Friars Carse Country House Hotel


About Friars Carse Country House Hotel

Now a grand hotel, Friars Carse was once ‘Glenriddell’, home of Captain Robert Riddell, where Burns was a frequent guest. Captain Riddell was so fond of Burns that he gave Burns keys to his summer cottage, an architectural folly called “the Hermitage”, which the poet used as a retreat to write.

The Hermitage is a short ramble from Ellisland, and returning past the Hotel along the banks of the river, Nith completes the circuit. Visitors from Ellisland should inquire in advance about promotions, including afternoon tea and evening meals in the hotel’s Whistle Restaurant.

The restaurant is named after Burn’s ballad “The Whistle”, which tells the story of a famous drinking competition staged in the room. Fergusson of Craigdarroch was declared the outright winner, as at the end of the evening, he was the only sportsman still able to carry a tune on an ebony whistle!

Burns wrote many of his most famous poems and songs at Ellisland, including “Auld Lang Syne” and “Tam o’Shanter”, and a visit to the Farm and Friars Carse provides terrific insight into a formative time in Burns’ life, two hundred years ago.

Find out more about Friars Carse by visiting the hotel website.

Afternoon Tea OFFER

The trail from Ellisland Farm to Friars Carse forms a leisurely circuit through wooded river paths and grazing fields. Why not treat yourself to Afternoon Tea at Friars Carse, usually £16.95 per person [on presentation of a same-day Ellisland Farm ticket]? Every second person’s tea is 50% off!

What to do

Terms & Conditions

Prebooking is advised to avoid disappointment. 24h advance booking required for groups of 5 or more / Seatings from 12:30 – 4:00 PM / Limited daily seatings available / Guided Tour & Afternoon Tea must be booked for same day  / Evidence of Guided Tour e-tickets required / Please announce any dietary constraints when booking / Limited time offer

What you’ll see

The Hermitage

Burns referred to The Hermitage as the ‘livied cot’ and he used it as a place to write poetry and talk with friends at Friars Carse, home to his friend Captain Robert Riddell. He may have also been looking for a break from his growing family! 

Food & refreshments

The footpaths to the Burns Hermitage form a leisurely loop between Ellisland Farm and the Hotel, making the Friars Carse a lovely sojourn for afternoon tea (or a cheeky wee half). Advance booking is strongly recommended to avoid disappointment. For groups of 5 or more, 24-hour advance booking is required.

Ellisland Farm

See the home that Burns built for his family at Ellisland Farm, where he wrote some of his best and most recognised works.

More Information


Friars Carse Country House Hotel is situated on the A76 just 6 miles north of Dumfries and only a half-mile north of Ellisland Farm. Accessed via a long driveway, look out for the Hotel’s signage on the main road.

Friars Carse Hotel,


Hotel facilities are fully accessible. The Hermitage is a 15-minute wooded walk from Hotel parking.


Parking, comfort facilities within the hotel, food and beverages are available.


Ellisland Farm Afternoon Tea offer: Normally £16.95 pp, every second guest is 50% off!
First pre-book your tour with Ellisland Farm, and then phone the hotel on 01387740388 to reserve your afternoon tea. Advanced booking is strongly suggested to avoid disappointment, and we ask that groups of 5 or more to please book at least 24h in advance.

Terms & Conditions
Ellisland Farm Guided Tour and Afternoon Tea at Friars Carse must occur on the same day.

• 24h advanced booking required for groups of 5 or more
• Advanced booking is strongly suggested to avoid disappointment
• You will be asked to provide proof of a Guided Tour at Ellisland Farm by presenting a copy of your tour e-ticket.
• Seating is limited
• Offer valid for a limited time
• Offer subject to change without notice

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