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Pat Counsell

Member since: 2015
Call Owner
Speaks english

Large Rural Country House With Views Across Parkland

1 Review
Bedrooms 9
Property type castle
Minimum Stay 3 - 4 nights


Photos and Description of this Dumfries holiday castle

Castle/ Manor House near New Abbey, Dumfries, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland - Set In The Heart Of The Countryside Yet Only 10 Mins From Dumfries

A spacious 9 bedroom country house. 45mins from M6. Preston 2 hours. Log fire and full central heating. Ideal for family gatherings, reunions, golfers etc. Excellent for mountain bikers/cyclists especially 7 Stanes enthusiasts. Children welcome. There is a large enclosed courtyard and also grassed area away from the house for ball games plus pool table, table tennis and darts(optional). Mabie Farm Park is less than 5 mins away whilst beaches are 15 mins down the road. There is a large carriage circle plus parking for 20+ cars. The local area has plenty of walks which start from the house or the picturesque, historic village of New Abbey with its pub, shop, tea shop, corn mill & Sweetheart Abbey.

  • children welcome
Pat Counsell (Owner)
Member since: 2015
Call Owner
Speaks english

About Pat Counsell

After two years in Australia we set up a nursery in England and soon decided to seek out a peaceful and beautiful area in which to live and work.

We always appreciate the immediate area with its varied and interesting landscapes. Sea, river, green fields, woods and hills all change with the seasons as does the wildlife. The other bonus is the dark sky for looking at the stars.

Looking after such an old house is a wonderful challenge especially as nothing happened from the Boer War until we bought it.

We live about 400 yards away by the river and run a wholesale, commercial nursery in the old walled garden which together with the house rental largely funds the works on the estate.

Pat Counsell purchased this castle in 2001

Why Pat Counsell chose Dumfries & Galloway

After a few years looking at places from Wales to Ayrshire it took just one visit for us to decide to buy this house, in such a beautiful area and which retained so many original features.

We loved the history of the Pele Tower which dates from 1370 and particularly the story of the second son from Caerlaverock Castle marrying Janet de Kirkconnell in 1430.

It was only afterwards that we discovered the connections to Burns and the '45 uprising.

What makes this castle unique

Large rooms allow 18 people to spread themselves whilst thick walls mean that sound is deadened. Sitting in the panelled room cuts you off from the world.

Outside the extensive walled courtyard (it had a wedding marquee in it in 2014) is a real sun trap. In fact most years we host at least one wedding due to the lovely setting and nobody is put off by the ghosts - we are told that they are friendly!


1 traveller review

Large Rural Country House With Views Across Parkland
average rating of 5.0 based on 1 reviews

Wonderful house in an amazing place

  • 5 of 5

All members of our party were impressed with this place including our device dependent young people. The drive from the main road is two miles down a virtually deserted country lane with passing places if you encounter the occasional deer (which we did!). This place has history and a tangible atmosphere as soon as you arrive. It has lots of cubby holes, corridors and stairways. The owners have spent their money in the right places and purchased good mattresses, quality bedding and equipped the place with things way beyond what you might expect. Each room has a character and atmosphere of its own (the photographs do not do it justice). The courtyard garden is really lovely. It’s large but secure so helpful if you have small children. I saw so many different birds including Red Kites and Herons as well as deer and lots of rabbits. The land surrounding the house moves from highly manicured lawns through to areas that are more reminiscent of the secret garden with very old trees, overgrown archways and little tumbled down outbuildings. Within easy reach there are quaint small villages, large towns, grand castles, almost deserted beaches and beautiful landscapes to explore. Cycling and walking trails are good. We were impressed by the owners willingness to assist one of our party who had restricted mobility and the downstairs walk in shower was really helpful. Will always remember waking up early one morning and witnessing the mist roll over the fields at dawn.

  • Review Submitted: Sep 4, 2016
  • Date of Stay: Aug 2016
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thank you for your kind comments. We hope that this review will inspire others to visit this sometimes overlooked area of the country. Yes it is true that the pictures do not do justice to the house, the courtyard and the peaceful surroundings so it was good to hear how impressed you were with all of them.
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Car: recommended


The nearest beach is just under 15 minutes driving time and can be accessed via the village of Carsethorn with its foreshore side pub - The Steamboat

Slightly further west is the gently sloping Sandyhills Bay and then Rockcliffe with its shingle beach on the estuary of the Urr.


Edinburgh Airport is just under 2 hours driving time as are Glasgow Airport and Newcastle Airport.

Prestwick Airport is about 90 minutes away.

Car hire/use of a car is recommended.

There are regular ferries to Northern Ireland from Stranraer which is about 90 miles away and there are two buses a day to Belfast and also to London.

The railway station in Dumfries is about 10 minutes drive whilst the one in Carlisle is just under an hour.


New Abbey is under 5 minutes by car.

Dumfries is about 10 minutes.

Carlisle is nearly 60 minutes drive to the centre.

Central Edinburgh is around 2 hours whilst Glasgow is little more than 90 minutes via the M74.

Further Details:

The village shop is well stocked and opens every day.

The Cottage Tea Shop in New Abbey has an excellent reputation.

Castle Douglas is known as 'the food town' with a good range of independent shops and Sulwaith Brewery.

Guests have used Tesco Direct and ASDA for home deliveries.

Dumfries has Aldi, Lidl, Morrisons and 3 Tesco stores.

There is a choice of ice cream producers in the area with Cream o' Galloway being the best known probably because of its children's activities.

Caerlaverock Castle is a unique triangular castle with Threave and Drumlanrig slightly further afield.

Mersehead RSPB is 20 minutes west of us whilst Caerlaverock Bird Reserve is just across the river. The RSPB also owns some of the merse land 400 yards away from the house.

