All-action Scottish park sports its £2.5m makeover
The family owners of a holiday park in southern Scotland, recently subject to a £2.5 million makeover, have thrown down a series of sporting challenges to guests.
They include pitting their fishing skills against tiger trout, tackling a wildlife safari, and shattering clay pigeons launched from a 140-foot high tower.
Westlands Country Park in Dumfries and Galloway unveiled its line-up of attractions for lovers of country sports and the natural world this spring.
The 100-acre park is now also the setting for a new development of luxury lodges to own and rent, and fully serviced super-pitches with a five-star amenity building.
Manager Peter Taylor, a member of the park-owning family, hopes that Westlands will soon hold the reputation as the north’s go-to destination for challenge-seekers.
Tilted both at novices and professional sports people, the park has three acres of fly and coarse fishing lakes stocked with a wide range of species including 12lb tiger trout.
Westlands is also an Olympic-standard clay pigeon shooting venue with a 140-foot tower – the highest in Scotland – from where clays are propelled to simulate driven birds.
The 22-acres of shooting ground also include many other automated traps from where clays can be triggered by voice activation of the electronic launching system.
Professional shooting events are already being staged at Westlands, though shooting tuition from qualified instructors is also available for those new to the sport.
But for guests who prefer to engage more gently with the great outdoors, the park also provides a network of discovery trails in its grounds covering both woodland and moorland.
Wildlife safaris provide the chance to capture on camera a raft of different inhabitants including deer, red squirrels, badgers, and many types of visiting and resident birds, including raptors.
But despite the away-from-it-all character of the picture-postcard park, Peter Taylor says its facilities are entirely focussed on meeting modern visitor expectations.
An expansion of Westlands’ current cafe-restaurant and reception building is already underway which will include a sporting equipment and clothing retail outlet.
The lodges, some of which have private hot-tubs, are firmly in the luxury bracket, and super-fast broadband means guests can easily upload photos of their sporting accomplishments.
“Our family has owned parks in Scottish borders for over forty years, and we know that visitors and holiday home buyers today are keen to enjoy new experiences,” said Peter.
“We have made a big commitment in money, time and energy to creating a park where people can make the most of their leisure time in a number of different ways.
“But whilst we are immensely proud of the high standards of our sporting facilities, I hope that guests will remember most the glorious scenery and friendly atmosphere here,” he added.
There is more information about Westlands on its website at www.westlands.co.uk