PRESS RELEASE : See Great Art and Super Scenery on the Spring Fling Magical Mystery Tour

3rd May 2012

Bus tours, bike rides and guided walks are the perfect way to enjoy Scotland’s Top Open Studios Event

Magical Mystery Tours, bike rides and guided walks – there are lots of fun ways to see great art while enjoying fabulous countryside during this year’s Spring Fling open studios event.

Every year large numbers of visitors flock to Dumfries and Galloway to see some of Scotland’s brightest and best artists and craft makers in their own studios. They are also attracted by the region’s fabulous landscapes, striking coastlines, charming towns and pretty villages.

What’s even better is that they can do all this at any pace that suits them – on foot, by bike or aboard a bus in the company of other friendly art-lovers. All take place during the Spring Fling festival which runs throughout the Diamond Jubilee holiday from 2-5 June.

The Magical Mystery Tour adds another dimension as well – surprise. Four separate bus tours (one each day) will cover the north, east, south and west of the region. But only the driver will know which studios they will stop at. What is guaranteed, however, is that it will be a superb chance to see some fantastic arts and crafts, and to meet some fascinating characters.

Leah Black, Spring Fling Manager, said: ‘The tours are an ideal way to visit some of the studios, with the mystery element adding some extra fun. And with someone else doing the driving it’s also a great way to relax and see fabulous countryside.

‘The people on the tours tend to be a sociable crowd, so the tours are also an excellent way to have a good day out with new people who share similar interests.

‘Anyone who wants a place needs to book their ticket as soon as possible as seats are limited and are already going fast.’

This year there will be three CTC led bike rides (on the Saturday, Sunday and Monday) one taking in Tynron and Moniaive, another through the Machars and Minigaff and the last through forest and along the coast from Kippford through Dalbeattie to Rockcliffe. The rides suit most abilities (though the -Sunday one, lead by Ted Norfolk, is a little more strenuous) and will each stop at five to six studios – booking is essential, and people should take their own bikes.

Mike Gray from Dumfries, who will be leading two of the cycle rides, said: ‘They are a really sociable day out. The roads we go along are very quiet, you get to see some wonderful countryside, to meet interesting people and see some lovely art.’

The Spring Fling Guided Walk is on Sunday, 3 June and goes from Rockliffe, through Colvend, Barnbarroch and Kippford, taking in the studios of watercolourist Philippa Sinclair, ceramicist Christine Smith and wildlife painter John Threlfall. It will be led by Robin Hogg, who runs Galloway Holidays in Castle Douglas.

Robin said: ‘It was a great success last year with local people and Spring Fling visitors from far and wide taking part. This year we will be having a gentle walk of six or seven miles which will take us through the Dalbeattie forest and along some lovely coastline and through four very pretty little coastal communities. There is lots to see on the way, like the remains of an ancient fort, a garden full of driftwood sculptures, and fantastic views across the estuary.’

As well as visiting the artists’ studios, the walkers may drop in at one of several pubs towards the end for some refreshments.

Leah said: ‘The cycle rides and walks are tremendously popular, because they are such a pleasant way to spend a day with friends and family, while meeting new people and getting to see some of the best artists and craft makers in Dumfries and Galloway. What’s even better is that they are free, though places must be booked in advance.

‘The walk is also a good way to relax after the excitement of the Spring Fling Ceilidh and Hog Roast which takes place the night before.’


For bookings and further details

• For full details about the tours, bike rides and walk see the Spring Fling Website at where the full brochure can be downloaded for free.

• Places for the Saturday and Monday bike rides can be reserved by calling Mike Gray on 01387 270995 and for the Sunday, Ted Norfolk on 01988 700432.

• Guided walk reservations can be made by calling Robin Hogg on 01556 502979 – or turn up on the day.


About Spring Fling

• Spring Fling is Scotland’s premier arts and crafts open studio event.

• In 2012 it runs from runs from Saturday 2nd June to Tuesday 5th June.

• Some 76 artists and craft makers are taking part.

• The event includes everything from painting, pottery and photography through to jewellery, textiles and glassware.

• All the studios taking part open daily from 10.30am to 5pm and are free to visit.

• For full details of the programme and the artists, makers and designers taking part, see the website at

• For more about what to see and do in Dumfries and Galloway see the VisitScotland website at

• The iPhone app can be downloaded from An Android version will follow shortly.


About Galloway Holidays

• Galloway Holidays offers walking, cycling and other themed breaks in Dumfries and Galloway. For further information contact Robin Hogg on 01556 502979 or email


Media information

• For enquiries, interviews etc. contact Matthew Shelley on 07786 704299 or Ellen Drummond Ferroni on 07801 820757

• A backgrounder with additional details on Spring Fling accompanies this release.

• Free-to-use images are available from the Spring Fling website.