Threave Castle and Nature Reserve, Castle Douglas

 Threave Castle and Nature Reserve, Castle Douglas  visit dumfries and galloway

If you are looking for a fun, outdoorsy thing to do in the Castle Douglas area I would recommend a visit to Threave!


There are a variety of options at Threave, including Gardens (with a tea room), castle and a nature reserve with a lot of great viewpoints and walks.  Due to COVID, when we visited we were only able to walk around the nature reserve and take pictures of the castle from afar as the boat across wasn't running.  However, we were pleased to see these social-distancing reminders at the car park and start of the trail. 

Threave Castle and Nature Reserve, Castle Douglas  visit dumfries and galloway

Threave and particularly Threave Castle and the nature resrve, is super easy to find.  Follow the clearly marked brown signs from the A75 near Castle Douglas and you will soon come to the car park (free to park at the time of visiting). 


There is a map with details of the various routes and paths around the reserve at the car park.  As well as some fun posters and wildlife guides for the younger explorers.  Throughout the reserve the quality of paths is high and well signposted, particularly going from the car park to the Castle (approx. 800m) - where you could take a pram or pushchair if needed. 

Threave Castle and Nature Reserve, Castle Douglas  visit dumfries and gallowayThreave Castle and Nature Reserve, Castle Douglas  visit dumfries and galloway

So we set off on the path from the car park, walking around fields and already spotting two small deer within 5 minutes!


The main attraction for us, is always Threave Castle.  In normal times, when you arrive at the jetty you can (very excitingly) ring the bell - and a wee boat appears to take you over to the castle (like magic!). 

Threave Castle and Nature Reserve, Castle Douglas  visit dumfries and gallowayThreave Castle and Nature Reserve, Castle Douglas  visit dumfries and galloway

The unusual way to get over to the castle makes it a fun day out already, and all the water and wide open space around it also makes it a great photo spot. We've shared some great photos of the castle at sunset and creative angles of shooting it on our Instagram and Facebook stories as part of our Sunday Shares, and some are truly stunning! 


Once you land on the other bank there is a wee hut to take admission fees, which as it is National Trust is quite steep if you don't have a membership. 


Then you are free to walk around and explore the Castle, and there is quite a lot to see and do.

Threave Castle and Nature Reserve, Castle Douglas  visit dumfries and galloway

Once you are finished you can get the boat back to the nature reserve and explore the rest of it.  There are a number of viewing platforms and hides which are really well built (and sheltered if you need a place to dry off for 5 minutes).


Inside the hides there are records of what has been seen recently and you have the opportunity to even see ospreys!  Even if you don't spot much wildlife, it's a wonderful, unspoilt slice of the countryside to sit back and drink in!  The views are fantastic. 

Threave Castle and Nature Reserve, Castle Douglas  visit dumfries and gallowayThreave Castle and Nature Reserve, Castle Douglas  visit dumfries and gallowayThreave Castle and Nature Reserve, Castle Douglas  visit dumfries and galloway

You can find more information on Threave on the NTS website here, and hopefully we will be able to do a full visit to the gardens in a post-COVID world! 


As a side note, we delayed the posting of this article until the local COVID situation bettered.  However, we are not out of the COVID woods yet and please remember to follow the local and national guidance when exploring the region.  For our full disclaimer, please see here

Threave Castle and Nature Reserve, Castle Douglas  visit dumfries and galloway
Threave Castle and Nature Reserve, Castle Douglas  visit dumfries and galloway
Threave Castle and Nature Reserve, Castle Douglas  visit dumfries and galloway
Threave Castle and Nature Reserve, Castle Douglas  visit dumfries and galloway

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