Guests to our luxury holiday cottages near the sea in Galloway often ask us what’s open over Christmas and New Year – so here’s a handy guide to things to do, places to go and where to eat during this festive season.  Do book in advance to avoid disappointment.

Cosy cottage on a country estate in Scotland available for Christmas and New Year now with 20% off

Stables Cottage comes all decorated for Christmas and has a cosy log burner.  Due to a cancellation, now with 20% off Christmas and New Year


Blue Peter Pub (Kirkcolm)

The Blue Peter will be open for food – either eat in or take away from Thursday, 21st December -Saturday 23rd December and will be open for drinks on Christmas Eve.  The following week, it will follow the same opening hours – Thursday, 28th December – Saturday, 30th December and will also be open for drinks on New Year’s Eve.  They serve seriously good fish and chips (amongst other things) and you can do take away too. Do ring and book whether you are sitting in or taking away. Dog friendly. Highly recommended!

Fig & Olive Cafe (Stranraer)

The Fig & Olive serves excellent food with Mediterranean/ Australian influences.  It is open until 3pm on Christmas Eve and reopens on Wednesday, 27th December until Sunday, 31st December and reopens again on Tuesday, 2nd January.

Glenapp Castle (Ballantrae)

Festive afternoon teas at the five-star Glenapp Hotel near Ballantrae (35 minutes’ drive from Corsewall Estate) are available up to 23rd December, on 27th-29th December and from 2nd January, with festive lunches available up to 22nd December.  If there’s availability, non-residents can book dinner a week in advance.  The hotel also offers a paid for transfer service – making an evening out at Glennapp sound all the more tempting.

Henry’s Bay House Restaurant (Stranraer)

Enjoy the festive menu at Henry’s Bay House from 20th December – 23rd December and 29thDecember – 31st December.

Dine at Dunskey Guest House (Portpatrick)

Dine at Dunskey Guest House, our favourite restaurant in Portpatrick, is open from Friday, 22nd December to Sunday 24th December and from Friday, 29th December-Sunday, 31st December for dinner and for lunches or afternoon teas on Saturdays and Sundays.  The restaurant will also be open on New Year’s Day.  We enjoyed a seriously good afternoon tea there on New Year’s Day earlier this year and brought a substantial doggy bag back to enjoy at home too.

Knockinaam Hotel & Restaurant (Portpatrick)

Head to five-star Knockinaam Lodge, once the secret meeting place for Churchill and Eisenhower as they planned the D-Day landings during the Second World War, for lunch, afternoon tea or dinner.  The restaurant is open for non-residents on 23-24th December, Boxing Day and 27th-30th December.

Kenmuir Arms (New Luce)

Award-winning village pub and hotel, the Kenmuir Arms in New Luce (30 minutes’ drive from Corsewall Estate) offers great food in a stylish setting.  It will be open up to Christmas Eve, closed from 25th December – 27th December, re-opening on 29th December.  There’s a delicious set menu on Hogmanay and, as of going to press, there are still a couple of tables available.  Dog friendly in the bar.

Lando’s (Stranraer)

Lando’s, an Italian restaurant serving great pizzas and pasta, is open from 20th December – 24th December and from 27th December – 31st December.

Papa Rab’s (Stranraer)

For another good pizza option, try Papa Rab’s Italian restaurant, which is open up to Christmas Eve and reopens on Thursday, 28th December until Hogmanay, with the carvery available on Sunday.  The restaurant will re-open on 4th January. It is dog friendly in the bar and canopy, with a special Woofchester menu available for four legged friends.

Tigh na Mara Restaurant and Bar (Sandhead)

Enjoy a bracing walk along the Sands of Luce and then treat yourself to lunch or supper at the Tigh na Mara in Sandhead.  Although fully booked on Christmas Day, there is availability on Hogmanay.  The restaurant is closed on Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.  Dog friendly.

Gather Restaurant (Laggan – Gatehouse of Fleet)

Gather, which has fabulous views over Fleet Bay and serves wonderful food, will be open every day throughout December but closed on 25th and 26th December.  On Hogmanay, Gather will be open for meals from 9am and closed at 10pm. Gather will be open New Year’s Day from 10am until 7pm, with last food orders at 5pm.  Dogs are welcome at the outside seating area, where owners can enjoy both the view and the heated seats.

