Prince Charles opens children’s adventure playpark at Dumfries
King Charles set to work restoring Dumfries House in the 2000s, and his journey was explored in the documentary A Royal Grand Design.
Situated among 2000 acres in Ayrshire, the property is a grand 18th Century Scottish home boasting impressive gardens and a royal-inspired playpark.
Dumfries House was completed by 1759 and built for William Crichton-Dalrymple, 5th Earl of Dumfries.
It was used as a residence by a string of aristocratic owners over the years, but in 2007 the house was earmarked for auction.
But many years ago the monarch led a consortium to buy the house and its contents for £45million.
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The move saved Dumfries House and “one of the most important collections of Georgian Scottish and English furniture for the nation”, according to the property’s website.
Dumfries House offers the public free entry and parking and is now under the remit of The Prince’s Foundation.
The house is ornately decorated throughout, and the visit of Ireland’s President Michael D Higgin to Dumfries House in 2017 showed plush furniture adorns its ‘Yellow Room’.
The ceiling of Dumfries’ north drawing room is adorned with gold gilding and intricate patterns.
Last year, the King opened a brand new adventure playpark at Dumfries House around the estate’s 35-metre high Sequoia Redwood trees.
Along with two adjacent racing slides big enough for adults to participate in the fun with their families, the adventure park also features elevated rope bridges and a wooden finger maze.
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The central play tower was inspired by a treehouse at Charles’s Gloucestershire home of Highgrove House.
The treehouse was once used by Prince William and Prince Harry when they were children, and it is now Prince George’s to enjoy whenever he visits his grandpa.
Designed by Creating Adventurous Places, the playpark aims to help children enjoy the great outdoors and learn through nature-based play.
Gordon Neil, executive director of The Prince’s Foundation, said earlier this year: “The work of The Prince’s Foundation is inspired by HRH The Prince of Wales’s philosophy of harmony: that by understanding the balance, the order and the relationships between ourselves and the natural world we can create a more sustainable future.
“Encouraging young people to engage with, and learn from, nature is at the heart of everything we do as a charity.
“We are delighted to expand the range of nature-based activities available to estate visitors with the opening of our new adventure playground and are very much looking forward to seeing families enjoy it.”
Dumfries House is a full day out, and other attractions include Valentin’s Education Farm, the Arboretum and the Queen Elizabeth Walled Garden.
There is also a maze complete with a Japanese pagoda and obelisks which was inspired by the maze at Sandringham, the private royal residence in Norfolk.
There is also the Chinese Bridge and Pierburg Building and Kauffman Education Gardens, which help educate people about gardening and food.
For dining, visitors can stop at the Coach House Cafe or the Woodlands Restaurant, and Dumfries House can also be booked for corporate events and weddings.
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