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Home » Activities » Ancestral Tourism
 

Ancestral Tourism

  • Clan Armstrong Centre


    Gilnockie Tower

    The Esk Valley Clan Armstrong Reiver Centre

    The Clan Armstrong Ancestral Home

    History, Mystery and Discovery while exploring the far-reaching lands of the Anglo-Scottish Border Reivers, join us for an enthralling 500 years of Clan Armstrong History at Gilnockie Tower Reiver Centre.

    Gilnockie Tower is a stunning example of a Scottish pele tower. Built some 500 years ago, it was home to Johnnie Armstrong, a notorious border reiver. In 1530 this powerful chieftain was hanged by a Scottish king, his story romanticised by Walter Scott.

    Gilnockie Tower has five floors, including vaulted chamber, banqueting hall and spiral staircase. The entrance stone is thought to be two thousand years old. Once a roofless ruin, the place has been completely refurbished and is open as a clan and visitor attraction. The Clan Armstrong Centre houses reiving artefacts and the world’s largest collection of Armstrong archives.

    Many times recognised by historians, students and visitors alike as: the Gilnockie Tower; Armstrong’s Tower; Hollows Tower; or Holehouse Tower and believed to be from the period circa 1490-1520 as a rubble built, carved stone, Medieval Period Scots Tower House.

    Clan Armstrong Centre

    Ancestral Home of the Clan Armstrong

    Gilnockie Tower Reiver Centre Phone: 013873 71373

    Gilnockie Tower Mobile: 07733 065587

    Hollows Phone Intl: +44 13873 71373

    Canonbie Mobile Intl: +44 7733 065587

    Dumfriesshire Website: www.gilnockietower.com

    Scotland Email: gt@gilnockietower.com

    DG14 0XD Newsletter Email: gilnockietower@gmail.com

    Instagram: gilnockietowerreivercentre

    Registered Charity Company No. SC104156 (Scotland)

    Gilnockie Tower is open all year round.

    10.00 am until 4.00 pm 7 days Easter to end October 2018.

    Last tour 30 minutes before advertised closing time.

    Personalised guided tours of the tower available at 12.15 pm,

    13.15 pm, and 14.15 pm by booking through our phone number

    Open: 11.00 am until 3.00 pm daily end October until Easter 2019.

    Cafe now open

     
     
  • Armstrong Border Tours


    Darren and Eleanor’s trip to floors Castle.

    The grand Castle of Drumlanrig.

    Experience the Scottish Borders like never before with

    Foray unto reiver trail.

    A murdered laird and his followers Grave.

    Armstrong Border Tours

     

    Tours of the borders for the enthusiastic traveller who wishes, to learn more about the history of borders. From stone age man right through to modern day.

     

    Adam is a knowledgeable, experienced and passionate owner of the business. Go on tour with Armstrong Border Tours for memories that will last a lifetime

    Half Day Tours

    Half day tours, again will begin at 9am outside Langholm town hall, we do collect people from designated areas upon plenty of prior notice.Half day tours last until 2pm and then from 2pm until 6pm, half day tours take in a maximum of three sites. And refreshment breaks will be taken, during your tour. However, Armstrong Border Tours are not responsible for refreshments. Again, there are four regions to explore all of which are full of history and beautiful scenery.

    Full Day Tours

    Our full day tours will begin at 9am outside Langholm town hall, we do collect people from designated areas up plenty of prior notice.Full day tours last, until 5pm-6pm of which you will be transported back to the location at which we collected you. Once we have begun the tour we will explore one of four regions, Dumfries and Galloway, Scottish, Cumbria or Northumberland, a minimum of four sites per day on the full day tours. Refreshments breaks, and lunches will be at 11am, 1pm and then at 3:30pm, Armstrong Border Tours are not responsible for any refreshments. I aim to finish the tour at precisely 6pm but there maybe odd occasions of unforeseen circumstances. So therefore, ask for patience.

