The Drill Hall in Whithorn, in the Machars Region of Galloway, is a former Cameronian church turned WWII 'Dad's Army' drill hall turned community storeroom. In the mid 2000s it was lovingly transformed into the stunning home that we are now delighted to share with Airbnb guests. Whithorn is near the site of St Ninian's arrival, reputed to be the first to bring Christianity to Scotland. The light on hills and sea is remarkable, the people friendly, and historical/archaeological sites abound.
Our house is spacious and peaceful. Your hosts are a Bostonian (Catherine) and a hotel consultant/former hotelier. (Julian). We moved to this amazing house in late 2016.
The Machars is attractive to pilgrims, artists, walkers, bird watchers, bikers, and anyone fascinated by the rich history of the area.
Whithorn has a remarkable museum that incorporates a newly created Iron Age round house and a display of Celtic crosses only matched by Iona's.
We are close to the official Dark Sky of the Galloway Forest (about 20 miles) but in the next village is the Galloway Astronomy Centre which, from September through March, can show you the miracle of the Milky Way, the planets, and nearby galaxies through its 16" telescope. Just to the north of us is Wigtown, famous for its annual autumn book festival and site of the infamous martyrdom of the Covenanters in Wigtown Bay. Garlieston (5 miles from us) is where the D-Day Mulberry Harbours were developed. On the west of the peninsula is Gavin Maxwell's home (author of 'Ring of Bright Water'). There are standing stones, lovely formal gardens (including Logan Botanic Garden and Castle Kennedy), footpaths ... and did we mention the views? We often hear that his area is like Cornwall but without the people! Because we are on the Gulf Stream, the climate is moderate. We rarely have frost, much less snow.
Our ground floor guest room has its own TV (operated through an Amazon Fire remote control), shower, WC, and basin, towels, and two guest robes. It is quite private and conveniently located next to the front door. The king-size bed has memory foam mattress with duvet. There is plenty of wardrobe and cubbyhole space. You have a Tassimo coffee/tea maker in the room.
In fine weather you might want to picnic on our patio, where we have set up a table and chairs.
We ask that guests not eat in their bedroom (drinking is okay) and will provide refrigerator space in our kitchen. Breakfast is hot or cold by arrangement. We encourage guests to eat lunch and dinner out during the day and can provide a number of lunch and dinner recommendations. If we are not otherwise using the upstairs gallery for community or music activities, guests may take their drinks up there, play games, or even use the piano. Catherine might volunteer to play the violin with you!
The sitting room is reserved for our use. In general we will assume that our guests are out for the day and would like to have 'lights out' in the public areas by 11 PM.
Interaction with guests
You will find maps, guidebooks, and leaflets in your room. Feel free to ask questions about the area. Bikes will have to be left outside and parking is in the main road -- our lane is only 8' 2" wide and parking at the property is pretty much non-existent, though you can offload luggage in front of the house.
- Shoes off in the house, please! Guests may drink in their room (we provide coffee/tea facilities, too) but please eat in the kitchen, though we will not provide cooking facilities. Depending on our community and music schedule, the upstairs gallery may be available to guests to hang out, play games, or play the piano up to 10 PM. We are glad to greet you with a cup of something in our living room, but this normally will be reserved for our private use. You'll enjoy the Amazon Fire TV we have set up in your room.
- Breakfast is continental. There are local shops and cafes to purchase picnics, and we'll provide refrigerator space for your food. You have tea/coffee-making facilities in your room. Local pubs are great for dinner!
- We encourage our guests to be out an about during the day. A keysafe code will be provided in case we are not in.
Charity development consultant; singer, violinist, hiker, traveller, naturalised Brit! My Airbnb co-host, Julian, is a consultant PR/communications expert for the fields of tourism, hospitality, and the arts. We were married at Salisbury Cathedral in 2014 and fled to Scotland in 2016 both to enjoy our (ahem) mature years and continue our working lives surrounded by hills and sea. My heritage is Scots and I seem to be surrounded by relatives in this gorgeous corner of SW Scotland: Wilson, Sherwood, Hunter, Brown, Strachan, Sherwood, Peacock, and lots of Clarks (my maiden name) ...