Homecoming Scotland 2014: Dumfries and Galloway Arts Festival

Established as the region’s premier calendar entertainments event since 1979, the Dumfries and Galloway Arts Festival is Scotland’s largest rural multi-art form festival, with more than 170 artists performing at 60 events in 30 venues across the full breadth of the region.

Each year, the festival involves a lively and varied programme, showcasing an eclectic range of top-billed performances in music, drama, dance, arts and literature in a selection of venues from the tiny, intimate Swallow Theatre to the grandeur of the Easterbrook Hall and a wide outdoor stage on the banks of the River Nith.

The festival has an excellent reputation for bringing top quality world-class performances to rural locations at the end of May each year.

Musical events range from unforgettable operas, to classical, jazz, traditional, contemporary and world music that are usually only experienced in the world’s city venues. Dance, the world of books and ground-breaking theatrical performances are also mainstays of the yearly programmes, as are some well-established mini festivals in literature and song and an exciting and lively fringe. 

Find out more http://www.dgartsfestival.org.uk

Dumfries & Galloway Chamber of Commerce Business Awards

Congratulations to all the winners at last night’s Dumfries & Galloway Chamber of Commerce Business Awards.  Also a special thank you to the BBC’s Catriona Shearer who’s opening speech complimented the quality of the Aston Hotel Dumfries and in particular our “thick white fluffy towels”!  Now that is a royal seal of approval from our national treasure!!

Discover Peter Pans Enchanted Land

Take a tour of Moat Brae, The house and garden in Dumfries that inspired Jm Barrie to create Peter Pan

Discover Moat Brae Gardens & House

The garden which was J M Barrie’s ‘enchanted land’ and famously inspired Peter Pan lies to the north and northwest of Moat Brae house. It extends down a steep slope to a retaining wall just above the river Nith.  Below the wall, and out of view from the house and garden, there is a public riverside path. The garden looks out across the river to the water meadows and beyond to the rolling hills of the southern uplands, in south west Scotland.

The original layout would have been made after the house was designed in 1823 but it is thought that the very little that now remains of the early garden design relates to Victorian times.  Perhaps this is appropriate as the period when Barrie played pirate games with the Gordon boys in the garden was in the 1870s when he was a pupil at the neighbouring Dumfries Academy.

One important garden feature remains – the sandstone plinth which once held a statue of Peter Pan.




From Field to Factory to Fork

Last Thursday Shonagh and Robin attended the ‘Support your Ambition’ event at Easterbrook Hall.  Organised by Dumfries & Galloway Chamber of Commerce the format of the day was carried though a theme of ‘From Field to Factory to Fork’ with inspirational keynote speakers from all three industries giving an insight into the routes into those industries as well as some top tips of what employers may be looking for.  The event was capped off by a series of question and answer sessions between employers and potential employees which left the employers with lots of ideas to consider on developing the future talent required to sustain the major industries in Dumfries & Galloway.

Aston Hotel Dumfries confirms their relationship with the national charity “Cash for Kids”,

Aston Hotel Dumfries today confirmed their relationship with the national charity “Cash for Kids”, the Hotel aims to support, assist and boost brand awareness for the charity.  

Cash for Kids is Bauer Radio’s network of local charities, which operate across 21 areas around the UK. Our mission is to respond to the needs of children in our communities, and we aspire to enable all children to live life to the full and achieve their individual potential. 

The charity was established to channel the care of the local community into the welfare of their own youngsters. We use the power of our radio brands to deliver initiatives for the sick and underprivileged children in our communities, to benefit local children and give the most disadvantaged a better and brighter future.

“We are absolutely delighted to be able to support “Cash for Kids”. To be given the opportunity to support young people, disadvantaged groups and the unemployed offering them careers and opportunities within the industry is such an honor “says Robin Thomson, General Manager Aston Hotel Dumfries. 

The Aston Hotel Dumfries recently launched a Marco Pierre White Wheelers of St. James’s has announced its plans to convert into a Holiday Inn by IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group).

The Holiday Inn brand strength will firmly place Dumfries on the map as a leisure destination in Scotland, with the hopeful result being increased leisure traffic, increased job creation with the end goal of tackling the issue of unemployment and poverty head on.

West Sound Cash For Kids Charity Manager & Breakfast Show Host Tommy Jardine said “ We are absolutely delighted to have the support of the Aston Hotel Group, this will allow us to help even more underprivileged children across our region. We continue to have no administration charges with our charity, meaning every penny raised goes direct to the children. We look forward to a successful partnership with the Hotel Group in the coming year”.

