Overnight Breaks, Travel

The Best Things to Do on the Rhins of Galloway

Are you planning a visit or holiday to the Rhins of Galloway? Here are some of my top suggestions of the best things to do in this amazing part of Scotland.

Covid-19 hasn’t really changed how we holiday. We’ve holidayed in the UK for years and years now. We normally visit Aviemore for our holidays or another part of the Scottish Highlands. However, this year, prices were incredibly high and availability was really low in the Highlands. Deciding where to visit instead, I recalled visiting the Rhins of Galloway as a teenager and really loving it. I was sure my kids would love the expansive sandy beaches and dramatic rocky landscapes that this area of Dumfries and Galloway enjoys. What was even better was that at relatively short notice, we were able to find lovely, reasonably priced accommodation. So we booked, and off we went!

We’re just back from a week’s holiday on the Rhins of Galloway, and while my mind is still fresh I wanted to write about all the places I’d recommend visiting. If you are looking to visit the beautiful coastal region of Rhins of Galloway then here are my top family-friendly suggestions of where to visit on your next trip.

Where Is the Rhins of Galloway?

Firstly, you might be thinking The Rhins of What? Well, the Rhins of Galloway is a 25-mile long peninsula in Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland. Jutting out into the Irish Sea, its southern tip is the Mull of Galloway, the southernmost point of Scotland.

This area includes the principal town of Stranraer and encompasses the villages of Ardwell, Cairnryan, Castle Kennedy, Drummore, Dunragit, Kirkcolm, Leswalt, Port Logan, Portpatrick, Sandhead, and Stoneykirk, as well as a number of other smaller hamlets.

The Best Places To Visit and Things to Do in the Rhins of Galloway

If you are looking to mostly get away from it all, then this sparsely populated area is for you. The Rhins of Galloway is renowned for its expansive sandy beaches and dramatic coastal landscapes, and unique plant life.

When we were booking our trip, I thought we might run out of things to do on the Rhins of Galloway. I had planned that we may have to travel further afield for things to do. However, we spent a week on the Rhins of Galloway, and managed to not leave it once! As we very thoroughly explored almost the whole area, here are my top things to do in the Rhins of Galloway.

Logan Botanic Gardens

Port Logan Botanic Garden entrance

It’s safe to say that Logan Botanic Gardens is unlike any botanic garden I’ve ever visited in the UK. I think it’s probably my favourite botanic garden now, and I’ve been to a few! In part, because its relatively remote location means it’s an incredibly peaceful and tranquil place to spend a day, away from crowds of people. But also in part due to the amazing array of tropical plant life. We got lucky and visited on a very sunny Sunday. The sunshine, warmth, and tropical plants made it feel like we had been transported to some far-off exotic land, rather than being on a peninsula in Scotland!

The gulf stream warms the Rhins of Galloway, and this enables plants from Australia, New Zealand, South, and Central America, and Southern Africa to grow here. You can walk through groves of Gunnera (this was my kids’ favourite part) and groves of beautifully scented eucalyptus trees, as well as through the tree fern forest. There’s also a stunning walled garden, full of exotic plants, and fish ponds. And then there are the conservatories as well, housing more sensitive tropical plants. It’s a treat for both eyes and nose!

Something interesting to also note is that parts of the original Wicker Man movie were filmed here. In the movie, the gardens acted as Lord Summerisle’s garden. While you won’t find a Wicker Man here, do look out for the giant Wicker dinosaur.

Wicker dinosaur at Logan Botanic Garden on the Rhins of Galloway

The on-site Potting Shed Bistro serves a delicious lunch, as well as an array of cakes. We sat outside and enjoyed watching the local wildlife, whilst we ate in the most beautiful surroundings. If you’d rather take your own lunch, then picnicking is permitted in the gardens.

What’s great is that kids under fifteen go free. Adults are a great value £7.50 each. We spent hours here, and it was well worth the money. If you’re travelling with dogs, then do note that dogs (with the exception of assistance dogs) are not permitted into any part of the gardens.

Glenwhan Gardens

Glenwhan Gardens on the Rhins of Galloway, Dumfries & Galloway

The stunning Glenwhan Gardens was another beautiful garden we visited whilst on the Rhins of Galloway. These gardens are relatively new, created around 40 years ago, but my, this garden is breathtaking.