High Clachan Farmhouse for 8 people is available for Christmas now with 20% off. Log burning stove with Christmas tree in the background

High Clachan Farmhouse, one of our luxury holiday cottages near the sea in Galloway, has a cosy log burning stove and comes all decorated for the Christmas festivities. Due to a cancellation High Clachan is now available for the Christmas week with 20% off stays

Things to Do

Kitchen Coos & Ewes (Castle Kennedy)

Go on Kitchen Coos & Ewes‘ award-winning Coo safari and see the majestic Highland coos in their natural environment, followed by the most amazing farmhouse tea including delicious traybakes.  Insta Coo Tours run  on Friday, 29th December and Saturday, 30th December from 1-2.30pm and there are still spaces available, but booking well in advance is advisable.  Comes highly recommended!

Highland cows in a field

Highland Coos you will meet on the Insta Tour at Airyolland Farm

CocoaBean Company Chocolate Factory (Twynholm)

For everyone on the ‘nice’ list, head to the Cocoabean chocolate factory at Twynholm for a festive meal, visit to Santa’s grotto, a Christmas present, lots of fun elf activities and family photo opportunities.  Tickets are available for breakfast, lunch or dinner on Saturdays and Sundays from 16th December to Saturday, 23rd December.  At Christmas time, the chocolate workshops will run on 22nd December, 27th December – 31st December and will re-open on 2nd January.

Ryan Centre (Stranraer)

Watch the Christmas classic film, Elf, at the Ryan Centre on Friday, 22nd December at 6.30pm, and Disney’s latest film – Wish – on Saturday, 23rd December and Friday, 29th December at 2pm.  The McDougalls Big Christmas Show – a musical extravaganza for children – comes to the Ryan Centre on Wednesday, 27th December at 1.30pm.

The swimming pool re-opens after refurbishment on 16th December – hooray!  Opening hours over Christmas and New Year are: 24th December – closing for the Christmas holiday at 1pm; 27th December – 30th December open from 10am-4pm, 31st December open from 10am-1pm.  Closed on 1st and 2nd January and re-opening on 3rd January.

Kirroughtree Visitor Centre and Cafe (Galloway Forest Park – Newton Stewart)

The café and visitor centre are open every day from 10.30am-3.30pm but will be closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.  Dog friendly.

Crafty Distillery (Newton Stewart)

The award-winning distillery is open up to 23rd December and will re-open for tours from 27th December – 30th December, closing thereafter until 17th January.  I wouldn’t object if someone were to put a bottle of their Hills and Harbour gin in my stocking – definitely one of my favourite tipples.

Bottle of gin on a rock with hills and a sandy beach in the background

Hills & Harbour – Award Winning Gin from the Crafty Distillery at Newton Stewart

Glenwhan Gardens (Dunragit)

The delightful gardens will be open daily over the holiday period with payment via an honesty box.  Dog friendly.

Beautiful trees and shrubs at Glenwhan Gardens with the sparkling sea of Luce Bay in the distance

Wonderful Views over the Gardens at Glenwhan and Across Luce Bay

Dumfries House (Cumnock)

The wonderful grounds and adventure playground are open 365 days a year, but the Coach House café, shop and Dumfries House itself will close from 23rd December and will reopen on 4th January.

Christmas Church Services

Kirkcolm Church’s Christmas service will be held at 10am on Christmas Eve and the annual Christingle service will be held at Leswalt Church at 6pm on Christmas Eve.  All visitors welcome!

Cedar Lodge in Portpatrick - holiday cottage for 8 people now available for Christmas with 20% off. Christmas tree and arm chairs in the sitting room

A Beautiful Christmas Tree in the Sitting Room at Cedar Lodge in Portpatrick, one of our luxury holiday cottages near the sea in Galloway, available for the Christmas Week with 20% off

Luxury Holiday Cottages near the sea in Galloway with Christmas and New Year Availability

Due to a cancellation, we now have availability at some of our luxury holiday cottages near the sea in Galloway – Stables Cottage for 4 people, High Clachan for 8 guests and Cedar Lodge in Portpatrick for 8 people for dates during Christmas/New Year, sleeping between 4 and 8 people.  Visit the Corsewall Estate website for all the details

Wishing you all a very happy Christmas and all our best wishes for 2024!