The birds are nesting, the lambs are gambolling and Mother Nature is dressed to impress.
Make the most of it with today’s Big Deal on a stay at the elegant and historic Friars Carse Hotel near Dumfries.
Whether you want a romantic getaway; fancy a few country strolls or simply want a refreshing change of scene, Friars Carse will provide a comfortable stay in beautiful surroundings.
It has inspired poetry by one Robert Burns in the past. Not that there is any pressure to pen a sonnet; just enjoy your stay.
With this offer valid well into summer, 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.
Individually styled rooms
Available Sunday to Thursday, the Big Deal has two options.
Option one 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 three course dinner from the main restaurant menu and glass of Prosecco.
Option two is for a two night stay with a three course dinner and glass of Prosecco on the first night plus a full Scottish breakfast each morning.
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 three course dinner chosen from a menu that uses fresh, locally-sourced produce. A typical starter might be the salad of cold water prawns & bacon or the Friar’s smoked chestnut & red onion tartlet.
Main course options might include the casserole of Scotch beef skirt & root vegetables, rich stout gravy, cheese & herb scone with grain mustard mash or the cassoulet of chilli roasted vegetables, braised basmati rice, sour cream dressing, sweet chilli & coriander scone.
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 and trout, anglers may want to take advantage of the Friars Carse lengthy fishing beat on the Nith, accessed by paths direct from the hotel.
Previous visitors have been generous with their praise for Friars Carse, with recent TripAdvisor reviews including the following, edited for length:
‘Very nice hotel. Accommodation lovely. Staff are lovely also. Full of character and history. Great for touring Dumfries. Also good for fishing. The river Nith is on the door step. Would recommend to anyone.’
‘Fantastic short break… old style hotel with pleasant relaxed atmosphere. Staff were friendly, helpful and always available. We ate at the hotel, great Scottish breakfast with lots of available extras. The evening meal was a small but varied menu and the quality of the food was first class, especially the game… I would thoroughly recommend a few days here, nice surroundings, nice walks and a bit of history thrown in.’
A short break in Dumfriesshire is a treat any time of the year, but spring and early summer show the countryside at its finest.
Today’s Big Deal stay at Friars Carse would be the perfect way to spring a surprise for a birthday or anniversary.
Or you could just treat yourself to an indulgent getaway.