Days Out from Lockerbie: Drumlanrig Castle

3 October 2014

Days Out from Lockerbie: Drumlanrig Castle

Overlooking the stunning views across the Nith Valley, Drumlanrig Castle stands proud and prominent as it welcomes you to explore the delights that wait both in and outside of its impressive red sandstone walls.

The Castle

Affectionately known at the ‘Pink Palace’, Drumlanrig Castle was built between 1679 and 1689 and is widely held as one of the most impressive examples of 17th century Renaissance architecture to be found within Scottish borders. The site on which the castle stands holds over 600 years of history for Scotland’s Douglas family, who maintained close bonds with the monarchy. Drumlanrig was constructed on instruction from William Douglas to celebrate his royal relationships and subsequent honour, becoming 1st Duke of Queensberry in 1684. Passed through generations of the Douglas family across the centuries Drumlanrig holds history, culture, architecture and a collection of fine art to be discovered.

Art at Drumlanrig: The Buccleuch Collection

The Buccleuch Collection is the product of generations of art lovers accumulating some exemplary work, creating one of the best art collections Scotland has to offer, in particular, some stunning examples of decorative furniture. The castles grand drawing room houses two spectacular cabinets created by esteemed French cabinetmaker Andre Charles Boulle. Elsewhere, a host of Douglas family portraits await discovery from talents such as Scottish portrait artist Alan Ramsay and English painter Thomas Gainsborough. There also hangs a fine collection of landscapes by a number of the Dutch masters and, most prized of all, Rembrandt’s ‘Old Lady Reading’. For art lovers, the castle walls hold a wealth of treasures.

The Castle Gardens

Outside of the castles ornate sandstone walls lies 40 acres of beautifully tended gardens. The formal gardens consist of a 183 metre terrace walk lined with a stone balustrade, home to a vast array of climbing plants, as well as rose gardens dating back to the 17th century. Also among its 40 acres lay scattered grand parterres, elaborately decorated plots of box flowers and cut grass. For the horticultural enthusiast or simply for a relaxing afternoon stroll, the castle gardens provide the perfect location.

Other Activities at Drumlanrig

Aside from the magnificence of the castle itself and the beauty of its grounds, there are plenty of other activities on offer at Drumlanrig. The newly refurbished Stables Café and the Castle Tearooms provide tempting refreshments, whilst for the active visitor the surrounding estate offers a playground of adventure. Whether loch fishing, hiking or cycling along the designated footpaths or enjoying a Landrover tour of the castles estate, Drumlanrig has something to keep all the family entertained for a fantastic Scottish day out.   

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