The Scottish countryside is beautiful in winter. With the frost covered trees, it can be a magical place for a romantic getaway. Especially when you are staying somewhere special.
With that in mind, today’s Big Deal whisks you off to the elegant and historic Friars Carse Hotel near Dumfries for a cosy and classy overnight stay in beautiful surroundings. It has inspired poetry in the past. No pressure to write a sonnet; just enjoy your stay.
With vouchers valid well into early spring, it’s the ideal chance to book that break for the Borders.
With its origins in a 13th-century friary, Friars Carse was the home of the Riddell family who regularly hosted a lively local bard called Burns, despite his penchant for rowdy behaviour. The house was remodelled in Victorian times and became a hotel in 1938. It’s an imposing and classically-elegant building, set in a woodland estate close to the river Nith, ideal for a romantic break.
Under two hours from Glasgow or Edinburgh, Friars Carse combines historic character and atmosphere with all the contemporary comforts of a country house hotel.
Available Sunday to Thursday, the Big Deal is for a couple to enjoy an overnight stay in a standard double or twin room at Friars Carse. As well as a full Scottish breakfast, guests will also enjoy a two course dinner from the main restaurant menu.
Friars Carse’s 21 ensuite bedrooms are individually styled and many have views over the surrounding fields, gardens or down to the river. This is a historic building so rooms vary in size and layout, giving each a unique character. All guest rooms have WiFi.
Dining in style
We don’t recommend you emulate Burns’ notorious drinking contest in the dining room at Friars Carse, but the Whistle Restaurant is nevertheless the perfect location for a memorable evening.
The offer includes a two course dinner chosen from a menu that uses fresh, locally-sourced produce. Expect seasonal Scottish fare with a nod to the hotel’s rich heritage.
See & do
If you want to pursue the Burns theme, there are plenty of local associations with the poet in the vicinity, including a Burns Trail, an easy walk taking in the Hermitage, within the hotel grounds, and nearby Ellisland Farm where he wrote works including Tam o’Shanter and Auld Lang Syne.
Swapping stanzas for salmon, anglers may want to take advantage of the Friars Carse lengthy fishing beat on the Nith, accessed by paths direct from the hotel, with numerous spots to go after salmon and trout.
Previous visitors have been generous with their praise for Friars Carse, with recent TripAdvisor reviews including the following, edited for length:
‘From the minute you arrive you are made so welcome by staff that care about you being there and they are genuinely interested in you having a relaxing break,
The rooms are very clean and well-presented and decorated and furnished to a very high standard.’
‘The surroundings are perfect and idyllic for walks (and fishing if you wish). Our food was to die for, never tasted such well-prepared, cooked and served food. Our twin room and all facilities were immaculate, clean and warm.’
Ideal Christmas gift
A short break in Dumfriesshire is a treat any time of the year, but winter and early spring show the Scottish countryside at its finest.
Today’s Big Deal stay at Friars Carse would be the perfect way to treat a loved one, offering a romantic atmosphere and some great local cuisine.