You have got to love any place that reopens a distillery. In Annadale the distillery was brought back to life in 2014 after 90 years; it had been originally opened in 1830.
You have to wonder at how two relatively small river valleys manage to contain so many riches.
First of all there is the agricultural land; from Moffat which made its fortune in the wool trade, hence its famous ram statue, down to Locherbie and its massive dairy industry.
From their headlands right down to the Solway Firth, this is a globally important landscape; the rivers flow through countryside rich in wildlife that brings tourists all year round.
The Annadale Way is another big tourism draw, from Annadale Head in the hills north of Moffat to the mouth of the river in the Solway Firth. Then there is the Southern Upland Way and the Grey Mare’s Tail waterfall.
Moffat has been used to having tourists from right back from the 17th century when the healing properties of its sulphurous well were recognised. This helped to lay down the foundations of tourism which the town and around enjoys to this day. That is before you consider Gretna and Gretna Green with their international reputation for things matrimonial.
And how does a village as small as Ecclefechan manage to get a tart and a whisky named after it – and inspire a song by Burns!
Then you get to Langholm where its first Freeman and Honorary Burgess was none other than Neil Armstrong, first man to walk on the moon, the town being the cradle of Clan Armstrong.
The history of Lochmaben makes Games of Thrones look understated – practically everyone from the Romans onwards has garrisoned the place or pitched up here for a battle. With such fertile land and history you can see why more and more people are drawn to living here, with a significant number willing to make a longer commute down to Carlisle or even the south-side of Glasgow to give their families such an incredible quality of life.
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