What’s On This March

by Sara Barton, 19th February 2024
Paxton House | Scottish Borders
What’s On This March

March in the South of Scotland unveils a dynamic array of events, blending the cultural richness of literary gatherings with the melodic charm of live music. Venture out to catch the final displays of glorious snowdrops and catch the first glimpses of cheery yellow daffodils – perhaps while the young ones get caught up in the jubilant excitement of Easter egg hunts. There is certainly a diverse array of experiences to delight locals and visitors alike in the enchanting landscapes across the South of Scotland.

Literary delights

Varied stories are on offer across the South of Scotland this March. The Kirkcudbright Book Week showcases authors from near and far with subjects ranging from crime, local history and poems inspired by the dark skies to a non-fiction account on how geese spend their winter season. The tradition of verbal story telling is not dead and comedian and lock down YouTube sensation Bruce Fummey will be in Stranraer to give his humorous take on Scottish history. In a celebration of libraries, Simon Armitage will be in Kirkcudbright reading poetry and exploring the regions’ strong poetic connections. And the Big DoG Children’s Book Festival will be taking place at multiple venues across Dumfries.

children in fancy dress at a party celebrating the children's Book Festival the Big DoG in Dumfries.
Young ones will have a great time at the children’s book festival, Big DoG, taking place across venues in Dumfries.

Melodic encounters

The South of Scotland has a plenty to offer fans of live music with the Vault Arts Centre in Newton Stewart featuring Jam Pact, who play a blistering tribute to the 80s band, The Jam. Another 80s band, this time from Liverpool, Candy Opera will be supported by Newton Stewart’s own Nathon Jones. Classicists will enjoy The Marsyas Trio playing in Dumfries while if your taste is for more traditional Scottish music, catch the Tannahill Weavers at Easterbrook Hall. And mid-month pop and soft rock legends 10cc are on tour, offering up their Greatest Hits 50 years on from their debut album!

The Marsyas Trio will delight in Dumfries.

Mother’s Day tea

What better way to thank mother for all she has done than to take her out for a glorious afternoon tea at one of our superb historic houses? Head to the celebrate in style at Drumlanrig Castle’s Tearoom. Tea will delight and you can tour the grounds afterwards and enjoy spotting spring buds and blossoms as they come to life. Those good with their hands may enjoy making a spring wreath to brighten their door followed by afternoon tea. Bowhill House’s Ranger will be showing participants how to use natural materials to get the best result.

Afternoon Teas available to order, Drumlanrig Castle & Country Estate
Why not spoil Mum with a lovely tea at Drumlanrig Castle?

Easter Eggs-travaganzas

With Easter so early this year, be sure you don’t miss the super Easter Egg hunts around the South of Scotland. The biggest easter Egg hunt in the Borders is claimed by Traquair House with more than 5,000 eggs hidden in its enormous maze, the largest hedged maze in Scotland. There are tons of creative activities and workshops taking place for a fun filled family friendly Easter Sunday. Meanwhile at Paxton House there will be bouncy castles, face painting, Easter activities, boogie beats dance classes, Easter games, arts and crafts. The Stables Tearoom will be open for Easter treats and children of all ages will be very happy to see an ice cream van serving up delicious ices! At Dalkeith Country Park there is a myriad of activities from Easter weekend into early April, while Drumlanrig and Bowhill are both hosting Easter Fun days on Easter Sunday. And what be more spring like than lambs? Head over to Jackson’s at Jedburgh for farm-based activities. The National Trust for Scotland are running Easter Egg trails over the Easter weekend including at Threave Gardens in Castle Douglas and Priorwood Garden in Melrose.

Traquair House
There will be plenty of Easter activities at Traquair House.

Snowdrops everywhere

While these gorgeous delicate white flowers bravely stick their heads above ground in late January/early February, their displays don’t usually finish until mid-March. So, there is still time to get out and enjoy the carpets of white alongside woodland trails. Early in the month there are tours at both Logan Botanic Garden near Port Patrick and Dawyck Botanic Garden, near Stobo. Castle Kennedy Gardens near Stranraer is participating in the Scottish Snowdrop Festival which runs through most of March. And at Cringletie Estate there is literally a snowdrop welcome awaiting enthusiasts – pop in for a warming hot drink once you’ve explored the grounds and woodland and admired these little bulbs that came back from the Crimean War with local soldiers.  

Snowdrops at Cringletie, visit our snowdrop festival this February and March, Cringletie
The snowdrops at Cringletie were brought to the esate by local soldiers returning from the Crimean War.

Mind and Body

Looking for something to excite and stimulate your mind while you’re visiting? How about an entertaining evening with Brian Eggo at the Dark Space Planetarium in Kirkcudbright as he explores the theories espoused by lunar landing denialists. And if that sounds too heavy, why not relax into the Spring equinox at the Allanton Peace Sanctuary. Start with a gentle yoga practice and continue with reflective meditative practices in the gorgeous grounds or in the meditation room.

Retreat for a day and find your inner peace at the Allanton Peace Sanctuary near Dumfries.