Kirkconnell Flow is a protected raised bog on the old estate road within walking distance with some carnivorous plants and assorted wildlife.


Rates & Availability

Rental Rates for this holiday castle in Dumfries, United Kingdom

Rental Basis:
per property
Owner accepts payment in:
Convert Currency
Rate Period Nightly Weekend Night Weekly Monthly * Event
Rate 1
6 Jan 2016 - 18 Dec 2016
3 night minimum stay
Rate 2
19 Dec 2016 - 5 Jan 2017
4 night minimum stay
My Standard Rate
3 night minimum stay

Additional information about rental rates

Fees No additional mandatory fees

Booking Notes:
A provisional booking will be accepted however a deposit of £400 must be made within 7 days for it to be confirmed. Balance is due 6 weeks before arrival date.
Payments can be made by cheque in pounds sterling.

Changeover Day:
We are very flexible on start dates although we prefer 7+ nights to start or finish on a Saturday.
If we have back to back bookings then the earliest arrival time is 4pm although bags can be left earlier by prior arrangement.
Departure time is 10am.

Notes on prices:
All prices include all heating costs and a supply of firewood for the open fire as well as all the bed linen.
Any event beyond a straightforward holiday may incur a surcharge negotiable at the time of booking. This includes weddings, parties, filming and functions all of which have taken place over the last few years.

There is a £400 deposit payment required to secure the booking with the balance due 6 weeks prior to arrival. This can be paid by cheque. Bank transfers may be accepted after you have spoken to the owner.

Owner's Cancellation Policy

  • 0% refund if canceled at least 0 days before arrival date.
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Accommodation and facilities for this holiday castle rental in Dumfries, United Kingdom

Property Type:
  • castle
  • Guests provide their own meals
Floor Area:
  • 450 m²
Location Type:
  • Near The Ocean
  • Rural
  • Fireplace
  • Heating ...
  • Internet ...
  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided ...
  • Living Room ...
  • Parking
  • Tumble Dryer ...
  • Washing Machine
  • Coffee Maker
  • Dishes & Utensils
  • Dishwasher
  • Freezer
  • Kitchen ...
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Pantry Items
  • Refrigerator
  • Stove
  • Toaster
  • Child's Highchair
  • Dining ...
  • Dining Room
  • seating for 18 people
  • 4 Bathrooms
  • Bathroom 1 - toilet , bath (no shower) , shower enclosure
    Bathroom 2 - toilet , bath (no shower) , bidet
    Bathroom 3 - toilet , bath (no shower)
    Bathroom 4 - toilet , bath (no shower)
  • Bathroom One - central cast iron bath, wc, bidet & hand basin Bathroom Two - en-suite to Bedroom Two Bathroom Three - en-suite to Bedroom Three Bathroom Four - ground floor with bath, wc, walkin shower & hand basin
  • 9 Bedrooms, Sleeps 18
  • Bedroom 1 - 1 cot
  • Description of sleeping capacity: Sleeps 18 (9 Bedrooms) Notes on bedrooms: Bedroom One - super king double bed Bedroom Two - twin beds Bedroom Three - double bed Bedroom Four - twin beds Bedroom Five - double bed Bedroom Six - 3 single beds Bedroom Seven - double bed Bedroom Eight - single bed Bedroom Nine - twin beds
  • Books ...
  • DVD Player
  • Game Room ...
  • Games ...
  • Music Library
  • Ping Pong Table
  • Pool Table
  • Stereo
  • Television ...
  • Toys ...
  • Video Games ...
  • Video Library
  • Golf ...
  • Lawn / Garden
  • children welcome
  • autumn foliage
  • bay
  • churches
  • cinemas
  • forests
  • library
  • live theatre
  • museums
  • playground
  • pond
  • recreation centre
  • restaurants
  • ruins
Leisure Activities:
  • beachcombing
  • bird watching
  • scenic drives
  • sight seeing
  • walking
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • groceries
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cycling
  • fishing
  • fly fishing
  • freshwater fishing
  • golf
  • hiking
  • hunting
  • ice skating
  • mountain biking
  • sailing
  • swimming
Notes on accommodation: Spread across three floors there are 4 staircases. The main wide,sweeping staircase has a large landing with a bookcase, the old servants stairs have wide, shallow treads, the stairs to the third floor rooms are slightly steeper with a rope instead of a rail, meanwhile there are steep, narrow steps up to the attic double room with washbasin which used to be the governesses room which has a viewing panel through to the inner roof area with its trusses and wooden peg construction. The small single room can be linked to a double and/or a twin room to make a family suite on the third floor at the front of the house with a cot also available which could replace the single bed or go in either the twin or double. There is a large bookcase across the entire end wall of the dining room which apart from books and magazines also has plenty of jigsaws plus games. There is also a Jenga set in the scullery. There is a further bookcase in the triple room. Outside: There is a 3000 square foot courtyard accessed internally from the kitchen, the scullery and the wood/bike store. It has been used on a number of occasions for wedding parties. All the doors to it can be closed to stop toddlers straying. In it there is a covered verandah, a pergola enveloped in wisteria, a couple of grassy areas, a sandstone patio and an old well-head. There are a number of wooden tables, benches and chairs to cater for at least 18 guests. Utility Room: Washing machine Drying machine Sink Large radiator Ironing board and iron Clothes horses. Bottle recycling. Large adjoining log store/bike store Cleaning / Towels / Linen / Maid service: Linen included Tea towels included Bring your own hand and bath towels For 2 week stays we offer a change of linen and cleaning if required. Other: Games Room attached to 1st Floor corridor but located in the 14th Century Tower with very thick walls. It has a pool table, a table tennis table and a darts board. n.b. Due to safety concerns we no longer supply the darts.