Visitor Attractions

Steading Cottage, Kirkmabreck, is ideally situated in the heart of the Galloway Hills on the edge of Galloway Forest Park, now also a designated astronomy Dark Sky Park.

We are within 15 miles of two of the superb 7Stanes Mountain Bike Trails at Kirroughtree (6 miles) and Glentrool (15 miles) which offer off-road mountain biking for cyclists of all abilities.


Photograph of McMoab Photograph of walkers at WalkFest Photograph of the Kirroughtree 7Stanes Mountain Bike Trail Photograph of walkers at WalkFest


Kirkmabreck is just 2 ½ miles from Creetown, which is easily accessed via the national cycle route which can be joined just at the bottom of our road.

Creetown is a small granite village once known as the “Ferry Toon o’ Cree”. This is where, from 700AD to the 17th Century, pilgrims crossed the Cree on their way to St Ninian’s Priory and cave in Whithorn. Christian sites which pre date those on Iona and the Holy Isle. Creetown is also famous for the granite which came from its now redundant quarries. This was shipped all around the world and was used to build Liverpool docks.

It is a quiet village with a newsagents, small grocery shop and excellent butcher. There is a hotel, a restaurant, The Laird’s Inn and a café in The Gem rock museum, where you can spend a few hours on a wet day (I can recommend the scones). Local volunteers also run a Heritage Museum and take care of beautiful trails in the Balloch Woods.















Towns & Villages

The farm is halfway between two small towns. Gatehouse of Fleet, which is ten miles east, is a picturesque small town; it has only a few shops but a good selection of hotels serving food and couple of cafes. Nine miles to the west nestling in the Galloway Hills is the market town of Newton Stewart, here you can find a few small supermarkets as well as a variety of shops, restaurants and cafes, it also has a swimming pool, gym and a small community run cinema. Here there is an annual walking festival, with organised walks for all abilities up and around the spectacular Galloway Hills and countryside.

Straight across the bay is Wigtown, Scotland’s National Book Town, with a plethora of book shops to browse in and its annual Book Festival, which attracts authors and readers from all over the world.

Wigtown Book Festival

A few miles on from Gatehouse of Fleet is the very attractive town of Kirkcudbright, this once county town was famous for its artists. Many of the “Glasgow Boys” came here to stay at Broughton House, a National Trust Property with lovely gardens, with Edward Hornel. Here you can also found a small community run swimming pool.

Further afield still is the bustling market town of Castle Douglas, with its individual shops and cafes it is a lovely day trip.

Then there is the once ferry port of Stranraer, which is planning to soon upgrade its old harbour to a marina and the ancient town of Whithorn, with its wonderful wide main street and its links to the earliest of christian settlers that was mentioned earlier.



Wigtownshire offers cyclists of all ages and abilities the opportunity to explore some of the regions richest and most diverse landscape - hilltops, forests & woods, farmland and coast.

The region is also home to the famous 7Stanes Mountain Bike Trails with two of the trails, Kirroughtree and Glentrool, within 15 minutes of the cottage.



The Steading Cottage is the perfect base for exploring the Galloway Hills nestled, as it is, at the foot of Cairnsmore of Fleet.

WalkFest - the Newton Stewart Walking Festival - is now firmly established as the biggest walking festival in the South of Scotland.


Galloway is a wonderful location for walking and whether you enjoy the challenge of our true hill walking experiences or our lower level themed routes, there is sure to be something for everyone.

Balloch Wood is a beautiful community woodland located within walking distance from the village of Creetown in South West Scotland.  Named from the Gaelic ‘bealach’, referring to a ford over the Balloch Burn, it has also been called Ballochanamour in the past, and locals have known the wood as the Whinnie Face after the gorse which grows on the hillside.

Balloch Woodland













Galloway Forest Park

Galloway Forest Park is 300sq miles of mixed landscape.

You can enjoy a peaceful stroll on one of the woodland trails or head out to the Galloway Hills and climb the Merrick, south Scotland’s highest peak, or Cairnsmore of Fleet.

Galloway Forest Park

Outdoor Activities

Laggan Outdoor Activity Centre offer adventure and recreational experiences for all the family.

Laggan Outdoor

Dark Sky Park

In 2009, the International Year of Astronomy, Galloway Forest Park was designated the first Dark Sky Park in the United Kingdom.

The Forest Park has around 75,000 hectares of land, where limited numbers of buildings means light pollution is kept to a minimum.

Dark Sky Park


There are at least ten golf courses within a 35 mile (56 km) radius of the cottage which, itself, has a superb 18-hole, par 69, parkland course.

Within an hour's drive are two championship courses at Turnberry and Southerness.

The local golf courses provide a variety of challenges ranging from mountainous to sandy links, and on many of these courses golf can be played throughout the year.