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Southerness Self Catering Review – Dog Friendly 2 Bed Chalet

Are you planning a Southerness self catering holiday?

Check out this review based on a 1 week stay in Southerness in November 2021.

It’s got all the information you need to plan your visit.

1. Southerness Self Catering – Getting To Southerness

Southerness is a coastal village located south of Dumfries. It is about 25 minutes from Dumfries centre.

2. Southerness Self Catering – Southerness Village – What’s There?

The village of Southerness is dominated by the caravan park. It stretches around the bay and has it’s own entertainment centre, restaurant, takeaway, swimming pool and leisure facilities.

There are some residences and along the shore there are a number of permanent houses and holiday homes, quite alot in a chalet building style.

There is a regular bus service, a fish and chip takeaway and a hotel in the main part of the village alongwith a bar. There is also another shop which is again linked to the caravan park.

Close to the main caravan park entertainment centre there was also another small shop – mainly a convenience type store.

If you are looking for things to do around the area check out my guide to Southerness Things To Do, which includes details of cafes and attractions we visited during our week long stay.

beach at southerness looking to caravan park southerness self catering

3. Southerness Self Catering – Southerness Beach

The beach is no longer sandy, as portrayed in some of the pictures relating to Southerness. Instead storms have made the beach rocky and covered with seaweed and other sea debris. This made it difficult for my smaller dogs to walk on the beach, and we had to carry them over some of the rockier parts.

There was previously a beach path but this looked to have been washed away in a storm as well.

southerness lighthouse southerness self catering the professional traveller

4. Southerness Self Catering – Southerness Lighthouse

The lighthouse is very old and makes for a nice walk and photo. It’s set on the southern side of Southerness.


5. Southerness Self Catering – Staying in Southerness

We booked a one week stay in Southerness one week before most of the facilities closed for the season. The fish and chip takeaway closed the week before we arrived, to reopen in the Spring. The shop was nearly closed and therefore had very little stock. The hotel was only open for meals on a Friday and Saturday evenings and everything else was closed.

If you would like more facilities open during your stay then I would recommend travelling before November.

view of conservatory with dog sitting outside on grass southerness self catering
View of Koulara Conservatory and Garden

6. Southerness Self Catering – Koulara, Southerness

We booked a two bedroom holiday cottage in Southerness. We booked it because it was all on one level so we thought it ideal for our dogs and we also wanted them to enjoy the sandy beach. One of my dogs is blind and she enjoys a sandy beach to walk on.

When we arrived at the cottage the owner met us and gave us some information about the local area including a great recommendation for a local restaurant. He had also lit the coal fire which was a nice welcome.

7. Southerness Self Catering – Koulara Facilities

Koulara is a chalet with two conservatories added to it. It is a chalet rather than a cottage and is set in a large garden that surrounded it on all sides. There is a sea view from the main conservatory.

Main Conservatory

  • This runs the length of the chalet and has chairs, a sofa, and a dining table in it. There is a small heater in the conservatory. For most of our stay, it was too cold to use this conservatory but one day was milder so we put the heater on and spend a good amount of time there reading and working.
  • The conservatory would be an ideal space to eat meals as it is much more spacious than the kitchen but if it is cold then it is not warm enough to do this.
  • The main conservatory is also the entrance to Koulara. There are a couple of steps to enter the conservatory and then another bigger step up from the conservatory into the main chalet. These were all too big for my dogs which meant lots of lifting them up and down.

Lounge Area

  • The lounge is quite small, with a pair of two seater sofas and a TV in the space. The TV was a smart TV so we were able to enjoy watching Netflix etc.
  • Our favourite feature of the place was the open fire. This is a coal fire with coal and kindling being provided by the cottage owners. Initially, there wasn’t much but they topped this up. This still wasn’t enough given we spent quite a lot of time at the cottage so we bought some wood to go with it.
  • The fire kept the room warm although there was a thermostatically controlled electric heater there too.
  • The lounge floor was lino which we found quite unusual.


  • The kitchen is quite small. It had a cooker, fridge, and a pantry area. Also in the kitchen is a four seater table but to use this you would have had to pull it out and not be able to move around the kitchen. Workspace was very limited too. There was a microwave.
  • The kitchen was cooler as it had an electric heater which was sited behind the dining table, meaning the table was nice and warm rather than the room. The crockery and glassware were stored in a bit of an awkward cupboard near the dining table.

Small Conservatory

  • There is a small conservatory off the kitchen. This houses a freezer and also the coal and kindling supplies. There is also a two seater sofa but we never used this area as it was really cold during our stay.

Main Bedroom

  • The main bedroom has a double bed with fitted units around it. There is also a large inbuilt cupboard and a chest of drawers with a mirror above and a hairdryer.
  • The windows of the bedroom open into the conservatory which is quite a nice feature as it meant you can have the windows open and get fresh air without getting noise from the wind (it was quite stormy during our stay).
  • It is a nice sized room.
  • There is an electric heater on the wall.

Triple Bedroom

  • The back bedroom has a single bed and then a set of bunk beds. This room has a lino floor and a smaller electric heater on the wall.
  • This was quite a cold room.
  • There was plenty of storage space with children’s books and games as well.


  • The toilet is separate from the bathroom. There was no heating in this room at all which meant it was pretty much baltic at all times. The only way you could keep warm was to leave the door open which meant you looked straight into the house opposite.


  • The bathroom is small with very little storage space. The heating was a fan heater. The shower was electric with fairly low pressure.


  • The garden is grassed all around and it is also the parking area. There was plenty of room to park and turn.
  • The dogs enjoyed poking around the garden but we never left them unattended given the gaps in the gate etc which were enough for our dogs to get through.

8. Southerness Self Catering – Koulara Professional Traveller Summary

  • Koulara is probably better suited to summer/warmer weather holidays. This means you could use more of the holiday home space such as both conservatories.
  • Southerness is very quiet during the closed months with more facilities and also visitors during the open season.
  • There were some nice places to visit in the area that we hadn’t explored before.
  • The beach is fine for larger dogs and probably slightly older children. Younger children might struggle walking over some of the rocks.
  • The large sun room is a lovely space, making an ideal family room or play room for children too.

9. Interested in Staying at Koulara?

Click here to check availability and prices for your dates of travel at Koulara. Prices start from £390 per week.

10. Interested in Staying in Southerness?

Check out these Southerness self catering properties

11. Want to stay in Dumfries and Galloway?

Check out lots more cottages in Dumfries and Galloway

4 holiday cottages in dumfries and galloway

Further Reading

If you have found this article about Southerness Self Catering useful you might also like;

Newton Stewart Review – check out this super cute cottage right by the River Cree

Forres Self Catering review – walks and wildlife on the doorstep of this amazing cottage

Highland Cottages with Hot Tubs – for self catering holidays and a great hot tub too

For more trip ideas check out my Travel Inspiration page

Author BioMelanie Newdick, Professional Traveller

  • +36 years travelling for work. Visited +40 countries (many multiple times)
  • Stayed in over 700 hotels. Taken +9,500 on coach holidays
  • Check all out my best money saving resources

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