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has mile upon mile of coastline to explore with highlights such as St Ninian's Cave near the picturesque harbour of the Isle of Whithorn and the Mull of Galloway, Scotland's most southerly point. Climb the lighthouse and soak in the views, taking in the 4 countries of the UK and marvel at the abundance of seabirds.
As a result of the mild climate there are many beautiful gardens and excellent golf courses including several links courses.
Wigtown, Scotland's Book Town has a vast array of bookshops to discover and various brid watching spots to enjoy. Whithorn, steeped in history, is knows as Scotland's Cradle of Christianity. For those who prefer walking and climbing, Newton Stewart, Gateway to Galloway Forest Park makes an ideal base to visit Glen Trool.
Portpatrick is another pretty harbourside village. It has many shops, numerous quality places to eat, stunning opportunities for cliff top walks, a lighthouse and secluded sandy beaches. The Merrick is the highest mountain south of the Highlands and can be climbed from here.
Stranraer became a burgh of barony in 1596 and a royal burgh in 1617. By 1600, it had become the market town for western Wigtownshire. At about this time Stranraer was reached by a military road built from Dumfries to allow easier access to Portpatrick for transportation to Ireland. It is now the 2nd largest town in Dumfries and Galloway, in terms of population (13,000) and has a good selection of shops, restaurants and cafes in the town centre (including the popular Custom House pub/restaurant). Although the ferries no longer leave for Ireland from Stranraer, it is a bustling place with many things to see and do in and around the town. Castle Kennedy and Gardens is just one of its popular attractions.
Cairnryan is notable for its two modern ferry terminals connecting Scotland to Northern Ireland. The first opened in 1973, originally operated by Townsend Thoresen and now by P&O Ferries links Scotland with the port of Larne. The second at Old House Point is operated by Stena Line linking to the port of Belfast.
Stranraer railway station provides trains run by First ScotRail to Ayr and Glasgow Central.