January 2018 - Dumfries & Galloway in Winter

Image by astrophotographer Jesse Beaman


The perfect time for wildlife lovers

Caerlaverock Wetland Centre Dusk and Dawn Flights

Experience the amazing sight of thousands of wild barnacle geese fly out to the Solway mudflats to their night-time roost and back again at Dawn.  The WWT estimates there are around 6,000 geese and over 250 wild Whooper Swans there at the moment. 
Visit:  https://www.wwt.org.uk/wetland-centres/caerlaverock

The Red Kite Feeding Station

The station is open 1-3 pm in winter, with the kites fed daily at 2 pm.  Viewing kites at the feeding station is one of the most dramatic ways to encounter them, up close as they display and interact with each other in large numbers.  An RSPB Community Liaison Officer is present at the feeding station on many days throughout the year.
Visit:  http://www.gallowaykitetrail.com/feeding-station-i38.html

Ink-black skies and dazzling stars

Roughfirth House - Due to low levels of light pollution, the sky peppered with stars can be an amazing site from Roughfirth House on a clear, winter's night.  The bright band of the Milky Way can often be seen.  It's a perfect destination for stargazers.

The Galloway Forest Park - During your stay, why not visit the UK's first Dark Sky Park?  There are only 2 other such parks in the whole of Europe.  Over 7,000 stars and planets are visible with the naked eye from the Forest Park.
Visit:  http://scotland.forestry.gov.uk/forest-parks/galloway-forest-park/dark-skies

The Scottish Dark Sky Observatory - The observatory is open to the public and occupies a fantastic hilltop site on the edge of the Galloway Forest Dark Sky Park. 

It includes a 20" Corrected Dall Kirkham telescope in a 5-metre dome and a 14" Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope for a more hands-on, open-air observing experience.   During winter months, stargazing experiences are held most evenings and need to be booked in advance.  
Visit:  https://scottishdarkskyobservatory.co.uk/

The World's biggest Burns night celebration

Big Burns Supper -   11 days of music, theatre, comedy and more - 18th to 28th January across Dumfries.
Burns Supper has grown into one of Scotland’s biggest cultural events. 
Visit:  http://bigburnssupper.com

Robert Burns House - The poet spent the last years of his life in this simple sandstone house in Dumfries.  He died here in 1796 at the age of just thirty-seven. The house gives you a picture of how he and his family lived in the late eighteenth century.
Open Fridays and Saturdays during winter.

The Robert Burns Mausoleum stands at the eastern end of the churchyard of St Michael's Church, whose red spire dominates the south-east side of Dumfries.

Robert Burns Centre -  An exhibition containing many original manuscripts and belongings of the Bard.

Ellisland Farm - The house that was built by Robert Burns in 1788 as his home and to bring his family together for the first time.  Today Ellisland is a much celebrated Museum housing one of the worlds most important collections of Burns treasures.  Open Friday and Saturdays during winter.
Visit:  https://www.ellislandfarm.co.uk/

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