Heather Hut in Drumlanrig Woods


Thornhill is an ideal centre for local or more distant exploration.

The cities of Glasgow, Edinburgh and Carlisle are each just over a one hour drive away.

Gretna Green synonymous worldwide with romantic marriage is 45 minutes away,
as is the World Heritage site of New Lanark .

The history and heritage of our district are interwoven with the lives of many noted people.
Our national poet, Robert Burns was several years in Nithsdale,
firstly as farmer in Ellisland , then afterwards as an exciseman in Dumfries, until his death.

Joseph Laing Waugh was a Thornhill man who wrote in Scots dialect and set some of his sentimental novels in Thornhill. There is a memorial bust of him in the wall of the former parish hall that now houses Thomas Tosh.

A much grander column and bust further up the road memorialises Joseph Thomson, Africa explorer, after whom Thomson's gazelle and Thomson Falls are named. He was born in the adjacent village of Penpont, where a
heritage centre
was opened in 2015 in the cottage of his birth.
This same cottage was used as the armoury for the Penpont section of the Dumfriesshire Rifle Volunteers from the 1860s. Their target ground is nearby.

Between Keir and Penpont is Courthill Smiddy where the first bicycle was built by the inventor, Kirkpatrick McMillan about the year 1840.

Numerous memorials throughout the district recall the strife between the Presbyterian Church in Scotland and the Stewart kings as they sought to impose the form of the Church of England on Scotland.
Scottish protestants, fearing the re-imposition of Roman Catholicism, resisted strongly. (Information)
The Covenanting Trail links some of these memorials. (More information)

Local museums are the Sanquhar Tollbooth Museum with displays on local knitting, (select "History of Sanquhar Knitting"), mining history, local literature, archaeology, community life and town's jail. Telephone : 01659-50186

The Museum of Lead Mining , Wanlockhead includes tours of lead mines and reconstructed cottage interiors. Miners' library.

Gold-panning centre by museum has hosted World Gold-Panning competitions in 1992 and the British Gold-Panning Championships from 1996 onwards.

A recent addition to sites of interest, 20 minutes up the A76, is the Crawick Multiverse. A major 55 acre land restoration project has transformed a former open cast coal mine into a spectacular artform and public amenity.

The artist/sculptor Andy Goldsworthy has a studio nearby, and several of his more permanent creations are sited locally.

Locally there are the studios and workshops of several craft workers, for example Euchan Silks and Fiona Allardyce-Lewis