Dumfries and Galloway is one of the unitary council areas of Scotland and is located in the Western Southern Uplands area of the country. The region is made up of 4 divisions; Wigtownshire (SE), Stewarty of Kirkcudbright (SE Central), Nithsdale (N and Central) and Annandale & Eskdale (SW).
It is here that Scotland welcomes the vast majority of its visitors from England via west coast train services. Meanwhile hundreds of cars cross the very busy unmanned border point located near Gretna.
Further west, at the port of Stranraer Scotland is linked to Northern Ireland with nearby Cairnryan now being the ferry terminal for sea crossings to Belfast.
This region has some of the most romantic ruined abbeys and castles that are to be found anywhere in Scotland. In terms of wildlife the diverse coastline is home to a swathe of species and is also a key stop-off point on the annual migration routes of countless birds.
This was also the area of Scotland where Scotland’s national bard, Robert Burns, lived and died. His body was eventually moved to its final location in a Dumfries cemetery, the Burns Mausoleum, in September 1817.
Where the mausoleum sits the town of Dumfries is the region’s administrative centre. Dumfries is also home to the biggest club in this part of Scotland – Queen of the South.
Scottish Cup runners up in 2008 the Dumfries side enjoyed a single season in the UEFA Cup qualifying rounds. Unfortunately, the team lost narrowly in both legs to the Danes of FC Nordsjaelland but it still remains a period few of the club’s loyal fans will forget.
Nearby are another Scottish Professional league side Annan Athletic who replaced Gretna FC in the league when financially irregularities hit the team from Gretna. In the lower leagues both Dalbeattie Star and the reformed Gretna 2008 play in the Lowland League which sits one tier beneath the SPFL.
SOUTH OF SCOTLAND LEAGUE
Sitting just below the Lowland League the South of Scotland Football League sits at level 6 of the Scottish football pyramid system. It sits parallel to the EoSFL (East of Scotland League) and the new WoSFL (West of Scotland Football League).
Historically a league has existed in this part of Scotland since 1892. At the moment the league is currently composed of 14 member clubs with Bonnyton Thistle having left the set up in 2020 to join the WoSFL.
Since 2014–15, and subject to both clubs meeting the licensing criteria for promotion, the overall winners of the EoSFL and the South of Scotland Football League take part in an end of season play-off for a place in the Lowland Football League.
Dumfries and Galloway is one of the most diverse and interesting regions in Scotland. And for those in search of football the small, homely stadiums dotted around do not disappoint.
With 200 miles of stunning coastline, rolling hills and beautiful forests, there is no better place to escape the big cities and explore a variety of football grounds both homely and traditional whether on two feet or on four wheels.