Located on the banks of the River Cree, the prosperous market town on Newton Stewart has a rich and varied history. William Stewart founded this village in the latter part of the 17th
century and the name changed to Newton Douglas in 1170, when Sir William Douglas started to manufacture carpet here. The name reverted back to Newton Stewart when his endeavours failed. This town is best known for its wool market, even though there have been attempts to establish other types of industries here. Newton Stewart is hailed as the "Gateway to the Galloway Hills" with its bridge across the River Cree.
This village is a virtual paradise for hikers and birdwatchers. Cairnsmore and Wigtown Bay are also nature preserves and home to nesting birds during the winter and spring. The many trails throughout the area are perfect for walkers and cyclists and there are an unlimited number of coastal pathways available. The mountains and hills provide the backdrop for scenic hikes and walks. Cairnsmore of Fleet at a height of 2330 feet and the Merrick, 2764 feet high, are excellent opportunities for an outing. On a fine day, your can see England, Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man from the top of either one. These are just two of the many peaks you can climb in this area for a day of strenuous hill walking.
The Newton Stewart Museum contains exquisite displays detailing the history and past lives of the village.
There is something here in Newton Stewart for everyone. Explore the ruins of St. Ninian's Church and visit the nearby museum. Book lovers will certainly want to make a visit to Wigtown Book Town, only 7 miles away. Here you will find 25 businesses all related to books. This is also the site of the Scottish Book Festival at the end of September and the various other festivals held during the year such as the Galloway Food Festival and the Spirit of Bladnoch and Book Town Festival. Take a guided tour of the Bladnoch Distillery to see where the fine whisky of the area is distilled.
Golfers on vacation are not forgotten in Newton Stewart with the 18hole Newton Stewart Golf Course. Three forms a of shooting are permitted here, but each has its own season. Opportunities for all sorts of activities are available, such as swimming, bowls, curling, sailing, horseback riding and tennis. You will find it hard to get to see and do everything that Newton Stewart has to offer in one vacation, so you'll just have to make plans to return.