There is a lot more to Gatehouse of Fleet than you might imagine. All too often visitors bypass this charming small town in South West Scotland on their way to Kirkcudbright or Newton Stewart and all they see is a glimpse of Cardoness Castle. They don`t know what they are missing!
It’s hard to imagine that, not too many years ago Gatehouse of Fleet was a majorplayer in the manufacture of cotton – it had four cotton mills and also manufactured bobbins for Coats of Paisley. At one time it was know as the “Glasgow of the South”
Cardoness Castle is a ruined but well preserved 15th century castle which you can visit and view the artefacts in the exhibition are. There are many interesting shops on the High Street displaying a range of arts and crafts. The Mill on the Fleet, once one of the most important cotton mills in South West Scotland is now a visitor centre.
It has a working water wheel and a delightful cafe and bistro with table on a terrace overlooking the Water of Fleet. The Mill also houses a Tourist Information Centre, a museum, a art gallery and a very well stocked used and new book shop. If you are staying in Gatehouse of Fleet and feeling adventurous, you can visit nearby Laggan Outdoor, and have a go at some of the many activities on offer such as a Segway Tour, Mountain Balling or even descend the UK`s longest Zip Wire!
Also nearby is Cream o` Galloway who not only make delicious ice cream. Based at Rainton Farm near Gatehouse of Fleet many family activities are available such as an adventure playground and pedal carts. They have excellent catering facilities and the tour of the Farm and Creamery is one of their most popular attractions.
Finally, a visit to Cairn Holy Chambered Cairns is fascinating with well preserved burial cairns dating back 4000 to 6000 years. On a clear day, the site gives excellent views of Burrow Head and the Isle of Man beyond.
Now, Gatehouse of Fleet has a population of about half what it was when it was in its industrial past and concentrates more on the creative arts than cotton.