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Daily Record
Daily Record
Abi Smillie

Fresh season of tours at Dumfries House as guides eager to welcome guests

A new season of tours has launched at Ayrshire’s much-loved Royal estate, Dumfries House, with a wave of new recruits and guides eager to welcome guests.

Nestled in the East Ayrshire countryside, the historic Palladian house retains much of its 18th century landscape design and furniture collection, featuring many works by Thomas Chippendale.

The house is open daily to the public from April with the hour-long House Tour and 90-minute Grand Tour running once a day.

These introduce visitors to the highlights of the house, walking guests through the rooms and telling the history of the building and its habitants.

Guests are in for a treat on Sundays with specialist tours providing deep dives into the history of clock, art and furniture collections stored and led by an expert team of guides.

Dumfries House is pleased to host to a range of artwork from the Royal Collection Trust, National Galleries of Scotland and the Fleming-Wyfold Art Foundation available for viewing.

Dumfries House is a stunning Palladian country house (DUMFRIES AND GALLOWAY STANDARD)

One of a trio of new guides, Fraser Murray, 62, from Kilmarnock has a personal connection to the estate as his oldest son was married on the grounds in 2016 and both his granddaughters had their naming ceremonies there.

“We’ve got a real big connection to the house,” he said.

“Just being able to tell people about the history will bring me great satisfaction. The house is something to be proud of.”

Fellow new guide Martin Pond, 62, who recently moved to Kilmarnock from Dorset, describes entering the Tapestry Room as one of his favourite parts of the house.

He said: “Just the feel of the room, the light that comes into it and the thought put behind the cedar wood that was put in the room is special.”

And Anne Graham, 58, an ex-school teacher from South Ayrshire, is also excited to join the team.

Anne, who along with her family is a regular visitor to the estate, said: “I’m looking forward to using some of the skills I had before in my classroom, but in a completely different context.

“The immense satisfaction from working with adults and youngsters alike was a huge driving force in my return to work and something I am excited to share with visitors.”

In addition to the tours, the grounds are open to visitors free of charge with an array of woodland walks, adventure parks, cafes and garden features.

Tickets are available for purchase at the Visitor Centre on the day but as these are limited it is suggested to book ahead of time.

Booking in advance can be completed via or on 01290 425 959 (Option 1).

Please note that online booking closes at 4pm on the day prior to the date of a tour.

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