We spent hours wandering around the garden’s meandering pathways, discovering beautiful plants at every turn. Two small lochans (lakes) create the focal point of the main garden. However, there are stunning vistas to be had and sculptures to discover in all the nooks and crannies of the garden. There’s also a 17-acre moorland walk to explore. We ran out of time to even scratch the surface of the moorland.

If on the remote chance that life gave us an expansive garden then it would certainly look like this. It was wonderful. I’d love to go back in different seasons to see how it differs across the year.

Adults are £6 each, and kids are £1.50 each, which again is a bargain. Unlike Logan Botanic Gardens, dogs are welcome at Glenwhan Gardens. However, something to note is that picnics are not allowed in the gardens.

There is a small tearoom here. However, it has strong 1980s vibes and overworked staff. The member of staff taking food and drink orders was also expected to handle ticket sales and plant sales for the garden. This probably works for most of the year, but in peak visitor season in a place where you cannot bring your own food meant that queues did build up. Despite this, the food was good, with vegans catered for via the daily specials, and the cake selection was A+. If I was visiting again though, I would consider taking a car picnic.

Mull of Galloway Lighthouse

Mull of Galloway lighthouse and nature reserve

The Mull of Galloway is Scotland’s most southern point. Here, perched on a 260-foot high cliff is the Mull of Galloway Lighthouse that is well worth a visit.

Unfortunately, due to Covid safety restrictions, you aren’t able to climb up to the top of the Mull of Galloway lighthouse at the moment. However, that doesn’t mean this stunning spot isn’t worth a visit. At the foot of the lighthouse is a beautiful RSPB nature reserve, that is free to access. Here you can walk around and admire the dramatic views from the clifftop over to Cumbria, the Isle of Man, Scotland, and Ireland. There is a host of wildlife to spot. These include puffins, porpoises, and dolphins if you are lucky. There are also beautiful coastal wildflowers to enjoy in spring and summer. We spent a really enjoyable and relaxing morning having a walk here, completely in awe of the surroundings.

It’s a really cheap visit. It’s free to park at the lighthouse and free to access the nature reserve.

When you’re done, there is a really amazing cafe – probably the best we visited in the Rhins of Galloway – next to the lighthouse. Here at the Gallie Craig, you can grab a coffee and a slice of cake, a cooked breakfast (vegetarian and vegan options are available), or lunch on top of the cliff, sit outside and admire the views. On a sunny day, like when we visited, then I can assure you that it’s utter perfection. I’d love to visit again on a stormy day. I’d sit inside with a steaming hot cup of tea, and appreciate the dramatic weather.

Alternatively, there are benches dotted around the reserve, and at the lookout point. Take a picnic and a flask of tea, and enjoy the 360° views.

Port Logan Beach

Port Logan beach

Port Logan beach is an impressive white sand beach in a sheltered bay. It stretches round in an arc from the harbour, with its mini stone tower, round to the Port Logan Fish Pond. Its sheltered nature makes it perfect for walking, swimming, paddling or any other beach-based activity you can imagine. There’s also a Victorian bathing pond and hut, next to the beach. It’s sadly no longer in use, but it’s worth a look. Despite visiting on a sunny morning, the beach was deserted, so if you’re looking for peace then you will hopefully find it in this heavenly spot.

Port Logan Fish Pond

Port Logan fish pond

I wasn’t expecting to enjoy a visit to the unique Port Logan Fish Pond quite as much as I did during our visit to the Rhins of Galloway. However, it turned out to be a firm family favourite.

Our satnav brought us to an old stone cottage perched on a cliff, that gives no clues as to what is to come. Inside the cottage are tanks housing a variety of small local fish. After an opportunity to look at these, and find out more about them, you are then taken down some stone steps from the backdoor of the cottage down to the main pond. This is a rock pool that 200 years ago was excavated into quite a deep hole, that is home to many species of marine life.

This fish larder, was in the Victorian era, used as a way of sourcing food and preserving fish until they needed to be eaten. Now it’s strictly educational.

The knowledgeable and friendly staff feed the fish. This encourages the different species to come up to the surface, where staff tell you about each one. After seeing many different types of fish local to the area, you can then enter a tiny aquarium inside a cave. Here you’ll find a variety of rock pool creatures, including Derek the 50-year-old lobster, and starfish and anemones. These were all fascinating to look at.

Due to Covid restrictions (particularly the potentially harmful interactions between fish and antibacterial hand gel), there are currently no opportunities to handle the wildlife. But still, getting to see flatfish, such as turbot, up close in such a fun and engaging way, was a real highlight.

