Be inspired by nature during a Spring break at Orroland Holiday Cottages
Sights & sounds, top tips and what not to miss during this season at Orroland
Spring into spring with a spring in your step! If you don’t much feel like taking on the spring cleaning or welcoming the new season with a new wardrobe come to Orroland and find some new, naturally inspiring ways to relax in the wonderful time of blossom, scent and relief after the colder days. Freshly-mowed grass, bees buzzing, butterflies fluttering; it’s all here.
So put down that duster, grab your camera and head to Orroland to invigorate yourself with the feel-good vibes and promise of the new season.
The grounds are bursting to life – it’ll rub off on you
Daffodils in profusion, snowdrops giving way to wild garlic and bluebells carpeting the woodland floor. Rhododendrons, azaleas, hawthorn and the trees blooming with their tender new growth. The wild flower meadow is beginning to stir as well as the ferns by the shore.
Top tips for experiencing spring wildlife moments at Orroland
Spring time is the best time to view and appreciate the wildlife at Orroland since there is limited foliage for them to hide. The best time of the day to see our wildlife is the hour before dusk, remember to walk slowly and quietly and try not to wear bright colours either, you can get around Orroland in walking boots or wellies.
Brown hares can been seen here at Orroland especially in the large fields at the top end of the estate near the eagles. A quiet walk along the bridle path will usually provide some sightings of hares, normally a shy animal, the hare changes its behaviour in spring and can be seen in daytime chasing one another and "boxing", (one hare striking another with its paws). It isn’t unusual at Orroland to see five, six, seven or even more hares at any one time.
Tawny owls will been seen at dusk. If you walk quietly down the drive from the eagles and as you approach Abbotsway Cottage, carefully study the large trees and you should see the Tawny owl studying you. Barn owls have been seen in the out-buildings at Abbotsway Cottage, so a walk around the courtyard after dark might provide a sighting.
The Peregrine falcon regularly visits Orroland and can be seen high above High Wood which is the plantation on top of the hill on the right hand side of Abbotsway cottage. In spring time you will see a pair of peregrines early in the morning acrobatically displaying to each other - also if you’re lucky you will see them chasing the local population of wood pigeons. As you walk down the drive from Abbotsway cottage carefully observe the woodland on the left as we have a pair of roe deer which often sleep the day away in this area.
The bank on the right hand side of the drive just before the unicorn is home to lots of rabbits and if you stand still in front of the metal gate you will see the rabbits feeding. In the plantation at the top of the hill is home to the Orroland badger population and you might just see a badger along the woodland edge if the wind is blowing into your face.
Red kites were first re-introduced in Dumfries and Galloway in 2001 and sightings of red kites floating around Orroland usually over the garden area are not uncommon. The Galloway Kite Trail is an adventure in the great outdoors and a good way of spotting more of these birds whilst taking in our stunning landscape.
Down at Orroland Loch you will see the Mallard ducks pairing up and looking for nest sites. We have a small population of red squirrels here at Orroland, spring time they become more active and can be seen along the drive way down to Orroland Lodge and around the lodge itself.
On the shore you might see the otters as we have a holt (otter den) on the shore banking and by sitting down quietly on a rock near the water edge the otter could come along, if you sit very still he will come close to you.
Finally, everyone gets to see the local pheasants, they can be seen all over the estate and in spring time the cock pheasant is claiming his territory so there is a lot of displaying and fighting between the pheasants, this can be great to watch.
Local events, visitor attractions and historic sites open up for the season
Lambs and calves can be seen in the fields at spring time around Orroland estate and local farm visitor attractions Mabie Farm Park, Dalscone Farm Park and Cream O' Galloway offer the chance to meet a variety of baby farm animals and in some cases feed the lambs.
Wild Seasons Dumfries and Galloway provide details of the different species of wildlife you can expect to see during each season. They also list events open to visitors to the region such as guided walks getting close to wildlife and pond dipping at local beaches around the region.
There are many historical attractions within a short distance from Orroland and we have detailed them in our Historic Cairns, Castles and Abbeys page. Several Historic Scotland castles re-open from the 1st April; Caerlaverock Castle and MacLellan's Castle are family favourites to explore.
The later part of spring is a super time to come and look at the wonderful gardens of Galloway; Threave Gardens, Castle Kennedy Gardens and Logan Botanic Garden are open daily from April to October. Wonderful gardens to explore as well as having a welcoming café for visitors.
Spring Fling is a famous art and crafts festival in Dumfries and Galloway, the festival takes place in May and sees more than 90 artists and craft makers open their workshops to visitors. This is a great chance to discover the region and support the artists by purchasing work straight from the maker, there is something for all tastes.
Check out Explore our region page for more information and itinerary ideas for things to do during your holiday at Orroland this spring.
Carpet of bluebells in Orroland woods
Orroland Lodge in spring sunshine
Spring waterfalls behind Orroland shore