    Bespoke Tours

    Our bespoke tours are for the more, eager traveler, wanting to find or discover an old ancestral home or a place that’s not on the regular tours. We can take you off the beaten track and show you the wilds of the borders. Maybe you want to visit old kirkyards or see the colours of Edinburgh, maybe just see misty mountains all of which can be accessed with a little planning.Bespoke tours are from 9am to 6pm breaks and lunches will be given, you will be collected outside Langholm town hall or a designated place and returned there after the tour.Please note all tours must be paid for by the time the tour takes place, or your tour will have to cancelled. Deposits or/and cash on the day.

    Contact us today to book your Border Experience

    Call 07713 856101

    e mail us on adam.armstrongcrisp@hotmail.com

    See us on Facebook  https://www.facebook.com/armstrongbordertours/

    Some recent reviews

    Henry Jeffrey

    As a front of house member at the Eskdale Hotel I’d heard many positive reviews about Armstrong Border Tours from residents, so myself and the duty manager went on a tour with Adam. We were impressed, firstly, by the immaculately clean vehicle and comfortable seats.

    Our tour took us North of Langholm through the Ewes Valley before cutting across to Hermitage Castle. The tour continued through Newcastleton, Kershopefoot, Rowanburn, Hollows and returning to Langholm at 5pm.

    Throughout the tour Adam shared his knowledge of not only the Armstrong family, but of the Elliot’s, Scott’s and Turnbull’s – to name a few. His tour was delivered at a good pace and easy to understand.

    If you plan to pass through the border area then I’d highly recommend a visit to Langholm and experience a tour yourself. A very informative tour with a very knowledgeable guide.

    Becca Jill

    I made arrangements with Adam online. I had a special request to visit Rosslyn Chapel, and he was happy to oblige. Adam is very knowledgeable about the history of not only the Armstrongs but the entire Border area. Having Adam for a guide made for a very enjoyable day!

    Darren Kiddell

    I had my girlfriend visiting from Germany and wanted to do something for her where she could get to know the region and see some of the unknown sights that ordinary tour guides would miss. I’ve known Adam for a good number of years now and when I found out about his border tours I booked one up straight away.
    I had a few things I wanted to fit into the day, but asked Adam to surprise us with things he thought we would enjoy. The places we visited were amazing, Floors Castle, Traquair House, Gilnockie Tower, and while they were great to see and snoop around, it was Adam’s knowledge and his enthusiasm that made the day most enjoyable for us. I had worried my girlfriend and Adam might have communication issues but there was none at all and she understood nearly all of his informative talks only asking once or twice for him to repeat himself, considering the amount of knowledge he shared with us on our tour I was seriously impressed!
    Adam is a great guy with loads of passion and pride for what he does and he made sure we had a great day. If anyone wants to see some of the most beautiful countryside I’ve ever seen, points of interest off the beaten track and pick up a bit of history along the way, I’d definitely recommend going on one of his tours!

     

     

     

     
     
  • John Paul Jones Birthplace Museum And Visitor Centre


    John Paul Jones Birthplace Museum And Visitor Centre

     

     

    The John Paul Jones Cottage Museum is located on the Arbigland Estate near Kirkbean in Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland. The cottage is where John Paul Jones, hero of the American Revolutionary War and founder of the United States Navy, was born in 1747. Jones’ father was a gardener for the estate.

     

     

     

    The cottage has two rooms, restored and furnished as they might have been during John Paul’s childhood – he added the “Jones” later. An extension to the cottage houses a recreation of Jones’s cabin on his ship the “Bonhomme Richard”.

    “I wish to have no connection with any ship that does not sail fast, for I intend to go in harm’s way.”

    John Paul Jones is famous in the United States as the ‘Father of the American Navy’. He was born in poverty and through his skills became a distinguished naval officer fighting for both the USA and Russia. He travelled the world and even raided his home county when he landed on St Mary’s Isle near Kirkcudbright, stole the Earl of Selkirk’s silver and was captured and imprisoned in the Tolbooth – now Kirkcudbright’s arts centre. He was awarded a gold medal and a gold sword for his exploits but he was buried in an unmarked grave for over a century, having died, perhaps appropriately, in revolutionary Paris, France, in 1792.

    In Britain he is remembered as a pirate and adventurer. Indeed, Benjamin Disraeli, an early biographer, wrote that the nurses of Scotland hushed their crying charges by the whisper of his name. In Holland, a Dutch song “Here comes John Paul Jones, that fine fellow” is still sung by school children.

