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South West Scotland

The Gardens of Dumfriesshire and Galloway,
Garden of Cosmic Speculation,
Logan Botanic, Castle Kennedy, Threave,
Corsock, Glenwhan, Drumlanrig Castle, Dalswinton,
Staying at the Cally Palace Hotel, Gatehouse of Fleet

23 – 27 May 2022 (4 nights) 


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This secluded and lovely part of Scotland is so often missed by people heading north.  Meet on Monday 23 May at Carlisle Station (3 pm) where a coach takes you the final part of the journey into the heart of Galloway staying for four nights at the luxury 4 star Cally Palace Hotel.   The itinerary includes a wealth of stunning gardens.   The gardens at Castle Kennedy, Logan Botanical Garden and Glenwhan nurtured by the mild climate and warmth of the Gulf Stream  on the Rhins of Galloway, the peninsula stretching north and south of Stranraer. A privilege to be able to include a private visit to one of the world’s most significant contemporary sculpture gardens at Portrack created by the late landscape architect Charles Jencks.  The beautiful woodland gardens at Corsock  and Dalswinton and lovely gardens at Ellenbank and Threave.     A guided tour of Drumlanrig Castle with its iconic art collection and priceless furniture.  The elegant Cally Palace Hotel formerly a grand 18th century mansion at Gatehouse of Fleet offers period style rooms alongside the modern comforts of a four star hotel.  It stands in its own grounds of 600 acres with an 18 hole golf course, leisure centre and indoor pool.

Tuesday 24 May - Logan Botanic Garden is unrivalled as the country's most exotic garden, a remarkable collection of the bizarre and beautiful thriving in subtropical conditions.    Glenwhan Garden is filled with a glorious collections of plants from around the world and magnificent views over Luce Bay, the Mull of Galloway and the Isle of Man.  Castle Kennedy Gardens, surrounded by water and romantically sited on an isthmus between two natural lochs, Scotland’s most well-known historical garden has rare and exotic plants, superb rhododendrons, azaleas and camellias.  (Light lunch at Glenwhan).

Wednesday 25 May – Starting the day at the remarkable Garden of Cosmic Speculation – a garden transformed into a series of theatrical tableaux – this is a garden to challenge, question and undoubtedly stimulate the mind!  Continue to Drumlanrig Castle for a light lunch in their tearooms before a guided tour of the 17th century Renaissance home of the Duke of Buccleuch. Magnificent rooms and spectacular collections of silver, porcelain, French furniture and art.  Continue then to Dalswinton a more traditional landscape where the elevated 18th-century house overlooking the loch is surrounded by herbaceous beds and well established shrubs, rhododendrons and azaleas.   It was here that the first steamboat in Britain made its maiden voyage in 1788 and there is a life-size model beside the loch to commemorate this.

Thursday 26 May:  Starting with a visit to Ellenbank a lovely walled garden to accompany Elizabeth MacGregor's nursery on the outskirts of Kirkcudbright.  Continue into the small coastal fishing town of Kirkcudbright, renowned as an artists' town since the 1830s.   In the centre Broughton House that hosts an impressive collection of art by E A Hornel’s paintings and those of his contemporaries and a Japanese-inspired garden.   Also time to visit the new Kirkcudbright Galleries.  Lunch can be purchased in the Gallery or town before the afternoon visit to Corsock House.  A stunning woodland garden, with glades of exotic shrubs and huge rhododendrons, a strictly formal walled garden and richly planted woodlands full of different vistas.  If time permits a late afternoon visit to the Cally Gardens, the walled kitchen garden, adjacent to the hotel which provides shelter for numerous rare and exotic plants.

Friday 27 May:  Return to Carlisle Station stopping en-route to visit Threave House, a restored Scottish baronial-style house with landscaped gardens and themed ‘rooms’.  Arrive Carlisle Station 1 pm

Please note this is not the bank holiday weekend  - this is a week later with a long weekend to celebration of The Queen's Platinum Jubilee.




The tour package inclusions and exclusions at a glance
What is included in this tour?Items that are included in the cost of tour price.
  • 4 nights’ dinner, accommodation and breakfast, welcome reception
  • All gardens entries and tours as above
  • Light lunch at Glenwhan and Drumlanrig
  • Coaching to/from Carlisle and on tour
  • Heritage Touring representative


Price per person: £815  (£800 NT members)

Single supplement: £20 per night (£80)

Non-refundable deposit: £150

Rail information - Two trains an hour to Carlisle on the West Coast Line.

Station Parking (fee applies in car park with CCTV) in Carlisle if you prefer to leave the car.  Full details of trains will be sent with confirmation of booking.

Extra nights may be possible at the hotel.

Cally Palace Hotel, Gatehouse of Fleet

Each tour, unless stated otherwise in the tour details, includes welcome reception, hotel accommodation, dinner and breakfast, entry fees, guided tours and tickets where appropriate,  lunches and refreshments where stated, professional guide and executive coaching. 

You are asked to make your own travel arrangements to join each break at the hotel listed.  We are happy to give advice and where possible organise shared taxis from a rail station to the hotel and where appropriate the coach will finish a tour at the station. However we cannot take responsibility for individual travel bookings.

We strongly recommend that you take out holiday insurance for protection against any cancellation charges, loss of deposit and other eventualities even for holidays in the United Kingdom and for emergency medical expenses and injury, death, repatriation home if travelling abroad.   Heritage Touring does not offer or sell insurance but can give assistance in locating travel insurance companies. Travel insurance is mandatory for all passengers travelling abroad.