Newton Stewart is a pretty town in the Dumfries and Galloway region of Scotland. Founded around the banks of the River Cree by William Stewart in the 17th century it was later granted burgh status, which allowed two annual fairs and a weekly market to be held there. Today, the town is a perfect base for those wishing to explore the Galloway Hills and is close to the area called Machars, which is of historical interest. The area boasts a rich population of monuments, castles, archaeological sites and earthworks. Nearby Galloway Forest Park (the largest in Britain) covers a total of 300 square miles of moorland, lochs, forests and peaks. Close to the coastline this attractive, rural setting is popular with hill walkers due to the beauty of the 843m Merrick and the slightly smaller Cairnsmore, which is one of the area's two nature reserves - the other being Wigtown Bay. Both are frequented by birdwatchers in the springtime and there are pretty trails to explore, coupled with beautiful beaches and outdoor activities including mountain balling and kayaking, plus the more sedate pursuits of photography and art make this area a popular choice with many tourists. The River Cree is a popular salmon fishing spot; coarse and trout fishermen have a choice of waterways and sea fishing from shore or boat give all manner of anglers somewhere to dangle a line or two. There is an 18 hole golf course, in season shooting, tennis courts and both green and carpet bowling available. There's also a community owned cinema, entertainment provided by hotels and pubs, St John's church museum and other attractions close by.
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