It must be fairly apparent that I'm an advocate for Scotland as a whole and SW Scotland in particular. I think of Lancashire as a beautiful county but to me it's marred by large towns and cities and their attendant crime & social problems. Retirement gave the chance to take ourselves away from all that and we wouldn't willingly make the move backwards.
The bit I'm talking about is Gretna, in the east to Stranraer, in the west. Ie anywhere west of the M6/M74 and for some miles north of this southern facing coast. Now if you'll all take out your road atlases and turn to the relevent pages.
The main route to Stranraer runs along here in the shape of the A75 and its about 90miles from one end to the other. (Nobbut a cockstride up here where miles really don't have much significance.) There is a shopping outlet village at Gretna which is nice if you like that sort of thing, but not a lot else there. There is a privately owned caravan site on the outskirts of the village called 'Braids'. A nice enough site with decent amenities. We have stopped there once whilst attending a wedding and it's a good stop off point for anyone travelling farther north or west. There is a web site and I see no reason why they should be anti-dandy.
The next small town, a few miles along the coast is Annan which, like Gretna, is bypassed by the A75. Annan is ... a small town. Don't really know much about it and only ever driven through it once. The area between Gretna & Annan was once the site of a huge munitions plant, during WW1 and is really the reason that Gretna came into being. (Try googling 'The Devils Porridge')
Moving along the A75 and about 30 miles from Gretna is Dumfries. The area in between is largely agricultural and to be honest there is only a limited amount to see and do in that area. Dumfries is the county town and indeed the main town along the south coast. It's a biggish place and is the main shopping centre for the area. Alright for a day trip but I wouldn't want to go on holiday there. (Or live there!) Luckily the A75 also by-passes Dumfries.
From Dumfries things do get more interesting. The landscape starts to change hills appear on the horizon and it's really from here that the 'tourist area' starts. From Dumfries its possible to follow the coast, via the A710. Certainly along this road is a decent privately owned holiday site at 'Sandyhills' situated right on the beach. Decent amenities but no club, bar etc. To shop you need to make your way another few miles to Dalbeattie, the nearest small town, perhaps taking in the scenic little village of Rockcliffe en route.
Dalbeattie gives access to the A711 coastal road which winds its way round to Kirkcudbright (pronounced Kirkoobree), or you can make your way to the next sizeable town of Castle Douglas. Of course you could just stay on the A75 which takes you somewhat more directly to Castle Douglas.
This town does have a council run caravan site set in a public park at the side of Carlingwark Loch and about three minutes walk into the town. Afraid I can't help with what the pricing strucure is like or the standard of amenities.
From Castle Douglas you can head North on the A713, along the side of Loch Ken. Up here there is one privately owned site on the shore of the loch (mixed statics and touring/tenting) and a couple of certified locations. One of which is situated at Galloway Activity Centre, towards the north end and is attached to the CCC. No EHUs here but there is 24hr use of the centre's toilets, washing facilities and cafe. Good location if you want to sail, paddle, climb, power boat or hire a boat to fish. Again situated on the shore of Loch Ken. Price per night this year is £14 (Loch Ken is about 12miles long but not much wider than about a half mile at any point.
From Castle Douglas and along the A75 is the turning for Kirkcudbright (The other end of the A711). It's about 5 miles to the town centre. The town is a small fishing port situated a few miles from the sea up the River Dee. Enough shops to be interesting,get provisions, fuel, have a walk round. The town is Scotlands 'Artists Town' so there are a number of galleries that might take your interest, as well as a castle and some decent eating houses. It also has another council run caravan site set on the hillside overlooking the town and river.
If you cross the bridge in Kirkcudbright and follow the opposite river bank, towards Borgue, you pick up the signs for Brighouse Bay and Ross Bay. Both are reached down the same backroad which then splits and are about five miles from Kirkcudbright.
On the Ross Bay road is Solway View, attached to Balmangan Farm. This is a CCC CL, so a max of five caravans on hard standings & EHUs, together with a camping field which does have a limited number of EHUs. Site is only about four years old and still developing but it does have a nice new little toilet block. It's situated overlooking the Dee estuary. Pleasant little site and expect to pay a little bit more than basic CL prices. Again they do have a web site.
At the bottom of the other road is Brighouse Bay Holiday Park, where we are based. This site is a very different kettle of fish. Open all year, it has a number of large touring areas set amongst trees (The areas are really what used to be different fields) and a number of areas for static vans. There are two toilet blocks set about two hundred yards from each other, one of them being unisex, and both with clothes washing facilities. There is a well stocked shop at the reception block and at the other end of the site is a clubhouse with bar, concert room, swimming pool and games room. Meals are served. The site has its own 9 & 18 hole golf courses. The 18 hole course is hard but set in spectacular surroundings. There is also a stable for riding lessons and pony trecking. The site is set along the edge of Brighouse Bay itself, behind a wood which runs the entire side of the bay, giving easy access to the beach. (Google Brighouse Bay or Gillespie Leisure for more info'). This is not a cheap site but is very easy going. However for many parts of the year (except July/August & Bank Holidays) they do accept Camping Cheques. If you don't know what these are you can again have a google session but basically they are pre bought vouchers, costing about £14 each, and give you a pitch with EHU for two people for one night. I believe that at Brighouse you use 6 vouchers and get another night free or use ten vouchers and get four nights free (You would need to check). The site is a long way from main roads and there is very little traffic noise and because its rather removed from civilisation benefits from very little light polution at night. (I might add at this point that although we're based here we have nothing to do with the site or its running.)
Well, we've got about half of the way along the A75 now and my fingers are getting blisters. So I think its time to leave it and have another go at a later date. On a closing note and just for Vickoir - google 7Stanes and you will find info re' specially set up mountain bike trails, all of which are easily reachable in this area. I hope that everyone else has found this at least a bit useful.