Our tails were wagging with excitement when we got invited to visit Verdant Leisure Park at Queensberry Bay! Storm packed up her diva suitcase, and before you know it, we were on the road. We were on our way to Dumfries and Galloway.
Before we delve into our amazing weekend, a small note. This lovely holiday was gifted, but our opinions and reviews of the place are completely independent.
Storm and I arrived, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. The first thing we noticed when we pulled up to the park was the stunning coastline. The views are outstanding and that first drive-in was amazing. Storm saw the beach and got very excited – we don’t get to the beach very often!
We pulled up at the reception and had a very warm welcoming greeting by a lovely woman who was very enthusiastic about the Queensberry Bay. She gave us plenty of details and was very knowledgeable about the local area and dog friendly places! Her enthusiasm was the perfect start to our holiday and we couldn’t wait to explore.
Before heading to the room, she told us all about the park and information on our pod. We were handed our keys, map to the park and guide on the local area. Everything was bagged and sanitised which was good during these uncertain times. The pods had a covid seal so you knew if someone had been in and the tv remote was sanitised and bagged like the room key.
The Glamping Pods are absolutely stunning they offer the best view in the park. They have a murphy bed which offers so much space as when the bed goes up there is a couch to sit on underneath. There was also a pop-up table for meals should you require. The weather was so nice we didn’t actually use this as when were eating at the glamping pod, we sat on the porch on the table and chairs. The porch itself was escape proof and Storm loved this feature she would sit out there enjoying a treat and watching the world go by. There was a small kitchen area we used to cook breakfast every morning and a small bathroom with shower, toilet and sink.
There is no restaurant on site currently, but this is currently underway and should be opening in 2021. Only a short walk away is The Powfoot Hotel which is dog friendly in the outdoor seating. It’s around a mile from the site but the walk is wonderful and with the stunning views it doesn’t feel like that long of a walk. You can choose to walk along the beach, or you can walk along the road area. It is quiet the only traffic on the road is campsite or beach traffic and the speed limit is low at 10mph.
There is a dog wash but it was out of use due to COVID. It would be great for when your furry friend comes on and off the beach. If you are planning going on the beach I would definitely recommend wellies or a second pair of shoes as its very wet and there is a patch of mud just before entering the sandy beach which you have to make it through. You can jump across the grassy area which I would recommend as the mud wasn’t obvious to me on the first day and I almost fell when I thought it was sand.
On the first day of exploring we had an early start. We headed to the beach by 6:30am for a gorgeous sunrise. We had the beach to ourselves Storm loved it. It was pretty wet, but she has never been happier. She had her ball and she was off lead playing fetch. We walked the mile along to the hotel and back along the road so she could dry off. While walking along the beach the sun-rise offered amazing pictures. After heading back to the pod having some breakfast, we decided to head to the local town of Annan and have a look around.
Annan is a quaint little town with some unique shops we found two shops that were dog friendly. The first was The Original Factory Shop, we brought Storm in and she loved the pet section as any dog would. The staff were very welcoming and loved having her in the shop.
We also found that The Dumfries & Galloway Canine Rescue Centre Charity Shop was also dog friendly. This charity shop had clothes brick a brac and they also had a little pet section within in it full of some second-hand things and some new handmade toys it was a very cute shop and worth a visit in with your pooch.
We then headed to Annandale Distillery. This place is lovely and well worth the visit. If you do go be sure to check out the bathrooms, they are fabulous, and they won a platinum award.
The whole distillery is dog friendly apart from the tours this is because it goes through food production areas. We stopped in the coffee shop it’s incredibly busy and usually fully booked so we were lucky we got a table. I would recommend booking to avoid disappointment. There is plenty of outdoor tables in the courtyard too.
In the Maltings Coffee Shop they have COVID measures spot on. The menu is available on your smartphone after completing the track and trace or they have paper versions if you don’t have a smartphone. You order at the till point and they give you a buzzer to go up and get it when it’s ready.
We also went into the shop and the staff member within there was so friendly and doted over Storm. They have their range of whiskey’s in the shop on site and also have merch including pens and hats.
Visiting Gretna Gateway
In the afternoon we decided to head to Gretna Gateway after recommendations from the reception staff at Queensberry Bay.
Gretna Gateway was fabulous it’s incredibly dog friendly in the outdoor areas with plenty of water bowls dotted about for your furry friend and Mountain Warehouse allows your dog to join you inside to shop with you.
We walked on the beach but missed the sunrise, we took some pictures of the site and glamping pod. We cooked some breakfast and decided to head out in search of more adventures… We decided to go to Dumfries.
We found that it being a Sunday mostly everything was shut. We did manage to find a Flea market that is dog friendly and is open every weekend. There was also a dog friendly stall which storm picked a bone off of.
We then had a wander up to the town centre and managed to find some places that were open, so we went into Mountain Warehouse and Storm picked up a ball (that we bought her) and forgot all manners and decided to lie and play in the shop.
The staff were lovely and just laughed at her. There was also Waterstones that was there, but we didn’t go in, but they are also dog friendly. If you are there on a Tuesday Thursday or Saturday, then you should definitely check out The Dog House. It’s a cute little pet shop tucked underneath the stairs in the town centre very cute and sad that we missed it.
We then decided to try and track down some food which again because it was Sunday proved difficult, but we did find Lockard’s Farm. It was great and it did have some dog rules but nothing that is too imposing and that you wouldn’t expect. The food was very nice, and the portions sizes were generous.
Back to Gretna
With not much open we decided to head back to Gretna Gateway for the afternoon. We visited some of the shops that we had missed the previous afternoon and had a look in Mountain Warehouse for the second time that day, so Storm felt a part of the action.
Whilst in the area we also visited The Gretna Green Famous Blacksmith Shop, unfortunately, it was closed but we did get a chance to look round the area and grab some picture and we saw a wedding taking place too.
Enjoying the Final Day
Home day…. We got up early to see the sunrise from the beach… It was a bit mistier on this morning but that didn’t take too long to clear up. The sunrise was amazing to see through the fog. We had breakfast packed up and got everything in the car took one last look at the amazing view and headed up the road.
We did a pit stop halfway up the road which happened to be Glasgow, so we had to visit Just Nuisance. Storm had a puppicino, we had some cake and coffee’s and we did a little bit of shopping Storm got a bottle of Pawfume and some yummy carob treats. Not to forget the many cuddles from Mrs JN. This really is a must-visit. It’s one of Storm’s favourite shops.
We had an absolute fab weekend! I would like to thank Dog Furiendly for sending us away and to Verdant Leisure for having us!