There is plenty to do in Dumfries and Galloway!
Galloway Forest Park has been awarded Dark Sky Park status, the first such designation in Europe.
Barend is not in that league, but it is the case that there is very little light pollution here.
Road lighting is deliberately kept to a minimum - each of our chalets are equipped with a torch to make walking at night safe. When you relax out on your balcony or verandah on a clear night you will be amazed at the quantity and clarity of the stars you will be able to see.
(Published in The Daily Mail October 2016)
Here is a useful article with handy hints and tips if you want to have a go at stargazing next time you visit Barend, some of our chalets are even equipped with telescopes!
Walking and Cycling
The whole area is perfect for these pursuits, with its unspoilt countryside and quiet roads, lanes, tracks and coastal paths. There are also purpose built mountain bike tracks of all standards close by such as the Forestry Commissions 7Stanes routes.
You can watch large birds of prey from the vantage point of your own deck and there are nesting swans and wild geese on the loch.
View details of the Chalets at Barend Holiday Village Photo Gallery of Barend Holiday Village. Further afield there are a large number of wildfowl and seabirds all along the coast and the R.S.P.B. reserve at Mersehead is close by, with Caerlaverock within a short drive where between October and March every year about 12,000 barnacle geese, the entire breeding population of Spitbergen, enjoy the mild Winter.
Less than twenty miles away you can enjoy the successful Galloway Red Kite Trail, where you can see the recently re-introduced Red Kites at their feeding stations - spectacular!
At Wigtown library you can enjoy their webcam giving you access to nesting ospreys.
Apart from Barend loch, which the site overlooks and where 14lb carp have been caught, there are many rivers and lochs throughout the area, and centres for sea angling at Kippford and Kirkcudbright. We would ask that only barbless hooks are used on Barend Loch to preserve all other wildlife in the area.
16 courses within a 20 mile radius! There are many wonderful, varied and quiet courses throughout the area. Colvend (pictured) is an excellent 18-hole course, less than a mile from the site - some lodges overlook the fairways. Further details of Colvend Golf Course can be found by clicking here.
Southerness, a Championship links course, is only a 15 minute drive away. The climate in this part of Dumfries and Galloway is beneficially affected by the Gulf Stream. It is a rarity for the weather to prevent play on the golf courses, even in the depths of winter.
Carlisle and Ayr racecourses are just over 1 hour's drive away.
Kippford, just 5 miles away, has a flourishing sailing community, and is the headquarters of the Solway Yacht Club.
Galloway Sailing Centre
Offering a range of activities from sailing, windsurfing, power boating, kayaking, canoeing, archery, quad biking, mountain biking and climbing, instructor training to family fun days - www.lochken.co.uk
Historic Dumfries & Galloway
There are many fascinating castles, ruins, and other historic sites within easy travelling distance from Barend. These include the 13th century moated Caerlaverock Castle, its triangular shape being unique in Britain, the 17th century Drumlanrig Castle,which houses an outstanding art collection, the 12th century Motte of Urr, the largest and best preserved Norman motte and bailey earthworks in Britain, the 15th century Orchardton Tower, the only cylindrical tower house in Scotland, and the 13th century Sweetheart Abbey, so called in memory of Lady Devorguilla of Galloway who was so besotted by her husband John Balliol ( founder of the famous Oxford College) that when he died she carried his heart, embalmed in a casket, around with her. She referred to it as her "sweet heart", and thus the term was born.
The earliest Christian monument in Scotland, the oldest surviving multiple arch bridge in Scotland, the ancestral home and birth place of Robert the Bruce, the place where Mary Queen of Scots spent her last night on Scottish soil, the birthplace of the founder of the US Navy, and a more modern attraction of the first Bhuddist temple in Britain, and many more historical sites are all waiting to be discovered and explored by you. Even further back in the mists of time, but even closer to Barend is the site of the Newbarns Project. This is an archaeological excavation on two adjacent sites of two Neolithic passage graves, 25 Early Bronze Age burials, and a pre-Roman Iron Age crannog. BHV sponsor this dig, and visitors are warmly welcomed, either for a tour of the sites or even, for the more enthusiastic and energetic, to take part in the excavations.
Touring and Sightseeing
There are many beautiful gardens in the area which are open to the public, including the Scottish National Trust's Threave Garden, where the grounds are open all year.
Whilst on holiday visit the many wonderful ancient and historic buildings and monuments in the area. At the nearby Dalbeattie Museum you can discover the true story of First Officer Murdoch, of Titanic fame.
Robert Burns lived in the region from 1788 until his death in 1796. He is buried in Dumfries. During his time here he wrote more of his works than he did in his native Ayrshire, including The Selkirk Grace, Tam o' Shanter, Scots Wha Hae, and Auld Lang Syne. You can visit Ellisland Farm where he lived, and even his favourite pub, The Globe Inn in Dumfries.
The birthplace of John Paul Jones, founder of the U.S. Navy is nearby at Arbigland, only a 15 minute drive from Barend.
There are interesting and scenic drives like the 'Queensway' (pictured) and the 'Raiders Road' which will introduce you to the landscape of the Highlands without even leaving the county!