Dumfries: A Testament of Dumfriesshire’s Beauty
The County of Dumfries or Dumfriesshire was once one of Scotland’s thirty-three registration counties. This means that it was used as a statistical unit for gathering census information. Today, however, Dumfriesshire’s county town, Dumfries, is flocked by locals and tourists alike for its scenic landscapes and panoramic views.
Dumfries has been dubbed the Queen of the South, thanks to a local poet in the seventeenth century, David Dunbar, who referred to the county using the said nickname in one of his many addresses. Dumfries residents, meanwhile, are called Doonhamers because Dumfries, located on the southern edge of Scotland, is called Doon hame (Down home) by the Scots.
Dumfries used to have three subdivisions which comprise of Annandale, Eskdale, and Nithsdale. Today, it enjoys membership in the Dumfries and Galloway, one of the thirty-two council areas of Scotland. The region covers most of the Western part of the Southern Uplands; it is where Scotland’s most Southerly point, located at the Mull of Galloway, can be found. It is known for being home to many artists and writers.
Like most, if not all, counties in the United Kingdom, Dumfries caters to the tired and restless soul. The beauty of its surroundings is enough to make any visiting folk stop and literally smell the flowers. In terms of tourist attractions, Dumfries certainly has a lot to offer.
Perhaps the first thing to do in Dumfries is to visit its many museums. These museums – which include, among others, the lovely Burgh Museum on Corbelly Hill above the River Nith and the Old Bridge House Museum, the oldest building in Dumfries –can best provide you with an in-depth yet lively backgrounder on Dumfries’ rich history. Find out about Robert the Bruce, the Vikings and the Celtics, Robert Burns and his manuscripts, and a whole lot more of interesting trivia. You can also visit Burns Street and check out the Burns House as well as the Dumfries Archive Centre.
Then you can enjoy getting to know the town centre by taking a walk along High Street and into Queensberry Square. There are local shops you can raid for dining and souvenir purposes.
European tours almost always include churches, owing to the fact of many religious wars that that side of the world had been part of. Dumfries has several churches of different religions – Baptist, Methodist, and Catholic, among others. One of the more popular ones and which you should definitely visit is Greyfriar’s Church which is right behind the Burns Statue Park.
And what’s county visit without a glimpse of old castles? There are many castle ruins that you can check out to further appreciate the glorious past of the county. These include the Cardoness Castle, the Caeverlock National Nature Reserve, the Kennedy Castle, the Comlongon, the Orchardton Tower, and the Morton Castle and Loch. You can also take a peek at the Threave House, a gorgeous, castle-styled mansion.
Finally, allow Dumfries to take your breath away with a spectacular view of the Dalveen Pass from Comb Head summit near Thornhill and of Lowther Hill near Dalveen Pass.