Start with a quick guided tour round Threave House, a grand Scottish baronial mansion, which has been decorated and furnished in an authentic 1930s style.
Head through the Visitor Centre to the Countryside Centre, in what was the old stable block, for an introduction to the estate’s history, plants and wildlife. The exhibitions, interactive displays and information on hand there will help you tackle the next section – the 25 hectare (64 acre) ornamental garden.
The garden is divided into a number of separate areas, all packed with a diverse range of plants, flowers, shrubs, fruit and vegetables, some of which you can buy in the Visitor Centre shop. Look out in particular for the secret garden, the glasshouses, the walled garden and the sculpture garden, where you can see works by Scottish sculptors including Ronald Rae.
Finally, allow yourself plenty of time to explore the nature reserve, which takes in woodlands, farmland and the wetlands, and has been designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest. There are several waymarked trails through the estate, including one along a disused railway line and another along the banks of the River Dee. Make the most of wildlife-spotting opportunities in one of the five hides dotted around the reserve.
Did you know?
The name Threave is thought to originate from the Old Welsh word ‘tref’ meaning homestead.
Visitor & Countryside Centres, Restaurant, Gift Shop, Plant Centre and Glasshouses:
1 Feb to 22 Mar, Fri-Sun 10-5; 23 Mar to 31 Oct, daily 10-5; 5 Nov to 22 Dec, Tues-Sun 11-4 (closed Mondays only).
House: 23 Mar to 31 Oct Wed-Fri and Sun 11-3.30.
Visit to house by guided tour only and visitors are advised to book in advance.