Check out my guide to this lovely riverside town and get planning your visit.
1. Newton Stewart – What’s In the Town
Is Newton Stewart worth visiting?
Absolutely yes! Newton Stewart is a pretty town set beside the River Cree. There are some interesting shops and walks in the town itself, with independent stores and cafes to enjoy. Nearby there are red kite trails, Wigtown and the Galloway coastline to explore as well.
There are some great independent shops including a great DIY store, some interesting gift shops, cafes and takeaways. Here are the ones I checked out during my week long stay in Newton Stewart.
2. Newton Stewart – Brew Ha Ha
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 had screens in between 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.
3. Newton Stewart – Sainsbury’s
The Sainsbury 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.
There are plenty of cafes in Newton Stewart, along with takeaways and some interesting independent shops. Due to the Covid19 situation, I didn’t spend too long in the town centre, nor did I eat out other than for lunch.
5. Trips Out from Newton Stewart
Another great thing about this Newton Stewart holiday cottage is that there was so much to explore in the surrounding area. I was torn between wanting to stay in and just gaze at the river and wanting to go out and explore!
6. 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.
8. New Galloway
The drive down from New Galloway 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 its previous association with artists. Its 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, along with 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. (Update 2022 – this cafe is now closed)
Kircudbright would be a nice place for a stroll around, especially if the weather was a bit warmer than it was in November.
One of the reasons I chose this Newton Stewart holiday cottage was because it was close to Wigtown.
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.
11. The Book Shop
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.
12. Reading Lasses
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 nourishing 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 along with 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 along with a selection of cakes and biscuits.
I had cheese on toast with a lovely homemade Waldorf salad and green salad, along with 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.
15. 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, along with toilets and a small community shop. Currently, it closes at 3 pm 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.
17. 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 Saturdays and Sundays only during November. The cafe has fantastic views across the headland.
18. Mull of Galloway Lighthouse
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.
19. Logan Fish Pond
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.
21. Newton Stewart FAQs
If you have found this review of Newton Stewart useful you might also like;
Holiday Cottage Newton Stewart – check out this super cute cottage right beside the River Cree
Southerness Self Catering Cottage – check out this review of a self-catering chalet
Southerness Things to Do – a guide to things to do around the Southerness area
Find more ideas for trips and places to visit on my Travel Inspiration page
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