Absolute Classics Festival at BQA
This month, Dumfries and Galloway’s most prestigious venues will play host to a formidable guest list of internationally renowned classical musicians, as a part of the annual Absolute Classics music festival.
The 2017 Absolute Classics Festival takes place between 11th and 20th August, with performances taking place at the Theatre Royal in Dumfries and the Buccleuch and Queensberry Arms luxury hotel in Thornhill.
We are delighted to be hosting two fantastic events here at the Buccleuch and Queensberry Arms, including the festival’s closing performance from classical superstar, Oxana Shevchenko.
Please note tickets are extremely limited for all festival events and pre-booking is essential. Buy your tickets here.
Song Cycle Dinner with Nicky Spence – Sunday 13th August 6pm
Janacek: The Diary of One Who Disappeared
Dumfries born tenor, Nicky Spence, trained at the Guildhall School and went on to receive a nomination for the International Opera Award’s Young Singer of the Year in 2015 before becoming one of only ten artists to be included in the Times Breakthrough Award.
Nicky will be joined by mezzo soprano, Madeleine Shaw, and renowned accompanist, Simon Pepper on piano, for an evening designed to tantalise both your ears and your taste buds. The song cycle will be split into 5 sections, split between delicious courses showcasing the finest local produce freshly prepared by our expert chefs.
Scottish smoked salmon blini, cream cheese & caviar
Rare breed pork rillette, with homemade bread
Summer crudités with a bloody mary dip
Herb crusted rack of lamb, fondant potatoes, chargrilled vegetables
Single origin chocolate torte, Scottish raspberries and vanilla cream
Book Your Tickets Now: £50 to include 5 course dinner, welcome fizz and table wine.
Piano Recital with Oxana Shevchenko – Sunday 20th August 3.30pm
Closing the festival in spectacular style, we will be hosting award-winning pianist, Oxana Shevchenko at the BQA Hotel.
Internationally renowned both as a soloist and a chamber musician, Oxana took first prize at the Scottish International Piano Competition in 2010 before making her recording debut with Delphian Records in 2011.
Described as ‘frankly, gobsmacking’ by The Herald, we are delighted to welcome Oxana to our luxury hotel in Scotland for an evening of world-class musicianship.
Rameau Gavotte avec six doubles
El fandango de candil
Quejas, o la maja y el ruiseñor
El Amor Y La Muerte
Stravinsky Three movements from Petrouchka
Brahms Sonata op 5 in F minor
Book Your Tickets Now: Adults £15.00 and Under 26’s Go Free.
Want to know more about the 2017 Absolute Classics Festival? Find festival event information and book your tickets here.
Already booked your tickets? Make a night of it with a stay in our luxury hotel in Scotland.
There’s still time to take advantage of our exclusive August Dinner Bed and Breakfast deal at only £99 per night for a classic room, with deluxe upgrades available, and your choice of a full Scottish or continental breakfast served in our seasonal restaurant.
If you have any enquiries call our friendly team on 01848 323 101 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Things To Do with the Kids During the Summer Holidays
Remember when those 6 long weeks stretched out like a glorious eternity before you?
Well, school’s out for the summer but as a parent, you might not be feeling quite as confident about the holidays as your inner child. But with so many fantastic family activities in Dumfries and its surrounding areas, there’s plenty to keep big and little kids entertained. Here are some of our all-time favourites!
Our Top Family Activities in Dumfries and Galloway
1.Drumlanrig Castle A visit to this majestic pink palace could easily stretch out over multiple days. Boasting everything from riverside salmon fishing to an awe-inspiring fine art collection, all tastes and age groups are catered for. With a staggering 120 rooms (plus 17 turrets and 4 towers) it’s easy to lose yourself inside the castle’s imposing sandstone walls.
Drumlanrig, in a nutshell:
- Purpose built adventure playground – including a special toddler’s area
- Mountain biking – trails for all levels, bikes available to hire
- Walking and hiking – paths from 2-5 kilometres
- Landrover tours – explore the Nithsdale Valley in style, family tickets from £120.00 for 3 hours
- Ranger led activities – learn new skills with guided walks and events to help you discover the wildlife near your home
- Castle gardens
- The Castle Tearoom – drop in for some delicious local produce
- Dogs welcome – just like our dog friendly hotel!
Do you have a preschooler who’s biking mad? Take them along to Rik’s Bike Shed at Drumlanrig on a Monday afternoon for some balance and steering training!
- Mabie Farm Park This family orientated farm park offers lots of opportunities for little ones to get involved and is suitable for ages 0-12 years. Meet everyone from the llamas and donkeys to the chipmunks and pot bellied pigs!
Mabie Farm Park, in a nutshell:
- Animal feeding
- Pet handling – 3 times a day
- Visit the paddocks – and yes, they have ponies!
- Meet baby animals
- Quad biking
- Pedal Go-Karting
- Bouncy castle
- Indoor play barn – climbing wall and nets, ride on tractors and picnic tables
Mabie Farm Park is completely family friendly and great fun for adults too!
- Dino Park Situated within Hetland Garden Centre (a fantastic find in itself) Dino Park offers families a fully immersive prehistoric experience. Recently celebrating the launch of their new indoor soft play, the park is quickly becoming one of the most talked about family activities in Dumfries and Galloway. Check out some of their great reviews on TripAdvisor.
- Meet the dinosaurs (and hear them roar!)
- Dig for fossils
- Explore the Dino Mine
- Bouncy Dino
- Dino Bite – stop for lunch here or in Hetland Garden Centre’s Oak Tearoom
- Dino Den – listen to tales of millennia gone by as told by the Dino Rangers
- Educational and fun
- New indoor soft play – wet weather option with special toddler area
- Indoor astro-turf pitch
- Giant gorilla – take a selfie with him and win a prize!
You could win a family pass when you print a colouring page from the Dino Park website and bring the finished product with you when you visit in July and August!
Visiting Dumfries and Galloway on your summer holiday this year? Our friendly staff are full of local knowledge and will be happy to advise on the best things to do in Dumfries, to help you get the most out of your stay. Don’t forget to check out our summer hotel room offers and book early to avoid disappointment.
What’s Coming up in July in Dumfries and Galloway
Are you planning a trip to Dumfries and Galloway this summer? Don’t forget to check out our fabulous July Dinner, Bed & Breakfast deal! And to help you make the most of your luxury hotel break in Scotland, we’ve put together this handy run-down of what’s coming up in Dumfries and Galloway this July.
Sunday 2nd July – Let’s Get Sporty Super Sunday Family Fun Day Event
This year Let’s Get Sporty will be hosting their free family fun day event at the Crichton Estate in Dumfries. Come along and get involved with a host of attractions on offer – from ‘It’s a Knockout!’ to street dancing and martial arts. Completely free to attend, the event goes on from 11 am right through to 5 pm with catering on site!
Sunday 16th July – Folksy Theatre Production of Twelfth Night at Threave Gardens
Why not bring along a picnic to this summertime open-air production of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night? With their signature touch of live music and colourful characters, the Folksy Theatre ensemble is sure to delight and entertain with their rendition of this classic tale of love, madness and mistaken identity.
Sunday 16th July – Fred MacCaulay Live Stand Up Show at The Theatre Royal Dumfries
Legendary Scottish funnyman Fred MacCaulay brings his award-winning blend of satirical political comedy and ruthless pop-culture commentary to The Theatre Royal Dumfries, in his latest stand-up show for 2017. From the impending threat of Brexit to the devastating blow dealt by Trump upon Scottish golfers – this night promises to educate and inform as much as it entertains.
Sunday 23rd July – Fun Dog Show at Closeburn Playing Fields in Dumfries
Are you bringing your dog on holiday with you this year? Our dog-friendly hotel rooms are just the ticket for families with a four-legged member, simply let us know when making your booking. Then set aside a day just for them, by joining the Closeburn Ringcraft Show Dog Training Club for a fun packed day of classes from pedigree judging to handler fancy dress. All dogs are welcome! Register from 12 noon.
26th July – Stranraer Agricultural Show
One of Dumfries and Galloway’s most popular annual events, this hybrid agricultural show combines traditional livestock classes and the best of local agricultural products and rural crafts with all the live entertainment and trade stalls you could wish for in a truly family friendly fun day out.
29th-30th July – Spectacular Jousting at Caerlaverock Castle
Walk among knights and noblemen as hoards descend on this medieval encampment for the annual jousting tournament held at Caerlaverock Castle. Don’t miss this thrilling day of live action battles on horseback, as contenders compete for the revered championship crown.
Friday 28th July – Langholm Common Riding
This historic riding of the commons involves a week of festive celebrations in Langholm finishing with the ceremonial mounted procession of horses on Friday 28th followed by an evening of open air dancing. A tradition spanning over two hundred and forty years when the Burgesses were required to actively maintain boundaries to keep their land, this historic event has become a huge draw for equestrians and a reason for celebration in the community.
5 Ways to Enjoy the Summer Sun in Dumfries and Galloway
When it comes to family activities in Dumfries and Galloway, there is so much to get involved in all year round. But in the summer months the county really comes alive with more fantastic outdoor activities than you can shake an ice-pole at! Here we’ve put together just 5 ways to make the most of the summer season this year.
1. Step back in time
Dino Park, Hetland Garden Centre, Dumfries.
Step back in time and discover the giants who roamed our earth over 150 million years ago. A fantastic day out for all the family, the park is open 7 days a week from the beginning of April to the end of October. Dig for fossils, have fun on the bouncy dino, track the T-rex and discover hidden secrets in the depths of the Dino Mine. A real must-do for families visiting Dumfries this summer.
2. Become a botanical boffin
Logan Botanic Garden, Port Logan.
Wander the winding pathways around these fantastic gardens and discover their eclectic mix of rare and tropical plants. The kids will love spotting newts whilst you stroll alongside the fishpond or why not visit the Discovery Centre to find out more about the gardens, its collections and rich history. The award-winning Potting Shed Bistro on-site is renowned for its home cooked fare and family friendly atmosphere. They have a great children’s menu, play-table and also offer free wi-fi.
3. Visit Scotland’s most southerly lighthouse
The Mull of Galloway Lighthouse, Mull of Galloway, Drummore.
Climb Scotland’s most southerly lighthouse and you will be rewarded by distant views of Ireland and the Isle of Man, on a clear day. Enjoy hilltop walks boasting breathtaking views or roam along two miles of sandy beaches when you discover this tranquil paradise.
4. Play the day away
The Adventure Playground, Drumlanrig Castle, Dumfries.
The imposing hilltop castle isn’t only known for its 17th century renaissance architecture or extensive art collections… It’s also home to a purpose built woodland adventure playground! The amazing site promises hours of fun – and some very tired out children at the end of the day – featuring tunnel slides, suspension bridge, climbing nets and aerial runway to name just a few. Not forgetting the tiny tots, there is a toddler-friendly play area too. Why not have us make up a picnic for your day out? Everything is freshly prepared in our seasonal restaurant using delicious locally sourced produce from around Dumfries and Galloway! Just ask a member of staff.
5. Roam an enchanted forest
Galloway Forest Park, Galloway.
Keep an eye out for red deer and wild goats when exploring this expansive forest park. There are three visitor centres with a host of fantastic walks and family friendly cycle paths. The park is packed with breathtaking viewpoints, winding tracks and tranquil lochs which are home to a wonderful array of wildlife. With so much to see and do, a visit to Galloway Forest Park is undoubtedly one of the top family activities in Dumfries if you’re looking to get outdoors and enjoy the sun. But beware, you may find you need to extend your stay!
Want to take advantage of some of the amazing family activities in Dumfries and Galloway this summer? Check out our fantastic July Dinner, Bed & Breakfast Deal in Scotland.
And don’t worry, our friendly staff are always on hand to offer helpful local know-how on all of the things to do in the area during your stay.
Our Top Family Friendly Activities in Dumfries & Galloway
Fancy a summer stay in a boutique, luxury hotel surrounded by some of Scotland’s most breathtaking scenery? Book your stay with us and take advantage of our fantastic hotel room offers, dine in one of Dumfries and Galloway’s top restaurants (kids menu included!) and keep everyone amused with these 5 top family activities in Dumfries and Galloway.
- Mabie Farm Park. Suitable for all ages from tiny tots to 12-year-olds, Mabie Farm offers a great day out for the whole family. There are lots of animals to meet and outdoor play areas with trampolines, paddle boats and bouncy castles. Rainy day? No problem – they have an indoor soft play too and an onsite restaurant.
- Lochhill Equestrian Centre. This BHS approved riding centre in Castle Douglas welcomes beginners and caters to children aged 5 and upwards. The team will match you to a suitable mount and have horses to suit all experience levels. Why not have us rustle up a picnic for your day in the saddle? Remember to ring in advance, to let the ponies know you’re coming!
- The Red Deer Range. One of our famous family activities in Dumfries for older children aged 9+ and teenagers to enjoy with their parents. Hike this short trail with an experienced guide and meet these majestic creatures face-to-face. Make your way to the hideout for spectacular views!
- Drumlanrig Castle. Known affectionally as the ‘Pink Palace’ due to the red hue of its sandstone architecture, there’s an almost endless list of activities on offer at Drumlanrig. Take a guided tour around this historic 17th Century castle or explore some of the 90,000 acres of private estate land. Complete with an internationally renowned art collection and purpose-built adventure playground – there really is something for everyone. All this just minutes from our luxury country hotel.
- Mossyard Beach. Just one of the beautiful, tranquil beaches in the county. If you’re looking to catch a little respite why not take a picnic and make a day of it. And if you’re worn out from all of the fabulous family activities in Dumfries we’ve shared, we find a day relaxing on cosy sands to be the perfect antidote.
With so many family activities in Dumfries and Galloway, you’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to booking your Scottish summer break. Our friendly team are on hand to help and more than happy to advise on things to do in the local area. Start the day with a delicious home cooked brunch lovingly prepared using the finest local ingredients or why not have us make up a picnic for you? Just ask a member of the team!
We think the whole family deserves a summer holiday – don’t you?
Top Festivals in Dumfries and Galloway
As the weather heats up, our county comes alive with a vibrant array of family-friendly festivals celebrating the very best in music and visual arts. Here are our choices for the top festivals in Dumfries and Galloway not to be missed this summer!
On the 1st and 2nd of September 2017, the historic grounds of Drumlanrig Castle will play host to international superstars and favourite UK acts including Dizzee Rascal and Frightened Rabbit. With a campsite area just for families, just a 5-minute walk to the arena and great discounts for kids under 17 (under 5s go free!) Electric Fields is a great pick for your summer holiday. This year organisers have introduced even more to entertain your pint-sized party-goers with interactive play areas, crafts, games and entertainment including their own disco! If that’s not enough for you, why not check out Drumlanrig’s famous adventure playground.
Set in the stunning Raehills Meadows near Moffat, Scotland’s most famous boutique festival welcomes just 5000 lucky ticket holders each year. It has become one of the top festivals in Dumfries and Galloway due to the organiser’s commitment to involving young people and bringing communities together whilst supporting local and national artists. Famous for its food and drink, Eden Festival is just the place to sample some of Scotland’s delicious ales and ciders, tuck into a spicy Mexican burrito or enjoy a gourmet burger. Aside from music and munch, their range of activities on offer is astounding. Little ones should prepare to be dazzled with fire shows and puppetry on display, or turn their hands to learning forest skills in a tipi or get creative in the art yurt. To top it off, the festival is completely free for under 12s! Check it out from 8-11th June 2017.
