Buggy-friendly walk. There is a set of stairs up onto the Chinese Bridge and down the other side however this section is avoidable without adding extra distance to the walk. See route info below for details.
Car Park within Dumfries House estate (KA18 2NJ). No public transport to start point.
WALK REPORT: 10th October 2016
I had only been to Dumfries House once in the past, and that was purely thanks to my 5 year old son’s excited account of his morning spent there on a trip with nursery. Sure, I had heard of the place but I had never researched it and much to my embarrassment assumed that it was just a (beautiful) old mansion house which people booked for lavish weddings and wouldn’t be of much interest to us for a day out. How wrong could I have been! There is SO much to do there.
The Engineering Centre is amazing and super educational. It can be wet and muddy so take wellies for this part! Always busy, I struggled to get photos without people in them but here are a few to give you a small insight into what’s there… Any time I mention Dumfries House to my kids this is what they remember!
It is easy to navigate your way around the estate thanks to the bright red signage and the whole place is very well-maintained.
The walk over the bridge and through the Arboretum is very peaceful and there are quirky features all over the place to admire. I look forward to returning in the years to come to watch how the trees of the Arboretum grow and change the outlook of this area.
The next port of call is the stunning Walled Garden. By far one of the best I have ever visited! It was so nice to see the space being used properly. While we were there a member of staff was harvesting some potatoes and he was kind enough to give the boys one each when we were passing. I believe it is really important for kids to understand and witness where our food comes from so I was over the moon to discover the variety of veggies growing there. Not to mention the display of colour from the early autumn blooms!
Leaving the Walled Garden behind, the walk along to the Chinese Bridge is quite spectacular and I couldn’t help but take a photo of the tree-lined passage.
Next port of call was the maze. For £1 per child you can wander around it to try and find the centre. I remember being the only adult on our first visit and I found it difficult keeping track of the two kids when they ran off in opposite directions. This wouldn’t be a problem were it not for the pond in the middle which I did not know about at first but which made me freak out somewhat when I came across it and realised that either of my little ones could easily fall in. I then became a paranoid mother and ordered them both to stay close to me. Boring 😉 With my husband there too this time it was much easier. I did notice some parents waiting at the entrance gates just in case any of their cherubs tried to wander back out on their own. Who knew a maze could be so stressful?!