Review of Cairndale Hotel, Dumfries

christmas bow cairndale hotel dumfries

Feeling festive in Dumfries

A mere 5-minute walk from Dumfries Railway Station is Cairndale Hotel. The station has services from Glasgow Central Railway Station and Carlisle Railway Station so it’s easy to reach from North and South.

@foodieexplorers A festive pre-Christmas break at Cairndale Hotel in Dumfries, Scotland. #scotland #weekendbreak #getaway #dumfries #traveltiktok ♬ Calm background music with acoustic guitar and saxophone(1288148) – ame

As we visited in the run-up to Christmas, the Victorian red sandstone entrance was embraced in a red ribbon, which is lit up in the evening.

christmas bow cairndale hotel dumfries

The festive flair continued inside where we were welcomed by a decorated Christmas tree and a couple of traditional nutcracker soldiers.

cairndale hotel tree

Check-in was swift, as there is a pre-arrival check-in process available online.

The hotel has grown over the years and now comprises four adjoining buildings so our suite was located a bit of a walk from reception, however there is plenty of signage so you won’t get lost!

Our suite consisted of three rooms, sitting room, bedroom, and bathroom. The sitting room came equipped with a kettle, Nespresso, fridge, TV, Borders biscuits plus lots of space.

cairndale hotel suite

The main feature of the bedroom was a four-poster bed. There was also another TV, trouser press, hairdryer, slippers and robes here.

cairndale hotel 4 poster bed

The bathroom had twin basins, a bath, shower, bidet and some of our favourite toiletries from Noble Isle.

As well as all this in the room, there is an onsite swimming pool, cafe, spa area and fitness centre.  These facilities will be getting a £2 million investment at the beginning of next year with new treatment rooms, relaxation areas and an improved cafe.

After some relaxation, we were roused by the sound of the annual Dumfries Truck and Tractor run which we have since found out raised over £15,000 for equipment and training at the Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary for neonatal care.

Then we headed downstairs for dinner, which had a special menu to coincide with the evening’s entertainment provided by The Swing Kings. The Cairndale has regular events so  check out what’s on as they provide DBB with entertainment packages.

cairndale hotel swing kings



Soon after, we wandered along to one of the function rooms for songs from Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and more.  This was a superb night of music, and drinks, and there may have been some bad dancing.

Day two – we had slightly tender heads in the morning so were happy to visit the buffet breakfast. For hot food, there is bacon, sausage, fried eggs, potato scone, scrambled eggs, mushrooms, tomato and haggis. Fruit salad, yoghurt, cereal and pastries are all self-service. Porridge is also available to order.

Our only downside with breakfast was the same as with dinner the evening before. The tea and coffee are very weak.

After breakfast, it was then time to join Eden of Dumfries and their wreath making workshop. Ribbons, pine cones, dried oranges and all sorts of bits and bobs were provided – all we needed to make our wreaths.cairndale hotel christmas wreath

After our hard work, it was then time for a glass of fizz and afternoon tea. Happy to see it was also festive with pigs in blankets served.

cairndale hotel festive afternoon tea

We then had a wander around Drumfries.  Sights to see within walking distance include The Globe Inn – for whisky, food and some Robert Burns history.  There is more Robert Burns history at the aptly named Robert Burns House where Burns spent his later years and there’s a museum, which is free to visit across the river. The final resting place of Robert Burns, his wife Jean Armour and two of his sons can be found in a mausoleum in the churchyard of St Michaels Church.  All of these sights are walking distance from the Cairndale Hotel.


cairndale hotel christmas bowAfter some wandering around Dumfries, it was soon time to return to Reivers Restaurant for our evening meal.

restaurant in cairndale hotel

Reivers Restaurant Menucairndale hotel starters

cairndale hotel mains

cairndale hotel desserts

cairndale childrens menu

cairndale goats cheese
Grilled Crottin Goat’s Cheese
cairndale salmon salad
Barony Smoked Salmon served with Nicoise Salad
cairndale butternut squash
Roast butternut squash risotto
cairndale hotel roast duck
Breast of Duck
cairndale hotel marmelade sponge
Steamed Marmalade Pudding
cairndale hotel trio of desserts
Trio of Chocolate

With full bellies, we retired to the bar for a nightcap and then off to our cosy bed.

Another peaceful night and after breakfast it was time to say goodbye to the Cairndale Hotel and start our journey homeward.


Cairndale Hotel,132-136 English St, Dumfries DG1 2DF


Click here to book a room, dinner or an event stay at Cairndale Hotel.




I am Emma and with my husband Mark write Foodie Explorers, which is a food and travel website.

I am a member of the Guild of Food Writers and British Guild of Travel Writers.

We have a wide range of judging experience covering products, hotels and have judged, for example, for Great Taste Awards and Scottish Baker of the Year.

Along the way Mark gained WSET Level 2 in Wine and I have WSET Level 2 in Spirits as well as picking up an award with The Scotsman Food and Drink Awards.    

Usually I can be found sleeping beside a cat.

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