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Things to do in Dumfries

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The top 31 attractions in Dumfries

Castles in Dumfries
Caerlaverock Castle
(1)
Dumfries is a town and a royal burgh situated in the unitary board of Dumfries and Galloway in Scotland, UK. It is situated near the Solway Firth near the mouth of the River Nith. Dumfries was the county town of the historic county of Dumfriesshire. The castle is surrounded by a moat and has several imposing towers and battlements. Caerlaverock Castle is a medieval fortress. It´s proximity to England and the various border disputes that arose is the cause of the castle´s very turbulent history. The entrance to the castle costs £ 5.50 and is definitely worth it. It´s been preserved very well without having been restored so it´s very interesting to see.
Abbeys in Dumfries
Sweetheart Abbey
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Never an abbey in the world could have a foundation based on love between a woman and her husband, that the name of this institution Cistercian, in the village of New Abbey in the Scottish Borders today in ruins. Some ruins with a special history. In the year 1268, Lord John Balliol died. His widow, Lady Devorgilla Galloway, sent an embalm of his heart and put it in a chest, having it close to her and from that moment on behalf of her husband offered shelter and food to the poor. In 1273, this lady financed the foundation of this abbey honor the couple is named and land nearby where they both lived happily. At his death, in the year 1289 his body was buried next to her husband's heart. The abbey was in operation until the year 1560 when it suffered damage due to wars in the zone. It is in ruins today, and it is the main point of interest in the village, and almost the whole zone ... Many people are attracted by the interesting history of Scottish medieval abbey.
Villages in Dumfries
Rockcliffe
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Native people have enjoyed the beauty of Rockcliffepor scenery years and walkers can find them on the path to Castle Point and Sandyhills round. The views from Rockcliffe's Castle are lovely during the summer, you can also enjoy the views from the tea room or the Baron's Craig Hotel. For those who are taking the route it could be a good stop to use the bathroom because there are parking facilities available at the disposal of visitors.
Villages in Dumfries
New Abbey
In the Scottish Borders in the south-west, about 13 km from the town of Dumfries, this town is apparently lost in the middle of nowhere, but upon reaching it there are 2 hotels, a pub, 3 stores and 2 museums, and 3 churches. This means that it shouldn´t be so lost. The founding of the town dates back to the Middle Ages, due to the construction of an abbey known for its interesting history and foundation, called "The Sweet Heart Abbey ", which is the main attraction of this village. The town can not be more typical, centered on a main, low houses, long and white (common in this area of ​​Dumfries) ... Mixed with farms and other stone buildings ... All surrounded by Scottish nature, which adds to the charm of the place. It's great as a path, to see the abbey, the historic mill and rest ... Being pinturesca typical and ultimately something different.
Churches in Dumfries
Collegiate Church of Lincluden
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Lincluden collegiate church displays the ruins of what once was the priory and Lincluden Abbey, founded in the year 1174 and abandoned in the year 1700 after surviving Religious Reformation in Scotland. Lincluden was the representation of monastic presence in the Dumfries area under the protection of the Earls of Douglas, one of the most inclusive families of Scotland. Its name comes from its location in relation to to Cluden Water, a tributary of the River Nith Local. At present some lovely and interesting ruins are under surveillance, in a park, which means that it is exposed to vandalism with little protection. What I do not understand ... and what makes the visit easier,is that there is no entrance fee and with influx of young people who are there ... to improve this without renovation or conservation. The ruins are mixed with the landscape, evoking times of glory and splendor, obviously, it is a shame not everyone can percatar this.
Castles in Dumfries
Loch Castle
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It's clear that the existence of Lochmaben Castle, on the banks of this unknown lake, has been a definite factor in the lake's name, Castle Lake (Loch Castle). The most popular explanation (according to the area's historical records), was to say "Let's go to castle lake", so this denomination was established as the official name. This is interesting, since the castle is called Lake (Lochmaben) and the like is called the castle. Today, the lake is part of the nature reserve surrounding Dumfries and is popular among fishermen because it's full of fish, so you'll find several companies that rent boats and fishing licenses. For those not interested in this activity, the lake has several walking routes and the beautiful views are common in this country. There's lots to choose from when walking through this area.
