In the south of Scotland, you'll find fewer crowds and cosmopolitan pursuits but no shortage of sights and things to do. Visitors who prefer the water, the heights or gardens and woods can find a treasure trove for the senses and the spirit.
A 13th century city, Ayr features picturesque bridges spanning the river that also bears the town's name; the city remains an important port but its resort aspects have become the central commerce of the area. Wallace Tower, Borderline Theatre and Loudoun Hall are beautiful and nostalgic Southern Scotland landmarks, and the shopping is also very good. Travel southeast to Dumfries for even more scenery and the stone circles, ruins, medieval castles and manors that bring an air of mystery and legend to any visit.
For something different, leave the mainland for the island of Islay. You'll find the whiskey that Scotland is known for in abundance there among its eight distilleries, along with beautiful beaches and diving (sunken ships are prominent in the bay there). And while there are many geese, the people are scarce (just over 3,000 residents) at the ‘Queen of the Hebrides,' and the land unspoiled. For a different kind of island adventure, visit nearby Arran, which is small and similarly populated but a bit more diverse in its landscapes and seascapes. There are rocky coastlines and cliffs but also green meadows and hills.
Retire to any of the Scottish cottages, parks, lodges, camping sites, or apartments when you need to recharge and refresh for tomorrow's travels.
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