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The small but lively market town of Dumfries can be found a stone’s throw from Solway First and the Nith River. In order to divide their time between the 13th century castle located in Caerlaverock National Nature Reserve, the Greyfriars Church, which is home to an iconic Robert Burns Statue, and the poet’s favourite watering hole, The Globe Inn, visitors can rely on car rental. Additionally, having personal transportation means that tourists can also venture to other top cities in Scotland, such as the largest of them all, Glasgow, or even popular spots in northern England, including Carlisle.
Who to Book With
There are several car hire companies found in the centre, particularly at the train station, and on outskirts of Dumfries. Enterprise, Sixt and Avis are the best-known names, rivalled by locally-run outfits such as Glenrental, T-Mac Van Hire and Motorparty. Booking a hire vehicle online before heading to Scotland often saves driving visitors money.
Best Time to Go
Summer is regarded as the best time to visit Dumfries, although this is also the period when accommodation and rental vehicles can become difficult to obtain if not booked in advance. If visiting the nearby national parks and outdoor areas, the best time to visit depends on your weather preferences.
Need to Know Essentials
In order to collect a rental car in Dumfries, you need to provide the following:
- Valid British driving license
- A second form of photo ID
- The booking credit card
- Printed rental confirmation
Dumfries’ town centre is compact enough to navigate on foot. Roads here also sometimes become and finding a parking space can be tricky, meaning that driving in the town centre may seem like a pointless task. In most spaces, both on and off the street, parking discs are required. The Loreburn Shopping Centre is often used by drivers as a safe and reliable place to leave vehicles. Getting to other destinations that surround Dumfries is made simple by a series of well-developed and well-linked bypasses and motorways, however.
Dumfries has only a small public transport network, meaning that daytrips out of the area usually require visitors to have their own vehicles. Those that haven't arranged their own transport must rely on the limited amount of buses and taxis that run around the town.
While there are no inner-city rail services around Dumfries, the town has its own train station. The majority of services run to Glasgow Central and Newcastle, stopping off at plenty of small towns along the way. These services are primarily supplied by Scotrail.
Taxis in Dumfries are often commended for being remarkably cheaper than those in other Scottish towns and cities. Dumfries Taxis and Dumfries Taxis Direct are the main companies that operate around town. They usually use the meter in for short journeys, but prices for longer trips can be negotiated beforehand.
Stagecoach is the main supplier of bus transport around Dumfries and to the towns that surround it. Most services can be caught from Great King Street, the Burns Statue and the Loreburn shopping centre. A Megarider ticket, which can be used for up to a week, currently costs around £11.
Those that have explored all there is on offer in Dumfries have a range of, mostly outdoor, towns and attractions to choose from if car hire has been arranged. There is everything from landmarks, such as Carelaverock Castle and Castle Douglas, quaint villages, including Moniaive, and museums like the Devil's Porridge War Museum to explore.
Galloway Forest Park - This can be reached by heading west out of Dumfries and along the A75. A range of outdoor activities await those that make the journey. Many parties like to head here in winter for the most extreme hiking conditions and to gaze at the snowy mountain tops. A stop-off at Castle Douglas can be made along the way by heading slightly south.
Carlisle - Connecting to the A74 and heading south of the border to Carlisle leads tourists to England's northernmost city. While there are attractions in the centre of town, many like to take advantage of the nearby access to Hadrian's Wall, the Eden Valley and the Lake District.
Glasgow - This city speaks for itself as Scotland's largest with 600,000 inhabitants and the home of the country's two best football clubs, whose deadly rivalry is infamous around the world. On a more cultural note, the city has been named a UNESCO Creative City, a UNESCO City of Music and a European City of Culture. The destination can be reached by heading north of Dumfries and straight up the A74 and M74 at Lockerbie.