Known affectionately as ‘The World Ceilidh’ this vivacious festival takes place from 25th-28th May 2017 and is a true melting pot of arts, culture and musical talent. Organisers have dubbed this family friendly a ‘global hoedown in the hills’ celebrating cultural fusion and creative diversity, whilst supporting the regeneration of the Scottish Uplands. It makes our list of the top festivals in Dumfries and Galloway because it’s run by families, for families with a line-up featuring traditional Celtic sounds right through to Jamaica’s premier reggae artists. Oh, and they even have unicorns.
Make your summer holiday something special for the whole family this year by visiting one of the top festivals in Dumfries and Galloway. We have some great family rooms on offer as well as our cottages and a fantastic kids menu in our restaurant too.
5 Things to Do in the Summer in Dumfries and Galloway
There are few things less beautiful than the Scottish springtime… but our summertime is one of them! We have some fantastic room rates on offer this month and we are even dog-friendly, so the whole family can come on their summer jollies! Here are just 5 great things to do in Dumfries and Galloway this summer.
1.Walk to the Grey Mare’s Tail – The UK’s fifth highest waterfall and certainly the most beautiful! The Grey Mare Tail plunges an impressive 60 metres from Loch Skeen. Hike to the top for breathtaking views over this historic hanging valley.
2. Cycle famous 7 Stanes – Mountain bike enthusiasts can bag 5 out of the 7 award winning hill and woodland trails within the county. The trails are characterised by their individual stones, placed somewhere along each trail, by Carlisle sculptor, George Young.
3. Knockengorroch World Ceilidh – Described as a ‘global hoedown in the hills’ this family friendly festival is a vibrant melting pot of music, arts and workshops set deep in the hills of Upland Scotland. Committed to celebrating cultural diversity and supporting the regeneration of the Scottish Uplands, this festival celebrates a myriad of music genres and welcomes musicians and performers from across the world.
4. Eden Festival – This small, boutique festival welcomes just 5000 guests each year. Set in the stunning Raehills meadows, Eden’s playlist includes everything from ska and pop to R’n’B and dance hall. There are actives for all ages, including treasures hunts and arts & crafts. Children 12 years and under can come in free of charge, too!
5. Soak-Up the Sun – Located near the charming market town of Thornhill, our local area is full of scenic trails and steeped in history. We’d be happy to pack you off with a picnic for your family day out, just ask. As the sun goes down, why not relax and enjoy the Scottish sunshine with a glass of wine or a cold beer in our beautiful beer garden!
Guests will be spoilt for choice with so many things to do in Dumfries and Galloway during their stay with us. There’s something to keep the whole family amused! After a day in the summer sun, sit down to a delicious meal of seasonal restaurant grub, made with the finest local ingredients. We have a range of gluten-free and vegetarian options available too. Why not check out our menu before your visit?
What’s Coming Up in Dumfries and Galloway in April and May
With so much going on in our vibrant county this month, we’ve put together our top picks of what’s coming up!
Dumfries and Galloway Science Festival 28th April
Focused on making science fun and accessible, this free family event can be enjoyed by all ages. With a range of interactive workshops, drop-in events and shows, the 2017 Science Festival is bound to have Dumfries and Galloway buzzing this month!
Make sure to pop into Loreburn Shopping Centre from 2pm on Friday 28th April for The Science Circus. This exciting display of ‘magical’ tricks and demos is guaranteed to astound and amaze!
Live Theatre Broadcast at The Fullarton Theatre 20th April @ 7pm
Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead (12A)
Broadcast live from the Old Vic Theatre in London. This hilarious stage play follows two of Shakespeare’s minor characters from Hamlet as the comedy duo haphazardly negotiate their version of events. Starring Daniel Radcliffe, Joshua McGuire and David Haig, this new twist on an old tale is suitable for adults and older teenagers. Get your tickets from The Fullarton Theatre, Castle Douglas.
Why not make a night of it with our fantastic April & May room offer? Start off with a delicious pre-theatre dinner and wake up to a home-cooked breakfast the next morning. Don’t mind if we do!
2 Day Dry Stone Dyking Course 22nd – 23rd April
Ever fancied yourself as a modern day Hadrian? Learn how to build your own dry stone wall under expert instruction with this two-day beginner’s course run by the Dry Stone Waller’s Association. The event takes place at Loch Arthur and you can find out more here.
The Spring Fling 27-29th May
Dumfries and Galloway’s signature arts festival is back! Widely regarded as Scotland’s premier visual arts and crafts open studio event, each year more than 90 artists and expert craftspeople showcase their work at The Spring Fling. This interactive event offers visitors a unique opportunity to peak behind the scenes as artists and craftspeople demonstrate their techniques and explain their creative process.
And that’s just a taster! With so many fantastic events happening around Dumfries and Galloway, book early to take advantage of our April & May room offer.
Our Dinner Bed and Breakfast Deal Scotland includes:
£99 per room per night
- A one night stay in one of our Classic Rooms for two people – upgrades to Deluxe are available on request for £30
- A £30 allocation towards dinner
- A bag of locally sourced chocolates in your room
- A full Scottish or Continental Breakfast
Whether you’re booking a romantic getaway or looking for a dog friendly hotel in Scotland – we have just the room for you at our luxury country hotel.
Easter Farmers Market – Sunday April 2nd
Easter Farmers Market in Dumfries & Galloway
After the overwhelming success of our first Farmer’s Market, we are excited to welcome you all to our Easter edition! Once again we will be showcasing a tantalising assortment of produce from local businesses and suppliers. Come and indulge your sweet tooth with some local fudge or a scrumptious bake washed down with a tipple of local cider. A great day out full of Easter fun for the whole family, a chance to pick up some wonderful gifts and treats whilst supporting your local community.
The Galloway Fudge Company
Delicious traditional Scottish sweeties, lovingly handcrafted using the finest ingredients. This family run team are renowned for their mouth-watering fudge, tablet, marshmallows and macaroons.
Max and Penny Norwell’s artisan cider is naturally fermented with no added ingredients. None of the added flavourings, sweeteners or sulphites found in commercial ciders. Just 100% juice, squeezed from whole apples, grown and gathered in the local area.
Damn Fine Cheese Company
Dedicated to bringing the best selection of fine cheeses to the table, to discover their delectable offerings just follow the mouse!
Breezy – Clothing
Time for a spring clean? Refresh your wardrobe with something new and indulge in a little retail therapy. Breezy will be at the Hotel with a fabulous collection of second hand and upcycled clothing for you to take a look through.
Whilst some like it hot, some like it super hot… or mild. These prolific Scottish chilli growers make their versatile preserves in a variety of heats. Their ingenious flavour combinations and range of speciality products are all concocted with a commitment to locally sourced, seasonal ingredients.
Nith Valley Eggs
Free range should mean just that. That’s why the happy hens at Nith Valley spend their days roaming thirty some acres of woodland farm land. It’s this focus on the health and well-being of their hens that makes a Nith Valley egg so tasty. Cadbury’s are no match for these creamy delights this Easter.
Cows & Co.
Premium artisan cheese producers, the team at Cows & Co have just launched a new range made exclusively from the milk of their Ayrshire cows who roam the Galloway hills. We are very excited to be welcoming them to our Farmers Market in Dumfries & Galloway for the first time!
Julia Rome – Plants
Spring has officially sprung! Julia will be on hand with an array of blossoming offerings for green-fingered guests.
Don’t mind if we do! Kirkcudbright baking sensation Jade specialises in inspiring bakes – from the traditional celebration cakes to the new party bag ‘cake pops’. Her gourmet wedding favours are the new in thing with brides to be and sweetie carts for hire are the stuff birthday dreams are made of.
Annie’s Delicious Bakes
Just what it says on the (baking) tin. This mother and daughter lead team specialise in all manner of tasty bakes, now supplying many outlets within Dumfries and Galloway. They will be bringing a scrumptious selection of savoury pies… perhaps just the spot for lunch?
Our Farmers Market in Dumfries & Galloway is a quarterly event. We hope you can make this one, but if not, not to worry! We will be hosting another one in the summer so watch this space. Any questions, contact us here at The Buccleuch & Queensberry Arms Hotel and we will be happy to help.
March is coming – 5 reasons to book a hotel stay in Dumfries & Galloway this month!
Whatever the weather this week, March is well on its way and with the prospect of spring just around the corner there’s never been a better time to get out and about and take a hotel stay in Dumfries & Galloway. Thinking of a staycation or just need a Hotel break or maybe you’re still in need of some convincing, here are 5 good reasons to brush off those walking boots and unpack your macs!
Be more productive
Long periods of time indoors can dull our senses and make us sluggish. Getting outside has been shown to increase creativity and improve focus, helping you stay on top of your game. If you need a mental boost, a walk in the great outdoors could be just the ticket. With paths for all abilities, walking in the idyllic Scottish countryside is the perfect escape for families and comes with the added benefit of tiring out the kids or those dogs!
If you’re a hard-wired worrier or just struggling to wind down, head for the hills! Studies have shown that spending time in the forest leads to decreased cortisol levels, lowered heart rate and an increased overall sense of well being, compared with those in the city. There are plenty of activities we can organise from the Hotel!
Boost your immune system
Feel like you’ve been trying to shake that cold since Christmas? Getting outside has been shown to increase cellular function helping the body to rebuild and repair itself, resulting in a stronger immune system that’s better equipped to fight infection.
Improve sleep quality
Spending a day doing your favourite outdoor pursuit doesn’t just improve your mood and benefit your health, but can help you sleep better at the end of the day. Getting a good dose of natural light exposure helps maintain the body’s natural circadian rhythm, leaving you feeling refreshed and revitalised in the morning – just as you should be!
There’s more time
A Hotel stay in Dumfries & Galloway in March is prime time to make the most of the light! With the nights drawing out a little longer each day, this month will see the return of our evenings once again. As spring rolls around it’s easier to get out for a wander after work, take your bike for a spin or even just get into the garden with the kids. In winter it’s easy to feel like the day ends at 4pm, so make the most of these longer evenings and make some time for you.
So there you have it, a hotel stay in Dumfries & Galloway is just what you need for the month of March to clear the mind and boost the immune system! We still have a early bird dine & stay offer available as well as great rates on rooms in April & May.
Valentines has landed – BQA Valentines Menu Review
Whilst many of us may feel similarly about January as we do Monday mornings, it’s really February, the ‘Tuesday of months’ that can leave us truly in need of rest and relaxation. Without residual giddiness from our festive jollies, and with busy work schedules back in full swing, there couldn’t be a better time to escape to the idyllic Scottish countryside. With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, its the perfect excuse to whisk away the one you love for a romantic Scottish Valentine’s get-away!
Set against the scenic backdrop of Lowther Hill, along with stunning scenery and luxury rooms The Buccleuch & Queensberry Arms Hotel is also home to one of the finest restaurants in Dumfries and Galloway. Our menus are developed by head chef Will Pottinger, with a focus on showcasing local produce and quality ingredients.
Our delectable Valentines Menu will be served up from Monday 13th – Sunday 19th February, at only £30 per person.
Tantalise your tastebuds with a selection of our Chef’s canapés followed by your choice of starter:
Asparagus and Slow Cooked Egg with Hollandaise Sauce
Wood Pigeon with cous cous, pigeon pastille and a date purée
Smoked Salmon & Crab Tian with lemon Mayo and a herb salad
For the Main Event…
Venison Saddle with celeriac purée, baked beetroot and red cabbage
Sea Bass with tomato & seafood sauce, accompanied by a herb salsa
Pea, Leek, Mascarpone Risotto with a rocket salad
Finally choose from one of our truly decedent desserts!
Flambéed Strawberry with vanilla cream and shortbread biscuit
Chocolate Fondant with raspberry sorbet
Selection of Local Cheese served with oatcakes & chutney
Tea or Coffee accompanied by homemade tablet
Why not make a night of it with our fabulous Scottish Valentines package? For £99 per person this includes:
• A one night stay in one of our Classic Rooms – upgrade to Deluxe for £30
• A £30 allocation towards dinner
• A full Scottish or Continental Breakfast
• A bottle of Champagne on arrival
Whether its a wee dram in the bar, an adventure in our scenic countryside or a day of pampering that tickles you’re fancy, couples will be spoilt for choice with things to do in Dumfires and Galloway during their Scottish Valentine’s get-away!
Want to book our Valentines Menu? This Menu is available from the 13th – 19th of February.
5 Winter Walks to Make the Most of in Dumfries and Galloway
Avid walker and taking a weekend break in Scotland?
Winter in Scotland is simply magical, when snow capped peaks tower over frost covered glens and crisp, fresh air fills your lungs. Its the perfect time for avid walkers to escape for a weekend break in Scotland the the BQA Hotel. From breathtaking coastlines to rugged hills and forest, the rolling landscape of Dumfries and Galloway is a walker’s paradise. With paths for all abilities from the experienced hiker to the wee-est of weans, the whole family can become explorers for a day in this winter wonderland. Here are just 5 to get you started!
- Threave Garden & Estate Circular Walk – a great starter at 2.5 miles and easy going, this walk is suitable for all abilities whilst still promising stunning countryside views over gravel, grass and earth paths through winding river valleys and secret gardens. Rest weary soles with a visit to Threave Castle itself, a formidable island fortress steeped in history.
- Loch Trool Circular Walk – 5.5 miles along the loch side and through the forest is the historic site where Robert the Bruce defeated an army of 1500 with only 300 men by luring them to the steep banks of the loch. This walk is home to a variety of wildlife including roe deer and has many waterfalls and burns running down its steep declines.
- The Annan Riverside Walk – an average 6 mile round trip with a choice of starting points, this circular walk along the River Annan has a bridge in between to allow for shorter routes and stops can be made at Annan or Brydekirk for a little well earned refreshment.
- Galloway Forest Park – spanning over 300 square miles with gentle burnside ambles all the way to the 8 miles scale up The Merrick, the southern uplands’ highest summit. Walkers here can hope to see red squirrel, visit Murray’s Monument and pass by the picturesque Grey Mare’s Tail Waterfall. There’s three friendly visitor’s centres too!
- The Mull Of Galloway Trail – experienced country walkers will be treated to breathtaking costal views as they follow this trail along both sides of the peninsula passing the lighthouse and majestic cliffs. This meaty 35 mile trail can be shortened slightly but is not for the faint hearted.
Make the most of winter this year when you escape to peace and tranquility, in this land of outstanding natural beauty, with a weekend break in Scotland.
How to Have a Staycation in Dumfries & Galloway
As whirlwind of the festive season hurls us unceremoniously into the new year, you’d be forgiven for feeling like you’re already due some R&R. With the exception of a lucky few, a spot of winter sun is probably not on the horizon this month. But as we trudge through January, all is not lost! We’re convinced there’s no better way to perk up and recharge than to indulge in a little holiday on home turf. Book yourself into Trip Advisor’s top luxury country hotel in the area and let your Staycation in Dumfries & Galloway begin!
