There is loads to do with the family during the February half term in Dumfries and Galloway. Here’s a brief roundup of some of the things happening for people holidaying in south west Scotland that caught our eye.
The snowdrops will be coming into their own during the February half term and there are three local gardens, which are open to the public and are all very worthwhile visiting while staying at one of our luxury holiday cottages on Corsewall Estate. Logan Botanic Garden is open Sundays in February 10am – 4pm during the Scottish Snowdrop Festival and you’ll get a great lunch or snack in the Potting Shed there. Dunskey Gardens is open during weekends in February from 10am-4pm in February and we gather there are some delicious new dishes on the tearoom menu including Cullen Skink. Castle Kennedy Gardens is also open in February to show off their carpets of snowdrops.
A popular destination for the children (and adults!) is the Cream o Galloway Visitor Centre, which re-opens for the February half term from 10am on Friday, 12 February – enjoy ‘Go Boing’ or the pedal karts or the flying fox. Personally, I can’t wait to have my fix of their salted caramel ice cream and desperately hoping they will be selling it in take home tubs so I can enjoy it throughout the year!
Children will love the chocolate workshops at the Cocoa Bean Company, which is open all year round, 7days a week from 9am. As well as a slab of chocolate, which they make and decorate, they create a marshmallow treat and a chunky animal of their choice using a mould. They also have excellent indoor soft play and outdoor play areas.
The new Kirroughtree Visitor Centre in the Galloway Forest Park is open Monday-Friday 11am-2.30pm and Saturday-Sunday 10am-5pm during the February half term weekend. Try mountain biking – there are various levels of trails through the woods and you can hire mountain bikes on-site at the excellent Breakpad shop, which is right next door to the visitor centre. There is a wide choice of walks too from Kirroughtree of both the easy and strenuous varieties, enabling you to take in the beautiful scenery and wildlife too.
Although Culzean Castle near Maybole in Ayrshire itself doesn’t open until the end of March, the Country Park, Walled Garden and the Home Farm Restaurant on the Culzean estate is open during February. There are some very pretty woodland trails to enjoy and there’s an excellent adventure playground beside the Swan Pond for the kids.
Robert Burns is topical at the moment, with Burns Night, the annual celebration of his birthday, coming up later in January. The Robert Burns Birthplace Museum at Alloway is a great place to visit, for adults and children alike, where you can find out more about Scotland’s National Bard, with plenty of hands on and interactive exhibits. It’s open daily during February.
We currently have availability at two of our beautifully appointed, 4 star, self catering cottages in Dumfries and Galloway for the February half term holiday – High Clachan Farmhouse, which sleeps 8 and is located on our country estate, close to the pretty beach of Port Beg Bay on Loch Ryan and Cedar Lodge in Portpatrick, which also sleeps 8 and has beautiful sea views. Dogs are very welcome at both houses.