Some of the very best of Scotland's renowned landscapes are in Dumfries and Galloway. They attract visitors to the region and provide the setting for where people live, work and play. Three National Scenic Areas have been designated on the river estuaries and bays of the Solway Firth. A further ten Regional Scenic Areas recognise and help celebrate the most attractive upland areas, glens and coastlines. These special landscapes are of substantial economic value to the region and of great importance for our quality of life.
Dumfries and Galloway contains a wide range of different landscapes. The coastline, which extends to 215 miles (350 km), stretches from the tidal flats of the Solway Firth in the east, flats on a scale not found elsewhere in Scotland, to the sea cliffs of the Mull of Galloway, Scotland's most southerly point. The highest mountains in southern Scotland and Britain's largest Forest Park (also designated as the UK's first Dark Sky Park) lie to the north within a landscape divided by river valleys that stretch to the coastal plains where they open out into a series of estuaries, bays, inlets and beaches. The rich pattern of farmland between the hills and coast contains many picturesque small towns and villages.
The landscape of Dumfries and Galloway is described in the Dumfries and Galloway Landscape Assessment, which provides guidance on managing change. Copies of the Landscape Assessment are available from Scottish Natural Heritage.