Robert Burns only lived for 37 years (1759 – 1796) but during his lifetime he visited many places, became acquainted with a wide array of people and committed much of his experiences to paper. We can take you on a tour or you can go it alone to visit Burns’ House in Dumfries and then take a stroll over to his Mausoleum, in the graveyard of St. Michael’s Church. It’s a short walk up to the Globe Inn, a traditional pub in the town centre High Street and to tiny Howff Barr. One of the staff will be only too pleased to show you where Rabbie drank and the bedroom in which he occasionally slept. It’s a short drive out to Ellisland Farm where Rabbie lived before he came into the town of Dumfries.
Criffel is a hill in Dumfries and Galloway, rising to 569m (1867 feet) 2 miles south of New Abbey. If you like your hills short, sharp and steep and if you ever needed proof that you don’t have to climb the biggest hills to get the best views, then this walk is for you. It is approximately a 25 minute drive from The Barr.
Why not make The Barr your base for a super golfing holiday? With a choice of 30 courses – you can play serious golf or just a few rounds of holiday golf to your heart’s content. The Dumfries and County Golf Club is only a ten minute drive from us. Approximately 5 miles by car and about 8 minutes away from The Barr is the fully floodlit 18 bay driving range of The Pines Golfing Centre.
There are a number of walks in ever increasing circles of about one, three and four miles, on good paths and tracks throughout and occasional seats and picnic tables en route (toilets are provided near the start). Mabie Forest also caters for cyclists and there is a cycle shop, The Bike Shed, which has recently added a cafe. Very close by is the Mabie House Hotel, an impressive 17th Century Scottish country manor house once owned by important local gentry and now a family owned and run country hotel that has become popular for visitors, tourists and local residents alike. The forest is approximately 9.5 miles and a 25 minute drive from us.
There really is something for everybody at the Ae Forest and it is fast becoming known as the best Mountain Biking Centre in the UK. Trails are available for everyone – from kids starting out – right through to downhillers looking to rip into the Ae national downhill course. Car parking, toilets and showers facilities are available at the trail head and at the cafe. The Ae Bike Shop and Cafe are open 7 days a week, from 9.00am – 5.00pm. The Ae forest is approximately 5.6 miles from us and to drive, it will take you less than 10 minutes.
Drumlanrig Castle, near Thornhill is steeped in history and filled with treasures. Its estate and gardens are principal visitor attractions in South Scotland. They offer castle tours and guided walks. The gardens and grounds are beautiful. It is a 25 minute drive and 21 miles from The Barr.
Dalscone Farm is less than 5 minutes by car from The Barr. It offers an outdoor paradise for children with trampolines, pedal karts, go karts, crazy golf and farm animals. Indoors, there is a huge soft play area with ball pools and slides. There’s also a cafe that provides tea, coffee, juice, cakes and lots more! Dalton Pottery, where children can create their own masterpieces, is about a 25 minute drive from The Barr.
Whether it’s seeing what you would have worn in a bygone age or having a picnic on the lawn, there’s plenty to see and do at this splendid country house museum. A superb example of a Victorian country house, see wonderful room settings with diners socialising, children playing and the family of the house entertaining visitors. Accessories, furniture and paintings complete a graceful Victorian and Edwardian environment of well-to-do living. From parasols to party dresses, the museum opens the door on fashion and society through the ages. Shambellie House is approximately 12 miles from The Barr and a 25 minute drive from us.
Samye Ling Buddhist Monastery and Tibetan Centre was the first Tibetan Buddhist centre in the West, established in 1967. Day visitors are welcome to visit Samye Ling all year round when you can visit the temple and stroll around the peaceful garden and grounds. You can also relax in the Tibetan Tea Rooms and you can visit the recently extended shop. Samye Ling is just over an hour by car from The Barr and just over thirty miles away.
The Anvil, still used for weddings is in the original marriage room and has been used to seal couples’ marriages for over 150 years. Next door there are large shops offering a range of quality Scottish and UK goods plus fashionable clothing and accessories designed in Scotland, inspired by tartans and tweeds, traditional to Scotland, but with a modern fashion twist. Gretna Gateway is the ideal place to visit if you are a shopaholic! With stores including: Marks & Spencers Outlet; Claire’s, Gap, Petroleum; Polo Ralph Lauren; Pilot Outlet, Cadbury’s Factory Shop to name but a few, there is something for everyone! From us both places are less than 27 miles away and should take less than 40 minutes by car from The Barr.
WWT Caerlaverock Wetlands Centre is probably the best known birding spot in Dumfries and Galloway, famous for its wintering population of barnacle geese and whooper swans. This place is a must on anyone’s agenda for visitor or local alike and the facilities make it first class. Magnificent viewing hides and of course birds to match. With a tea-room, shop, toilets and easy walking between hides, these make an outing all the more enjoyable. Caerlaverock is the place to go to see one the UK’s great natural events – 12,000 Barnacle Geese fly in to the reserve in October and November every year. The Centre is approximately 15 miles and 35 minutes by car from The Barr.