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Culture Activities


The Whithorn Trust

Whithorn trust

The Royal Burgh of Whithorn has an important history which is immediately obvious from the medieval street layout. Even more significant is the hidden evidence of the early origins of a settlement on this site going back to the 5th century, Scotland’s first Christian community.

Enter the Whithorn Story Visitor Centre on the main street to discover archaeological evidence from the past.

The sea placed Whithorn at the centre of a cultural crossroads early in its history and its inhabitants have left clues to the way they lived, their art, their technlogy and their religious practices.  The visitor centre shows a mixture of objects, interpretation panels, models and figures bring the story of Whithorn through the ages to life.

Opening Times:  We are open daily from 1st April/Easter (whichever is earlier) until 31st October 10:30am - 5:00pm.

Admission Charges:  Adults £4.50 | Concessions £3.00 | Children £2.25


Gem Rock Museum

gem rock Crystals

The Gem Rock is the leading independent museum of its kind in the UK and is regarded as one of the finest private collections of gemstones, crystals, minerals, rocks and fossils in Great Britain. Crystals and minerals are some of natures most outstanding creations and the collection demonstrates this with many fine specimens of world class standard on display.

The Museum is however, more than just a static display, it is a fully interactive experience with lots of things to do as well as to see. Tim Stephenson is a Fellow of the Gemmologists Association of Great Britain and along with his colleagues is normally around to offer advice and to answer any questions you might have on this fascinating subject. Whether you are in a large or small party, you will find your visit fun, relaxing and a thought provoking experience.

Open Daily:  9.30 am - 5.30 pm (Winter opening hours may be be different) |  Admission charges apply, however tickets purchased are valid for two weeks.

t:  01671 820 554  |  e:  enquiries@gemrock.net  |  www.gemrock.net


Robert Burns Centre

Burns statue Dumfries

Situated in the town's eighteenth century watermill on the west bank of the River Nith, the Robert Burns Centre tells the story of Robert Burns' last years spent in the bustling streets and lively atmosphere of Dumfries in the late eighteenth century.

The exhibition is illuminated by many original manuscripts and belongings of the poet. There is a fascinating scale model of Dumfries in the 1790s and a haunting audio-visual presentation.
There are museum trails and fun activities, and visitor information to help you explore Dumfries and Galloway's Burns connections.  In the evenings the centre is the regional film theatre for Dumfries and Galloway, showing the best in contemporary cinema in its luxurious theatre.

Opening hours:  Open all year April-September Monday-Saturday 10am-5pm, Sunday 2pm-5pm  | October-March Tuesday-Saturday 10am-1pm, 2pm-5pm

Admission is free, however Audio Visual Theatre:  Adults £2.30  | Concessions £1.15

t:  01387 253 374  |  e:  dumfriesmuseum@dumgal.gov.uk


Stranraer Museum

stranraer museum

Stranraer's historic Old Town Hall, built in 1776, is the home of Stranraer Museum. Step inside anddiscoverWigtownshire's fascinating past. See one of Scotland's oldest ploughs, look at VictorianWigtownshire in 3D photographs and follow in the footsteps of Stranraer's own Polar explorers. Plus displays on archaeology, local history, farming and dairying. A temporary exhibition programme runs throughout the year and there are activities for all the family. The Museum is on George Street in the center of town and only a short walk from the ferry terminals, disabled access throughout.

Open all year: 
10am-5pm Monday to Friday  |  10am-1pm & 1 30pm-4 30pm Saturday.  Closed Sundays and the Christmas and New Year bank holidays

Admission is free.

t:  01776 705 088  |  e:  stranraermuseum@dumgal.gov.uk


Castle of St John

Castle of St John

This medieval tower house was built around 1500 by Ninian Adair of Kilhurst, one of the most powerful Lairds of Wigtownshire.

Enjoy a fantastic day out watching the videos and reconstructions which tell the story of the medieval landowners who built and lived in the castle. You'll also learn about the Government troops who used the castle as their headquarters during the Killing Times in the 1680s and the criminals and debtors imprisoned in the castle during the 19th century. There is also an excellent activity room for families and children.

