To the west of the region is the quiet market town of Newton Stewart on the banks of the River Cree. This is a popular area for walkers and cyclists with open rolling countryside and close by to the Galloway Forest Park. In contrast with gentle scenery of the Solway Firth the Galloway Hills to the north has beautiful moors, mountains, lakes and rivers, with at its heart the Galloway Forest Park, some 150,000 acres of forest land with waymarked trails that are ideal for trekking and cyclists.
Formal gardens and country parks can be found throughout this area, the foremost of which is Threave Garden and Castle just south of Castle Douglas along the shores of Loch Carlingwark, renowned for its horticultural gardens and woodland covering some sixty acres. To the north of the town Loch Ken provides for more strenuous activities such as waterskiing, sailing and windsurfing.
To the south are the sandy coves and estuarine mudflats of the Solway Firth. The charming coastal resort of Kirckcudbright sits half way along the coast and was once a busy shipping port but now has a more tranquil atmosphere. Further east The Colvend coast has some lovely stretches of coastline and coastal villages providing moorings for visiting yachts and boat hire.
Inland on the River Nith, Dumfries is the regions largest town and a great base from which to explore the whole area. The town is also renowned for its associations with Robert Burns who spent the last five years of his life here.