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South West Coastal 300 (SWC300)


Although nowhere near as famous as it’s world renowned bigger sibling, the NC500. The South West Coastal 300 (SWC300) has garnered interest from Scottish holiday makers in more recent years. Pertaining to the lower western coastlines, the pace of this advententure is a slightly more relaxed pace, arguably and “easier” drive but still delivers stunning scenery, rich history and far reaching, sandy beaches. The route itself is a loop that circuits through Ayrshire and Dumfries and Galloway. With its southern most points situated almost 400 miles south of John O’Groats, this trip will benefit from being a few degrees warmer, something to satisfy the summer holiday makers. In addition, the SWC300 passes through some excellent family parks and day out locations, making this perfect for Staycations with the wee ones in tow.

5 Day Plan

Day 1

Dalmuir to Ayr

Day 2

Ayr – Sanquhar

Day 3

Sanquhar – Dumfries

Day 4

Salway Coast

Day 5

Whithorn to Glasgow

Day 1: Dalmuir to Ayr

Day 1: Dalmuir to Ayr As the route is a loop, you can essentially begin at any point. For this guide, we’ll head to Ayr first – the closest to get to from Staycation HQ. After checking in and receiving your full demo of your van, you’ll travel back through Glasgow and make your way to Ayr along the M77 and A77. This only takes 1 hour. Ayr itself is steeped in Scottish heritage and was once home to poet Robert Burns. The Robert Burns museum itself is definitely worth visiting with lots to see for children too. In Ayr, we recommend using the Ayr Craigie Gardens Caravan Club Site. They offer electric hook up sites at just £8.50 per person per night. Enjoy the first night of your Staycation with a stroll along the golden sands of Ayr beach and views straight across to the Isle of Arran. (You could always add a day or two on to your staycation with a quick ferry over to Arran!)

Day 2: Ayr – Sanquhar

Today marks the first day on the loop of the SWC300. For families, we definitely recommend visiting Heads of Ayr Farm Park whilst still in Ayr, a fantastic place for kids jam-packed with animals, rides and fun for all ages. Once setting off on the SWC500, take the A70 followed by the A76 towards Sanquhar. This stretch passes through the Galloway Forrest National Park  Here you can enjoy a spectacular morning filled with hiking through tranquil valleys, heather-clad hills, rugged rock faces and more. You’ll spot a variety of wildlife, such as red and roe deer, as well as mighty birds of prey soaring above. Head to Kirkmichael for a late lunch, enjoying this picturesque village. You can walk off your meal along the cobbled streets, lined with cottages over 200 years old, and pop into the village store for any supplies you may need. For setting up your 2nd nights’ camp, head to Newark Farm. This is a working farm but still a welcome place for travellers and very reasonable at only £12 including electrical hook up pitch.

Day 3: Sanquhar – Dumfries

Continuing along the eastern, inland leg of the SWC300 you will pass through Wanlockhead. Don’t be surprised if you get the ear-popping sensation of being on an airplane at this point. Wanlockhead is the highest town above sea level in the whole of Scotland! The drive reflects this, with exciting climbs and more stunning scenery of forests – a perfect example of the range of sights this route can offer. 

With only 40 mins to along the A76 to Dumfries, there’s a good opportunity to stop off for supplies before carrying on down to the southern, coastal destinations. Before you reach the beaches there is plenty to see just after you pass Dumfries. Caerlaverock Castle and New Abbey are jus 2 of the must-see medieval artefacts for the history lovers. For those wanting to take in more lush views, stop off at Devorgilla Bridge, with views across the River Nirth and cute tearooms to grab a spot of lunch.For those with looking to entertain the kids, Mabie Forest Park is a brilliant day out. Based on the outskirts of the Galloway forest, there’s a whole host of activities. From climbing, dry sledging and mini trains – it’s a must visit. For your next van pitch, head to Newton Campsite. This is a particularly family friendly site and also boasts it’s own private access beach for only £17.65!

Day 4 – Salway Coast

It’s beach day! Our go-to spot is Sandyhill beach. Pop it into satnav and head straight down for a day on gorgeous sands that stretch out for miles when the tide is out. Sandyhills to Whithorn Heading south on the A714, you come across Scotland’s Book Town- Wigtown- renowned for their book shops and cafes galore. Then you can either stroll across the shores of Wigtown Bay, or take a small detour to another beautiful coastal village which is famed for the Mulberry Harbours, which aided in bringing an end to WW2. I then recommend heading southwards to the Isle of Whithorn, where you can enjoy lunch by the pretty harbour. Head to the nearby Whithorn to learn about the earliest Christian community in Scotland. Start by visiting the Whithorn Visitor Centre and Museum, to learn about the sights to come. Walk a few metres to the Whithorn Priory, a tranquil area with free guides to help you learn about the ancient history of Whithorn. Then drive to the shore to visit St. Ninian’s Cave, where you can take the small trek into the cave. Be warned, it is very wet and slippery! Follow this, by watching the sunset over the pebbled beach – what an end to a day! Staying at: Burrowhead Holiday Village. This family owned holiday park is pet-friendly, featuring a family bar, cafe and on-site shop. The remote location ensure you’ll get a peaceful night stay, and you’ll surely be kept entertained by the heated swimming pool, crazy golf, amusement arcade and more! Price per pitch is dependent on season, £20-36.

Day 5 – Whithorn to Glasgow

Your journey back to Staycation HQ will take just over 2 hours. Remember – we can accommodate late check ins for returning where possible for a small fee.
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