Scotland boasts some of the world’s most vibrant terrain, with endless possibilities for exploring against breathtaking backdrops. All just 90 minutes from both Edinburgh and Glasgow, guests at the BQA Hotel are spoilt for choice…
- Have a day’s shooting on your choice of beautiful local estates
- Golf on one of the finest championship courses at Troon or T-off at 1500ft above sea level on Scotland’s highest golf course, and everything in between
- Avid amblers, cyclists and mountains bikers of all abilities can explore a vast network of local trails from coastal routes to forrest and hill tracks. The area is also home to four of the famous ‘7 Stanes’.
- Kayaking and canoeing is available for the experienced and beginner with top notch local instructors
- Famous for our salmon and trout, fishing tickets for the area are available direct from the hotel
- An area steeped in history, the guided tour at Drumlanrig Castle is not to be missed. There is a vibrant creative scene all year round but art lovers particularly flock to the area for ‘The Spring Fling‘ in which artists showcase their work in Scotland’s largest open studio event.
And if all of this sounds a little too vigorous, you may prefer to relax and indulge all without leaving the comfort of the hotel. Follow up a Molton Brown soak in one of our deluxe hotel rooms with a cocktail in the bar before dinner. Our skilled chefs who are as passionate about the local area as we are, serve up a vibrant and diverse menu in our restaurant, showcasing quality local produce. Discover a world on your doorstep through a staycation in Dumfries & Galloway and you may never want to leave!
Why a Scottish Hotel Break for Winter is just what you need!
Why a Scottish Hotel Break for Winter is just what you need!
-Looking for a Scottish Hotel Break at a Luxury Hotel?
-Look no further than the Buccleuch and Queensberry Arms Hotel.
-Here are our top 5 reasons why a Scottish winter break hold the key to your Christmas.
Peace and Quiet
-Located in the heart of the picturesque market town of Thornhill just north of Dumfries, the Buccleuch and Quensberry Arms Hotel is perfectly situated to ensure your break is a truly restful one. Thornhill is a peaceful and charming market town without the congestion and bustle of a more built up area.
Surrounded by rolling hills, Thornhill is the perfect place to explore the local area’s dramatic scenery. Scottish scenery boasts an unrivalled reputation across the United Kingdom for good reason. The air is fresh and revitalising, the local wildlife population is plentiful and the scenery is breathtakingly beautiful.
Drumlanrig Castle, situated only 3 miles down the road is one of Scotland’s most spectacular castles. The exterior is immaculately preserved, whilst the interior hoards a range of visual delights. Drumlanrig remains one of the finest examples of 17th Century Renaissance architecture throughout Scotland.
Break your fast at BQA Hotel’s outstanding restaurant! This luxury hotel in Scotland provides consistently excellent dishes made with only the freshest ingredients. Head-chef William Pottinger also specialises in creating sumptuous new dishes which you can sample on the Specials menu.
Activities and Adventure
The local area has a fantastic array of walks including coastline, forest and hill routes. The famous Andy Goldsworthy ‘Striding Arches Hill Walk’ is just one of many exhilarating walks available. For keen fishers and golfers, Nithsdale is renowned for its salmon and trout fishing, whilst the justifiably famous golf course at Troon is within easy reach from the hotel. For the more adventurous couples Mountain Biking and Kayaking can be easily arranged.
Let the Christmas festivities begin at our Luxury Hotel near Dumfries!
The Christmas Farmers Market at the BQA Hotel
Sunday 4th December 11am-4pm
-The BQA Hotel is a luxury hotel near Dumfries.
-The Christmas Farmers Market at the BQA Hotel promises to be a hugely exciting affair!
-Here is our guide to some of the local suppliers showcasing this year.
Got a sweet tooth? Border Tablet specialises in producing the finest traditional hand-made Scottish confectionary. Whether you are looking for special gifts for weddings or just a treat for the family, their mouth-watering array of Tablet is freshly made within a 72 hour period. Border table have been supplying our Luxury Hotel near Dumfries for years and we wouldn’t go anywhere else!
Damn Fine Cheese Company
The clue is in the name with this one. Purveyors of high-quality cheese, this local Scottish company take great delight in delivering a consistently excellent range of cheeses to a growing fan-base. As well as stocking traditional flavours of cheeses, the Damn Fine Cheese Company produce tantalising treats such as Whiskey and Orange Cheddar and Cranberry Cheddar. For a preview check out their full range of cheese head over to their website!
Creative Whiskey Company
The Creative Whiskey Company specialise in producing Exclusive, single cask, single malt whiskies. They are exclusive because each bottling is from one cask. Far-removed from the cut-price and mainstream whiskies available in supermarkets or discount stores, Creative Whiskey boast a fantastic reputation for producing creative and excellent Scottish whiskey. Founder David Stirk has spent 15 years researching every aspect of whisky production. Definitely one not to be missed!
Nith Valley Eggs
Ranked as one of Scotland’s top producers of free-range eggs, Nith Valley Eggs has a loyal and expanding customer base. Situated on a 30-acre plot of land, the farm is home to over 13,000 hens. Unlike many other farms, the hens have the freedom to roam the woods and countryside. The farm is the only free-range woodland based farm in Dumfries and Galloway, producing fresh and high-quality free-range eggs.
Roan’s Dairy produce fresh free-range milk and cream from their herd of cows that roam the luscious green pastures of their farm. The owners have over 6 generations of farming experience, which they put to good use ensuring the milk produced is of the highest quality.
First founded in 1830, Annandale Distillery has a proud tradition of producing fine Single Malt Scotch whiskey. Closed in 1918, it was re-born in November 2014. Annandale produces two types of Single Malt Scotch whiskey: the smooth ‘Man o’ Words’, inspired by the poet Robert Burns and the strong and powerful ‘Man o’ Sword’ named after King Robert the Bruce.
The Wee Tea Company
Producing an incredible range of teas from across the world, the Wee Tea Company are guaranteed to have something for everyone. Choose from old favourites such as Earl Grey and Blue Flower. Or specialist Scottish teas such as Highland Chai Tea and teas from as far afield as China, India and Sri Lanka!
-A fabulous array of local goods on offer in the delightful surroundings of the BQA Hotel near Dumfries.
-More Suppliers are being added every day, so watch this space!!
-Finish a perfect afternoon out with the family with a meal in our Luxury Hotel near Dumfries’s excellent restaurant or a drink in our welcoming bar!
The Perfect Dog Friendly Hotel Scotland, Dumfries and Galloway!
-Looking for a Dog Friendly Hotel Scotland?
-The BQA hotel is a luxurious and dog friendly hotel that welcomes pets with open arms.
-We don’t charge anything extra for dogs.
-We have three resident dogs, Merlin, Murphy and Huxley who love to welcome new dogs to the pack!
-The BQA Hotel is fortunate to be situated in Thornhill, a brilliant base for exploring the local areas fantastic walks and attractions. Here our some of our favourites:
The Striding Arches Walk
-Combining nature with the artwork of Andy Goldsworthy, this walk is a unique blend of scintillating scenery and pioneering artwork. In 2002, Andy, in partnership with the local community and national organisations, crafted several arches made out of Dumfriesshire sandstone which he set up on hilltops in Cairnhead forest. The spectacular arches dominate the hilltops for miles around and are the perfect fusion of nature and artistic creativity.
-For serious walkers and energetic dogs, to hike from one hill-top arch to the next is a distance of roughly 16km (10 miles). The terrain is dramatic but affords little in the way of a relaxing hike! You should expect rough and hilly terrain and you will need a compass and a map to navigate the area. This one is for the fitness fanatics or those who happily let their dogs pull them up hills!
-Alternative and equally beautiful routes are also available. Follow this link for all route details and advice.
Drumlanrig Castle and Grounds
-Drumlanrig Castle is situated only 3 miles down the road from the BQA Hotel. It is one of Scotland’s most spectacular castles and dates back to the 17th Century. It also boasts an impressive array of walks in the Castle’s grounds which are perfect for exercising your dog surrounded by stunning heritage and nature. The Castle actively welcomes dogs as much as our dog friendly hotel Scotland does, but does insist that they are kept on leads at all times and kept on the paths. Here are some of the Castle’s fantastic walks.
1.To Beech Loch and Back: 2km – purple way-markers: This is an easy stroll for you and your dogs through the woodland adjacent to the Castle.
2.Enchanted Forest: 2.5km – red way-markers: Another short stroll through the woods of Drumlanrig, and past Beech and Coldstream Lochs, before heading downhill back to the Castle. Keep an eye out for red squirrels!
3. The Marr Burn. 4km – blue way-markers: This walk starts in beautiful woodlands before emerging onto the bank of the Marr Burn. Keep an eye peeled for the Victorian era St Geoffrey’s Bridge and Andy Goldsworthy’s sandstone arch and let your dogs splash about to their hearts’ content.
4.Castle View. 5km – green way-markers: A strenuous walk, you’ll begin with a gradual climb to Mount Malloch. At the summit, you’ll be welcomed by fantastic views overlooking the Queensberry Estate and the River Nith. Onwards from here, your route passes Starn Loch and the giant Wellingtonia trees before you enter Starn Cleuch, a reconstructed Victorian footpath which takes you through a steep gorge on the home strait.
-Morton Castle, situated only a short distance from the BQA Hotel, enjoys without any doubt one of Scotland’s most breath-taking settings. Perched high above a loch, the remnants of the castle form an awesome backdrop to the area’s fabulous scenery. Built in around 1300 by the Earls of Morton, little now remains of the once impressive stonework. However, the area’s fabulous scenery and walking opportunities more than make up for this. The castle is remote so you will have the freedom of the countryside for you and your dogs to make full use of.
Forest of Ae
-Ironically possessing one of the shortest names in the world for a forest, the huge expanse of Ae Forest is a delightfully scenic place to exercise your dogs. The forest has two exceptional designated walks for you and your furry friends to enjoy! A short drive from our dog friendly hotel Scotland too, so easy to get to and great to enjoy!
1.Water of Ae Riverside Trail: 3 ¼ miles. Moderate: A wonderful stroll along the Water of Ae. Look out for wildlife in the trees and burn. Firm gravel surface throughout. Two cattle grids.
2.Green Hill Trail: 5 ½ miles. Strenuous. A long route along the Water of Ae before climbing a hill. Excellent views across to Queensberry Hill. Long slopes, rough and narrow path with tree roots.
5. Balcary Bay and Rascarrel 1.5- 8 miles.
-Just under an hour’s drive from the BQA Hotel, this is a hugely popular area for walking given the excellent sea views, dramatic cliffs and abundant birdlife. There is a huge array of options on this walk so you can keep it short or test your endurance. The area is teeming with birdlife, so expect to see Oystercatcher, Curlew, Redshank, Dunlin, and Grey Heron.
-The fantastic thing about this walk is its abundance of widlife. If you carry along to Rascarrel you will reach Loch Mackie. The woodland that surrounds the Loch is home to Goldcrests, Coal Tits, Robin and Sparrowhawk. If you are walking in the area in the late evening, you will even have the chance to spot Roe Deer. The Loch itself is home to Waterfowl, Mallard, Goldeneye, Tufted Duck and Cormorant. Bird watcher’s paradise! So once you’ve enjoy all of these fabulous sights, head back to our dog friendly hotel Scotland for some much needed rest and relaxation and maybe a cream tea for two!
If you’re looking for a Dog Friendly Hotel Scotland, the BQA Hotel is the answer to your prayers; our rooms our cosy and so is our bar! In fact we are quite fond of our menu as well! Our team all love dogs, and the hotel, situated in the heart of the charming market town of Thornhill, is perfectly located for you and your dogs to explore the surrounding area’s many delights. Enjoy!
The BQA Hotel receives VisitScotland Taste our Best award
The BQA Hotel is a luxury hotel and restaurant in Dumfries and Galloway. We aim to provide the ultimate luxury experience to all of our customers. This includes in our seasonal restaurant. It is this pride of service that has recently gained us the recognition from VisitScotland who have awarded us with the Taste Our Best award.
What does the Taste Our Best award mean?
Fresh and Local
Receiving the Taste Our Best award means that the food prepared in our hotel is fresh and local produce. Our menus use local produce wherever possible in order to keep food miles to a minimum. Changing the dishes on our menus to keep in line with foods coming in and out of seasons is one way we ensure this.
Friendly and Knowledgeable Staff
A great restaurant requires three main things (amongst all the little added extras); good chefs, good quality food and good service. Another reason Visit Scotland perceive our restaurant as eligible recipients of the Taste Our Best award is the staff in our restaurant in Dumfries and Galloway. In addition to being friendly and providing great customer service, they are knowledgeable of the origins of the produce in the current dishes. From the perspective of the customer, information on where food has come from is always appreciated. That is why all of our staff are up to date with information of the current menu.
Finally, The BQA Hotel meets the requirements for the Taste Our Best award due to promoting ingredients of Scottish provenance. We highlight to our guests where are produce is sourced from. 40% of which, is also locally sourced from Scottish producers.
VisitScotland awards the Taste Our Best as a way to celebrate the best of Scottish food. This commendation comes to The BQA Hotel because our food is from local sources as much as possible, which changes from season to season to guarantee ultimate freshness and promoted as such by our friendly staff. Have a look at the menus for our restaurant in Dumfries and Galloway online right here!
Christmas is Coming to our Luxury Hotel in Scotland!
Christmas is Coming to our Luxury Hotel in Scotland!
As we get further into Autumn, that means one thing…it’s getting closer and closer to Christmas! The run up to Christmas in the BQA luxury hotel in Scotland is an exciting time as the festivities get fully under way! Here are some of the ways the BQA Hotel will be bringing the Christmas spirit to Thornhill in Dumfries and Galloway.
Christmas Farmer’s Market
To get you in the christmas mood in the run up to the big day, on Sunday 4th December the BQA Hotel is hosting a Christmas Farmer’s Market. The market will run from 11am to 4pm; a whole day of tasty christmas treats! As a luxury hotel in Scotland, we select our suppliers with the utmost care and consideration in order to provide our customers with the very best service. The Christmas Farmer’s Market will be a christmas showcase of all of these suppliers, with the addition of other fantastic local suppliers offering a wide variety of products. Definitely not a day to be missed!
Christmas Festive Menu
All through December we have our BQA Festive Menu running. The menu will be available right up until 24th December. This menu offers a taste of Christmas with all the trimmings to get your taste buds tingling for the main event. Perfect for any occasion including the ideal office christmas outing!
Perhaps you are searching for something different this Christmas? Well our luxury hotel Scotland has just the christmas gift for you. The BQA Hotel has fantastic Christmas packages available for you to book to enjoy a luxury break over Christmas. Enjoy all of the traditional festivities surrounded by beautifully idyllic Scottish countryside. Have a look at our fantastic offers right here!
Christmas Day Lunch
And finally, Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without the star of the show, which is of course the Christmas Day Lunch. Turkey accompanied by all of the traditional trimmings, prepared by William Pottinger and the team of superb chefs at the BQA Hotel.
The BQA Hotel is a luxury hotel in Scotland. We aim to provide all the fun and festivities of Christmas with a little extra luxury. Join us over Christmas for a festive lunch, Christmas Day or even the Winter Market.
