Local Area

Dumfries House

 Visitors who would like to discover a little more about Ayrshire while they're in the area, have a fabulous choice of places to visit and explore - all within easy reach of the festival.

If you're suffering the effects of too much intellectual stimulation following our authors' talks why not simply clear your head and take a leisurely stroll around Dumfries House Estate. With its walled garden, tree lined avenues, fountains and parkland there is much to enjoy.

Meanwhile here are some of our favourite local destinations:

Dumfries House 

While you are with us, take time to enjoy a tour of this year's Festival venue. This ravishing Adam house (1754-59), is one of Britain’s most beautiful stately homes with a unique collection of Chippendale and Scottish rococo furniture. In 2007 HRH The Prince of Wales headed a consortium that purchased the house to save it for the nation.  


The Boswell Mausoleum and Boswell Aisle in Auchinleck Churchyard

The square neo-classical mausoleum built in 1754 houses the remains of James Boswell and his immediate family. It is attached to the 17th century Boswell Aisle which was part of the original Auchinleck Church. It's planned to restore it as a visitor experience about James Boswell and his world.

The Baird Institute, Cumnock

Opened in 1891, this charming small museum in the heart of Cumnock will be showing a small display of work. Its Keir Hardie room shows personal belongings of this distinguished Cumnock resident and founder of the modern Labour Party.

The Scottish Dark Sky Observatory

The world's only public dark Sky Park Observatory sits on a hill top in Craigengillan Estate, just south of Dalmellington. This stunning new observatory lies on the edge of Galloway Forest Dark Sky Park, one of only six gold level sky parks in the world and the only one in Europe.

Book direct on 01292 551118.

The Barony A Frame

The iconic Barony A Frame is an isolated structure saved from demolition after Scottish Coal closed the pit there and demolished all the mine buildings. The community rallied around the mission to save the A Frame from demolition and create a meaningful and sustainable monument to mining and mining communities. The end result is a sustainable, meaningful monument to the mining industry and the communities who worked in it.


Knockroon Village

Knockroon is a unique, new neighbourhood: a neighbourhood incorporating homes, shops to serve local and daily needs and workplaces for small businesses. Situated on the edge of historic Cumnock, it has been designed to reflect the rich architectural tradition of Ayrshire.