Old School House

Thornhill, Dumfries & Galloway

A remote, beautifully restored house with a riverside garden – great for groups who want to delve into Dumfries and Galloway


6 beds


3 bedrooms


Sleeps 7


Originally a drover’s inn, the house was extended over time and became a school in 1850. Now two comfortable sitting rooms, both with open fires and a vast supply of logs, welcome you. For rainy days there’s a selection of books for all ages, board games, a DVD player and films.

The garden is magical; overlooked only by curious sheep, with a river running at the bottom and circled by an original drystone wall. You may spot herons, buzzards, deer and red squirrels. There’s a barbecue out here for al fresco meals and a fire pit to gather around when the light fades.

Walk beside the river – Shinnel Water – into Stenhouse Wood, an ancient woodland of ash, wych elm and oak. It has an abundance of birds and other wildlife. Nip out in the car, there are two villages nearby; castles and coast a bit further.

Old School House - Gallery

We think you'll love

  • Being surrounded by woods and hills
  • The garden with the river running at the bottom
  • Having two lively villages within a short drive
Old School House - Gallery

You should know

  • There’s no TV
  • The bedroom and bathroom in the annexe are accessed from outside
  • The box bed in the main house has a curtain to keep it private


  • Swimming pool
  • Hot tub
  • Garden
  • Open fire / woodburner
  • Breakfast included
  • Breakfast available
  • Meals available
  • Oven
  • Parking on premises
  • Free parking nearby
  • Accessible by public transport
  • WiFi
  • Television
  • Central heating
  • Limited mobility
  • Wheelchair access
  • Mobile reception
  • Hob
  • Barbecue
  • Vegetarian meals
  • Paid parking nearby
  • Air conditioning
  • Relaxation areas
  • Washing machine
  • Tennis court
  • Microwave oven
  • No smoking
  • Credit cards
  • Working farm
  • Owner has pets
  • Electricity included
  • Dishwasher
  • Pets welcome

Family friendly

  • Baby monitor
  • Books and toys
  • Children welcome
  • Babies welcome
  • Stair gates
  • High chair
  • Cot available


  • Pub/bar within 3 miles
  • Restaurant within 3 miles
  • Shop within 3 miles


  • Bikes available
  • Food courses
  • Kayaking
  • Other courses
  • Sailing
  • Surfing
  • Wild swimming

& pricing

Booking information

Check in
From 4pm
Check out
By 10.30am
Booking restrictions
Minimum stay: 3 nights on weekdays. 5 nights in high season.
No smoking
Smoking not permitted anywhere in the property.
Pubs/restaurants 5 miles.


Nightly price
from £170
Weekly price
from £1130
1 House for 7
From £1706 beds3 bedrooms


A most enjoyable visit. If I did not live locally I would be happy to spend my holiday enjoying the house and garden, so relaxing and comfortable; reading the large collection of books.

Edna, Sawday's inspector

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The neighbourhood

There are two villages within a 15-minute drive, both have good local shops: bakers, butchers, gift shops, cafes and hotels. Moniave has an Italian restaurant and Thornhill the Thomas Tosh café. The house backs onto Shinnel Water, renowned for trout fishing, and which flows through ancient birch and oak forest. Walk to Stenhouse Wood (part of the Woodland Trust) on the slopes of Shinnel Glen and spot orchids, pied flycatchers, wood warblers, perhaps red squirrel. A half hour drive takes you to Drumlanrig Castle and Gardens and in an hour you can reach the Solway coast.

Local points of interest from Rachel Hall

  • Drumlanrig Castle the beautiful pink stone 17th century seat of the Dukes of Buccleuch is 15 mins away. It is full of treasures & is a great day out. Once you have seen the castle, visit the cafe, explore the grounds and shop in the stable yard.
  • For those keen for a day walk, try Meaul by Carsphairn to the west. On your way up you will pass the abandoned lead mining village & the view from the top, over Loch Doon, is well worth the climb. Or further west is Merrick, the SW's highest hill.
  • The Solway Coast is worth exploring with lovely beaches around Rockcliffe Bay. Take in Castle Douglas with it's bustling high street, & maybe you will have time for Threave Castle & Gardens, before weaving your way back along pretty country lanes.
  • Further afield is Culzean Castle, built on cliffs overlooking the sea. Designed by Robert Adam, it has lovely gardens & a Camellia house. Be sure not to miss the Electric Brae; a nearby hill that you think is going up, yet your car will roll down it!
  • If biking is your passion then there is a great day ride from the house. Go up the glen to Shinnelhead, on to the saddle via the forestry tracks, coming down the single track Scaur Glen to Penpont & back up to the house through Tynron. Take a picnic!
  • Other worthwhile day excursions include Dumfries House, nr Cumnock, beautiful Traquair, the oldest inhabited house in Scotland, or the fascinating mill village of New Lanark, founded in the late 18th century by the social pioneer Robert Owen.


Rachel Hall

Rachel moved to Dorset from Oxfordshire in 2005; she lives at Gutchpool Farm where she runs the farm and offers B&B. She loves welcoming guests to the farm, and paints, sews and writes in her spare time. She’s Scottish, grew up in the Borders, and also owns The School House, in Dumfries & Galloway, which is let as a self-catering holiday home. The family like going there to walk, cycle, swim in the burn, keep the log sheds full, fish for salmon on the Nith and have friends to stay.