What is new for the BQA Luxury Hotel Scotland
Autumn is fully upon us now as we move into October. Waving goodbye to Summer means new exciting prospects for our luxury hotel Scotland. The start of the shoot season has begun, Autumn means delicious new menu changes and The BQA has a new venture ready to take the food world of Dumfries and Galloway by storm.
The shooting season is now in full swing! Drumlanrig Castle is one of the world’s premier shooting locations and we can completely understand why. Guests of our luxury hotel Scotland travel the breadth of the country for the opportunity to explore the varied terrain of the castle grounds. With 20 partridge drives, 25 pheasant drives and 25000 acres of heather moorland on offer for an exhilarating and diverse day of shooting Drumlanrig seems second to none! Enjoy spectacular views like this on a crisp October morning with Drumlanrig Castle.
The change of season brings with it some new menu changes. These include delicious dishes centred around game such as wood pigeon and venison and desserts using fruit such as blackberries and pears. The BQA have also started serving coffee flavoured with your choice of syrup! Pumpkin Spice, caramel, vanilla and hazelnut are the current syrups available to sweeten up a Monday morning.
The BQA is proud to announce the new beginning that is Jousting Catering. Do you love the food at the BQA hotel? Do you have a dinner party, wedding or special occasion coming up? Well Jousting Catering can provide the excellence of food and service from the hotel straight into your home. Everything will be provided for you to create your perfect event. For more details have a look here.
Treat yourself and book a deluxe room in our luxury hotel Scotland to enjoy a relaxing break away in a beautiful corner of rural Scotland.
Shooting in Dumfries and Galloway
Thornhill is a small village in Dumfries and Galloway, surrounded by some of Scotland’s most idyllic scenery. As a luxury hotel in Thornhill, the BQA Hotel is in the perfect location in relation to game shooting in Dumfries and Galloway. There are fantastic and exciting game drives in close proximity to the hotel, making the most of surrounding countryside. Here are some of the best shoots available to you here in Dumfries and Galloway.
The BQA Hotel is situated in an ideal location for game shooting. Within 5 miles distance from the hotel is Drumlanrig Castle. Partridge, pheasant and grouse shooting are all available at the castle. Enjoy an exhilarating day shooting on some of the world’s most premier and renowned shooting grounds. Led by the Duke of Buccleuch, head games keepers and estate managers the grounds of the castle are exceptionally cared for and maintained. With 20 partridge drives, 25 pheasant drives and 25000 acres of heather moorland for grouse to live on, the castle offers extensively varied drives. Shooting could span across three days without doing the same drive twice.
A traditional country house found at the heart of Dumfries and Galloway is extensively used for shooting in Dumfries and Galloway throughout the season. Nestled amongst dramatic hills, the countryside surrounding Auchenbrack House is perfect for pheasant shooting. The House has recently been renovated to a superbly high standard, with 9 uniquely designed bedrooms making the estate an ideal choice for shooting parties.
Forrest Estate Experience
Offering both driven pheasant and partridge days, rough shooting and also introduction to shooting lessons, Forrest Estate Experiences is another popular choice in terms of shooting locations. For those not accustomed to the art and etiquette of shooting there are one to one lessons available with trained shooting instructors. For the more experienced shot there are both driven and rough days available. The private estate holds 11000 acres of breathtakingly beautiful Scottish countryside .
Shooting and outdoor sporting activities are very popular and highly regarded in the region. There are numerous fantastic locations available for shooting in Dumfries and Galloway. The BQA Hotel in Thornhill is then the perfect place to relax and unwind after a long day in the field in a luxury Scottish hotel room. Have a look at our beautiful deluxe rooms here!
Kirroughtree Kids Cycle Track has had a Makeover!
Dumfries and Galloway is home to some of the world’s most exciting mountain bike trails. The 7 Stanes in particular, is a thrilling range of trails spread across the region with tracks suitable for all ages, abilities and families. At each trail there is a stane, meaning stone, representing an ancient myth or legend connected to that particular area. If you are visiting Thornhill during the October, this is one of the best kids activities for October holidays in the area that will appeal to the whole family.
At each location there are tracks of varying difficulty including those suitable for children and spaces to practice technical ability before hitting the harder routes. Recently the track at Kirroughtree though has undergone a makeover! Great news for families looking for exciting kids activities for October holidays!
The 2km taster loop has been extended with a new section of single track for young riders to try out. The beauty of these tracks for children is that they can experience all of the thrill and adrenaline of the downhill fun without a large uphill climb to start with. The new track includes new sweeping berms and camel humps which is definitely a step up from the previous blue graded track!
This new track is the ideal introduction for younger riders who are looking to increase their confidence on blue graded trails before attempting longer routes. The Kirroughtree trail is intended to be ridden without brakes. Intentionally creating the track in this way teaches younger riders not to panic if they can’t slow themselves down in the right places.
Kirroughtree is also set to see a new pump track being built to be ready for use in spring/summer 2017. Pump tracks are designed to be ridden without the rider pedalling, simply manipulating the bike using their upper and lower body to propel the bike around the track. The introduction of this track will also improve the riding ability of the younger riders not yet ready to tackle the blue graded track.
Whilst staying in our luxury country hotel during the October holidays, Kirroughtree is the perfect day out to keep the entire family entertained regardless of ages! Have a look at our incredible hotel rooms right here! Once you have seen them you simply won’t be able to resist.
50 Things to see and do in Dumfries and Galloway
Dumfries and Galloway is too often an under appreciated and overlooked part of Scotland. Here at The Buccleuch and Queensberry Arms Hotel, we happen to be very proud of where our luxury hotel sits in the region. Dumfries and Galloway is a fantastic place to visit with an extensive range of activities and attractions to suit all ages and interests. So, here is a bucket list of 50 things we think you should see, do and visit in Dumfries and Galloway.
Built in collaboration with the Cairn Community Trust, The Striding Arches utilise the fantastic landscape to demonstrate examples of Andy Goldsworthy’s work and attract visitors to the area. The more adventurous travellers can follow the arches around D&G with the three arches sitting on hilltops ‘striding’ across Cairnhead, near Moniaive.
Discover the 700 year old love story of Lady Dervorgilla and her husband John Balliol. Visit the still awe-inspiring and complete Abbey church. After the death of her beloved husband she kept his embalmed heart with him right until the day she also died, when she had it buried alongside her. The Abbey is named Dulce Cor which is Latin for Sweet Heart.
Named the Pink Palace for the pink hue given by the sandstone, it is often regarded as one of the most spectacular examples of 17th century architecture. Tour the castle guided by an expert, or walk the beautiful gardens at your leisure. There are endless activities on the grounds of the castle including game shooting days that will suit any age. Drumlanrig Castle also has world class mountain bike trails and a very exciting adventure playground to keep the children entertained, so much so they’ll not want to leave!
The current castle was built in the mid 1400s by the Earl of Morton. There was an original castle built in 1307 however this was dismantled as part of the 13 castles of Nithsdale under the 1357 Treaty of Berwick. The remains that stand to visit by the public are mainly as a consequence of when the castle was captured and burned.
Wanlockhead sits in the Lowther Hills of Nithsdale and is officially Scotland’s highest village. It stands at an average height of 1531 feet!
Galloway Activity Centre
Dive straight in and spend a day at the Galloway Activity Centre. Situated on the banks of Loch Ken, Galloway Activity Centre have an endless list of water and land based outdoor activities to get your adrenaline rushing. Flying through the air on the zip wire, or kayaking across the Loch, you will definitely have a fun filled day here!
Logan Botanic Garden
Logan Botanic Garden is one of Scotland’s most exotic gardens and can be found in Port Logan in Stranraer. The garden is best visited between the months of June and September when the garden is ablaze with bright, eye catching colours. Walking to the highest point of the garden reveals spectacular views spanning across the Rhins of Galloway.
A trip to Dumfries and Galloway would not be complete without a visit to The Globe Inn. Closely related to Robert Burns, The Globe Inn can provide tailored tour packages so visitors can see the meeting place of the very first Burns Supper.
Not content with just simple cycling tracks, oh no. Dumfries and Galloway go that little bit further. These exhilarating downhill biking trails are spread across southern Scotland and each one tells a different legendary tale. The 7 Stanes (for stone) each tell of a different legend or myth relating to that particular area.
Big Burns Supper
Dubbed the ‘World’s Biggest Burns Night Celebration’ as it is held across the Burns Night Weekend, the Big Burns Supper is a contemporary arts festival that celebrates the works of poet Robert Burns. There are a range of events and performances including events for children held in Dumfries for the festival.
It’s festivals galore in Dumfries and Galloway. Wrongly perceived as a quiet and sleepy region lacking on the culture front, Dumfries and Galloway is actually home to numerous festivals including Electric Fields. Hosted on the grounds of Drumlanrig Castle, the festival is very popular with locals and visitors alike, coming to hear music from a mixture of big name bands and DJs including the headliners of the recent festival, Primal Scream.
Dumfries and Galloway Arts Festival
Earlier in the year, Dumfries and Galloway welcomed thespians, musicians and artists to demonstrate their talents in the Dumfries and Galloway Arts Festival.
Yet another exciting and vibrant musical festival happening right here in Dumfries and Galloway. As well as music performances, Eden Festival normally have a whole host of other attractions including a kids tent, fair ground and even a circus tent.
Wigtown Book Festival
The Wigtown Book Festival is now in its 18th year. The festival lasts for 10 days during the Autumn and boasts over 200 events to suit all ages.
Andy Goldsworthy ‘Egg’
The Cairn sits on top of a hill in a village called Penpont. For all to admire and visit, the red sandstone structure is varyingly beautiful in different lights, standing grey in the bleak weather but with a distinctive red hue in the sunlight.
Kirkcudbright is known as the Artist’s Town due to the wide attraction of Scottish artists in the late 19th century. The artists came to see the colourful array of houses built in times ranging from medieval, Georgian and Victorian eras. Kirkcudbright is also the only town on the Solway Coast with a working harbour.
As well as the National Trust for Scotland’s Threave Garden, House and Estate that is open to the public to visit, you can also take a ferry to see the great fortress of the Douglasses. The 14th century Threave Castle, stands alone on an island on the River Dee. Castle Douglas is the Food Town of Scotland as well as great for shopping on the high street. The town also has an Art Gallery with an annual programme of exhibitions.
Nominated by Skyscanner as the number 1 eye opening beach in Scotland. Standing on this southerly Galloway beach on a good day, you can see as far as Ireland and Cumbria.
Visit the Westland’s Country Park and spend a day clay pigeon shooting surrounded by some of Scotland’s most breath-taking scenery.
Lowther Hills Ski Club
It’s a well known fact that Scotland does not have the best of British weather, however we bet you didn’t expect to go skiing on your visit did you? Nestled away in the Lowther Hills, there lies the only Ski centre in the South of Scotland, the Lowther Hills Ski Club.
Museum of Scottish Lead Mining
Try your luck at gold panning in addition to walking through a real 18th century lead mine. Enjoy the thrill of going underground and visiting the miner’s cottages that stood through the periods of 1750, 1850 & 1910.
The last standing Water Bucket Pump and Beam Engine, used to pump water out of the mines, to be seen on a UK mine is preserved in the village of Wanlockhead to date.
Once inhabited by a community of Cistercian Monks, Dundrennan Abbey was where Mary Queen of Scots spent her last hours on Scottish soil. The remote location of the Abbey simply amplifies the beauty of the still standing remains.
Dark Sky Park
Galloway Forest Park boasts the title of the UK’s first Dark Sky Park. With some of the darkest skies in Europe, Galloway Forest Park is one of the very best spots to spend a night under the stars.
No stranger to culture, Dumfries and Galloway is also home to Crawick Multiverse. Commissioned by the Duke of Buccleuch, the public landscape art was designed by renowned artist Charles Jencks. The exhibit displays theories of both astrology and cosmology.
Pay a visit to the Dumfries and Galloway Aviation Museum and surround yourself in the Dumfries history of the RAF. Between 1947 and 1957 Dumfries was a training centre for new recruits to the RAF.
Hetland Garden Centre is not just any garden centre. In fact as well as 2 acres of fantastic plants for sale, they also have Southern Scotland’s best dinosaur experience there too! An excellent day out for children they can enjoy story time, as well as learning interesting dinosaur facts before playing on the bouncy castle.
The Famous Blacksmiths Shop
The Blacksmiths Shop is the reason Gretna Green is so well known today. The Blacksmiths Shop has stood in Gretna Green since 1712 and is one of the very first locations couples could elope to to get married.
Barend Riding Centre
Why not explore the stunning scenery and native wildlife found in Dumfries and Galloway a little differently? From a saddle. Barend Riding Centre found in Dalbeattie provides trekking days or hacks to explore the countryside in the most natural way possible.
Bellymack Hill Farm
Spend an afternoon at Bellymack Hill Farm and watch from the Kite Feeding Station a spectacular display as these birds of prey swoop down to snatch food put out for them.
Grey Mare’s Tail
The fifth highest waterfall falls outside Moffat in Dumfries and Galloway. Grey Mare’s Tail is a fantastic example of a hanging valley, with the choice of climbing the highest hill in Dumfriesshire or simply take a short walk to see the beauty of the fall.
If whisky is your tipple why not take a tour of the Annandale Distillery? Opened originally in 1830 the Distillery closed in 1924. In 2007 it reopened, providing Dumfries and Galloway with Single Malt Scotch Whisky once again.
Laggan Outdoor Activity Centre
With a wide range of both indoor and outdoor activities, the Laggan Outdoor Activity Centre holds the UK’s longest Zipwire. It is 820m of pure adrenaline rush if you are willing to take the plunge.
Twelve Apostles Stone Circle
Between Holywood and Newbridge sits the largest stone circle on mainland Scotland and the seventh largest in Britain. Local traditions associate the stones with the Twelves Apostles of Jesus Christ.
The Devil’s Porridge Museum 36
Explore life during the time of World War One as The Devil’s Porridge Museum replicates both what life was like in a trench and in the Gretna Factory.
Mull of Galloway Lighthouse
Steeped in local history dating as far back as the Roman’s, the Mull of Galloway Lighthouse is a great day out filled with the best combination of education and adventure.
Creetown Gem Rock Museum
Exquisite replicas of the world’s largest diamonds as well as the rarest examples of crystals and rocks found in Britain are right here in the Creetown Gem Rock Museum. Open to visitors all year round, they even have a fossilised dinosaur egg!
St Ninian’s Cave
Remaining an important place for modern pilgrims, St Ninian’s cave the birthplace of Christianity lies tucked away on the coast of the Machars of Galloway. As a natural cleft in the sea cliff, the cave is now 7m long and 3m wide, reduced over time due to rock fall.
Rockliffe to Sandyhills
Walk the coastline as you embark on the linear coastal walk from the rocky beach of Rockcliffe to end up on the sandier side of Sandyhills. With spectacular views from atop of the cliffs across the Solway Firth, this is a definite must for keen walkers.
Cream O’ Galloway
One of the UK’s leading artisan Ice Cream makers. Cream O Galloway offer ice cream tasting as well as Farm and Creamery Tours and an adventure park!
