastline can be quite rugged, with some great views across the Solway, with numerous attractive small bays and hidden beaches - one of our favourites is Monreith, near Port William, which was the family home of author Gavin Maxwell.
Monreith Bay

A little further afield, there are 6 beautiful gardens forming Scotland's Garden route, including the RHS Logan Gardens. Port Patrick on the Irish Sea Coast is well worth a visit - if only for the spectacular view across to Ireland and the Mountains of Mourne. The Mull of Galloway is Scotland's most southerly point - the view from the lighthouse is said to offer views of Scoltand, Ireland, England, the Isle of Man and - on a really clear day - even Wales!

 Mull of Gallowya

Check out our latest special offers

Coming Up around the Region
Just a few festivals and special events planned for 2018
          Wild Spring Festival - various locations across the region; April
          Wigtown Spring Weekend - May 
          Newton Stewart Walking Festival - 2nd week of May
          D&G Arts Festival (incorporating 'Spring Fling') - music, drama and visual arts across the region; End of May
          World Oceans Week events at Rockcliffe and Port William; June
          Environmental Arts Festival   
          Flavour Fortnight   celebrating the best of D&G food & drink. Early September.
          Wigtown Book Festival  Late September/Early October
          Wild Autumn  wildlife related events across the region

We will offer you an extra 25 off any 7 night stay when you mention one of these events, or 10 off a short break. 
Does NOT apply where late booking discounts are already in place.


Please visit our gift shop!

In October 2012, we opened Idlehour Gifts, situated just off Dalbeattie High Street,  stocking a range of fairtrade products, handmade soaps and toiletries, Greetings Cards, photo frames, mirrors and other giftwares. Be sure to visit us for something special to take home to friends and family - or just a little treat for yourselves! Guests at our properties enjoy a 10% discount on all purchases over 10