12 reasons to love a winter break at Orroland
Embrace the winter with a short break in Dumfries and Galloway
We are having the most lovely time at Orroland. It is exactly the escape we needed after several very hectic months and Cutlar's Lodge is so comfortable and cosy we could happily just hibernate here for the rest of the winter. Travel writers Donald Greig and Darren Flint, Slow Britain.
1. Stunning winter landscapes
Dumfries and Galloway's unspoilt landscape looks even more stunning; hill summits dusted with snow while the gulf stream keeps temperatures milder in the lowlands, where Orroland is. The waterfalls around Orroland are at their most impressive in winter and a morning frost can make everywhere sparkle at sunrise. The views over the Solway Firth offer something new each day, from calm and crisp to stormy and dramatic. There are many wonderful walks around Orroland perfect for taking in these winter delights and you'll no doubt spot plenty of wildlife along the way; a huge variety of birds, red squirrels and roe deer to name a few.
Changing winter landscapes
Orroland waterfalls near the shore
Calm and crisp over the Solway Firth
2. The Solway coast offers plenty of variety
Dumfries and Galloway boasts more than 200 miles of coastline with a multitude of empty beaches and a good network of walking routes from which you can take in fantastic views at any time of year. Orroland has it's own bay with an interesting rocky shoreline a short walk from the holiday cottages. Orroland has dog friendly holiday cottages with fully enclosed dog areas and many super coastal walks from the door. The sound of the sea is good for the soul; there is always something new to see and discover along the Solway coast including ship wreck remains at the Dhoon beach and unique coves and groovy odd shaped rocks around Orroland Bay.
Dogs love to explore around Orroland bay
Balcary bay around the corner...
Groovy rocks to discover at Orroland
3. See the sky like never before
On a clear night thousands of stars fill the sky, our region is one of the best places to see the stars particularly in winter. The Galloway Forest Park is the UK's first Dark Sky Park and there are star gazing events during the winter months for enthusiasts. During your holiday you can take in the beauty of our sunrise and sunset displays which are spectacular in the winter time, the sky can be a burst of colour from dark reds to bright orange.
Thousands of stars clearly visible
Stunning sunrise and sunset displays
4. Your choice for entertainment
Enjoy visiting the local art galleries, museums or historic attractions (though not all are open all year) or experiencing adventure activities in the great outdoors. If you have children you'll appreciate the local chocolate factory - open all year - which has a brilliant indoor play area and option to make your own chocolates. For evening entertainment we enjoy performances at the local Fullerton Theatre in Castle Douglas and a range of films to entertain at the Robert Burns Film Centre in Dumfries. January 25th celebrates Burns night and many local eateries will have a special menu (the speciality is haggis) in memory of the life of famous Scottish poet Robert Burns. Dumfries and Galloway What's Going On is a good place to see a list of events coming up each week.
5. Wildlife watching & wild goose chase
Dumfries and Galloway is one of the best places to see a wide range of winter wildlife. The 'D & G Wild Seasons' guide offers events such as a wild goose chase which links in seven wildlife attractions and landscapes across the region, a tour around the Solway coast lowlands providing winter habitat for six species of geese that visit each winter in their thousands. Orroland's nearest wetlands attraction from which to view the thousands of geese grazing is at RSPB Mersehead. The website lists informative events for visitors and wildlife enthusiasts. We often see and hear groups of geese flying over Orroland and it is quite remarkable to watch them all in flight over a colourful sunrise or sunset. There is no shortage of local wildlife related activities via the winter Wild Seasons website from a garden bird identifying course to feeding red kites & watching them gather in a flying circus before settling at dusk at the Bellymack Hill Farm, you could learn about wildlife photography and much more.
Spot the roe deers at Orroland
Red Kites are an impressive sight
Learn about geese & their winter journey
6. Winter food & eating out
Winter is a time to enjoy some great local produce and there is plenty to sample; we have two excellent farm shops on the route from Dumfries to Orroland. These are Kilnford Barns on the Dumfries ringroad and Loch Arthur at Beeswing; both have their own restaurants as well as countless goodies to enjoy in your holiday cottage. Local café and bistro The Granite Kitchen at Dalbeattie, Mulberries in Kirkcudbright and Designs Café in Castle Douglas are highly recommended for lunch, soup and a hot drink & cake whilst out and about in our local towns. For eating out in the evening, The Castle restaurant in Kirkcudbright offers quality food and value for money and has stunning views of McClellan's Castle from their window tables. Castle Douglas has some cultural diversity with Carlo's Restaurant for tasty Italian cuisine and Nikos Greek restaurant for authentic Greek mezze cooked by Cretan owner/chef, Nikos. Delicious.
Designs in Castle Douglas
Farm shop & Cafe at Loch Arthur
Warming soups with local produce
7. Active pursuits
For active and adventure pursuits there's lots of variety in our region. There's the chance to explore the local 7stanes mountain biking trails at Dalbeattie and take in views on two wheels around three graded trail rides, bring your bike or you can hire them from Gorsebank nearby. Laggan Outdoor Activity Centre, Galloway Activity Centre and Forest Estate Experiences all offer a range of winter experiences and are within an hours drive, find out more in our adventure activities page and our own shooting and stalking page for more information.
The UK's longest Zip at Laggan
Off-road segway adventure
7 stanes Mountain biking trails
8. Pamper yourself!
Hair & Beauty : We recommend Blackburns hair and beauty salon in Castle Douglas, they offer professional services, a friendly welcome to our guests plus 10% off in-salon treatments when booked in advance.
Massage: The Thai Massage Room in Dalbeattie offers traditional thai massage from qualified practitioner, Noi McIntyre. Book in advance for a truly relaxing experience, you will feel revitalised!
9. Winter Shopping
If you enjoy shopping there are events such as craft fairs, food producer's markets and lots of small art and craft shops and galleries in the region's towns; Kirkcudbright, Castle Douglas, Dalbeattie & Dumfries.
10. Scotland's Snowdrop Festival
The Scottish Snowdrop Festival (end of Jan - mid March) highlights the places in Scotland open to the public with a vast number of snowdrops. The Cally Woods in Gatehouse of Fleet features on the list, it has over 2 miles of easy walking woodland trails. There are millions of this pretty flower around Orroland during this time too!
Snow Drops around Orroland
Walking in the woods is a good adventure
Snop drop walk around the Cally Woods
11. Log fires
What is better on a winter evening than snuggling up by the open fire or woodburner after a busy day? Guests enjoy unlimited logs for the fire and there is no extra cost for central heating, so even if it gets cold outside you'll be nice and cosy indoors.
Hearty homemade comfort foods are specialities on the menus this season around our favourite places to eat out. Just for you, we even had a hot chocolate challenge so we could share with you our pick of where to get the best hot chocolate locally. Wigtown is Scotland's national book town and this is the season to snuggle up in front of the fire with a good book! A scenic road trip to Wigtown is a super day out from Orroland and a haven for book lovers. There are a huge range of books to choose from in the town's many book shops. There are some quirky book shops with cafés combined to offer a warm welcome and unique enjoyable experience for all.
Brilliant hot chocolate haunts
Feed your imagination in Wigtown
Quirky book shops & cafés in Wigtown
Holiday cottages for your winter break in Dumfries and Galloway
We look forward to welcoming you to Orroland.