Set in the coastal village of Garlieston this camping and caravanning cs site is adjacent to the larger and we thought more comfortable caravan club site. This cs site is surrounded by trees and a stream and was a perfect haven for midges on the still warm 2 evenings that we stayed there. So beware!
Another stay at Garlieston lodge. In our opinion having stayed at many sites, this is one of the best. This site consistently wins awards, mainly due to the hard work of the owners in developing the site. It is well maintained and most people we have met here are 'regulars' who return to this beautiful site time and time again. The facilities are excellent and more than adequate for what, after all, is a small site. Anyone thinking of staying here for the first time should read all of the reviews and book early as it fills up quickly! finally, Garlieston itself, a small charming harbour village. Very friendly with a local pub and 2 small shops.
If you spend even five minutes reading the reviews of this site, you will see they tend to be glowing.
So here's our take-
First of all when you come through the gates, it feels a little Steptoe & Sons in the yard. There is machinery and an old caravan and sheds and junk. However the owners were very helpful and took the time to explain lots about the site and the village.
The pitches are a decent size but I wouldn't say they are enormous and only about 3 of them have a really good pond-side location. The others are further back. Luckily we had specifically asked for a front pitch and the owner had kindly facilitated that for us. He also helped us unhook and push into position so we had a great view. There are no serviced pitches but there are a couple of fresh water points and the pitches are level and gravelled.
We had a couple of niggles-
- There is no recycling - all waste goes into landfill. Also the bins were not emptied enough and for the duration of our visit they were always full to overflowing.
- There is only one waste water drain. Both it and the chemical toilet disposal are at the top of the site and dragging full tanks / aquarolls up to the top is hard work.
- There are signs asking you not to let your dog foul the site, but there are no dog poo bins.
- There is a little island in the middle of the pond and it could be very pretty, but instead it is bare.
Despite these niggles, this really is a lovely site. It has a very peaceful feel and was generally very quiet. There is quite a variety of wildlife too; watching the resident moorhen and her chicks chase off everything from the pond was quite entertaining!
There are a couple of places to walk your dog-
1) Over the bridge on the pond and into trees at the back of the site.
2) Over at the far right of the site (when looking at the pond) there is a grass path that leads off down the side of the pond, passed the pigs to a gate. Watch here because there is an electric fence that is live and right at the side of the walk. However at the gate you can then go left into the village / harbour, or right up another track across fields.
Garlieston itself is lovely. It is like stepping back in time 40-50 years. It is very small though and there is very little in the village itself, other than a Post Office (didn't go in), a small shop (very limited stock, you're better going to Whithorn where there is a well-stocked Costcutter) and a pub - The Harbour Inn (good food, great village atmosphere and allows dogs). It is surprising because also in the village there is a fairly large Caravan Club site (80-100+ pitches) so there are a lot of visitors - you would think the village would have cashed in on the tourists. I would have expected a coffee shop, a gift shop, maybe a tourist information point, possibly a gallery or two. Partly this is what gives it its charm, but in this day and age, it is surprising.
There are great coastal walks from Garlieston. We did one Southbound to Galloway House Gardens and Rigg Bay - which is lovely, but there are others too, both along the coast and inland.
Overall we had a really great stay here and will definitely return.
We have just returned from this wonderful site after 10 relaxing, quiet and peaceful days. The owner gives a great welcome and helps with the set up if needed, as well as telling you about the site and local amenities.
Site is in an excellent location with generous pitches all with very good outlooks, and has very clean and well maintained shower and toilet facilities. There is a very well thought of light system above the block to inform you if the shower or toilet are in use.
The pub just down the road gives a very warm welcome and serves very good food. Site is located near to excellent walks, cycle routes and is a short drive from Galloway Forest for more of the same.
Our first visit to this terrific site, we had the friendliest welcome from Rusty and his son who explained everything we needed to know, including the opening hours of the pub.
It was tranquil and relaxed - no unnecessary rules and you got the feeling that all they wanted was for you to have a good time. It's no surprise that this is such a wonderful site as the family can be seen quietly working on it the whole time.
The quirky light system on the loo and shower is a good system and despite our doubts we didn't have to wait for them. We didn't venture far but can vouch for the meals in the pub, the friendly locals and the coastal walks. We will definitely be back.
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