It costs £10 for a family ticket, or £4 each per adult, and £3 per child.

Portpatrick

Portpatrick beach, Dumfries & Galloway

Portpatrick is a charming little seaside village situated on the Rhins of Galloway. Here, rows of pastel-coloured cottages jostle for space along the rocky harbour, and amongst the vertiginous cliffs. At low tide, a small sandy beach appears in the harbour, making it a sheltered place to catch some rays or let the kids play under the shadow of the lighthouse.

Along the picturesque seafront, you’ll find hotels, restaurants, and bars aplenty, all with harbourside seating. Portpatrick is also well equipped with play parks and picnic areas, and an impressive rocky harbour to explore. Or if you fancy a walk, there are a couple of clifftop walks you can take. There’s one that takes you to the ruins of Dunskey Castle, and another that marks the start of the Southern Upland Way. We didn’t do these, as clifftop walks with young kids felt a little too nerve-wracking. However, I have added them to my list of things to do when we visit the Rhins of Galloway again.

There is no shortage of places to eat in Portpatrick. However, if you’re vegetarian or vegan then I found the best place to eat in Portpatrick, with its array of choices, is the Port Pantry. The other places tended to offer just one or two not particularly inspired options.

Kirkmadrine Stones and Church

A beautiful walk in the dappled shade of an atmospheric avenue of trees brings you out at the Kirkmadrine Stones and Church. Here you’ll find intricately carved stones from 500AD demonstrating evidence of early Christianity in Britain. Even if you aren’t religious, like me, or aren’t Christian, it is a fascinating site to learn more about the history of Britain.

Sadly you aren’t able to access inside the tiny church. This is a shame because it looks beautiful. However, you can spend some time reading more about the stones, walking around the churchyard, and take in the stunning views.

Of all the places we visited on the Rhins of Galloway, this was unexpectedly felt like the busiest!

Sandhead Beach

If it’s one thing, then the Rhins of Galloway doesn’t hold back on beaches. Sandhead Beach is a vast and EXPANSIVE beach. It’s particularly great to visit with kids due to the playpark next to the beach, in case your kids get bored by the sea and sand. On sunny days it appeared to get quite busy (for Rhins of Galloway standards). If it’s peace and tranquillity you are after then this probably isn’t the beach for you. When the tide is out, then it’s also an incredibly long walk to reach the sea. Do check your tide times before visiting.

I managed no photos of this beach, but I promise, it is very beachy!

I hope you can see why the Rhins of Galloway might just be one of my very favourite corners of Scotland. It really is perfection in one small area, with so many different things to do. I am looking forward to so many more visits here. If you’ve been, or if you do go, then be sure to let me know of any spots that I missed on this trip! I’ll be sure to add them to my list of places to visit and re-visit!

Resources

70 Inspiring Climate Change and Sustainability Quotes To Motivate & Influence

Are you looking for sustainability quotes? Here are over 70 inspiring short quotes, on the topics of sustainability, climate change, and eco-friendly and ethical living, that will help motivate and influence others.

With the publication of the 2021 IPCC report issuing a code red for humanity, there’s never been a greater imperative to take action on climate change. The trouble is, how do we engage people in sustainability?

Perhaps you’re writing a report on climate change or preparing a social media post and you are looking for a sustainability quote. Whether you are looking for quotes on climate change or sustainability for your social media, for a web page, or project, I’ve done all the hard work and scoured the internet for you. Here I have collated 70 quotes, that will hopefully inspire, motivate and influence people to take action on climate change and sustainability.

Let’s crack on with the sustainability quotes!

70 Inspiring Climate Change and Sustainability Quotes

Image of a blank notebook on desk with flowers and glasses, and a blue text box that reads "inspiring sustainability quotes to motivate and influence people".
  1. “The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe about us, the less taste we shall have for destruction.” – Rachel Carson 

2. “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead

3. “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” – Anne Frank

4. “The greatest danger to our future is apathy.” – Jane Goodall

5. “Refuse what you do not need; Reduce what you do need; Reuse by using reusables; Recycle what you cannot refuse, reduce, or reuse; and Rot (compost) the rest” – Bea Johnson

6. “It really boils down to this: that all life is interrelated. We are all caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tired into a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one destiny, affects all indirectly.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

7. “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” – Maya Angelou

8. “Finland is officially the world’s happiest country. It is also 75 percent forest. I believe these facts are related.” – Matt Haig

9. “Every person is the right person to act. Every moment is the right moment to begin.” – Jonathan Schell

10. “An act of violence against nature should be judged as severely as that against society or another person.” – Dr. Michael W. Fox

Image of tree with the sustainability quote "Every person is the right person to act. Every moment is the right moment to begin" by Jonathan Schell

11. “Mankind owns its destiny, and its destiny is the earth. We are destroying it until we have no destiny.” – Frida Kahlo

12. “Surely it is our responsibility to do everything within our power to create a planet that provides a home not just for us, but for all life on Earth.” – Sir David Attenborough.

