Castle Douglas is like a step back in time offering a shopping experience from bygone days. Why not savour the flavours at a great choice of shops, great for foodies! There are boutique shops, galleries and coffee shops all offering local produce. The Galloway Forest Park, at three hundred square miles, is the UK’s largest. It is a heady mixture of lochs, moorland and hills and is a habitat for a variety of plants and animals. The forest provides an opportunity for everybody whatever their age. Mile after mile of forest walks, horse riding, fishing, world class mountain biking at one of the 7Stanes venues and an opportunity to view one of the wonders of the world; the night sky. The forest park has been designated as the UK’s only Dark Sky Park and to view the Milky Way in darkness is an unforgettable experience. A great introduction to the forest park is to drive along the Queen’s Way. This is a very scenic drive linking Newton Stewart with Scotland’s smallest Burgh, New Galloway. The road holds lovely surprises as it winds its way through this magnificent scenery. Wild goats which thrive on the rocky outcrops and the red deer range, allowing you to see these normally elusive animals up close. The Grey Mare’s tail waterfall and the stunning Clatteringshaws Loch, which was a visitor centre, is the perfect spot for a cup of tea and shortbread. Walkers are spoilt for choice and the Galloway Hills are every bit as challenging as their Highland cousins, but surprisingly devoid of people. These hills are amazing, hiding shimmering lochs, ridges with evocative names like Rig of the Jarkness, Clints of the Buss and Point of the Snibe and the Rhinns of Kells which is a fine ridge walk best saved for a clear and sunny day. For golfers there are so many courses to choose from, including the championship course at Southerness. Fishermen will be in their element here. With over 200 miles of coastline there are some superb cliff top walks and hidden beaches just waiting to be explored.