Threave’s spectacular gardens have been created over the years by students of the Trust’s School of Practical Gardening. The gardens are constantly evolving to suit the needs of the school but they’re open all year giving interest from season to season. In spring, however, the gardens are carpeted with over 200 varieties of daffodil complementing the springflowering shrubs and trees. Later, you can admire succulent fruit and vegetables in the walled garden and glasshouses. And if that whets your appetite, there’s also a well-stocked restaurant! Elsewhere you can enjoy the rock garden, rose garden, heathers, conifers and herbaceous perennials. And you can even hear what’s going on in the tree canopies by using the special listening devices. After a turn around the gardens, enter the grand Scottish Baronial house, now fully restored to the way it was in the 1930s. Here you can join one of our guides and learn all about daily life for the Gordon family, who built the house in 1872, and for the household staff. What was it like preparing banquets on the kitchen’s original ranges? And is it true that the doves on the estate enjoyed butler service too? Children, however, might be more interested in locating the secret drawer filled with sweets!
Visit the Countryside Centre to find out more about the estate’s wildlife and conservation work before setting off to explore, perhaps to Threave Castle or the bird hides overlooking the River Dee and Black Park Marsh, a Special Protection Area for breeding waders and wintering wildfowl. If you’re lucky you may even see otters and osprey fishing in the river. Just make sure you leave enough time for a cup of tea and a slice of home-made cake.
House and estate (492ha) given in 1948 by Major A F Gordon, DSO, MC, with a generous endowment. A further 113ha purchased in 1950 and 1959