Ten Tasty Wildlife Spots in Delicious D&G

Thursday, October 29, 2015 - 13:30

As the BBC Autumnwatch team prepare to broadcast the glorious geese, wonderful wetlands and awesome autumn colours of Dumfries & Galloway, we’ve gathered together ten suggestions of places to visit this week where the natural world and tasty food and drink conspire to make D&G the perfect place to watch autumn unfurl.

1 Mull of Galloway & Gallie Craig Coffee House

Scotland’s most southerly point, this RSPB nature reserve provides spectacular views of seabirds, but that’s not all! A few weeks ago a pod of over 30 bottlenose dophins were spotted swimming round the Mull. For nearby deliciousness head to Gallie Craig, a cliff top coffee house with panoramic views and tasty home baking.

2 Castle Douglas Food Town & Carlingwark Loch

Scotland’s only food town also boasts a Site of Special Scientific Interest in Carlingwark Loch, a freshwater loch that’s home to mute swans, various ducks with occasional otter sightings. After a spot of spotting, take a stroll up the town’s traditional high street, filled with independent shops and cafes.

3 Threave Gardens & Threave Bat Reserve

Threave Estate is a superb place to see bats, so much so that the National Trust for Scotland designated it as Scotland’s first dedicated Bat Reserve in 2011. There are seven different bat species here including the rare whiskered bat and you can follow a waymarked Bat Trail before warming up with some tasty food in Threave Gardens’ café.

4 Kilnford’s Nature Trail

One of D&G’s most popular farm shops, bursting with local produce and their own farm reared traditional meats served in a warm and friendly restaurant. Kilnford also has its very own nature trail and secret garden - behind the veg growing area and the Belties you'll find tranquil places to relax and some very busy bird tables!

5 Langholm Producers’ Market & Langholm Moor

Taking place on the first Saturday of each month, Langholm Producers’ Market has a superb selection of local food and drink to peruse. Visit the market before heading up to Langholm Moor where you’re likely to see black and red grouse and some impressive raptors, notably hen harriers.

6 Galloway Lodge Preserves at Clatteringshaws

Just a few minutes drive from the Galloway Red Deer Park, with panoramic views over Clatteringshaws Loch, Clatteringshaws Visitor Centre is run by local food producer Galloway Lodge Preserves, and it’s full of tasty D&G food, not least a spectacular range of jams and preserves. Spot red deer, red kites, red squirrels and stunning autumn colours.

7 Marrbury Smokehouse & Galloway Smokehouse & Wigtown Bay

Wigtown Bay is Britain’s biggest Local Nature Reserve and at this time of year its mudflats and salt marsh habitats are full of busy wintering geese. Nearby you’ll also find two world class smokehouses – Marrbury Smokehouse and Galloway Smokehouse, both offering stunning views over Wigtown Bay and sensational smoked produce.

8 Cream o’ Galloway’s Nature Trails

One of D&G’s most popular visitor attractions and most well known food producers. This family friendly attraction positively encourages people to get close to nature, with miles of nature trails, and a selection of bug hotels and hides. While the visitor centre closes this weekend, visitors can explore the nature trails throughout the winter.

9 Kirkconnell Flow & Loch Arthur

Tucked away near Mabie Forest just a few miles from Dumfries is one of the most threatened habitats in the world. Kirkconnell Flow National Nature Reserve is an ancient raised peat bog, a patchwork of Sphagnum mosses and wet-loving plants, home to adders, lizards and occasional roe deer. Afterwards head to nearby Abbey Cottage Tearoom for superb hearty local produce, or to Loch Arthur for artisan food and drink in their stunning farm shop & café.

10 WWT Caerlaverock & Cake

Chris Packham has already discovered the sensational carrot cake being served at WWT Caerlaverock, the BBC Autumnwatch host for 2015, and there’s plenty more deliciousness where that came from! The superb onsite café serves up delicious local produce and hearty snacks to warm you up after a morning watching the thousands upon thousands of wildfowl.

Published by Lorna Young from DG Food & Drink on Thursday, October 29, 2015 - 13:30