If you’re looking for a walk taking in wildlife, history and beautiful surroundings, look no further than the Threave Estate. Just outside Castle Douglas, it incorporates Threave Castle run by Historic Environment Scotland and Threave Garden run by the National Trust. Just 9 miles from High Kirkland, it’s an ideal day out from our Kirkcudbright Holiday Cottages.
Threave Castle was built in 1369 and belonged to the brilliantly named Archibald the Grim, part of the Black Douglas family. It’s as tall as a 10 storey block of flats and sits apart on an island. You can only reach it in a rowing boat and visitors can call the boatman by ringing the bell on the jetty.
The osprey platform takes about quarter of an hour to reach on foot from the car park. This is a magnificent spot to view the nesting ospreys who return every year to rear their chicks. Look out for special events when birdlife experts are on hand to answer your questions.
There are four bird hides dotted around the estate, as well as the osprey platform. Regular visitors include peregrine falcons, waders and kingfishers, alongside red squirrels and otters. For the braver visitor, there is a bat reserve where, at dusk, you can see up to seven species in their natural environment.
Threave Gardens and Estate
Threave Gardens is home to the National Trust’s School of Heritage Gardening. They have been training professional gardeners since the 1960s in their wonderful gardens. You’ll find a number of small gardens showcasing different styles, including a rose garden, rockery and walled garden.
There’s also a secret garden to discover, beautiful water features and a discovery garden that will delight adults and children alike. If you fancy recreating the beauty in your own garden, you can visit the plant centre. The terrace café overlooking the gardens is also worth a visit because of the spectacular views.
Threave House was built in the 1870s for the Gordon Family and guided tours are available. There are events throughout the year, such as the Easter egg hunt, spooky Halloween walks and a special visit from Santa in December.
Whenever you go and how far you walk, you’re bound to have a grand day out on the Threave Estate.
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Image of Threave Castle by Andrew Maxwell, New Impressions Photography
Images of Threave Gardens by Dumfries & Galloway! What’s Going On?