     

     
     
  • Solway Tours


    Solway Tours

     

    Solway Tours offer Five star, bespoke guided historic and ancestral tours of Dumfries and Galloway and across Scotland. DandG Life Tourism Champion Winner 2016

     

     

    We aim to provide unforgettable experiences through our extensive knowledge and insight into the History of Scotland which will create memories and smiles that last a lifetime. We seek to provide our customers with positive travel experiences delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, pride and a passion for promoting Dumfries and Galloway as a high quality tourist destination. We are very confident that you will thoroughly enjoy all aspects of our guided tours and be in awe of the majestic countryside and impact which South West Scotland has had on shaping our global community.

    We are more than happy to create a flexible itinerary to suit your areas of interest. Our website gives more suggested areas to visit and we will arrange a bespoke and personalised tour for each party.

     

    Our tours offer an individually tailored and unique insight into the historical and cultural delights of South West Scotland and beyond. We provide a personalised, chauffeur-driven, high quality service which will allow you to experience the most majestic countryside whilst visiting some of the most important historical and cultural sites in the country.

    Lesley and Mark, your Solway Tours guides, offer a range of flexible, tailor-made tours for families or small groups to experience the charms that Dumfries and Galloway has to
    offer. We are both experienced historians with specialist backgrounds in secondary education at a senior managerial level and will delight and regale you about the historic and cultural importance of Dumfries and Galloway and beyond.

    Your tour experience will be enhanced further by being chauffeur driven in our comfortable and stylish seven seater Renault Grand Scenic.

     
     
  • Dundonald Castle


    DUNDONALD CASTLE

    AND

    VISITOR CENTRE

     

    War and romance, smuggling and heroism, tales of the supernatural and more – Royal Dundonald Castle is one of Scotland’s most unexplored and fascinating treasures.
    Home to Scots King Robert II, grandson of Robert the Bruce; it’s where the formidable Stewart dynasty was born. The 14th century Castle, its ancient hilltop and surrounding woodland hold their secrets and those of the powerful Cochrane family, favourites of King Charles I.
    Experience impressive barrel-vaulted ceilings, enjoy spectacular coastal views and join the Castle Team for stories and rare finds from the site’s 2000-year-old past. The Castle’s rich history is illustrated for all ages, through initiatives in Education, Archaeology, Events and Exhibitions.
    Dundonald Castle’s legacy is just beginning. It’s a vibrant ‘living’ monument and holds a special place in the heart of its village. The busy Visitor Centre and welcoming café are the focal point for the famous Dundonald Highland Games and a unique place for local residents and their children to make memories for years to come.

     

     

     
     
  • Sorbie Tower


    sorbie tower on SWC300

    Sorbie Tower is a striking ancient keep and dates back to the 16th century.

    The Tower and surrounding land is owned by the Clan Hannay Society and is gradually being restored. The Tower was built on the site of an even older wooden fort – 12th century the foundations of which can still be seen. There are guided tours of the tower one day a week during the summer and visitors are always welcome to view the tower, its gardens and picnic in the grounds.

    In November 2017, Sorbie Tower hit the headlines displaying a “weeping window” of thousands of hand knitted and crocheted poppies which were hung from one of the tower’s windows. This attracted thousands of visitors and it is planned to repeat this for 2018.

    Sorbie Tower is approximately half way between Sorbie and Garlieston.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     
     
  • Culzean Castle and Country Park


    Culzean Castle and Country Park

    With a dramatic clifftop setting, Robert Adam architecture, fascinating history & beautiful surrounds, Culzean Castle and Country Park is one of Scotland’s best days out.

    This glorious 260ha estate was once the playground of David Kennedy, 10th Earl of Cassillis – a man who was keen to impress with his wealth and status. Opulent to the extreme, the park is planted with conifers and beech, sculpted around miles of sandy coastline dotted with caves, and finished off with a Swan Pond, an ice house, flamboyant formal gardens and fruit-filled glasshouses.

    The castle itself is perched on the Ayrshire cliffs, incorporating everything the earl could wish for in his country home. It was designed by Robert Adam in the late 18th century and is filled to the turrets with treasures that tell the stories of the people who lived here.

     
     
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