Balcary Bay is situated in Dumfries and
Galloway southwest Scotland, 64 miles east of
Stranraer, 23 miles southwest of
Dumfries, 9 miles south of Dalbeattie, 2
miles off the main A711 road at the village of
The bay is in the Auchencairn Country Estate
with a 20 room Mansion, and Balcary Tower at
the headland, both private.
Click On Map for area
Camping & Touring Parks in
Also in the estate, by the bay, is the
Balacary Bay Country House Hotel, mainly used
by hotel guests and visitors to the restaurant
or conservatory cocktail bar. The road is
private past the hotel out towards the mansoin
1200s - Hestan Island was owned by Dundrennan
Abbey with the monks using the area for
trapping fish. The Abbey is situted about 6
The island can be reached via a cuasway at
1342 - Edward Balliol, King of Scotland for
a short period, built a manor house on the
island with the ruins still visible.
1625 - a shipping firm had a house built
overlooking Balcary Bay, with this house later
being converted to the Balcary Bay Country
1750s - smuggling in the area became popular
to avoid paying taxes on imported goods, with
caves on Hestan Island used by smugglers.
1700s late or early 1800s - Auchencairn
Mansion House was built to replace an earlier
house in this estate.
1840s - copper mines were opened on Hestan
1850 - a lighthouse was built on Hestan
Island with a cottage for the lighthouse
1860 - the three-storey Balcary Tower was
built for the French mistress of Colonel
Johnstone when he was laird of Auchencairn
1900s late - the lighthouse was automated,
nobody has lived on the island since, the
lighthouse cottage remains.
2011 - Balcary Tower was put up for sale for
2013 - Auchencairn Mansion House was put up
for sale for around £1.3 million.
Today - Balcary Country House Hotel serves
as a hotel and restaurant.