Garden of Cosmic Speculation
Another sight to behold is the Garden of Cosmic Speculation. Portrack House near Dumfries is the home of Charles Jencks, landscape artist responsible for Crawick Multiverse. It is the garden however that is most interesting here. Following the same themes of cosmology, science and mathematics the garden is designed to depict a range of theories based on these subjects. The garden is only open for 1 day of the year in May so be sure to not miss out!
Visit Loch Ryan and taste the sea salty freshness of some of the Uk’s only wild native Oysters!
Mabie Farm Park
A day of fun for the whole family, Mabie Forest Park is the perfect family day out. Capturing the essence of a true working farm, with additional indoor and outdoor activities to enjoy. Experience the beautiful scenery of the countryside location, whilst also watching the children having fun in the petting area.
Robert Burns House
Before leaving Dumfries and Galloway, a visit must be paid to Robert Burn’s House, the house where Robert Burns died in on 21 July 1796.
Savings Banks Museum
In 1810 the first Savings Bank was created. Created by Dr Henry Duncan the original house now holds banknotes from various parts of the world as well as some of the earliest at home savings boxes.
Feed the fish by hand and see other marine life at the UK’s (possibly the world’s) largest and most unique natural marine aquarium.
Release your inner lost boy as you adventure to the birthplace of Peter Pan. J.M. Barrie found his inspiration for the enchanted Neverland in the magic of Moat Brae. The house now is now a National Centre for Children’s Literature and Storytelling and a Neverland Discovery Garden for children to enjoy and discover.
Most haunted road in Scotland
The paranormal among you will be interested to know that a section of the A75, running from Annan to Gretna Green, is supposedly the most haunted road in Scotland with numerous sightings made over the years.
Of course we had to include our hotel in the top 50 places to visit. The BQA Hotel strives to provide all visiting guests with a luxury stay that they will remember. With some fantastic offers available right now be sure to make the most of the October holidays with a luxury break in our spectacular rooms.
So there you have it. 50 things to get you started in Dumfries and Galloway, and trust us, once you get started there will be plenty more to discover!
Hedgerows and Hotels in Dumfries and Galloway
Hedgerows and Hotels in Dumfries and Galloway
The BQA Hotel is one of the best luxury hotels in Dumfries and Galloway. Located in Thornhill, a small quiet corner of the larger region, the BQA is in the perfect spot to make the most of this time of year. As a seasonal restaurant, the menu is subject to multiple changes throughout the year in order to ensure the freshest products are utilised at the most appropriate times. Surrounded by encompassing countryside, the BQA is only ever a stone’s throw from a berry bursting hedgerow!
That’s right. Along with the shoot season Autumn brings an exciting time in term of gathering. Hedgerows are normally bursting during the Autumn months with rows after row of succulent berries just waiting to be picked. Blackberries are best picked when the fruit is quite a dark colour and of medium firmness, not too hard not too soft. Blackberries normally taste better after a country walk out foraging, than purchasing cultivated stock from a supermarket. It is hard to buy a punnet of Blackberries without a lot of them being damaged along the way during transport. So what are we going to do with the Blackberries you ask? Keep your eyes on the menu for a new dessert, let’s just say there could be a Blackberry Fool on there before long!
Another delight that comes part and parcel as we move deeper into the Autumn months is the Rosehips! Through Summer there is nothing more beautiful than scenes of the countryside awash with colour from the endless rows of wild flowers. However once the weather cools and the flowers begin to perish, in particular the roses, the falling petals leave behind delicious red berries. These berries are an apple like fruit and very high in vitamin C. Like apples, if picked too soon they will be overly tart. They are best to be picked if soft when squeezed. Historically, rosehips were a vital source of Vitamin C during WW1, made into a syrup and sent to the front line. Here in the BQA Hotel, you will likely see the rosehips feature as part of a starter complementing game meat of the season.
As one of the best luxury hotels in Dumfries and Galloway, the BQA restaurant strives to provide dishes using the freshest local produce. Changing our menus to incorporate produce as it comes into season and removing others as their season of freshness comes to an end is one way we achieve this. Join the BQA Hotel for dinner to sample the latest additions to our menu.
Luxury Hotel in Scotland in October
5 Reasons to come to the BQA Luxury Hotel in Scotland during October!
With the School’s October break coming up, don’t be at a loss with how to make the most of your time. In fact, take advantage of that time and spend it in a luxury hotel in Scotland! The BQA Hotel in Thornhill is in the ideal location to guarantee a luxury break filled only with peace and relaxation. Autumn is a beautiful time to visit Scotland as we have some of Scotland’s most idyllic scenery. Here are 5 reasons from the BQA Hotel why we think you should be visiting Scotland at this time of year.
One of the most exciting things to see (and hear) when visiting Scotland in Autumn is the rutting red deer. As the colder weather creeps in, they become more and more visible as they move to lower ground due to dropping temperatures. It is a well sought after sight to see the male deer strutting and bellowing to make sure they father enough offspring.
With one fifth of Scotland’s land area covered in trees, during the Autumn season, the countryside boasts some of the most breathtaking scenery. Awash with the red hues of Autumn, the crisp leaves falling to the ground create unmissable sights, enjoyed best through leisurely walks. As a dog friendly luxury hotel in Scotland, your four legged friends can also enjoy the countryside, running and rolling in the collected piles of leaves.
Contrary to popular belief, Scottish weather is not as terrible as made out. There is many a day in October where the sun is shining on a crisp autumn day. These are the best days to enjoy the countryside ablaze with the true essence of Autumn. The day can only get better by a nice warm bath at the end of it in one of our deluxe rooms. Soak away the steps walked throughout the day in a bath big enough for two.
The colder weather drawing ever closer can mean only one thing. It’s time to put the logs on the fire. What a better way to spend and evening than surrounded by loved ones sat in front of a roaring fire. Wile away the evening hours lulled almost to sleep by the sound of the crackling log fire.
Speaking of log fires, at the BQA luxury hotel in Scotland we think the perfect accompaniment could only be a dram of your favourite whisky. As one of our favourite tipples we have quite an extensive range of different Whiskys from across Scotland for you to choose from.
October is the perfect time to visit Scotland with so much to see and enjoy. Have a look at the rooms available in our luxury hotel in Scotland to see which one you would prefer!
Will’s Word Looking Towards the Shoot Season
Will’s Word – Looking forward to the Shoot Season
It’s back to the kitchen this week at The BQA restaurant in Dumfries with the latest snippet from Head Chef Will Pottinger.
As we move further into Autumn and into September, we look forward in anticipation to the first shoots of the season. The start of the shoot season means the first of this seasons game birds making their way to the hotel. As a seasonal restaurant, the dishes prepared for our menus are focused around products coming into season to ensure the freshest taste is always guaranteed for our customers.
The month of September welcomes the fig onto the BQA restaurant in Dumfries menu. Caramelised and served with goat’s cheese, a rocket salad and local honey this dish is a starter featured on our Specials menu. Sourcing the honey used in the dish from Stonely Smallholding, the BQA restaurant is continually demonstrating an enthusiastic approach to supporting local farmers and suppliers.
The BQA restaurant in Dumfries is also looking forward to adding new lamb dishes to the menu. Receiving lamb from Auchenbrack, another local supplier, our menu will soon feature dishes with this lamb as the star of the show. As the season progresses from Spring to Autumn, the lamb’s flavour develops, allowing for different types of dishes in comparison to the beginning of the season.
The wait is over. The start of the shoot season has finally arrived. The BQA Hotel restaurant in Dumfries looks in anticipation towards the first of the game birds to arrive. The menu will soon be filled with delicious flavours such as pheasant, partridge and guinea fowl. At their most tender during this time, dishes created using these flavours are certainly a tastebud treat.
Wild Raspberry Fool
Making the most of the succulent Scottish raspberries of the Summer as we move further through Autumn, a dessert featured on our Specials menu is the Wild Raspberry Fool. Served with hazelnut biscuits this is one dessert on our menu that is still holding onto a little piece of summer.
Can’t wait to see what fantastic flavour combinations the BQA Hotel has in store for you? Why not book a table in our restaurant today! Or want to find out more first? Check out our Menus instead.
5 Ways to get Cosy at the BQA Hotel this Autumn
The sun seems to have made it’s last appearance this summer as we move into Autumn. With the colder weather and the shorter nights drawing in closer, here’s 5 ways you can get cosy this Autumn at the BQA luxury country Hotel in Dumfries and Galloway.
Romantic break for 2
Enjoy a romantic break for two and treat yourself to a stay in one of our luxury country hotel deluxe rooms. Spoil yourselves with a night away in our luxury hotel. All uniquely decorated, each room has it’s own individual character and style, however the feature bath in Boughton is definitely a deal clincher. The bath is certainly a dominant feature of the room and also big enough for 2!
Table for two please?
The BQA Restaurant is the perfect place to dine together for a cosy romantic meal of an evening. Enjoy a delicious two course dinner, prepared by our expert team of chefs, using only the finest locally sourced ingredients, for a truly fantastic dining experience.
Dram or a Glass by the Fire
After dinner, guests can move through to the lounge and settle in by the fire. With the colder nights seemingly approaching, the time is calling for the fires to be lit. The perfect accompaniment for any fire would of course be your favourite dram or glass of wine. A firm favourite at the BQA, choose from one of our many whiskys on offer as an after dinner tipple. Why not try one of the exclusive BQA Whiskys, casked specifically for the hotel.
Cream Tea for Two
One of the many attractions to The BQA luxury country hotel in Dumfries and Galloway, is the vast array of mapped walks that visitors can enjoy. The beautiful Scottish scenery surrounding the village is a sight to behold. However, if the weather is not permitting of an outside adventure, why not choose a comfy seat by the fire instead and enjoy cream tea for two. Homemade scones lavished with clotted cream and jam, enjoyed by the fire seems a worthy replacement to us!
Get Cosy in the Lounge
Now that is a big chair! After dinner why not retire to the Residents Lounge and spend the remainder of your night, enjoying a dram of your favourite whisky, getting comfy and cosy in our big chair by the fire.
The colder nights drawing closer don’t need to be something to dread! The BQA Hotel looks for ways to embrace all seasons, looking at how our guests can make the most of and enjoy even the most miserable of Autumn days! Have a look at all of our luxury hotel rooms right here.
Will’s Word – Moving into Autumn
The start of a different season means the start of a new menu! Moving into the Autumn months means the luxury country hotel The BQA can include new and exciting dishes to keep your tastebuds watering. As the cooler weather of Autumn begins to roll in, we wave goodbye to the lighter, summery salad dishes and welcome in more homely classics.
A twist on an original classic, this tasty dish is made using venison as an alternative meat to traditional beef. As Autumn approaches, it becomes game season meaning meat like venison are at their best quality. Served with pappardelle pasta and garlic bread, topped with shaving of parmesan cheese, this delicious dish is definitely one to satisfy any appetite.
Another twist on an original, this succulent wellington is currently part of our Specials menu. Allowing us the creative space to include new and exciting flavour combinations, the Specials menu includes dishes that our team of chefs deem extra special. These dishes use the freshest produce coming into season so as to get the best flavours possible for our customers. The Rabbit Wellington is served with truffle mash and root vegetables. A luxury version of truly comforting food.
Pan seared Pigeon breast is served on a bed of roasted beetroot and pickled wild mushroom. All of the main ingredients in this Starter, also on the Specials menu, are coming into season as we move through August and into September. With game being a popular choice at this time of year, teamed with the other seasonal ingredients of the dish this really is a taste sensation.
No menu is complete without the most important section of all… desserts. As a luxury country hotel it wouldn’t seem right to not have luxury desserts on our menu. Welcoming the Autumn months (let’s face it, we’ve had our summer now) means welcoming Autumn fruits such as raspberries. Wild Raspberry Fool is the Specials menu showcase of the succulent raspberry. Served with accompanying hazelnut biscuits this is the perfect after dinner treat.
Luxury Country Hotel over the City
The BQA is a luxury Country Hotel situated in the picturesque village of Thornhill nestled away in a peaceful corner of Dumfries and Galloway. Staying here at the BQA, guest are treated to the ultimate luxury country break. But what makes the country so spectacular over the City?
What has a luxury Country hotel break got over the City?
Well for a start, the city doesn’t have our luxury country hotel, the BQA. With both Classic and Deluxe rooms, there is definitely the perfect room for you here. To ensure our guests leave feeling truly relaxed, our prime focus here at the BQA is the finer details. Every last detail is taken care of to make sure our guests feel properly looked after during their stay.
The City cannot offer you the spectacular walking experiences that are available to guests who choose to stay in our luxury country hotel. Surrounded by some of Scotland’s most idyllic countryside, there are some excellent mapped walks available to follow to appreciate the true beauty of the area. Walk around the grounds of Drumlanrig Castle for example, to see some beautiful country wildlife (where could you do that in the City?) We are also a dog friendly hotel so you can bring your dog along to join you on your travels!
Picking a luxury country break over a city break means one important thing…prettier pictures of course! Taking home beautiful photographs of undisturbed spectacular landscapes (with no other people getting in the way of your snaps) is a great way to remind yourself of your relaxing break as you get back into the normal grind of day to day life.
Move away from the hustle and bustle of the City and enjoy a relaxing break immersed in the peaceful surroundings of Thornhill. The BQA Hotel is situated in the quiet village of Thornhill, away from the busy streets of the City. Live life in the slow lane for a short while as you visit us at our luxury country hotel. Surround yourself with luxury and stay with us here at the BQA Hotel for a luxury country break.
BQA Hotel in Dumfries and Galloway does the Olympics
BQA Hotel in Dumfries and Galloway getting you ready for the Olympics!
To get into the Olympic spirit we thought we’d put together a Thornhill training program to get you gold medal ready! Once you’ve tired yourself out training to be the best of the best, you’re going to need somewhere to lay your weary head. Just so happens the BQA Hotel in Dumfries and Galloway has fantastic luxury rooms to help you with exactly that!
Drumlanrig castle has some of the top world class mountain biking trails just waiting for you to tear them up. Get spectacular views of some of Dumfries and Galloway’s most breath-taking scenery. Although don’t take your eyes of the track for too long, they’re pretty difficult after all!
Leap into your olympics training practicing for the hurdles at the Striding Arches. Designed by Andy Goldsworthy they are a monument of celebration for the Scottish people. Standing at 4 metres high if you can jump over those you’d definitely be a gold medal winner!
Dive to new depths in the loch at Morton Castle. Perfect your stroke swimming in the castle loch to make sure you’re the first to finish! One of Thornhill’s multiple castles, Morton Castle is situated in the hills above the Nithsdale area.
Get the team together and play water polo against the backdrop of the Nith Bridge. Once you think you’re ready to take on the competition, head over to luxury BQA hotel in Dumfries and Galloway to warm yourself up in a nice hot bath.
In fact, you’ve trained this hard already why not just go all out and complete the Triathlon! A combination of cycling at Drumlanrig Castle, Swimming in Morton Loch followed by the final leg with a sprint to the finish line up to the top of Tynron Doon.
After all of that intense training, you must have worked up one mighty appetite. Don’t worry, the BQA Hotel in Dumfries and Galloway is here to help you with that! Our Bar Supper menu starts early so you can be guaranteed to feast on a fantastic meal for a great price!
