Threave Estate, Castle Douglas

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Threave Estate, Castle Douglas

The National Trust for Scotland has managed Threave Estate since 1948 providing a safe haven for many species of birds, mammals and insects.  Threave Estate and Nature Reserve covers an area of 1500 acres to the west of Castle Douglas and comprises woodland, farmland and wetland including the River Dee, marshes, ponds and wader-scrapes. It is a Special Protection Area (SPA) and Ramsar Site.  The wetlands support a range of rare plants, breeding birds and an abundance of insects and other animals. Threave became Scotland’s first Bat Reserve in 2010 and has had breeding ospreys since 2009, with an osprey viewing platform open to the general public between April and September 10 am to 4.30pm seven days a week.

  • Notable animal species include the seven species of bat recorded on the estate, otter, red squirrel, water vole, water shrew, osprey, red kite, peregrine. Winter visitors include Greenland white-fronted geese, hen harrier, marsh harrier and a large range of wildfowl and waders.
  • Rare plants on the reserve include nodding bur-marigold, mudwort, marsh stitchwort and whorled caraway.

Best In

Threave offers great wildlife viewing all year round with bats and ospreys during the summer and wildfowl during the autumn and winter.  Threave Estate has also been voted second in The Independent's '10 Best Gardens to Visit in the UK'.


On the western edge of Castle Douglas, straddling the A75.

Post Code: DG7 1RX

Grid Ref: NX 754 605

How to get there

By car: Threave is just off the A75, 1 mile west of Castle Douglas.  For the nature reserve, follow signs to Threave Castle. 

By bus service: Bus numbers 500, 501 and 502 from Dumfries to either Stranraer or Kirkcudbright. It is a 1.5-mile walk from Castle Douglas to Threave along the new community path, which starts from Blackpark Road in Castle Douglas and connects with Threave Estate Trail following the old railway line.

Alternatively, walk on the footpath alongside the main road out of Castle Douglas by Carlingwark Loch. 

By train: The Glasgow/Newcastle First ScotRail line takes you to Dumfries station. From Dumfries (Whitesands Road bus stop next to the river) take Stagecoach bus numbers 71 or 72 to Castle Douglas. It is a 1.5-mile walk from Castle Douglas to Threave either following the new community path or the footpath alongside the main road out of Castle Douglas by Carlingwark Loch

By cycle / on foot: National Cycle Route 7 passes next to Threave. There are bike racks next to the Visitor Centre


  • Visitor Centre, shop, restaurant and Countryside Centre all within Threave Garden and with wheelchair access.
  • Information Centre for Reserve at Kelton Mains Farm.
  • Threave Bat Reserve mobile interpretation trailer.
  • Estate walk through woodlands and farmland(2miles), two Bat Reserve trails with some wheelchair access(contact us for details) and a circular trail round the Reserve which includes the Osprey viewing platform with wheelchair access.
  • One woodland hide within the gardens and five wetland hides and the osprey viewing platform on the reserve. Stepping-stones hide has wheelchair access.
  • Toilet facilities are available at the Visitor Centre, the Countryside Centre and Threave Castle car park at Kelton Mains.
  • We run a programme of guided walks and events.
  • We offer a range of Education topics for schools and can arrange visits for other groups.


The National Trust for Scotland

Countryside Team

Ranger Office Number: 0844 4932244



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Osprey Viewing Platform
River Dee Ferry