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First Week of the Summer Scheme in Dumfries

Fri, 15th Jul 2022

This week marked the beginning of the Dumfries site’s Summer Scheme, and what a first week it was!

Threave Castle

On Tuesday, the Dumfries team ventured by Castle Douglas to the great and ancient Threave Castle!

Threave Castle is a tower house situated on a small island within the River Dee. The castle was built around 1372, shortly after the consolidation of power over much of Dumfries and Galloway by Archibald Douglas, known as Archibald the Grim. The Black Douglases, as his family were called, ruled from Threave Castle as the Warden of the West March, Earls of Douglas and Wigtown and the Lords of Galloway until their fall roughly a century later. After several more centuries of use and disuse, Threave Castle became a scheduled monument in 1921 and later went on to be cared for by Historic Environment Scotland. Access to the castle is via a boat over the River Dee, from the Threave Estate, which is owned by the National Trust of Scotland. The 650 year history concludes with Threave Castle currently operating as a nature reserve that is home to bats and ospreys.

We at the Dumfries team had a blast hiking around the protected land surrounding the castle, seeing the birds from the viewing boxes and taking in the sights of nature. It was thankfully a very warm and sunny day for us, and so we got a great view of the castle and landscape. Threave Castle is a beautiful place.

Threave Gardens

Later that same day, we took a relaxing trip to Threave Gardens and Estate.

Owned and managed by the National Trust for Scotland, Threave Gardens and Estate is a series of gardens full of plants and flowers and landforms and sculptures, all beautifully woven together in a gorgeous and well-cared-for landscape.

The warm and sunny day continued, we had a lovely stroll through the gorgeous plant life. We enjoyed touring through the walled garden and seeing all the diverse plants within, and watching the tadpoles in the pond by the rock gardens. We learned the names of many plants, we saw birds and squirrels and frogs, and we soaked up the rays of sun. The relaxing day also included a tasty bite to eat from their café and a look their their great little gift shop.

Dumfries and Galloway Aviation Museum

On Wednesday, the Dumfries team took a trip to the Dumfries and Galloway Aviation Museum.

The museum had a brilliant collection of aircraft, including a Battle of Britain veteran Loch Doon Spitfire, a supersonic Lightning fighter, and a wartime assault glider set. They also have several dedicated displays about the Home Front, RAF Dumfries and the Bomber War, and the only dedicated Airborne Forces collection in Scotland.

The young people had a fantastic time, from learning and talking about the spitfires and how they’re built to even sitting inside them and seeing what the pilots and passengers experienced in the cockpits. Afterwards, the Dumfries team went to Drummuir Farm for some ice cream!

Overall, a brilliant first week for Dumfries!

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