 Opening Times:  1 Jun 2015 - 29 Sep 2015  |  Open Tuesday to Saturday 10:00 - 13:00 and 13:30 - 16:30


Dumfries House

Dumfries House

Dumfries House is one of Britain's most beautiful stately homes. Set in 2,000 acres of land, this stunning estate and 18th-Century house with its unrivalled collection of original furniture has something for everyone.

Saved by the intervention of His Royal Highness, The Prince Charles, Duke of Rothesay in 2007, Dumfries House combines the neoclassical architecture of Robert Adam with the furniture of Thomas Chippendale and leading 18th-Century Scottish cabinet makers.

Visitors can explore this stunning 2,000 acre estate 365 days a year, with free entry and parking.


Caerlaverock Castle

Caerlaverock castle

Visit Caerlaverock Castle and discover one of Scotland’s great medieval fortresses.  With its moat, twin towered gatehouse and imposing battlements, this awe-inspiring castle is the epitome of the medieval stronghold and one of the finest castles in Scotland.

Although ruined, Caerlaverock is still a substantial structure and you can explore many different features within its unique triangular ground plan. The castle's turbulent history owes much to its proximity to England which brought it into the brutal cross-border conflicts and you can enjoy a fascinating siege warfare exhibition complete with reconstructions of medieval siege engines.

Caerlaverock Castle Dumfries and Galloway

Admission:  Adult £5.50 | Child £3.30 | Concession £4.40

Open All Year:  

Summer: 1 April - 30 Sept - Daily 9.30am - 5.30pm (last entry 5pm)

Winter: 1 Oct - 31 March - Daily 10am - 4pm (last entry 3.30pm)


Culzean Castle and Country Park

Culzean Castle and country park

A remarkable vision of turrets and battlements, Culzean Castle is surrounded by surging seas, lush

forests and secret gardens and is the perfect place for a day out whether you're a keen walker, enjoy admiring gardens, have an interest in architecture or just enjoy soaking up some history.

Standing on a dramatic cliff top overlooking the Firth of Clyde, the castle has been associated with the Kennedy family since the 14-th century and was converted by Robert Adam between 1777 and 1792.  Take a guided tour and learn about the best features of the castle, including Adam's masterpiece, the oval staircase, as well as the fine collection of paintings and furniture.

The property is set in nearly 600 acres of stunning countryside and miles of waymarked paths lead visitors through majestic woodland and past secluded ponds. Head for the Deer Park, the cliff top walk or explore the beaches. And seek out the park's hidden treasures such as the ice houses, the Camellia House, the pagoda or the caves.

Open All Year:  1 Jan 2015 - 31 Dec 2015  |  Country Park: all year, daily 9.30-sunset  |  Walled Garden: all year, daily 9.30-5 or sunset if earlier  |  Castle: 28 Mar to 27 Oct, daily 10.30-5 (last entry 4).


Drumlanrig Castle

drumlanrig castle

If you like delving deep into history, soaking up the finest culture, exploring beautiful countryside – or adrenaline-fuelled mountain biking – you’ll love a day at Drumlanrig Castle. From activities for kids to salmon fishing, you’ll find a raft of activity awaiting you. The Castle has 120 rooms, 17 turrets and four towers and from your very first glance you’ll know you’re entering a special place.

You will discover Rembrandt’s Old Lady Reading* and family portraits by artists such as Thomas Gainsborough, landscapes by Paul Sandby and the Dutch masters, and cartoons by Rowlandson amid the finest furnishing and antiques.  The 90,000 acre Estate boasts miles of beautiful walks and acres of gardens.  Activities for kids include everything from the adventure playground to ranger-led wildlife walks and a host of events.

Drumlanrig Castle Open:  3 - 6 April, 2 – 4 May, 23 – 25 May & 1 July – 31 August 2015 (inclusive), daily 11am – 5pm (last entry 4pm)

Gardens & Country Estate:  Open 1 April - 30 September 2015 (inclusive), daily 10am – 5pm.