The Hotels alignment with the charity will allow customers and colleagues the chance to work together to support a local cause at the heart of the Dumfries community.

The hotel has numerous fundraising events planned for the year ahead with the culminating event being that of the “Cash for Kids’ Christmas lunch, the biggest fundraiser of the year, raising over £32,000.00 in 2013, of which Aston Hotel Dumfries is the Main Event Sponsor.

For more information on how you can help out the “Cash for Kids” charity, contact Tommy Jardine on 01387 250999 or alternatively email him on Tommy.Jardine@southwestsound.co.uk .

New Year’s Eve at the Aston Hotel Dumfries

Hogmanay Gala

Four Course Dinner, Disco and Fireworks Display

This year have a truly magical experience and celebrate at the Aston Hotel! Wrap up the year with us at our Hogmanay Eve Gala dinner night. We have the food, the music and fun all ready for you. Join us with friends and family, and begin by tucking into our delicious four course dinner, which our Chef has carefully created for you. Bust some moves with our resident DJ and when it comes to midnight, make sure you’re ready to toast as your DJ counts down to 2014 before being mesmerized by a magnificent fireworks display (weather permitting).  View Hogmanay Gala dinner menu 

Hogmanay Gala Package £52.00 per person

Residential New Year’s Eve Package £275.00 per couple (Includes 2 night stay in one of our standard twin or double rooms, dinner, full Scottish breakfast and Hogmanay Gala. Available dates for this package 30th & 31st of December 2013 or 31st of December & 1st of January 2013 )

Enquire Online or Call 01387 272410

Hurry up limited spaces available!

Dumfries Welcomes Tour of Britain

World-class cycling returns to the region this weekend – led by the iconic Sports Personality,  Bradley Wiggins.

The Tour de France legend will head up Sky Pro Cycling’s bid for the 2013 Tour of Britain when stage one ends at Drumlanrig on Sunday.

British road race champion Mark Cavendish will join Wiggins with Gretna, Annan, Dumfries and Penpont all to be visited during the 209km opening stage of the 10th anniversary tour.

It is the third year in a row that the event has visited the region with Cavendish claiming successive stage wins on the Whitesands in 2011 and 2012.

The tour is growing in stature and some of the world’s top cyclists will be on show this Sunday.

The race is free to watch and you can cheer on the 19 teams from anywhere along the route.

Arriving in Dumfries and Galloway, the race travels along the B721 through Gretna, Eastriggs and Annan before heading to Dumfries through Ruthwell. The riders will arrive in Dumfries past the hospital before travelling through town and along the Whitesands.

They then cross the Bucceluch Street Bridge and up the Glasgow Road before turning on to the B729 to take the back road towards Thornhill through Dunscore and on to the A702.

The last place visited will be Penpont but the riders will be pretty close to Thornhill as the race reaches its final stages around 3.30pm.

Autumn in Dumfries and Galloway, there is no finer sight to see!

Cooler days beset with stunning colours and delicate frost sprinkled landscapes, see the wildlife of Dumfries and Galloway working ever harder to ready itself for the coming months of less abundance and colder temperatures.

These magical landscapes say au revoir to their summer guests but quickly offer up a welcome to new arrivals that recognise the area as one of quiet plenty for the winter months.  The excitement of seeing the returning populations of geese and other winter visitors is palpable and the glory of the Red Deer rutting season offers truly magnificent sights and sounds.

For best accommodation rates over autumn months visit Aston Hotel Dumfries Leisure Offers Page

Christmas Celebrations at the Aston Hotel Dumfries

Aston Hotel Dumfries Christmas Events

Have you decided  where to celebrate Christmas Party yet? 

If you haven’t even thought about it yet don’t worry, we have availability left one some of our party nights and we are also offering Pre-festive lunch and dinner menus all through December from £15.00 for two Courses and £20.00 for three – with complimentary private dining room for your group. 

Contact Kelly on 01387 272 410 or email events@astonhoteldumfries.co.uk to request a brochure!

Space to think local at the Aston Hotel Dumfries

Aston Hotel Dumfries Group Image

Are you a member of a group or society that requires a space to meet?  Whether it is regularly or even just annually  the Aston Hotel Dumfries is proud to support such organisations as Girlguiding Scotland by offering discounted room hire in the evenings.

Our Guide Leaders have been meeting here for just under a year and enjoy the cosy and professional atmosphere that the Mitchell room gives to their meetings, especially during the winter months. 

We would be delighted to hear more about your groups requirements and see if we can help.  For more information please contact Kelly or Shonagh in events on 01387 272 410.

Alternatively you can e-mail the events team at events@astonhoteldumfries.co.uk.