The Hirsel is a 500-acre park with lake and river. A spectacular rhododendron and azalea wood can be seen, along with daffodils in April.
The site is a haven for ducks and summer migrants. Also features craft shops, tea room, pottery, museum.
Today, the Homestead and the Hirsel Walks (open 365 days of the year) provide visitors to the Hirsel with a fascinating day out in the beautiful surroundings of Hirsel Estate Policies.
An entry charge of £2.50 per car is made to visitors to the Hirsel enabling them to enjoy the facilities provided by the Estate and assisting in the cost of maintaining the walks around the Lake and in Dundock Wood.
Douglas and Angus Estates is the Douglas-Home Family estate company. The Family, an amalgam of two of the great Border Families (Home and Douglas) also own the Douglas Estate in South Lanarkshire, where unbroken Stewardship goes back for nearly 1,000 years.
The Museum’s aim is to introduce visitors to what can be seen and heard as they explore the Estate and to provide some historical background, so that they can understand how people lived and worked at the Hirsel in the past, as well as discovering how different departments and operations affected each other, and the natural history of the Estate as a whole. The museum is located in several outbuildings around the craft courtyard.
Please check the website for further information, admission times and details for our special eventsVisit website
There are a number of craft units at the Homestead selling a variety of locally produced arts and crafts – providing a wonderful opportunity for buying that special gift with a difference.
The craft centre is open all year round but opening hours may vary at certain times of the year so phone ahead if making a special trip.
While at the Hirsel Estate why not enjoy the spectacular Borders countryside by taking one of the way marked walks. Afterwards, you can also enjoy much needed refreshment at The Hirsel Cottage tearoom.
THE HIRSEL GALLERY
The Hirsel Gallery opened in March 2017 and specialises in original, handmade, contemporary craft work with a changing exhibition space to highlight selected artists.
We also host a variety of craft workshops throughout the year. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to our mailing list.
- Monday – 11am-4pm (closed on Mondays from October until March)
- Tuesday – CLOSED
- Wednesday – 11am-4pm (closed on Wednesdays from October until March)
- Thursday 11am-4pm
- Friday – 11am-4pm
- Saturday -11am-4pm
- Sunday – 11am-4pm
Please note that the gallery is open by appointment only from January until mid February.
There are a number of way marked Estate walks (Crooks Walk, Lake Walk, Dundock Walk, Riverside Walk, Dunglass Walk) around the Estate Policies.
In the Spring, there are Snowdrops, Aconites, and later on acres of Daffodils. The birds (for which the Hirsel was made famous by Henry Douglas-Home know as “the Birdman”) resident and migrant (of which 170 separate species have been identified) nest in the woods in and about the lake.
From the middle of May, the Rhododendrons and Azaleas in Dundock Wood provide a kaleidoscope of breathtaking colours and scents – attracting visitors to the Hirsel from far and wide.
In October and November, the leaves start turning on the trees and shrubs, providing wonderful autumn colouring, as thousands of duck, geese, and gulls make their way to overwinter on the Hirsel Lake – for which it is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest.
Members of the local community who walk to the Hirsel from Coldstream are not formally charged – although there are a number of honesty boxes at the Homestead and in Dundock Wood, for those people who care to make a donation towards the cost and upkeep of the walks, policies and the Homestead museum.
The Hirsel's history and features
A large mellow Georgian house of grey stone, most of which dates from the early 18th century, with an earlier portion dating from the early 17th century. Victorian alterations and additions were carried out by William Burn in 1851. David Bryce, George Henderson, and James Campbell Walker are also known to have worked here. Most of the Victorian additions were demolished during the mid 20th century. The interior contains a fine stone staircase in the centre portion.
Garden and park
The house is set within an outstanding designated English garden style late 18th to 19th century designed landscape which spans the valley of Leet Water. The landscape comprises informal parkland, woodland, and a large artificial lake (Hirsel Lake), and a late 19th century rhododendron and azalea woodland garden, Dundock Wood. The walled garden dates from the mid 18th century. In addition to forming an attractive setting for the category-A listed house, the grounds contain nationally important archaeological remains, a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and two notable heritage trees.