Visit to Drumlanrig and Threave Castle
Brimming with centuries-old heritage and culture, period furnishings, fine art and antiques; Drumlanrig Castle is the ancient Douglas stronghold and Dumfriesshire home of the Duke and Duchess of Buccleuch and Queensberry. It is set on the amazing 90,000 acre Queensberry Estate complete with Country Park, Victorian Gardens and Championship mountain bike trails.
Constructed from distinctive pink sandstone, the castle was commissioned in 1691 by William Douglas, the first Duke of Queensberry and represents one of the first and most important Renaissance buildings in the Scotland.
The country estate has dedicated waymarked paths and woodland trails for walkers, wildlife enthusiasts and mountain bikers of all abilities. Theres plenty of other outdoor activities of note from fishing and field sports to Land Rover tours and there’s a Ranger Service to ensure you see everything there is.
If horticulture is your thing, you can’t help but be impressed by the 40-acre inspirational gardens. There are the formal gardens such as the Long Terrace Walk, the Shawl and East Parterre dating back to the early 17th and 18th centuries. And a visit to the Cascade and imposing Victorian Glasshouse and historic Heather Houses are a must.
Next on our visit is Threave Castle located on an island in the middle of the River Dee. It’s exciting getting there as you have a short walk ten minute walk through fields and past woods to reach the River Dee where you will find a small jetty and brass bell with a rope. Ring the bell loudly and the boatman will come across from the island to take you to the castle!
Legend relays that Threave Island was the home of the ancient rulers of Galloway a thousand years ago. The tall, forbidding tower that now dominates the island was built for Sir Archibald Douglas in 1369. Or better known as Archibald ‘The Grim’ and by the time he died at Threave in 1400 he had become the most powerful magnate in Southern Scotland.
Half a century later, when James II took steps to overthrow the over-mighty Black Douglases, it was Threave that staged the final act in the drama. After a two-month-long siege, the island stronghold reverted to the Crown and thereafter played only a relatively minor part in Scotland’s history.