13. “What we are doing to the forests of the world is but a mirror reflection of what we are doing to ourselves and to one another.” – Chris Maser

14. “The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it.” – Robert Swan

15. “The elders were wise. They knew that man’s heart, away from nature, becomes hard; they knew that lack of respect for growing, living things, soon led to lack of respect for humans, too.” – Chief Luther Standing Bear

16. “We don’t need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly.” – Anne Marie Bonneau

17. “Only we humans make waste that nature can’t digest.” – Charles Moore

18. “If you don’t like the way the world is, you change it. You have an obligation to change it. You just do it one step at a time.” – Marian Wright Edelman

19. “Change happens by listening and then starting a dialogue with the people who are doing something you don’t believe is right.” – Dr Jane Goodall

20. “By unleashing the collective genius of those around us to creatively and proactively design our energy descent, we can build ways of living that are more connected, more enriching and that recognize the biological limits of our planet.” – Rob Hopkins

Image of pantry jars with the quote "We don’t need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly" by Anne Marie Bonneau

21. “Ethical is walking the walk in your every day interactions with marginalized people.” – Aja Barber

22. “We need artists in this movement, we need people who know about technology in this movement, we need organizers, we need writers, we need all of the different talents in the movement. So I’d say find what you already do, what you’re already good at, and apply that into an organizational space.” – Jamie Margolin

23. “One person cannot save only their part of the world. We either save the whole world or we don’t save it. We all have to work together.” – Frank Ettawageshik

24. “In the end, all the struggles have the same objective: the defense of life. That is the most important, no matter where we are or what the specific goal of each fight is.” – Ana Sandoval

25. “Calling it climate change is rather limiting. I would rather call it the everything change.” – Margaret Atwood

26. “The world is reaching the tipping point beyond which climate change may become irreversible. If this happens, we risk denying present and future generations the right to a healthy and sustainable planet – the whole of humanity stands to lose.” – Kofi Annan

27. “Climate change is the single greatest threat to a sustainable future but, at the same time, addressing the climate challenge presents a golden opportunity to promote prosperity, security and a brighter future for all.”  – Ban Ki-moon

28. “It’s your generational responsibility to leave the world a better place than you found it. That’s how I was raised. That’s what my parents always told me, ‘Leave this place better than you found it’, whether it’s the bathroom or the kitchen or the planet.” – Xiye Bastida

29. “Your home is the planet. To protect the environment is to protect your own future.” – Francesco La Camera 

30. “There is no more neutrality in the world. You either have to be part of the solution, or you’re going to be part of the problem.” – Eldridge Cleaver

Image of rocks and the sea with the climate change quote "Your home is the planet. To protect the environment is to protect your own future” by Francesco La Camera 

31. “It is our collective and individual responsibility to preserve and tend to the environment in which we all live.” – Dalai Lama

32. “Treat the Earth as though we intend to stay here.” – Crispin Tickell 

33. “To see beyond what despair sees—to move from the feeling toward the possibility—calls for things we have in abundance: love, imagination, and a willingness to simply tend the world as best we can, without guarantee of success.” – Ayana Elizabeth Johnson

34. “You cannot protect the environment unless you empower people, you inform them, and you help them understand that these resources are their own, that they must protect them.” – Wangari Maathai

35. “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” – Mother Teresa

36. “A nation that destroys its soils destroys itself. Forests are the lungs of our land, purifying the air and giving fresh strength to our people.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt

37. “The more we focus on individual action and neglect systemic change, the more we’re just sweeping leaves on a windy day” – Mary Heglar

38. “You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” – Dr Jane Goodall

 39. “There is nothing more frightful than ignorance in action.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

40. “The environment and the economy are really both two sides of the same coin. If we cannot sustain the environment, we cannot sustain ourselves.” – Wangari Maathai

