Stayed one week in mid August 2016. Ideal size for family gathering of 15. House is large and is set in good size of garden which in turn is in a well maintained estate with plenty of scope for walks and exploration. Parking and access easy; shop in village locally and supermarket at Castle Douglas. Large catering kitchen with Aga ( trays though have seen better days and some are bent so difficult to slide in and out) and electric cooker adjacent (no pre-set timing possible).Large pantry/cold store adjacent to kitchen. Masses of crockery of various types (although some chipped) and also glasses and also stacks of cutlery of again various designs. Big chest freezer with some of the previous occupants foodstuffs therein and large fridge in pantry area. Very useful separate wash up scullery with two dishwashers. - an ideal arrangement for a large group
Dining room can seat 15 on an assortment of chairs. Drawing room and TV lounge and snug section of Great Hall furnished with well worn furniture (covered in loose covers and throws) none particularly comfortable. Outside patio area which could have been of considerable use was furnished with largely broken items mostly unusable and was also not cleaned. Downstairs just one toilet.
Upstairs on one level are all the bedrooms, again with well worn furnishings - some chairs with the stuffing hanging out and visible and some chairs so fragile that they carry notices to tell you to keep off. Bathrooms all with period plumbing and fittings - only one fixed shower in the whole house and that is still over a bath and is in the former service wing - no modern separate shower arrangement in the house and no provision for disabled. Beds are largely for old design and not all can be considered comfortable - the couple in the four poster found it such a monster that they resorted to sleeping on the floor in their room. Most of the windows are completely sealed up including in the toilets; for most of the year in Scotland this is probably a good thing but in the hottest week of the summer it was not ideal to have no ventilation especially as the Great Hall smells of smoke at all times presumably from the fire when lit and this has now impregnated all the hangings and furniture - this is a far from ideal situation for any who have asthmatic or breathing problems in the party as we had.On arrival at the back door - the most logical entrance to use to unload at as it gives direct access to the kitchen - one is faced immediately with a notice entitled "The Rules of Barscobe House" - rather more of them than one needs to run a 1000 pupil secondary school as one member of our party remarked - and a not entirely welcome or friendly document as it is pretty clear from it you are there on sufferance. At the time of our visit this document also shifted the ground rules regarding dogs - the original documentation had said dogs OK on the ground floor but this reduced that to a back room and the service corridor only. We were met on arrival by the caretaker who lives in the adjacent cottage and taken on a conducted tour of every room of the house. We had not realised that during this tour we should have done a careful and detailed study of every item of furniture and detailed all damage existing thereon. We should have made a dated photographic record as is done when taking on a hire car for example for after the visit we were accused and billed for items of damage that were nothing to do with our residency but without the evidence the owner, who lives at a distance, took the word of the caretaker over that of the client. As a consequence for no fault of our own we are still out of pocket on the damage deposit. Overall an expensive week for the nature of the property - we have had more comfortable and better equipped places for this annual family reunion in other Scottish locations for less money and certainly experienced a more friendly relationship with the owners who have had a far greater sense of hospitality.