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"Drumlanrig Castle Gardens and Estate" Top 5 Page for this destination Dumfries and Galloway Things to Do Tip by nickandchris

Dumfries and Galloway Things to Do: 126 reviews and 228 photos

  Marr Burn and sculpture
by nickandchris
  • Marr Burn and sculpture - Dumfries and Galloway
      Marr Burn and sculpture
    by nickandchris
  • Beech Loch - Dumfries and Galloway
      Beech Loch
    by nickandchris
  • Heather house on the estate. - Dumfries and Galloway
      Heather house on the estate.
    by nickandchris
  • Formal gardens at Drumlanrig - Dumfries and Galloway
      Formal gardens at Drumlanrig
    by nickandchris
  • Magnificent driveway and parkland at Drumlanrig - Dumfries and Galloway
      Magnificent driveway and parkland at Drumlanrig
    by nickandchris

The estate at Drumlanrig includes a series of way-marked footpaths, ranging from a 1.5km. loch walk,a 2km wildlife walk, a 4km. woodland walkand a 6km. walk offering views of the castle. We opted for the woodland walk which took in Beech Loch, once used for the ice used at the castle, Coldstream Loch and Druid Loch. We noticed a lot of fish leaping in Beech Loch and fishing is offered as an activiity (at an extra charge, of course!).This was a lovely walk, following Marr Burn, crossing numerous beautiful bridges and passing the old pumping house for the estate.

The remarkable heather houses are worth stopping for a look, also. These were summer houses, 4 left of the original 5, constructed in the 1840's and are quite something. Originally constructed with thatched roofs,the frames were made using timbers from the silver birch and larch. Inside, the panelled walls depict different designs, including the heart from the family coat of arms. Hazel benches circle the inside and outside walls.The floors consist of wooden segments in a mosaic pattern.Such romantic little places!

There is also plenty of scope for cyclists on the estate, with numerous trails and if you don't have your own bike, they can be hired here. Other activities on offer include Landrover safaris, wildlife encounters, country sports and even hunter/gatherer type experiences. You name it, it is probably available!!

The 40 acres of formal gardens at Drumlanrig were first designed in the 1690's then were re-designed in Victorian times, with new and exotic plants and trees introduced. Amongst the new species was the first Douglas fir tree everto be planted in Scotland,in 1829 and growing to a height of 42 metres! The gardens are now undergoing serious restoration, with the Victorian paths and layouts slowly being re-discovered under years of wild, untamed growth.A long, slow, but worthwhile project.These include the long terrace, the shawl, the partierre and the cascade. The cascade was a hillside water feature once visible from the high terrace, doomed to failure and today, can barely be distinguished. Whether it will ever be restored and operational is not known.

Unfortunately, the Victorian glass houses are no longer open and have actually been condemned, which is rather a blow.

We only spent a couple of hours exploring the gardens and estate but there is so much of it, you could literally spend the whole day there.One bad point was the fact there was no leaflet available of the estate and gardens showing a map of what was where. We were told it would be available tomorrow!!! Just our luck....

The gardens and estate are open daily, 11am - 5pm.

Address: Drumlanrig Castle, Thornhill, Dumfrieshire.
Directions: 17 miles north of Dumfries, just off the A76.

Review Helpfulness: 2.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Apr 23, 2010
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