Image of a leaf with the sustainability quote “The environment and the economy are really both two sides of the same coin. If we cannot sustain the environment, we cannot sustain ourselves” by  Wangari Maathai

41. “To damage the earth is to damage your children.” – Wendell Berry

42. “Believe in the power of your own voice. The more noise you make, the more accountability you demand from your leaders, the more our world will change for the better.”- Al Gore

43. “To care about climate change, we only have to be one thing: a human, living on planet earth. And if you’re reading this, that’s exactly who you are.” – Katharine Hayhoe

44. “Twenty-five years ago people could be excused for not knowing much, or doing much, about climate change. Today we have no excuse.“- Desmond Tutu

45. “I want you to act. I want you to act as you would in a crisis. I want you to act as if the house is on fire, because it is.” – Greta Thunberg

46. “If you really think that the environment is less important than the economy, try holding your breath while you count your money.” – Guy McPherson

47. “Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.” – Mother Teresa

48. “The future will be green or not at all.”- Jonathon Porritt

49. “We are living on this planet as if we had another one to go to.” – Terri Swearingen

50. “Climate action isn’t a giant boulder sitting at the bottom of a steep hill with just a few hands on it. It’s already at the top of the hill, it’s already got millions of hands on it, and it’s already slowly rolling in the right direction. It just needs to go faster.” – Katharine Hayhoe

Image of a forest with the quote "If you really think that the environment is less important than the economy, try holding your breath while you count your money" by Guy McPherson

51. “This planet is the only home we’ll ever have. There’s no place like it. And home is always, always, always worth it.” – Mary Heglar

52. “Climate change isn’t an ‘issue’ to add to the list of things to worry about, next to health care and taxes. It is a civilizational wake-up call. A powerful message – spoken in the language of fires, floods, droughts, and extinctions – telling us that we need an entirely new economic model and a new way of sharing this planet. Telling us we need to evolve.” – Naomi Klein

53. “Avoiding climate breakdown will require cathedral thinking. We must lay the foundation while we may not know exactly how to build the ceiling.” – Greta Thunberg.

54. “The Earth is not dying – it is being killed. And the people who are killing it have names and addresses.” – Utah Phillips

55. “What will save us is not technology or science. What will save us is the ethical transformation of our society.” – Carmelite Father Eduardo Agosta Scarel

56. “There are no passengers on Spaceship Earth. We are all crew.” – Marshall McLuhan.

57. “If we pollute the air, water and soil that keep us alive and well, and destroy the biodiversity that allows natural systems to function, no amount of money will save us.” – David Suzuki

58. “There is no such thing as ‘away’. So, when we throw anything away, it must go somewhere.” – Annie Leonard

59. “We need to have a whole cultural shift, where it becomes our culture to take care of the Earth, and in order to make this shift, we need storytelling about how the Earth takes care of us and how we can take care of her.” – Ayana Elizabeth Johnson

60. “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” –  Buckminster Fuller

Image of trees with the quote "Avoiding climate breakdown will require cathedral thinking. We must lay the foundation while we may not know exactly how to build the ceiling" by Greta Thunberg.

61. “The future depends on what you do today.” – Mahatma Gandhi

62. “Climate change is a vast and complicated problem, and that means the answer is complicated too. We need to let go of the idea that it’s all of our individual faults, then take on the collective responsibility of holding the true culprits accountable. In other words, we need to become many Davids against one big, bad Goliath.⁣” – Mary Heglar

63. “Life with dramatically lower energy consumption is inevitable, and that it’s better to plan for it than to be taken by surprise.” – Rob Hopkins

64. “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” – Dr. Seuss

65. “There is a tendency at every important but difficult crossroad to pretend that it’s not really there.” – Bill McKibben

66. “I am only one, but I am one. I can’t do everything, but I can do something. The something I ought to do, I can do.” – Edward Everett Hale

67. “No one can do everything, but everyone can do something”. – Max Lucado

68. “The most sustainable item is the one you already own”. – Wendy Graham

69. “We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop”. – Mother Teresa

70. “Convincing customers to buy more shit in the name of sustainability is the biggest scam of our generation… Buying nothing at all is the most sustainable thing any of us can do, and when you must buy or want to buy, then use that opportunity to shop responsibly. Treating sustainability as a trend is the biggest threat to it being taken seriously, and to take it seriously it has to be more than surface level.” – Liz Pape

Enjoyed these sustainability quotes? You can also check out these powerful climate change speeches for even more inspiration.