Review of One Week Stay in Newton Stewart, November 2020
In November 2020 I spent a lovely week in Newton Stewart in a self catering cottage called Minnow Cottage, a one bedroom cottage on the ground floor set beside the River Cree.
The cottage is dog friendly.
As my stay fell during Covid19 restrictions I was cautious about eating out. For clarity there I travelled from a Tier 1 area to Newton Stewart which was Tier 2 and this was allowed during the current system.
Newton Stewart is a market town with a traditional high street, set alongside the banks of the River Cree. It has a population of 3,500 people.
The town itself has a good selection of independent shops including a gift shop, wool shop, home hardwares, newsagents, convenience stores, two banks, two launderettes, two filling stations, clothing shop and several cafes.
There are also two larger supermarkets – a Sainsbury and an Aldi store.
The town is close to the Galloway Forest Park and also close to the coast.
Minnow Cottage, Newton Stewart
Minnow Cottage is a one bedroomed cottage set right beside the River Cree in Newton Stewart. It is located in Reid Terrace and has parking for one car outside in the shared parking area.
The main room has a woodburning stove in it and there was small supply of logs on arrival. There is a very large picture window with a fantastic view of the River Cree. There is small table for 2 people located in the main room as well.
The lounge has a TV which has Netflix and Freeview TV channels. There are also a selection of DVDs and books for guests.
The heating is provided by oil filled radiators powered by the solar energy panels on the roof. They have a timer which can be adjusted to suit.
The bedroom has a double bed which sits in a built in unit with wardrobes either side of the bed, bedside tables and cupboards over. There is a great view of the river from the bed and another oil filled radiator.
The kitchen has an induction hob with double cooker underneath. There is a freezer and fridge in the kitchen and a double butler sink which looks over the river. The kitchen has a plinth heater which warms the room up quickly. There is also a microwave.
There is an electric shower. The heat comes from a fan heater and a heated towel rail. There is a vanity unit with a built in washbasin.
Check out my video review of Minnow Cottage below.
This small coffee shop is close to the bridge in Newton Stewart. There is on street parking outside and a larger car park in the centre of the town beside the river.
The cafe is small and they have screens inbetween the tables.
I enjoyed a lovely oat coffee and an amazing caramel brownie. The service was warm and friendly which is always good when you are a single traveller.
The Sainsburys supermarket is a mid sized supermarket with everything you would expect to find. There is an entry system for Covid which was reassuring. There is plenty of parking outside the store. I picked up supplies for my holiday including salad, some nice bakes and bread.
Trips Out from Newton Stewart
Queens Way and Kirkcudbright
The Queens Way leads from Newton Stewart to Newton Galloway and there are lots of attractions along the way. In November most of these were closed but it was still an interesting drive.
This monument is to a local man Alexander Murray, who went from being a shepherd to being a Professor of Oriental languages. You can see this monument from the A75 and there is a car park nearby with a walking trail up to the monument, with views over the waterfall.
Further along the road is a Wild Goat park and a Red Deer Park. At the New Galloway end of the road there is Clatteringshaws Visitor Centre which sits beside a loch. There is a cafe there as well.
The drive down from New Galloway is heading South is lovely. The road runs along the edge of Loch Ken. There were some great sightings of Red Kites along this road and there is also a Red Kite trail in the area too.
This lovely town is called the Artists Town because of it’s previous association with artists. It’s population is 3,500 but it looks much bigger, no doubt because of the area that it serves. There is a good selection of cafes and places to eat, alongwith with a good selection of shops as well.
I stopped for coffee at The Harbour Lights cafe which did a lovely egg roll, fruit scone and plant milk coffee. The cafe is located beside the harbour and there are nice views of the boats.
Kircudbright would be a nice place for a stroll around, especially if the weather was a bit warmer than it was in November.
Wigtown and Isle of Whithorn
Wigtown is known as the Book Town and rightly so because it has some great secondhand bookshops located in the village. In November it was pretty quiet but the shops were still open.
This bookshop is in the main square. It says it is the largest secondhand bookshop in Scotland. The books are well organised by themes and there are plenty of nooks and crannies to enjoy exploring. There is a friendly local resident cat.
The travel section was great with books set out by country and there was a great Scottish section too. It’s a great bookshop to browse around.
I stumbled into this cafe not sure quite what to expect. It was fantastic – with small tables set in amongst the bookshelves which made a great atmosphere. The food was amazing with great choices of nourish bowls, mezze platters, fantastic soups and a truly wonderful selection of cakes. There were plenty of gluten free and vegan options.
I enjoyed an amazing beetroot fudge cake with ginger and an oat milk coffee. It was really great. The service was friendly and welcoming and the cafe is dog friendly too.
Currently the cafe is closed on Wednesdays and Thursdays.
Recommended for coffee and cakes or lunch.
This is a lovely bookshop, with books spread through several rooms. There is a great Scottish selection alongwith music in the room at the back of the shop. The prices were reasonable and the welcome was warm and friendly too.
This is a bookshop at the front with a cafe at the rear and is just out of the main square in Wigtown. It was very quiet when I visited and I was the only person in the cafe. There was a soup available alongwith a selection of cakes and biscuits.
I had cheese on toast with a lovely homemade waldorf salad and green salad, alongwith an oat milk latte. There is a lovely little garden at the rear of the shop which would be a lovely place to sit out and eat during the summer. There is a small but good selection of books available in the shop too.
Isle of Whithorn
The Isle of Whithorn is a lovely spot with a car park at the end of the peninsula with a little walk that leads out to the headland. There is a small building at the point and lovely views across the rocks. It’s a great spot for photography, especially of waves crashing over the rocks.
In the centre of the village there is a community centre.
The community centre has a cafe inside it, alongwith toilets and a small community shop. Currently it closes at 3pm and the cafe has a great view across the harbour area. It was friendly and welcoming and of course it was great to be able to access toilet facilities too.
Mull of Galloway
The Mull of Galloway is the Southern most point in Scotland, it’s at the end of a peninsula with views across to the Isle of Man.
On the day I visited it was raining and quite cold but the views were still great. The last 4 miles of the road are single track road with passing places. There is a fantastic cafe, Gallie Craig, located near the lighthouse which stands right at the headland. However, this was closed when I visited, opening on Saturday and Sundays only during November. The cafe has fantastic views across the headland.
The lighthouse visitor centre is currently closed due to Covid19 restrictions but you can still walk around the headland and around the base of the lighthouse too. There is plenty of car parking nearby.
This cute little building is set alongside the bay in Port Logan. It was closed when I visited but reviews say it is a fun place to visit and learn more about native fish species.
This garden was closed when I visited but it definitely looks worth a visit. The gardens feature a wide range of species that are able to survive because of the warmth brought to the area by the jet stream. The whole local area actually has plenty of palms and quite a few hydrangeas too. There looks to be some lovely walks and a cafe called The Potting Shed available for visitors too.
Want to Stay in Newton Stewart?
If you are interested in exploring more of Scotland why not check out my guide to the Scottish Highlands