Instead of heading to the Highlands of Scotland, veer away from the crowds and aim for the Borders and other areas of southern Scotland.

There you'll find great hiking, some space to see the stars in its dark sky parks and the chance to learn about the writers and history of Scotland. 

Luke Mitchell lives in southern Scotland. Follow him as he shows you his perfect day.

Your Guide to scotland

I live in the south of Scotland just outside a town named Moffat, where we have great scenery and beautiful attractions. I love the countryside lifestyle as it allows me the ability to live on my farm while also having the town community just 10 minutes away.

Why you should visit South Scotland

Grey mares tail Loch skeen
Grey Mares Tail trail will lead you to beautiful views of Loch Skeen © Luke Mitchell

The south of Scotland has some of the most historic and beautiful locations you will ever come across. Many of our star attractions have ties to the great poet Robert Burns. So to put it somewhat poetically, once you have visited Scotland, you will forever desire the air you breathed, the scents you smelled and the senses you discovered on your travels here.

There’s something not just different but magical about what Scotland has to offer.

Luke’s perfect day in South Scotland


Three questions with Luke

We asked Luke to answer three questions to help you plan your trip to Southern Scotland. 

What’s the one place someone should visit to get a better understanding of Southern Scotland?

Grey Mare’s Tail. While I’ve never enjoyed hiking (I’m more of a dive-right-into-the-water type of guy), when I discovered this tall waterfall, I agreed to the 45-to-80-minute hike to the top. And let me tell you, it is worth every single step. When you reach the top and look out at one of the most beautiful lochs Scotland has to offer (Loch Skeen), you will be mesmerized 

What’s a signature dish they should try?

The Scottish are well known for eating the offal pudding haggis (though I don’t happen to be a fan). You can eat haggis in fine-dining style at the Globe Inn in Dumfries.

If someone wants to buy a souvenir, what would you recommend?

I’d have to recommend something tartan, or else a bottle of Scotch whisky. You can get these items elsewhere, but will they have been made with love by a Scotsman/woman? I recommend stocking up at Annandale Distillery in Annan.  

Want a longer itinerary to follow? Check out Kay Gillespie's 7-day road trip through Southern Scotland.

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A family looks out of the Mull of Galloway's lighthouse © Emily Macinnes/Lonely Planet

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