Worn out? Put your feet up and rest your head in our of our deluxe rooms once you’ve finished…you deserve a treat after all of that. Check out our great packages right here.
Supplier’s Showcase of our Luxury Hotel in Scotland
As a luxury hotel in Scotland, the BQA Hotel endeavours to ensure our guest receive the highest quality service and care during their stay. As the old saying goes, a workman is only as good as his tools, meaning the products we use within the hotel are also required to be of the highest standard. So here is a our ‘suppliers showcase’, proving why the products we use are the very best.
Creative Whisky Company
To the BQA Hotel, a luxury hotel in Scotland, taking care of the finer details is an utmost priority. It is essential that guests are provided with the highest quality products even down to the small details, to ensure their stay with us is unique and like no other. Brewed specifically for the hotel, The Creative Whisky Company have bottled a range of differently aged whisky’s. The wide selection also includes a Single Grain Scotch Whisky aged for over 50 years. These specific whiskys can only be found on the shelves of the BQA Hotel in Dumfries.
Black Sheep Company
Enjoyed from morning til night, our freshly ground coffee provided by the Black Sheep Company is a firm favourite with all of our guests. Enjoy a latte layered to perfection as the perfect way to finish off a fantastic dinner served in our restaurant.
Offering a nostalgic trip down memory lane, as an accompaniment to your after dinner Black Sheep coffee enjoy a piece of traditional homemade scottish tablet. Made solely by hand without the aid of any machinery to truly capture the essence of the traditional flavours this tablet is truly irresistible. Border Tablet is located in Langholm, Dumfries and Galloway; another supplier that is local to the hotel.
The Wee Tea Company
Coffee not your cup of tea? With a fantastic range of loose leaf teas available at the BQA luxury hotel in Scotland, there will definitely be the perfect brew here for you. Considered as great as some of the finest tea plantations in the world, this scottish grown tea certainly offers cup after cup of excellence. Not forgetting the accompanying tablet as well of course.
Mitchells of Castle Douglas
The longer fresh produce has to travel before being prepared in our kitchen affects the quality of the taste. To cut down on mileage, the fruit and veg we use is supplied to us by local greengrocer Mitchell’s of Castle Douglas. This ensures the fresh produce that is used in our restaurant is as fresh as possible when it arrives in our kitchen. Guests of the BQA Hotel, a luxury hotel in Scotland, deserve the finest quality food prepared by our expert team of chefs.
Scotch Beef Club
Only the very best is served for our dining guests in the BQA Hotel, luxury hotel in Scotland. Serving nothing less than the freshest produced, finest tasting scotch beef in our restaurant, you will not be disappointed. The BQA Hotel is a member of the Scotch Beef Club meaning that we deem scottish beef to be the finest out there and is exclusively served in our restaurant.
Nith Valley Eggs
How do you like your eggs in the morning? As a luxury hotel in Scotland, the BQA is very particular with where our omelettes come from. Hence why the only eggs you will find in our kitchen are the free range eggs supplied by the happy hens at Nith Valley Eggs. Situated on a 30 acre Woodland Farm, Nith Valley Eggs is a free range egg farm just outside Thornhill. Only a stone’s throw away from the hotel, not only are our eggs free range, they are also very locally sourced!
Will’s Word from the BQA Restaurant Dumfries
It’s coming up to that time again when we need to change our menus around in The BQA Hotel Restaurant Dumfries. Constantly keeping our dishes up to date and in line with the freshest products as they move in and out of season enables us to provide our customers with fantastic tasting food. The menus are due to undergo some changes to incorporate the foods that will be at their freshest as we move through August and into the Autumn period.
It’s curtains for you…
At the BQA Hotel Restaurant Dumfries we want to keep you informed as to why we constantly change our menus around. As well as letting you know which foods are muscling their way to the front of the queue at this time of year, we thought we’d mention the ingredients that are sadly on their way out.
Asparagus is unfortunately past its best at this time of year. With the freshness of asparagus quickly decreasing once it has been picked, the sooner it is eaten the better it will taste. The Roast Chicken Breast will now be served with a different garnish as asparagus was previously a key component of this dish. Wonder what it will look like now….
Gooseberry and Elderflowers
Both gooseberries and elderflowers come to the end of their season as we wave goodbye to July and move into August. Towards the end of the season Gooseberries are sweet enough to be eaten raw (as opposed to the tart full bodied flavour at the beginning) which is why we snapped up the opportunity to include Gooseberry and Elderflower Baked Alaska onto our menus.
Out with the old and in with the new…
So that was just a couple of things we have taken out of our menu. However, this now means there are spots to be filled. Spots to be filled by fresh and tasty new ingredients.
Apples and Pears
Apples and pears work well together as a flavour combination and so the BQA Hotel Restaurant Dumfries can now say hello to Apple and Pear Crumble! August is the perfect time for both of these fruits which gives us the perfect excuse to include this delicious crumble into the menu. Who doesn’t love crumble?
All things Game
Seasonality is extremely important when putting together dishes for menus. The BQA Hotel restaurant Dumfries always endeavours to source products as locally as possible. The closer the locations our products are sourced from means they’re as fresh as we can get them…our back garden if we could help it! Moving into August means one thing…all things game. This time of years makes way for dishes centred around the likes of rabbit, venison and wood pigeon to name but a few.
Being able to change the menus in terms of seasonality keeps an air of excitement around the restaurant. Old classics will always come and go, but there will always be place for new favourites. Have a look at the menu in full here.
Why we deserve to be Scotland’s Holiday destination of the year!
Scotland’s Holiday Destination of the year – Thanks Countryfile!
Voters chose Dumfries and Galloway as the Scottish Holiday Destination of 2015/6. Well we knew that already so we’re not surprised everyone is starting to believe it too! Dumfries and Galloway is rich in such a wide and diverse range of activities that there are things here to interest all visitors. From modern culture with numerous music festivals to an abundance of natural beauty in the surrounding forests and parks; Dumfries and Galloway has it all! Including the BQA, a luxury Hotel near Dumfries. Here are some of the reasons we think we cinched that number 1 top spot. Stay with us here in our hotel near Dumfries and you’ll be in the perfect location to enjoy each and every one!
Dark Sky Park
Galloway Forest Park is one of the darkest places in Scotland, which is why it is one of the most beautiful. Galloway Forest Park is the UK’s first Dark Sky Park. Visitors to the forest can enjoy a constantly changing view every night in near total darkness. On the Sky Quality Metre the park scores between 21 and 23.6 (you’d get around 8 in a big city) so that means there is a perfect view of the starry skies on a clear night.
We have a castle! Who wouldn’t want to visit a castle?! And not just any castle…there’s tonnes of stuff to do to keep you entertained. From walking to cycling and a fantastic adventure playground there’s something for all the family to enjoy. Dumfries and Galloway boasts numerous castles across the area in fact. Restoring and preserving these castles means Dumfries and Galloway can continue to hold to a small piece of their history for all to enjoy.
Did I mention Dumfries and Galloway is no stranger to culture? Commissioned by the Duke of Buccleuch, the former coal mine was recycled under the artistic eye of renowned landscape artist Charles Jencks. The exhibit is designed as a demonstration and exploration of exciting discoveries in terms of astrology and cosmology. Creating a new and inspiring landmark for all to enjoy, a sad old coal mine that otherwise would have sat destitute and unloved has become a beautiful work of art.
Perhaps you’re just looking for a good old family day at the beach? Well we can do that too! Perfect for a fun filled day with the family, the great reaches of clean sand are great for picnics and giant sandcastles. When the tide is out you can enjoy the view of miles of secluded sandy bays. Nothing quite beats a sunny day at the beach in summer. There is a shop and small cafe nearby as well if you don’t happen to go prepared with the picnic blanket!
7 Stanes cycling
Day at the beach not enough of an adrenaline rush for you? Fear not adrenaline junkies as Dumfries and Galloway has some the best cycling and mountain bike trails Scotland can offer. These exhilarating downhill biking trails are spread across southern Scotland and each one tells a different legendary tale. The 7 Stanes (for stone) are sculptures replicating legends and myths relating to the local area with one placed on each trail. Enjoy an exciting day out, tearing up the muddy tracks, before returning to a relaxing soak in a deluxe bathroom in the BQA hotel near Dumfries.
If you are interested in learning all about the history of the area, Solway Tours offer personalised bespoke tours. Mark and Lesley started Solway tours to provide a fun approach for visitors wanting to learn more about the area. Taking you to the great historic landscapes Dumfries and Galloway has to offer as well as many hidden gems, you will see Scotland in a brand new light!
Those are simply a few of the many different reasons why Dumfries and Galloway deserved to win the Countryfile Holiday Destination of the year award. Dumfries and Galloway has so much more to offer visitors wherever their interests lie. With such a diverse culture, the area is a fantastic place to visit for both new and returning visitors. With new attractions and events happening day to day, no visit will be the same. What is the same though, is the quality of service you’ll receive at the BQA hotel near Dumfries. Never faltering on out excellent quality customer service your stay with us will definitely be unforgettable. So now you know a bit more about the region, fancy a stay? Check out our Early Bird Offer and enjoy the best rates in our luxury hotel!
Crawick Multiverse A Great Day out for all the Family
Going away for a luxury break, staying in a hotel in Dumfries and Galloway, you might wonder how you’re going to fill your days. On the contrary, you will in fact not have enough time to do all the things in Dumfries and Galloway that you’d like! Dumfries and Galloway is such a diverse area in terms of catering to all interests and demographics you will definitely not be short of activities to fill your trip! One of the most fascinating places to visit while you’re here is the Crawick Multiverse.
Created by Charles Jencks, The Crawick Multiverse is open 7 days a week for visitors to enjoy the fantastic landscape art. Charles Jencks was born in Baltimore in 1939. After having graduated from Harvard University with degrees in both English Literature and Architecture, he moved to the UK in 1965. Jencks cofounded and helped further develop the Maggie Cancer Caring Centres when his wife Maggie died of the disease in 1955. The aim of these centres was to help improve the life of those suffering with cancer, grown from Maggie and Charles’ experience, and to provide choices and options to sufferers. As a result, twenty of these centres were produced by various architects in as many years.
Jencks had always been concerned with the postmodernist movement and post modern thinking. When he turned his hand to landscape art, it was this way of thinking that inspired Crawick Multiverse. In 2000, scientists began to consider that we in fact inhabit a multiverse, which led to the creation of the Crawick Multiverse in 2010. Opening in 2015, the fifty five acre site is open throughout summer to celebrate the wonders of the universe. Crawick Multiverse is constantly expanding and adding new and exciting installations for the community to enjoy. Centered around astronomical and cosmological theories, the multiverse is a sight to behold. While staying in the BQA Hotel in Dumfries and Galloway, this is definitely a sight to behold!
There are also performances and celebrations held there, an example of which would be the recent Summer Solstice Festival. The area was formerly an open cast coal mine, most of the installations and exhibits were created from materials left behind that they could utilise. Walking round the site, there are also route options for you to take meaning the day is inclusive of the whole family. There are the high and low roads, the high road taking you to the height of the site lending to spectacular views. The low road is in comparison a more gentle walk, still offerings views of every corner of the exhibit.
Crawick Multiverse is definitely a must see if you are looking for things to do in Dumfries and Galloway. With something to entertain and excite the whole family, The BQA Hotel in Dumfries and Galloway would be more than happy to help you arrange a visit, check out our great offers and stay with us! Amaze yourself with the changing theories and speculations about the huge expanse that exists past our Universe.
Why we love changing our menu for Summer from William Pottinger
As a seasonal restaurant in Dumfries and Galloway, Head Chef Will Pottinger has his nose to the ground when it comes to which foods are coming and going in and out of season. Changing the BQA Hotel restaurant menu taking this into account means you as a customer receive dishes using the freshest of ingredients. Choosing to incorporate produce that is currently in season into the menu means you’re using them at their freshest and so get the best possible flavour. Here are some of the additions to our menu that we’ve created to help get you into that summer spirit.
Crab, Avocado, Tomato Salad
With the weather heating up, we know you want something light and refreshing. Gone are the heavy homely dishes of winter and in with the refreshing salads. All of the ingredients in this salad are freshest in summer so this salad definitely packs flavour with a punch.
Lamb Hot Pot
Scottish Lamb shank served with mash potatoes and seasonal vegetables. The BQA restaurant in Dumfries and Galloway is also concerned with supporting local communities, sourcing produce as locally as possible. This is why we are using Scottish lamb in our restaurant. Lamb is great at this time of year, combined with our take on a traditional classic, this is a fantastic dinner choice.
The best til last….Desserts!
With hedgerows bursting with fruit at this time of year it is definitely an excellent month for desserts. The BQA has a whole line of desserts waiting to tantalize your tastebuds. Currently on the menu are Cherry Cheesecake, Scottish Strawberry Tart and Gooseberry and Elderflower Baked Alaska. We know what you’re thinking, one of each right? Well there is more fruity goodness yet to come with our Specials menu constantly changing to keep you coming back for more.
Summer is definitely a good time for food! Check out our menu online to see for yourself the other tasty treats we have on offer, or join us at the BQA restaurant in Dumfries and Galloway!
5 Things our Hotel in Dumfries and Galloway can organise at Drumlanrig Castle
Staying at our Hotel in Dumfries and Galloway and looking for Day trips?
Thornhill is a hidden gem tucked away in a quiet corner of Dumfries and Galloway. Thornhill is fortunate enough to be the home of the majestic Drumlanrig Castle. As well as providing visitors to Dumfries and Galloway with a fantastic opportunity to gain an insight into the history of the area, there are also numerous activities that are perfect for family days out. Thornhill is an incredible location for visitors to Scotland as it is so diverse in the opportunity it offers. At The BQA, a luxury hotel in Dumfries and Galloway, have friendly staff on hand to organise activities to keep the whole family entertained, making your break away that little bit simpler. Just some of the things we can organise for you while staying in our luxury hotel in Dumfries and Galloway are these 5 great activities at Drumlanrig Castle.
Holiday Scavenger hunt
Perfect for a day out with the children! July 30th to the 31st is the Holiday Scavenger Hunt at the castle. This is a perfect day for your little exploring extraordinaires! Pick up a check sheet from the gift shop and on you go! Explore the woodlands and Castle grounds and see what wonderful wildlife you can find! The children will love hunting on the woodland floor for all of the wildlife on the list, maybe even finding a few more to add!
Land Rover Tours
Fancy exploring the Nithsdale countryside in style? Then the Drumlanrig Tours is the excursion for you. Accompanied by an experienced ranger you will be driven round the natural landscapes whilst they educate you on the local wildlife and history of the land. These tours can be tailored made to suit your interests as the Buccleuch rangers have many years experience. This year you can enjoy a 3 hour (half day) tour at the following prices:
- £50 per person (minimum charge of £100)
- £120 for a family ticket for 2 adults and 2 children. Extra children will be £20 each.
- £200 maximum for groups of more than 4 adults
Take a tour with the rangers and return to the BQA hotel in Dumfries and Galloway for a relaxing stay and excellent quality food in our luxury hotel.
