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Nov
10

Castle of Park (Dumfries & Galloway) (34695)

Event Overview

Castle of Park Tower House

Friday 10th - Monday 13th November

Join us for a long weekend away in possibly the grandest, and oldest, building we have ever stayed at in Scotland, for a luxuriously special break.

Castle of Park was built by a Thomas Hay in 1590 after he had been given the lands at Park by his father, the last abbot of Glenluce.  After a few centuries of habitation the tower lay empty for almost 100 years until Historic Scotland organised the restoration of the building, and it was subsequently leased out to the Landmark Trust who manage it as self cate...

Castle of Park Tower House

Friday 10th - Monday 13th November

Join us for a long weekend away in possibly the grandest, and oldest, building we have ever stayed at in Scotland, for a luxuriously special break.

Castle of Park was built by a Thomas Hay in 1590 after he had been given the lands at Park by his father, the last abbot of Glenluce.  After a few centuries of habitation the tower lay empty for almost 100 years until Historic Scotland organised the restoration of the building, and it was subsequently leased out to the Landmark Trust who manage it as self catering property.

The venue itself is sandwiched between two areas of rolling hills, and green fields - the Machars and The Rhins of Galloway - by day both equally quiet and unspoilt areas that are usually bypassed by most tourists as they head for the highlands; and by night this area is part of the UKs first Dark Sky Park, an area which has very little light pollution and is great for getting out when the nights are long to see the stars above our heads.

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What to bring

The main activity planned for the weekend is to explore the area, good walking boots are a must along with clothing for any weather. You are advised that you pack extra layers for warmth for when you are out of the building, as it will be cold at this time of year - especially if you are staying out late to look at the stars.

Boots:  Hiking boots are arguably the most essential piece of kit when hiking just about anywhere.  Walker’s should make sure that their boots are both waterproof and breathable, and provide good ankle support.  Boots should also be in good condition.

Socks: A good comfy pair of walking socks is essential really; they keep your feet warm and drier than normal socks.

Gaiters:  Gaiters attach to the bottom of walking boots and extend to just under the knee.  They provide waterproofing for the bottom half of the leg.  They are not essential to have but you will feel the difference if you have them when walking through muddy or boggy ground - which is almost guaranteed in Scotland.

Walking Trousers:  You should have a suitable pair of trousers for walking in, jeans are not suitable as they take on water when wet and will make you cold.  The same goes for jogging pants/tracksuit clothing. 

Waterproof Trousers:  Waterproof trousers are essential in case of wet weather. They are also good to be worn as a second layer as they can act as a windproof barrier, keeping the legs warm. 

Base Layer: A breathable base layer should be chosen in order to let sweat escape from the body.  This could be a cheaper sports top or you could go top of the range with a merino top, as cotton T-Shirts can become damp and uncomfortable when climbing a mountain.

Other Layers: On top of your base layer, you can have a variety of options such as a micro fleece, a fleece jacket or a rugby/sports top can sometimes be good.  Having one or two additional layers gives you flexibility when the weather is changeable – the more layers, the more flexible you can be in adapting to the weather.

Waterproof Jacket:  A good waterproof jacket is one of the most important pieces of kit you will require when hiking.  Walkers should look for a jacket that is both waterproof and breathable in order for them to be protected from sweat.  Materials such as Gore-tex are often the best choices but they can be expensive unless you shop sensibly, don’t forget your OutdoorLads discount for Full Members at Cotswold outlets.

Hat: As most heat is lost through the head a good hat is essential. 

Gloves: Gloves are essential in the colder months, windproof or better still waterproof gloves are the best choice.

Rucksack: A good Rucksack that is comfortable to wear is essential, and required to carry both food and equipment.  Day sacks should have a capacity of around 30 litres.  As an option you could store your items in waterproof bags inside just in-case or ensure the bag has a waterproof bag to pull over the top.

Emergency Equipment: The leader of the group will normally carry some emergency items, but you are welcome to bring your own such as spare energy food, survival bag, personal first aid kit, head torch and a whistle.  It is not essential that you bring all or any of these items but it will do no harm if you do bring.

Map & Compass: If you want to learn to be a leader or you just like to know where you are, then you can bring a map that covers the area.  If you are not sure which map to bring, just message the leader.  It is best to bring your map either in a map case or purchase maps which are waterproof.

Mobile Phone: If you choose to bring your phone, then you are well advised to buy a waterproof bag or if that is not possible a simple food/freezer bag will suffice.

Food & Drink

Friday evening - please bring an item for the buffet

Saturday & Sunday breakfast and dinner along with Monday breakfast are included in the event cost.

Saturday & Sunday lunch - you will need to bring with you.

Tea & coffee is provided at the bunkhouse over the weekend.

Meeting & Times

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What's going to happen

Friday evening:

We have the ODL buffet and this is also an opportunity to catch up with other ODLers you may have not seen for a while or meet new guys. If this is your first event, don't worry as you will be made very welcome.

Saturday & Sunday:

We have a full two days exploring the area. There aren't many large hills in the area, the most notable being Cairnsmore of Fleet a little distance to the east of where we are staying.  As we will be a small group we will have a discussion on the Friday evening to decide our plans, a likely option is to go for a drive and explore The Rhins, or if the weather turns decidedly wet we could find a relatively(!) sheltered walk in the Galloway Forest Park.

Monday:

Time to clean the building and head home.

Getting to Castle of Park

Public Transport :

The easiest way is to get the ScotRail service from Kilmarnock to Stranraer, then Stagecoach service 430 to Glenluce.  This route operates twice in the afternoons

Kilmarnock Train dep. 13:03, Stranraer arr. 14:54, Bus dep. 15:38, Glenluce arr. 15:54.

Kilmarnock Train dep. 14:58, Stranraer arr 16:50, Bus dep. 17:58, Glenluce arr 18:09.

By Road :

From Glasgow - 

Head SW out of the city on the M8, then pick up the M77 at Kinning Park.  Stay on the M77 as it becomes the A77 until you are almost in Stranraer, and look out for a left turn onto the A751, signed Dumfries.  Turn left onto the A75 and drive forward for 6.8 miles, the turn off for Castle of Park is approx 100 metres after a big green road sign for Glenluce.

From Carlisle -

Turn off the M74 at Junction 22, signed for the A75 - this is the first junction after the motorway changes from the M6 to M74.  Follow the A75 for 87 miles until you pass the Glenluce turn off, shortly after passing a sign stating 'Stranraer 10 miles' look out for a side road to your right, this is the access road for Castle of Park.

Facilities in the area

There is a Tesco and Morrisons in Stranraer, a 15 minute drive west of the Castle.

If coming along the A75 from the Dumfries or Carlisle direction there is a Sainsburys, Aldi and Co-operative in Newton Stewart.

Locally Glenluce has a small convenience store.


Event Reference No:
34695