Now that the festive season is officially here, our thoughts turn to Christmas – one of our favourite times of the year, when the grounds begin to glisten, crackling fires are lit, and the delicious smells of mince pies and mulled wine fill the house.
Get into the Holiday Spirit
Whether you are looking for a base to explore the local sparkling lights of Dumfries & Galloway, with its local independent shops dotted throughout the surrounding towns and villages, or are keen to venture further afield and enjoy some of Scotland’s best Christmas spectacles, Dabton House is the perfect place to base yourself and enjoy the festivities with friends and family. From charming Christmas fairs and historical house tours to musical extravaganzas bursting with cheerful joy, the region is aglow with festive spirit for everyone.
1. Drumlanrig Christmas Fair
Date: 1st December – 2nd December, 14:00 to 20:00 (Friday), 11:00 to 16:00 (Saturday), Location: Drumlanrig Castle
Launch your festive celebrations at the Drumlanrig Christmas Fair. The much-loved event offers a one-stop shop for Christmas, featuring local creators, makers, and producers. Shop for unique gifts, pick your perfect Christmas tree, and indulge in tasty treats. Don’t forget to take the little ones to meet Santa in the free Santa’s Grotto. Entry to the fair is £3.00 per adult and £1 for children (ages 3+). Castle tours (extra charge) and the Adventure Playground are also open for an extra layer of joy.
2. Wreath Making at Drumlanrig Castle
Date: Sunday 3rd, Wednesday 6th, Sunday 10th and Wednesday 13th December, 13:30 – 15:30, Location: Larchwood Cabin, Drumlanrig Castle
Engage in a festive creative endeavour by participating in the wreath making workshops at Drumlanrig Castle. Express your holiday spirit by crafting your own handmade Christmas wreath under the expert guidance of Drumlanrig’s Head Gardener – Robbie Black. Add a personal touch to your decorations and make your home truly festive.
3. Santa's Grotto at Caledonia Park
Date: 24th November – 24th December, 10:00 to 18:00, Location: Caledonia Park
Experience the magic of Santa’s Grotto at Caledonia Park. Take a break from the shops and book your spot for a memorable family visit to Santa’s Grotto. Meet Santa’s elves, create your own decoration, and discover if you’re on the naughty or nice list. Booking is essential due to high demand, so make sure to reserve your spot today.
4. Ice Hockey U20 World Championship, Dumfries Ice Bow
Date: 11th December – 17th December, 13:00 to 20:00, Location: Dumfries Ice Bowl
Looking for some sporting action to keep you entertained this winter? Experience the thrill of World Championship Ice Hockey as the Great Britain Men’s Under 20s team compete at the Dumfries Ice Bowl. Cheer on the home team as they battle it out against international opponents in a week-long event that promises excitement and camaraderie.
5. Dalgarno Singers Christmas Concert
Date: Sunday 10th December, 15:30, Maxwelltown West Parish Church, Saturday 16th December, 15:30, Closeburn Parish Church
Enjoy an afternoon of joyous melodies as Dalgarno Singers put on a show at their Christmas Concerts. From Musical Director Rory Robson and Accompanist Hilary Craig, listen to a mix of old and new Christmas choral classics, sure to leave your toes tapping and hands clapping. Tickets cost £10 or FREE for Students/Children and are available from Midsteeple Box Office – 01387 253383
6. Dumfries Choral Society Christmas Concert
Date: Saturday 16th December, at 19:00, St John’s Church, Dumfries
Hit those high notes! An evening of carols and seasonal music will take over the pews of St John’s Church as Dumfries Choral Society perform their annual Christmas Concert, conducted by Jamie Brand with John Turner accompanying. A collection will be taken in aid of the Scottish Association for Mental Health. Tickets available from Midsteeple Box Office (01387 253383) or on the door, Adults £10, Students £5, Children FREE.
7. Enchanting Festive Candlelit tours of Dumfries House
Date: Monday/Tuesday, 4th, 5th, 11th, 12th, 18th, 19th December (Candlelit Tour only)
Sunday/Thursday, 3rd, 7th, 10th, 14th December (Candlelit Tour WITH Festive Feast)
Delve into the fascinating history of one of Scotland’s most beautiful country homes while seeing it lit by candlelight and dressed for the festive season. On arrival, guests will be greeted with a welcome glass of prosecco followed by a Christmas-themed guided tour of the house and its renowned collection of artwork and Thomas Chippendale furniture. Sumptuous dining packages are also available on selected dates.
8. Phil Cunningham's Christmas Songbook
Date: Thursday 14th December, 19:30, Easterbrook Hall, Dumfries
Fill up your festive fuel tank as Phil Cunningham takes to the stage to showcase his extravaganza of modern and traditional Christmas music. Joined by some of the finest musicians on the Scottish folk scene, the performance includes a powerful mix of vocalists and instrumentalists. Tickets available for £27.
9. The Guild of Players presents Cinderella
Date: Friday 1st – Saturday 16th December, varying times, Theatre Royal, Dumfries.
The perfect Christmas activity has to be a visit to the Pantomime – oh, yes it is! The Guild of Players will be dropping the curtain and inviting you all to the ball, for their 2023 pantomime – Cinderella. Escape to the land of fairytales and make-believe with a few hours of wonderful, family-fun at the Theatre Royal this December.
10. Christmas with the Clydesdales
Date: 1st – 22nd December, Friday, Saturday, Sunday only, Blackstone Clydesdales, Ayrshire
Share a magical Christmas experience with friends and family on a visit to Blackstone Clydesdales. The unique event will include a walking farm tour meeting the majestic Clydesdale Horses as well as saying hello to other farm residents. Ideal for the kids, make the most of many unique photo opportunities, enjoy some games and crafts as well as letting the kids post their Christmas wish list to Santa!
The Festive Season at Dabton House
Dumfries and the surrounding areas offer a magical tapestry of Christmas events. From glorious musical performances to festive family days out, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Make this holiday season truly special by immersing yourself in the festive spirit of this beautiful region, whilst staying at Dabton House.