Castles in Dumfries
Lochmaben Castle
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The ruins of Lochmaben Castle are by the lake in Castle Lochmaben village. Apparently it is under protection of the Scottish, but in reality it has stayed in the XVII century, in ruins and abandoned. The funny thing is that this castle was built by the British, by order of King Edward I (known as The Hammer of the Scots) in the XIII century, to monitor and control the Scots. Subsequently it was rebuilt and inhabited by King James IV of Scotland. Currently it's free to visit, just find it, but that is not easy as it is not well marked. There is a beautiful view over the lake, adorned by the beautiful ruins, but you will soon realize that they are a dangerous place when unattended and unrestored - an offense against the country's historical heritage. It is than certain that if, instead of being in Dumfries, it was in Edinburgh, things would be very different. It is a shame that this family house, as important as Douglas or Bruce, is in this state of neglect. At least the ruins are beautiful, free and remember a much more turbulent past that certainly had greater glory.
Museums in Dumfries
National Museum of Costume
This museum is in Dumfries. The main attractions are to discover the social functions and the collections of clothes in a cottage type style. You can also follow the story through every room in the house, reflecting different periods and many events. It has on display costumes from Charles Stewart and the National Museum of the suit.
Tourist Information in Dumfries
Dumfries Tourist Information Centre
Since we are in such a big place so rich with places to visit, it seems logical to organize a visit to the tourist information center before anything else. In Dumfries, this office is in the center next to the river and in a perfect location to start your exploration of the city. You can also find toilets here, very complete souvenir shops and coffee. Normally there are up to 6 people attending the public because at certain times of the year, they are extremely busy. It is very curious that there's a garden outside that is a re-creation of the garden of San Ninians, with a sundial and panels explaining the history of the most prominent places of the Dumfries and Galloway region. Perhaps the most important thing is the staff's diligence and kindness in serving us. We received a very comprehensive historical knowledge of the whole area, which made our visit even more enjoyable. You can also find tickets to the main attractions (sometimes at a discount) there, so it is really worth going. Out of the many tourist offices I visited in Scotland, this was quite possibly the best and most helpful.
Cities in Dumfries
Dumfries
Declared a Royal Burgh in the Middle Ages, Dumfries was a major trading center because of its closeness to both the English border and the sea. Downtown still has historical relevance, and you'll find a huge number of independent shops here as well as a traditional market that takes place every week. Halfway down the High Street, your attention is drawn by an unusual building with a tower in the middle. This is neither a church or a town hall, but is known as Midsteeple. But there is something missing that you'd expect to find in any Scottish Royal Burgh, and that's the market cross. It seems that there was one once, but it was destroyed after being badly damaged and the Midsteeple was constructed in its place. It's a real pleasure to walk here; unlike so many other city centers in decline, this is still lively and animated, and packed with people going about their daily business.
Statues in Dumfries
Robert Burns Statue
I've often mentioned Robert Burns in my minube articles. He's a literary genius and one of the key figures in terms of the Scottish national consciousness, and if there's one place where we can really feel his presence and work life, it's Dumfries. He didn't live here all his life, but he spent plenty of time here, and you can visit his grave as well as his house, gardens, and a cultural center. This was the city where he wrote some of his most famous poems, and everywhere you go you'll find references to him, as in the case of this beautiful monument. This monument, which stands on the High Street, was financed by the people of the city and completed in April 1882. It stands in a small garden and proclaims him to be Scotland's National Poet. Well-preserved and free from any vandalism, you can really see how important Burns is to both Dumfries, and to the nation.
Historical Monuments in Dumfries
The Midsteeple
This is the exact center point of Dumfries, visible from many parts of the city. The history of this unique building is rather interesting; it was built in place of several things that had fallen into bad condition and needed urgent renewal. So instead of renovating them, Midsteeple was built in their place, in the year 1707. It was put on the site of the old market cross, and was declared as a mnuicipal building. This is where all good were weighed in the city. In 1909, Mayor James McGowan restored the building, and soon after it was declared to be a city heritage site. Today it is one of the most iconic buildings in Dumfries, and deserves a visit as it has become a real emblem of the city.