Walking and hiking
Following original paths built during the Victorian Era, through the grounds of the castle there are numerous walks to suit all the family. Ranging from 2-5km the marked paths vary in difficulty. These walks are popular with those travelling with four legged companions as dogs can join you on the trails. After all, they are part of the family too right? However it must be noted that they need to either be kept on a lead or under close control at all times to protect any nearby wandering livestock.
Cycling and Mountain Biking
Take a leisurely bike ride through the spectacular scenery at Drumlanrig Castle or for the more adventurous among you, try out one of the world class mountain biking trails. Again there are 3 different types of routes so you can decide which difficulty level you wish to follow to make sure you include the whole family.
Staying in a luxury hotel in Dumfries and Galloway sounds like a great idea doesn’t? Not if your children are bored and nagging you for things to occupy them. That’s why the Adventure Park at Drumlanrig Castle is your saving grace. With two tunnel slides, a 6ft high space net, climbing net, climbing frames and much much more kids of all ages will have to be dragged away from the Adventure Playground. Parent’s might even wish they could join in too!
So these are 5 of the things that the BQA Hotel in Dumfries and Galloway can organise for you when you visit at Drumlanrig Castle. The BQA Hotel has some fantastic offers still available for you to take advantage of to really make the most of your luxury break this summer.
It’s all about desserts at the BQA Restaurant in Dumfries and Galloway
We love a good dessert at the BQA Restaurant in Dumfries and Galloway
Here at the BQA Hotel, we want to keep you constantly up to date with all the different goings on. That includes everything that is happening in our fantastic restaurant. Right now we have a delicious selection of tasty desserts, just waiting to tantalise your tastebuds! What makes them taste even better are all of the locally sourced ingredients we use here in our restaurant in Dumfries and Galloway. This blog will give you a whistle stop tour of all of the fantastic desserts we have on our menu, just enough about them to make those mouths water!
Served with a vanilla shortbread, this classic is back on our menu! Caramelised sugar on top of a rich custard base is a perfectly sweet option to finish off dinner for the evening. The Creme Brulee is accompanied by a homemade vanilla shortbread. This is one of our favourites!
The chocolate lover’s dream! Another favourite is back for you to enjoy. This baked chocolate dessert with a melting molten middle will definitely satisfy all of your chocolate cravings! This dessert is everything a chocolate lover could wish for, served with a cherry compote and vanilla ice cream. You can never go wrong with chocolate, that’s what we say anyway!
Scottish Strawberry Tart
Yep that’s right guys! Wimbledon is finally here! So that can only mean one thing… The winning combination of Pimms and strawberries and cream! Our Dessert of the Week this week is our take on the classic Strawberry Cream Tart, using only the finest Scottish strawberries. As a seasonal restaurant in Dumfries and Galloway, we try to source our ingredients from local areas to help support the welfare of the environment. The Scottish Strawberry Tart is the perfect after dinner dessert, and why not try our Wimbledon cocktail alongside it?
Elderflower and Gooseberry Baked Alaska
Our Specials menu offers you the chance to experiment with new and exciting flavour combinations you might not have previously considered. Taking into account ingredients that are in season at the time, the Specials give our chefs the chance to prepare something a little bit different. Like, for example, with the Elderflower and Gooseberry Baked Alaska. This dessert is comprised of a sponge base, topped with an Elderflower and Gooseberry parfait all covered in tasty Italian meringue and served with a gooseberry compote. Yum! Definitely one to try.
Cremeux is french for ‘creamy’. So this chocolate dessert has a creamy custard-like texture served with crunchy chocolate soil, kumquats poached in sugar syrup as well as peanut brittle. Certainly another one for the chocolate lovers!
This simple but delicious traditional cheesecake is a hard one to beat. Understated, traditional cheesecake served with a cherry compote, and accompanied by a brandy and mint cream.
The desserts section is definitely looking extremely tasty this month! But which one would be your choice? Have you found a new favourite dessert? Why not try them all! Check out our menu to see what other tasty options we have available at the moment for dinner!
Fathers Day Pig! Seasonal restaurant menu at the BQA
The BQA is the ultimate seasonal restaurant with the addition of the Tamworth Pig!
Father’s day is fast approaching and oh do we have a treat for you! Not just your traditional Sunday Roast this year, we have gone one step better. Out with the beef and in with the pork…all of the pork. A whole pig in fact! That’s right the BQA Hotel this Sunday will prepare for your eating and dining pleasure a whole roast Tamworth pig. As a seasonal restaurant in Dumfries and Galloway we’re really trying to go the whole hog for you.
Tamworth pigs are a traditional breed, among one of the oldest in fact. They are distinctive in their colour and can range from a light ginger to a deep auburn. These pigs have a very thick, coarse coat which makes them the perfect breed for outdoor breeding. Here at the BQA Hotel it is very important to us that we ensure we are sourcing the freshest local ingredients, which is why the Tamworth pig is perfect! Reared on the Stonely Smallholding, that’s only 5 minutes from Thornhill. Unless we reared them ourselves, we couldn’t get any closer! At Stonely they live as natural a life as possible, outside and free range being able to go in their ‘wallow pits’ whenever they feel like it! Pigs don’t sweat so during the warmer months when they molt they use mud as a suncream to protect themselves.
Tamworth pigs are actually registered as an ‘at risk’ breed with the Rare Breed Survival Trust. During the Second World War society demanded more commercial breeds that were more productive in comparison to the Tamworth. This resulted in the Tamworth becoming less favoured and so a rare breed. You may think choosing Tamworth pork is detrimental to the breed as it’s now so rare, however you are actually keeping the breed alive! The BQA, as a seasonal restaurant is concerned with the welfare of the environment and sustainability which is another reason for the choice of breed.
Tastes have changed over the years, with demand moving towards more lean meat. The Tamworth matures slower than other breeds and consequently has more fat marbled through the meat. Although lean meat may be favoured, it is in fact the fat that adds the great flavour to the meat. That is why the Tamworth produces some of the most succulent pork as well as being great for bacon. Father’s you’re in luck if you’re joining us at the BQA!
What are you waiting for? Book your table at the BQA Hotel restaurant Dumfries and Galloway this father’s day to enjoy a delicious Sunday Roast of delicious Tamworth whole roast pig (dads you get a free pint too!)
Cycling in Dumfries and Galloway
Cycling in Dumfries and Galloway
The BQA Hotel prides itself on our hospitality to all of our guest. We like to think we cater for a wide variety of customers travelling around Scotland, including families on holiday, shooting and fishing parties, or those coming to the area to explore. We want you to enjoy every aspect of your stay with us here in Dumfries and Galloway. Cycling in Dumfries and Galloway is a very popular sport and hobby, due to the many trails amidst the beautiful surrounding natural landscapes that we are blessed with. Those visiting the area will obviously need a little guidance on the best spots to visit armed with your bikes, so we’ve put you a helpful list together.
The 7stanes are not simply mountain bike trails. They are indeed more than that. 7stanes translating to 7 ‘stones’ as stane is the Scots word for stone, relates to the 7 stone sculptures at each of the locations. Each stone tells a different the story of a different myth or legend. Who said bike rides weren’t educational?
The locations of the trails are Glentrool, Kirroughtree, Dalbeattie, Mabie, Ae, Glentress and Newcastleton. These trails are not exclusively for the more experienced riders as the trails all differ in difficulty, allowing families to take part alongside the adrenaline junkies. For more information on the different routes you can follow and the grading levels, visit their website http://scotland.forestry.gov.uk/activities/mountain-biking/7stanes.
National Cycle Route 7
This might 193 mile cycle route passes through Dumfries. The whole route travels from Sunderland to Inverness but a section cuts through Dumfries and Galloway. You could easily join the trail and travel as far as wish depending on your level of ability and still get to enjoy the beautiful countryside. The route section from Carlisle to Glasgow passes through Galloway Forest Park, natural landscapes enjoyed best cycling, and along the Solway Coast.
Out and About
The BQA Hotel is situated in Thornhill and surrounded by some of Scotland’s most picturesque scenery. There are endless lists of varied length routes that we would be more than happy to provide you maps of. Enveloped by numerous small yet quaint villages all offering something different in terms of scenery or local history, with quiet country roads you will not be short of places to cycle in Dumfries and Galloway. If you would rather cycle your own route as a family outing for example, as opposed to mapped trails like the 7stanes we can point you in right direction. Cycling in Scotland, especially in Dumfries and Galloway is a fantastic way to fit as many sights into your stay here as possible. Dumfries and Galloway has some of the most beautiful landscapes that Scotland has to offer and it is all here at your feet (or pedals)!
There are endless corners of this beautiful part of Scotland for you to discover on two wheels. For more information on any of these routes while you are staying with us here at the BQA Hotel we would be happy to advise you on the best route for you to take.
Looking for somewhere to stay while you are out and about exploring the sights of Dumfries and Galloway? Have a look at the latest offers that we have at the BQA Hotel.
Why the BQA Hotel restaurant in Dumfries and Galloway rotates the menu
Seasonal menu? 4 reasons the BQA Hotel restaurant in Dumfries and Galloway seasonally rotates the menu
You finally found a favourite on the menu and one day you go back only to be faced with a brand new menu. Ever wondered why that happens? Whether you want to blame it on ‘just being your luck’ or even ‘sods law’ there is in fact method in the so called madness. The BQA Hotel restaurant in Dumfries and Galloway always endeavour to produce the best quality dishes and that requires sourcing the very best fresh produce available. Here are 4 reasons why they believe changing the restaurant seasonally helps create top quality dishes.
1.Cutting down the mileage
As a restaurant in Dumfries and Galloway, the BQA Hotel will always strive to bring you the freshest products for the greatest taste. This is one of the reasons our restaurant changes the menu to incorporate the products of the season. The further the product has to travel before reaching the hands of our chef’s means that the freshness has been compromised. As the food is stored for longer periods of time it loses moisture and therefore taste and goodness. We want to cut down field to plate time as much as we can.
2. Eat local
The BQA Hotel also aims to guarantee that where we can, the produce used in our restaurant is locally sourced. As a restaurant in Dumfries and Galloway we want to support local economies and the environment by sourcing fresh produce locally. It’s a win win situation for everybody. For example, the restaurant is part of the Scotch beef club, meaning we fully support the local farmers and believe that Scottish beef is the best that money can buy. The only beef we serve has been quality assured by the Scotch beef club. This same ethos for quality assurance spans across all products the BQA use in the restaurant.
Fresh produce all has a specific season during which time it is harvested when it is at its peak. Restaurants alter their menus in order to coordinate with this and maximise the freshness of products. The fresher the produce is, the greater the nutritional value. So not only is it better for you it actually tastes much better too! So restaurants will take off or add dishes to their menu in order to use products to their full potential.
There’s only so many times you can visit your favourite restaurant in Dumfries and Galloway and choose the exact same dish every time. Even if you tried something different each time you visited, after a while you’re going to run out of new and exciting choices, no matter how good they taste. This is another reason the menu at the BQA is altered seasonally. Switching it up just enough to keep you interested and excited about returning to try out our tasty new dishes. And it keeps the chefs busy after all.
Why not have a look and see if something on our new menu tempts you into joining us! http://www.bqahotel.com/menu/
5 Day trips from the BQA
5 Day trips you can take on your luxury break at the BQA Hotel
The Buccleuch and Queensberry Arms Hotel has got everything just right when it comes to providing you with a luxury break. That is when you don’t have bored children and a dog to entertain. To offer a little help and possible boredom free zones away from the hotel Dumfries and Galloway have great activities just waiting for you to enjoy. Here are our top 5 picks to keep you occupied during your stay. There should be plenty here to cram your days full of fun.
- Sandyhills beach
You might be the lucky ones to visit the BQA during a stretch of sunny weather. In that case the plan of attack should definitely be none other than a trip to the beach. Ice cream, sandcastles and sun…what more could you possibly need? Great for both paddling in the shallow waters and picnics on the miles of clean sandy beach, it seems almost rude not to go!
- Cream O’ Galloway
Cream o galloway is a fantastic way to spend a day out with the kids. The activities available to you here are almost endless! As well as events such as ice cream tasting (I’ll have one of each please) and the creamery tour available for you to fit into your day there is also a whole heap of other fun ways to jam pack your day. There is the adventure playground, the 3d maze and viewing tower, bike and nature trails, indoor play and go Boing! Go Boing! is the new netting adventure zone (a really really big trampoline) for the kids to explore. After all that running around you’ll be glad to get back to the BQA Hotel Dumfries and Galloway to tick off the well needed relaxation part of your luxury break.
- Galloway Forest Park
Voted the Darkest Sky in Europe, the largest forest in Scotland due to it’s remoteness has gained the title of the only Dark Sky Park in the UK. Fun fact of the day. However during the day this park is buzzing with life and activity, offering a list of activities for your family to busy themselves with. Whether that is mountain biking down the hills, looking out for wildlife both foraging in the ground or circling in the sky above or family fun on the orienteering trail the three visitors centres at Kirroughtree, Glentrool and Clatteringshaws will send you on the right path!
- Galloway Activity Centre
With a mix of water based and other outdoor activities available the GAC is a great option for the whole family to add a little adrenaline to the luxury break. We all need some excitement right? Thats makes relaxing in the best luxury hotel Dumfries and Galloway has to offer even better! So what exactly can you do here at the GAC. Well as well as a host of water sports such as sailing, windsurfing and paddle-boarding there’s the climbing tower, archery and laser games! Not forgetting of course the newly added wobbly waterpark, there is bound to be something to excite the whole family!
- Galloway Wildlife Conservation Park
Looking for something a little less energetic and adrenaline fuelled? How about a trip to the Galloway Wildlife and Conservation Park. The park is around 27 acres of woodland and houses around 150 animals from all over the world deemed to be a threatened species. This park is an excellent day out for children to get to see animals from across the globe in a natural setting. The captive breeding programme aims to aid the international conservation effort, so even just buying a ticket you’re helping too! The smaller animals are allowed to roam freely around the park area so who know what you’ll see?
So now there is no need to frantically run around trying to think of things to do while you’re staying with us on your luxury break here at the BQA hotel, we’ve practically planned your itinerary for you! We are more than happy to send you in the right direction once you get here, our staff are always happy to advise on the local area.
To make the most of our hotel deals head over to our offers page and book yourself in for that luxury break this summer!
Luxury hotel Scotland – 8 ways the BQA hotel puts the luxe into Luxury
Here at the BQA we understand the desire to find the very best of everything. That includes where you decide to stay for that well deserved break away. Our hotel prides itself on the attention to detail you will observe if you join us for your stay in our luxury hotel in Dumfries and Galloway. There are obvious standard features to any hotel, however the BQA endeavours to deliver the very finest in terms of the little details that make any stay extra special. We aim to be the greatest luxury hotel Scotland can offer and here are 10 ways to justify that.
So hot showers are great right? What is not so great is that annoyingly frustrating thing that happens to the bathroom mirrors after said great shower. Well here at the BQA we understand your frustrations and decided to do something about that pesky steam. So in order to give you the ultimate stay in our luxury hotel in Scotland we have put heated mirrors in all of our bathrooms. Cutting down the time it takes to get ready and head on down to the bar!
Whether it’s first thing in the morning with your breakfast or during the afternoon with a freshly baked scone, enjoy a steaming pot of one of the selection of teas we offer, supplied to us by the Wee Tea company. We have a great selection of breakfast and herbal teas all waiting to be brewed to perfection just for you.
