A Grand Day Out to Dumfries House – 6 Things to Expect

Dumfries House outside
Supplied by Dumfries House Trust, Image Credit - Iain Brown

Celebrating a fantastic day experience departing from Aberdeen, Dundee & Perth next year, we take a look at what to expect during a luxury vintage train excursion on board the Northern Belle to Dumfries House.

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1. New Safety Procedures

Northern Belle

Slowly restarting train operations, Northern Belle have implemented a new safety procedures, providing prospective passengers with that added touch of reassurance during these uncertain times.

Travelling with Northern Belle, “The Safe Way”, passengers and crew members alike can rest assured of the highest safety levels possible during a journey.

Different measures include switching completely to ‘e-tickets’, a diligent boarding programme and social distancing measures and signage implemented on board.

A core measure to heighten safety levels, carriage passenger capacity is being reduced by between 25 – 30% with further steps including Seating Dividers and food being served with a cloche (covering) to combat the spread of germs.

Potential passengers can also book with confidence with Northern Belle giving you the option to change your booking up to 7 days before departure without charge.

2. A warm (and delicious!) welcome

Northern Belle Food

Starting your special day-out nice and early, once settled into their luxurious surroundings and with the Northern Belle well underway, passengers will be treated to a memorable three-course brunch accompanied with a Bellini cocktail.

3. A celebration of the golden age of travel

Northern Belle outside

The Northern Belle is a beautiful celebration of the opulent golden era of the ‘Belle’ trains of the 1930s & 40s.

One of the country’s best-known and finest trains, the Northern Belle is luxury at its British best.


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Comprised of seven different carriages each taking their name from a stately home or renowned British castle, Northern Belle’s carriages have each been individually restored by experts of their craft.

Bit of Trivia – One of the Northern Belle’s carriages is named after Scotland’s very own Glamis Castle!

During your time onboard, your eyes will be drawn to the some of these lovely features found throughout ranging from mosaics, murals and the generously comfortable and classically decorated seating.

4. Fine-dining experience

Fine Dining Northern Belle

A hugely important and delicious factor helping passengers have a suitably grand day out, guests joining the Northern Belle for the journey down to South Ayrshire are set for a fine-dining experience set to provide a feast for the senses.

Taking your seat in your chosen beautiful carriage, passengers will be welcomed by the magnificent sight of immaculately laid tables complete with sparkling silverware and starched linen all adding to this essential fine-dining-on-rails experience.

A wonderful gastronomic feat expertly prepared onboard, guests will be able to enjoy a three-course brunch on the outward journey and a sumptuous five-course dinner once they return back to the comforts of the Northern Belle after visiting one of Scotland’s, and indeed the UK’s, best-known stately homes.

5. Stately Georgian charm

Dumfries House Inside
Supplied by Dumfries House Trust, Image Credit – Iain Brown

One of Scotland’s most important historical landmarks, Dumfries House sits within 2,000 acres of well-kept gardens.

A prime example of Georgian architecture, the stately home dates back to the 18th century.

Thomas Chippendale Bookcase
Supplied by Dumfries House Trust, Image Credit – Iain Brown

Inside reside a number of striking pieces of Thomas Chippendale furniture including a well-preserved bookcase.

6. Acres upon acres of beautiful gardens (and a maze!)

Dumfries House
Supplied by Dumfries House Trust, Image Credit – Iain Brown

Transported by coach, passengers will be welcomed by the iconic sight of Dumfries House standing alone surrounded by acres upon acres of beautiful greenery.

Perfectly placed outside the home, a recent addition frames the main entrance to Dumfries House.

Commissioned towards the end of an extensive restoration project transforming Dumfries House back to its very best, a pergola commands attention.

Crowned with a Scottish thistle, the pergola is a wonderful addition to the gardens of this stately home.

Supplied by Dumfries House Trust, Image Credit – Iain Brown

One of the biggest of its kind in Scotland, the Queen Elizabeth Walled Garden, named after HRH The Queen, mother of Prince Charles who was a key figure in securing funds for the restoration of the home, the walled garden is around five acres in size.

Chinese Bridge, Dumfries House
Supplied by Dumfries House Trust, Image Credit – Iain Brown

Alternative and further magical features to look out for when exploring outside include the Asian-influenced Chinese Bridge, one of the most tranquil locations throughout the grounds, and the recently installed maze.

First opened in the summer of 2016, the maze, constructed with huge towering trees trimmed into hedges, stands close to the bridge and is one of the Dumfries House’s most popular attractions.

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Find out more, enquire or browse our dedicated brochure for this luxury rail trip, here.

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