Of Touristic Interest in Dumfries
Dumfries Suspension Bridge
There are many bridges in Dumfries, because the river literally splits the city in two. This is one of the most famous, a suspension bridge. But after asking several local people, I discovered that it's better known locally as the children's bridge. There were several explanations offered for this, but all were very simple. This small, unusual Victorian footbridge was completed in 1875 by the Provost of the day, and it seems that he did so to allow children to cross from bank to bank to get to school. This way they could avoid the dangerous traffic on most large bridges. But it seems that the name comes from the fact that, even today, the bridge is very popular with children ... simply because if someone jumps, the bridge moves, so kids love to climb on it and jump! It is a very attractive iron bridge, very modern for its time of construction and perfectly preserved. And it's certainly fun to see 20 children on a bridge all jumping!
Historical Monuments in Dumfries
Dumfries Sheriff Court
The Sheriff's Court in Scotland is always something serious, as the Sheriff is the supreme justice of a city or region. Generally, the courts can be found in buildings with a real historical character. Often, they have been built in old mansions or even palaces. This is the case in Dumfries, where the restored building is over 400 years old, and quickly catches your eye, as it could be a local palace or the home of a bishop ... but in fact it's the court. Historically, these courts were particularly important on the border between Scotland and England, which in the past was an area popular with smugglers and illegal traders. This is a red stone building, visible from almost all parts of the city.
Of Cultural Interest in Dumfries
Robert Burns Centre
With that name, you might be expecting an official museum, with perhaps some of Burns' original works and posessions ... but in fact this is a local cultural center that bears the name of Dumfries' most famous resident, located on the premises of an old abandoned factory. the museum is interesting but small, and you will find some of Burns' belongings and writings. But if that interests you, you're better off going to his old house, where the collection is much bigger. However, access here is free, so it could be worth taking a look! In addition to the museum, you'll find here a little coffee shop and a gift shop, as well as cinemas and a theater, where lectures about Burns are given. A perfect example of how to renovate an old building into something interesting!
Cemeteries in Dumfries
Robert Burns Mausoleum
This is one of the highlights of any trip to Dumfries: the tomb of the genius poet Robert Burns, known as the Bard of Scotland and one of the developers of the Scottish identity during a time when it was almost lost. Robert "Rabbie" Burns passed away on 21 July, 1796, at his home in Dumfries, leaving a widow and several children. He was buried in an individual grave with a simple marble headstone with no inscription beyond the name BURNS; however, in September 1815 his remains were transferred to a mausoleum where he now rests with his wife and one of his sons. It's a very popular place to visit, beautiful but perhaps a lot more basic than the public might expect.
Statues in Dumfries
Statue of Jean Armour
The name Jane Armour may not ring a bell for you, but it it is said that behind every great man is a great woman, and this is a tribute to the woman behind the great Robert Burns. In St Michael's Church you can of course visit Burns' tomb, and in the same mausoleum you'll find his wife Jane Armour and their, son, ve died at the age of 10. Armour passed away in 1834, surviving her husband by many years. She was a fairly anonymous character until a fundraising campaign by a local club sought to give her more recognition, and this monument was built in 2004. What is really beautiful is that the figure of Jane is depicted looking straight at Burns' tomb, showing her love for her husband.
Museums in Dumfries
Robert Burns House
In 1793, Robert Burns moved with his family to this house, where he would die just three years later. His wife, Jane Armour (known as Bonnie Jane) remained here until her death. Inside, you can see many original objects that belonged to the poet and his family, as well as first editions of his great works. Chairs, beds, cribs, desks, and many more things have been left in good condition, sure to impress you. There is great care and attention down to the last detail, in both the house and the surrounding gardens. This is the real Burns museum, where the atmosphere seems to come alive, and I really must emphasize that it is totally free to enter. Truly unmissable; I need a second visit to appreciate it all! Beautiful and inspiring.
Activities in Dumfries
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