Only the very best for our customers. You will find no less than the very best Molton Brown products supplied in all of our bathrooms as a little treat to you from us at the BQA for you to enjoy. We wish every part of your stay to be exceptional and so we pay extra close attention to all finer details.
Only the finest freshly prepared food makes it out of our kitchen with head chef Will Pottinger in charge. One way we guarantee the very best quality is being part of the Scotch Beef Club. Meaning we fully believe the quality of beef produced here in scotland is some of the best that money can buy, which is why this is the only beef we will use here at the BQA.
Local Landmarks included into the hotel
It is simple enough to assign a name or number to a room. But the BQA doesn’t want to be branded just simple. So we thought of an interesting way to include local landmarks into the design of the hotel, whilst also promoting a local talent. Each hotel room here is named after estates in the surrounding area with a painted portrait by a local artist hanging on the door. The BQA defines itself by providing the finer details to its customers so every effort is spent trying to excel in the service we provide.
A trip to a luxury hotel Scotland isn’t quite complete without a sneaky dram of whisky right? It would be rude not to. Exclusive to the BQA are a unique selection of whiskys bottles especially just for us by The Creative Whisky Company. There are a range of different aged cask whiskys available for you to sample in the restaurant bar of the hotel.
Whisky not your tipple?
That is quite alright because we look after all our guests to the best of our ability. Which is why we have an extensive wine list just waiting to be perused by all of you wine lovers out there. Fancy something different to your normal drink of choice? Our bar staff are always happy to recommend you a new favourite from our ever growing Wine List, or even a cocktail or two.
Breakfast is served
So you sampled the whisky and the wine last night? That’s quite alright because we have the perfect remedy for any sore heads. Staying with us at our luxury hotel in Dumfries and Galloway we appreciate the importance of a good hearty breakfast. Which is why we set you up for the busy day ahead with a full traditional Scottish breakfast. Or if you prefer there will also be a fantastic continental buffet on offer for you to enjoy.
The incredible interior of the hotel is a luxury in itself. Returning stays are almost a necessity for you to fully appreciate the place as a whole. We’re biased, but we definitely think once you pay us a visit you will be back again! The rooms all have their own little perks and intricate features you’ll want to stay in all of them! There is a different feel and character to all of our rooms which we know you will want to experience all of them! Each room has a featured bathroom, with no two rooms alike. We even have two rooms located outside with disabled access. We try to take all guests into consideration because everybody deserves the finer treatment. One step closer to becoming the best luxury hotel Scotland has to offer.
These are just a few of the steps the BQA hotel takes to provide the finest service possible for a luxury hotel Scotland. It’s all about the finer details. Join us at our luxury hotel in Dumfries and Galloway to experience all that we have to offer. Check out our latest deals here http://www.bqahotel.com/all-offers/
Pet friendly hotel and beautiful walks all in ONE place?!
You read that right my friend. If you are looking for a great place to bring your beloved dog then look no further. Thornhill has just that very thing. If you’ve never made it here you are most definitely missing out. One of the very best dog friendly hotels Dumfries has to offer and stunning views to go with it.
So you’ve not had the pleasure of paying us a visit yet? Well let me tell you. Thornhill is a small town situated in the Nithsdale area of Dumfries and Galloway. This picturesque town is a treasure not to be overlooked. Thornhill sits at the heart of beautiful all surrounding countryside just waiting to be explored. The sniffing possibilities are endless!
Through the town runs the A76. So, even if you’re just passing through and decide to stay a little longer, there are incredible accommodation options available including The Buccleuch and Queensberry Arms Hotel the No.1 dog friendly hotel Dumfries. That means you can stay for longer and spend your time exploring the endless list of spectacular walks you can follow around Thornhill and even further afield to Dumfries.
The Buccleuch and Queensberry Arms – A Pet friendly Hotel
The Buccleuch and Queensberry Arms Hotel is an asset to Thornhill. This pet friendly hotel endeavours to offer both you and your dogs the very best the countryside can offer. We understand here at the BQA that pets are just as much a part of the family and who are we to stop them joining in on the holiday? Which is why it is a completely pet friendly hotel, the restaurant and bar included. We even provide them with a complimentary doggie bed and treat box! Just to make them feel as special as we hope we make you feel.
So you’ve made it here to the very best dog friendly hotel Dumfries has to offer. What next? As you will notice if you do join us for a stay, dogs really are a central part of this hotel. So we know while you’re staying here, you’re going to want to be out and about. Panic not! Remember those walks? Here’s a little walk through of some of them.
Penpont and Keir mill
Penpont and Keir Mill are two smaller villages just outside Thornhill. This walk would on average take around an hour and a half to complete. The walk follows the riverside and passes through both villages. Following this route not only allows you the opportunity to see a range of wildlife along the river but also provides a snippet of history. Along the way you will come to a smithy, where the first pedal bike was developed!
The Striding Arches
The Striding Arches, designed by Andy Goldsworthy, were built in collaboration with the Cairnhead Community Forest Trust. In an effort to bring more people to the area and utilise this fantastic location as well as demonstrate Goldsworthy’s work the Striding Arches were built. They aim to bring together art and nature as well as promote the stunning countryside that we often can take for granted. The arches celebrate the history of the area and the walks are there for all to enjoy. So get your boots on at our Pet Friendly Hotel and then get going!
You couldn’t talk about areas to walk around Thornhill without of course mentioning Drumlanrig castle. The castle has spectacular grounds available for all to enjoy. Dogs are of course welcome but due to livestock in close proximity they must be kept on a lead at all times. There are 4 different walks for you to choose from if you so wish, of different intensities. To Beech Loch and back is a 2 km easy walk marked out with purple markers. Just to make sure you’re on the right track, quite literally, there are coloured markers for you to follow. Easy peasy. The Enchanted Forest is a little bit longer at 2.5km, also easy marked in red. Next up in the blue corner is the A Turn along the Marr Burn walk, which is 4 km long of moderate intensity. And finally the hard hitting Castle view walk is for those more experienced walkers as it is a strenuous 5km walk. Never worry though, there’s always a cold drink for you and your dogs waiting at the pet friendly hotel, the BQA once you’ve finished!
Durisdeer well path
For a more isolated and peaceful walk, Durisdeer is the one for you. Located 10km north of Thornhill, Durisdeer was once a highly used thoroughfare for the Romans. Part of this walk follows the very road they used. Didn’t I tell you the area had many hidden treasures? This is a longer trail at 6.5km which should take you around 1 hour 45 mins. Maps are available for you to follow should you so wish to take a trip down Roman memory lane!
Stay with us in the BQA, the most dog friendly hotel Dumfries can offer you and we would be more than happy to provide you with printed maps and routes of all the above walks and many more for you to follow. Check out our hotel offers and book your stay!
Dumfries and Galloway, the land of Arts!
Local festivals and our hotel in Dumfries and Galloway!
At the BQA Hotel based in Dumfries and Galloway, it never ceases to amaze us how many local festivals and art events seem to surround us!
Starting in April with the Thornhill Music Festival and running right the way through summer to Electric Fields Festival in August, there constantly seems to be something going on. This year at the Thornhill Music Festival, the BQA Hotel is hosting a range of bands in our function room, the Beer Garden will be open at the BBQ on, so we can’t wait for the festival mood to begin. Hosting the likes of the Skebabs and Big Fat Panada in our function room it’s sure to be a big weekend.
Moving in to May, the D&G Spring Fling festival takes centre stage, showcasing a range of local artists. As an open Studio event you are invited to surround yourself in the artists world and really experience the creativity that’s going on in Dumfries and Galloway! Thornhill and the surrounding area is always heavily involved in the Spring Fling and we look forward to seeing our Hotel in Dumfries & Galloway full of creativity.
Dumfries and Galloway has always been full of artistic talent and our luxury country hotel is perfectly placed for all of the action. The Dumfries and Galloway Arts festival sees Samson Sounds playing in the Thornhill Community Centre as well as a huge variety of acts across the entire region. Comedy, Opera and Dance are just a few of the genres you can enjoy across the 9 day festival with tickets on sale now.
Electric Fields in August can only be described as a musical extravaganza with headlining acts Primal Scream leading the way. Bands from across Dumfries and Galloway and from across Scotland will be descending on Drumlanrig Castle for two days of musical fun!
We look forward to welcoming guests from all over the country to these events, not only to the hotel but also to our cosy restaurant! A list of all of our classic rooms can be found here and our deluxe rooms here, why not check out our offers page too? We have plenty going on and look forward to welcoming you to The Buccleuch & Queensberry Arms Hotel in Dumfries and Galloway.
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Activities around Thornhill Dumfries
Planning a trip to Thornhill Dumfries? Or already booked up in our luxury country hotel and now not sure what to do? Well we have just the solution! Set in beautiful Scottish countryside, Thornhill Dumfries, has a great range of family activities available from Mountain biking to Castles, hill walking to adventure playgrounds. No matter what your age, everyone is sure to find something they love!
The 7 Stanes
Spread right across southern Scotland, the 7 Stanes are a trail of exhilarating downhill mountain biking centres, each with a stone sculpture reflecting a local myth or legend. The Dumfries and Galloway trail is in Ae Forest, a short drive from The BQA Hotel and a definite must for any downhill fans. The Stane (or stone) for this trail is the Head Stane and is made from a glacial granite boulder. Weighing 1.5 tonnes and looking south over Ae Village and the Solway, this stone has a carved mouth, eyes and ears.
The Crawick Multiverse
A short drive from Thornhill Dumfries, near Sanquhar, the Crawick Multiverse is a major art project and land restoration designed and built by the globally renowned Charles Jencks. Created as a representation of exciting discoveries and universal theories, the artwork looks to link the themes of astronomy, space and cosmology. Built on a disused open cast coal mine, the outdoors space has created an inspiring landmark that can be marvelled at by every generation.
The Southern Upland Way
Running right across southern Scotland, literally from coast to coast, the Southern Upland Way passes just north of Thornhill Dumfries, with the BQA Hotel being a great stop off point! It runs for 212 miles, starting in Portpatrick on the south west coast and running all the way to Cockburnspath on the east coast. Still undiscovered by many enthusiasts, parts of the Way can prove a real challenge for even the most experienced walker, however shorter stints are perfect for families or the less experienced. The area of the Southern Uplands has been heavily rounded by the effects of glacial melt, leaving a series of rolling hills and stunning scenery.
Only a 10 minute drive from the Hotel, Drumlanrig Castle is set on a 90,000 acre estate boasting miles of beautiful walks and gardens. The Castle is open seasonally and tours can be taken of it’s 120 rooms, taking in the artwork including a Rembrant. There are mountain bike trails and hire available for all ages, with miles of countryside to explore! Ranger led wildlife walks and an extensive adventure playground are sure to keep the kids busy. Season tickets are available from the Hotel.
The Striding Arches
Built by local artist Andy Goldsworthy, the Striding Arches are a series of self supporting arches straddling the hilltops around Cairnhead – a natural amphitheater. Starting from Moniave, a short drive from Thornhill Dumfries, you call follow the arches and discover them for yourself.
All of these activities are local to Thornhill. We are more than happy to advise on day trips from the Hotel, or make activity bookings before your trip. Contact us to let us know of your itinerary or check out our offers page and book your stay today!
Fishing Holiday in Scotland and a Luxury Hotel Getaway
A Fishing Holiday in Scotland at The Buccleuch Queensberry Arms
The thrill of casting a line more your thing than racing down a hillside? More in to watching the world go by whilst hoping for a bite? As the fishing season fast approaches in our little corner of Scotland, we take a look at a clever new App that is the perfect tool for that Fishing holiday in Scotland you have been meaning to take!
Conservation issues in Scotland, and indeed over fishing globally has seen new legislation come in to place across the UK. The River Nith, which is the closest fishing spot to The Buccleuch Queensberry Arms Hotel is impacted by these new rules, whereby any salmon you catch within the 2016 season you have to return. However we don’t want that to take the fun out of your fishing holiday to our luxury country hotel, which is where the new App FishFigure comes in.
This interesting little App sizes your fish from a photograph, so rather than taking it home and weighing, you can get all the information you need right there on the river bank. All lengths and weights are calculated using historic scales, so of course sizes may vary, however it’s a great way to keep a track of the seasons progress. The built in Logbook allows you to store your catch information and automatically logs the species, date, time caught and region. There is also space to log any bate information, weather details and of course plenty of space for pictures of your fish from every angle!
Year on year previous guests of the BQA Hotel return to fish the River Nith taking advantage of a welcome break and fishing holiday in Scotland. We don’t want this year to be any different. Our beautiful corner of Dumfries and Galloway is a pull for those from all over the world and Drumlanrig Castle is only a 10 minute drive, with excellent fishing spots all along the River Nith. Our fishing package is £40 per person per night in one of our Classic Rooms and includes a full Scottish Breakfast to get you ready for the day. Check out our Offers page for full details
Our restaurant also serves up the best local produce, with plenty of fish on the menu! We are sure that although there is a strict catch and return policy this year, our guests can still have a great season and that FishFigure can help them on their way.
You can buy your fishing ticket from the hotel or contact us here for more information on our Fishing Package.
To find out more about FishFigure check out their website here, the App is also available in the Appstore.
Award winning and globally renowned artist, Chales Jenks is mainly known in Dumfriesshire for the mysterious Cosmic Gardens of Speculation. These mysterious gardens are open for only 5 hours every year. Now visitors to the region will have the opportunity to admire Jenks work at their leisure.
The famous artist has been commissioned to design Crawick Mulitverse, a hidden gem in South West Scotland which is due to open to the public from 21st June 2015. The project, funded by the Duke of Buccleuch has seen a transformation of an old coal mine into a spectacular work of art and great public amenity.
See details of the launch event here!
Why not incorporate a trip to Crawick Multiverse into one of our Dine and Stay offers?
BQA Scoops National Award
BQA Scoops National Award
The Buccleuch and Queensberry Arms Hotel in Thornhill are celebrating national success this week after being presented a highly commended award for hospitality services to rural Scotland at The Scottish Rural Awards.
The glitzy awards ceremony hosted at Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh celebrated the very best of rural business in Scotland, from hospitality and food to manufacturing and entertainment. The family run hotel was shortlisted out of hundreds of nominations from some of Scotland’s most successful rural accommodation providers and estates.
Hotelier Arthur Sweerts was delighted for the hotel to land in the top 3 of the only hospitality category and said ‘I’m thrilled to receive the award, the competition was tough and it was great to be recognised alongside some of the top hospitality providers in Scotland’’. The judge and editor of Scottish Field magazine said ‘I was amazed by the quality and the attention to detail provided’’.
Rural Awards 2015
The award recognised not only the high quality of comfort and service provided but also the great effort that the hotel puts into supporting the local community by hosting events, utilising local suppliers and offering an enticing first impression of Thornhill to tourists visiting the area.
The hotel, which has been under new ownership for three years now is a great asset to the region, providing not only luxury accommodation for people visiting Dumfries and Galloway but also great quality food to locals and tourists alike.
The award has been a great boost for all involved in both the hotel and the local community of Thornhill.