Dumfries and Galloway is in Scotland. It has a population of around 150,000 and covers approximately 640,000 hectares. Here is a list of nearby or neighbouring counties: Cumbria, East Ayrshire, Isle of Man, Scottish Borders, South Ayrshire, South Lanarkshire.
Dumfries and Galloway (called Dun Phrės is Gall-Ghaidhealaibh in Scottish Gaelic) was created in 1975 from the historic counties of Dumfriesshire, Wigtownshire and Kirkcudbrightshire. It has a coastline on the Irish Sea and beautiful landscape, which has attracted artists and writers to the area for many years. Kirkcudbright is a coastal town and between the mid nineteenth and mid twentieth century was home to an artists colony, whose residents included painters David Gauld, Sir James Guthrie and Charles Oppenheimer. Today the town continues to be popular with artists and crafts people and has a number of galleries as well as studios and workshops. Events held in the town include the Spring Fling and the Kirkcudbright Art and Crafts Trail, which attract thousands of visitors who come to see a wide variety of handmade arts and crafts. The area also hosts a number of literary, dramatic, musical and other performing arts events, reflecting the rich local cultural history.
Popular places to visit in Dumfries and Galloway include Caerlaverock Castle, which has a water filled moat and was first constructed in the 13th century, though rebuilt in subsequent centuries having being the scene of various conflicts. The castle is located in the north of the environmentally important Caerlaverock National Nature Reserve. Drumlanrig Castle was built during the 17th century using pink sandstone and visitors can appreciate the Renaissance architecture, period interior furnishings and works of art such as tapestries and paintings, including work by the artists Thomas Gainsborough, Holbein and Rembrandt. The surrounding grounds have beautiful gardens and host a range of outdoor events and activities. Visited by hundreds of thousands of people each year, Galloway Forest Park is popular with hill walkers and in 2009 became the first area within the United Kingdom to be given the status of Dark Sky Park, meaning that it is free from artificial light pollution, which promotes astronomy.
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