Dumfries House

Dumfries House Estate in Cumnock, Ayrshire, Scotland

Dumfries House is a stunning 18th-century Scottish estate located in Ayrshire. It was saved from being sold at auction in 2007 by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, who led a consortium of charities in purchasing the property to preserve it for future generations.

The house itself is a masterpiece of Georgian architecture, with stunning interiors and a rich history. Visitors can take guided tours of the house, which is like an 18th century time-capsule and includes access to the beautifully restored blue drawing room, the yellow room, the dining room, the family parlour, and the arched and domed Pewter corridor. Visitors to the house can also view the many art collections, original 18th-century furniture, a huge marble fireplace and a selection of Chippendale furniture housed within.

Outside, the estate boasts over 2,000 acres of gardens and woodland, including a walled garden, a maze, and a peaceful arboretum. There are also a number of outdoor activities available, such as fishing, cycling, and clay pigeon shooting.

In addition to being a popular tourist destination, Dumfries House is also home to a range of education programs and initiatives aimed at helping young people develop practical skills and gain work experience. These include a hospitality and catering training program, a textiles workshop, and a furniture restoration program.

Overall, Dumfries House is a must-see visitor attraction for anyone interested in Scottish history, architecture, and outdoor recreation. Its stunning beauty and significant aspects of Scottish heritage make it a true national treasure.

During the 2023 Easter break, my family and I were lucky enough to spend three nights staying at the Lodge on the Dumfries House Estate, just outside Cumnock in East Ayrshire, Scotland. We stayed in a three-bedroom self-catering cottage on the grounds of the stunning 18th-century house. Our stay was provided by Calum’s Cabin and you can read more about what we did during our stay here. If you are a fan of Countryfile, then you will likely recognise this stately home as it featured on the programme on Sunday the 23rd of April 2023.

The episode focussed on how the house was saved from demolition at the eleventh hour in 2007 when it was purchased by a consortium led by HRH Prince Charles The Prince of Wales, now King Charles III. The large estate, acres of land and the entire contents of the impressive house are now owned by the Prince’s Foundation which is a charitable trust formed in 2018 when The Prince’s Foundation for Building Community, The Prince’s Regeneration Trust, The Great Steward of Scotland’s Dumfries House Trust and The Prince’s School of Traditional Arts merged.

Dumfries House is a Palladian mansion in Cumnock, Ayrshire, Scotland. It was built in the 18th century by William Adam for the 3rd Earl of Bute. The house is set in 2,000 acres of parkland and gardens and is one of the most important examples of Georgian architecture in Scotland. The house was originally built as a hunting lodge for the 3rd Earl of Bute. However, the earl soon decided to expand the house into a grand mansion. He commissioned William Adam, one of the leading architects of the day, to design the house. Adam’s design was inspired by the Palladian villas of Italy. The house was built in a Palladian style, with a symmetrical facade and a portico supported by six Corinthian columns. The house was completed in 1760 and was used by the Bute family as their main residence for over 200 years. The house was also used as a venue for lavish parties and gatherings. In 1993, the last Bute family member to live in the house died and the house was put up for sale.

The Prince of Wales has since overseen a major restoration of the house and gardens. The house is now open to the public, is a popular tourist destination and is also a licensed wedding venue. One of the reasons why it is such a popular place to go is that parts of the estate are open 365 days a year and unlike National Trust properties and Royal homes, there is free entry to the grounds. 

Dumfries House is a beautiful and historic building that is a testament to the craftsmanship and artistry of the 18th century. The house is also a reminder of the importance of preserving our heritage for future generations.

Here are the main highlights and things to do at Dumfries House:

  • Take a tour of the house and learn about its history.
  • Explore the gardens and parkland.
  • Visit the Dovecot.
  • Head through the maze to find the temple.
  • Go for a walk or bike ride in the estate.
  • Have a picnic in the park.
  • Visit the shop and cafe.
  • Attend one of the many events that are held at Dumfries House throughout the year, such as weddings, concerts, and festivals.
  • Take the children to the adventure playground and treehouses.
  • Visit the Queen Elizabeth walled garden.
  • Stroll across the Chinese Bridge.
  • Experiment in the Morphy Richards Engineering Education Centre and water play park.
  • Have something to eat or drink in the Coach House Cafe or the Woodlands Restaurant.
  • Learn a new skill at the Kuanyshev Traditional and Craft Skill Centre.
  • Explore the Rothesay Garden.
  • Purchase a range of local and Highgrove Estate products from the gift shop.
  • Book tours of the house at the visitor centre.

Dumfries House is a great place to visit for a day out or a longer stay at the Lodge. It is a beautiful and historic building that is full of things to see and do.

Leave a Comment

Scroll to Top