Gatehouse of Fleet
Gatehouse of Fleet is a charming small town on the banks of the River Fleet. It has much to interest visitors either holidaying in the town or touring South West Scotland.
The history of Gatehouse of Fleet dates back to the 18th Century when it was an important cotton manufacturing town and was known as the “Glasgow of the South”. It is hard to believe that Gatehouse once had 4 cotton mills, a brass foundry, a brewery, brickworks and a tannery.
Now, the former cotton mill, The Mill on the Fleet is a Visitor Centre and one of the focal points of the town. It has a working water wheel, and an exhibition area with much local and natural history. There is also a gallery and a bookshop with vast stocks of books both secondhand and new. Live music events are held here and the centre also has a cafe / bistro with a delightful terrace area on the banks of the River Fleet.
A stroll along the main street of Gatehouse of Fleet reveals many hidden gems such as the beautiful gardens reached through an archway or pend at the red sandstone Town Hall. There are many interesting shops including the Franca Bruno Shop which sells jewellery designed in-house. The Galloway Eco Store, Galloway Lodge Preserves who make and sell jams, pickles, chutneys etc and the Gatehouse of Fleet Artist Co-op which showcases the work of six local artists and many others are all worth a visit..
Gatehouse of Fleet has a charming 9 hole golf course and a bowling green, both of which welcome visitors.
At the west end of Gatehouse of Fleet is Cardoness Castle, an imposing and well preserved 6 storey ruined castle built in the 15th century. The castle has an exhibition area and gift shop.
A few miles west of Gatehouse of Fleet are Cairn Holy Chambered Cairns, two remarkably
complete burial cairns dating back 4,000 – 6,000 years. There is parking fairly near the cairns and on a clear day there are superb views of the Isle of Man and Burrow Head on the coastline of the Machars of Galloway.
For the adventurous, Laggan Outdoor is an exciting activity Centre about 4 miles west of Gatehouse of Fleet. Last year they became the proud owners of the longest zip-wire in the UK. For 2013 they are introducing 3d archery. There is a host of other activities on offer including zorbing and they also have a cafe on site.
Also very near to Gatehouse of Fleet is Cream o Galloway. In addition to making absolutely delicious ice cream with milk from their organic dairy farm they are a family friendly activity and visitor centre and much more.
Just 6 miles from Gatehouse on Fleet along the B road to Creetown lies the Big Water of Fleet Viaduct and Cairnsmore of fleet National Scenic Reserve – definitely worth checking out. There is an easy but excellent walk from the Visitor Centre where you can explore the viaduct, the marvelous countryside and look for sculptures along the way!
Where can I get a Coffee? There are various options in the town itself however, you might want to try the Skyreburn Tea Pot which is situated in a lay-by two or three miles west of Gatehouse of Fleet on the road to Stranraer. Weather permitting you can sit out at the rear of the building and enjoy the coastal views as you are right on the water`s edge.