Your first sight of Newlands Barn, 3 miles from Thornhill in Dumfries and Galloway, is from quite a distance, which gives you some idea of the panoramic views you will enjoy once you get up there. Accessed by a little country road and then a good, short track, it has a commanding position on the hillside, and from its enclosed garden, visited by hosts of songbirds, or from its large conservatory, you look away across the wooded valley to the distant hills beyond. For warmer days, a sheltered yard (furniture) provides an attractive suntrap.
It is, quite simply, the most charming of houses, light, spacious and full of character. Much of the action takes place on the ground floor, which is handy for those who prefer to avoid stairs. In addition to the conservatory/dining room, accessed through a large, comfortable lounge with open fire (both 3 steps down), there is a well equipped kitchen with Aga and electric cooker, a utility room/office, bathroom with separate shower and twin and single bedrooms. The master bedroom, with adjoining shower room, is upstairs. There is now also a garage and games room with table tennis table.
And just for a bit of local colour, the railway runs through the cutting behind the house, totally invisible, beyond a wall and fence and not obtrusive - two passenger trains an hour count as rush hour.
The countryside in these parts is delightful and lends itself to many enjoyable pursuits. Walking, of course - the Southern Upland Way may be joined at Sanquhar or Dalry - riding stables just south of Thornhill, golf courses, and plenty of choice as far as fishing is concerned, rising from £18 per day for trout on the loch nearby to £180 per day in the best Drumlanrig salmon pools. The Mid Nithsdale Angling Association offers a range of visitor tickets at reasonable prices. And as a further benefit for anglers the house offers a drying cupboard for drying boots and clothing as well as a small deep freeze for storing the day's catch.
Drumlanrig Castle and Country Estate, open to the public and with excellent mountain biking trails, is about 2 miles distant and there are shops and pubs in Thornhill, while Auldgirth too has an excellent inn.
Further afield, you can drive through the Galloway hills to picturesque Dalry and New Galloway, head down via Loch Ken to the Solway coast with its sandy beaches, or penetrate further west into the Galloway Forest Park, with all manner of water and woodland based activities available around Glen Trool.
Newlands Barn is the perfect place from which to discover the many attractions of this peaceful and unspoilt area.
Bed linen, towels and the first £25 of each of electricity and oil-CH are included in the rental. An extra put-you-up bed is available (charge). Up to two dogs are welcome by arrangement, but must be kept downstairs and under control at all times. No smoking in the house. Wi-Fi is available, subject to provider.
Accommodation (sleeps 5/6):
- (3 steps down) Sitting room with open fire, TV/DVD and CD player.
- Conservatory/dining room.
- Kitchen with Aga, electric cooker, dishwasher and microwave, etc.
- Utility room with fridge/freezer, washing machine and tumble drier.
- Twin bedroom with wash basin.
- Single bedroom with wash basin.
- Bathroom with bath, separate shower, WC and wash basin.
- Games room with table tennis table.
- Double bedroom.
- Room with shower, WC and wash basin.