Castle Turret at Dunans Bridge and Castle Conservation Project Scotland

Adventure Details 

Project Instructors

To be announced

Project Funders

AiP is actively seeking sponsors. Join us in saving the valuable Dunans bridge and restoring the "castle".

Support cultural heritage conservation in Scotland – Sponsor this project

Project Partner

Dunans Castle Ltd
Dunans Castle Ltd is committed to creating a sustainable business that contributes to the betterment of its local community. All profits are invested in restoration of the site, running the company, improving employment opportunities, and making a positive impact on the community as a whole. Through its actions, Dunans Castle Ltd aims to improve local facilities and work with local partners to improve economic opportunities. Importantly, Dunans Castle is also committed to addressing the identified problem of access to cultural events in the area, specifically theater, cinema and museums. As a social enterprise, Dunans Castle will be committed to a program of cultural events aimed at addressing this deficit.

Dunans Castle Coat of Arms - Bridge and Castle Conservation Project Scotland


For 1 week, DBL USD1,580 | SGL +USD350
For two weeks, DBL USD2,960 | SGL +USD600

If you are fundraising for your trip and would like a breakdown of costs, contact AiP.


Discounts! Past participants always receive a discounted tour fee
Check out AiP's Loyalty Program

Additional Cost Information

Your fee includes:

  • Ground transportation between Glasgow Airport & Dunans Castle
  • Lodging during your session
  • Meals from dinner on Sunday of arrival through breakfast on day of departure, except meals on excursions
  • Excursions during your trip dates
  • Instruction from on-site expert

All participants are responsible for:

  • Travel to Glasgow or project site
  • Visa if required
  • Meals  and entrance fees during excursions
  • Travel health insurance, including emergency evacuation coverage. Send AiP proof of purchase.

Dunans Bridge and Castle Conservation 2018

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                     Join this Adventure!

Registration Closed – 2019 Dates to be Announced

Learn hands-on skills as you join this bridge and castle conservation project and help save the historic bridge and other structures on the grounds of Dunans castle.

Unique Bridge and Castle Conservation Experience in Scotland

As long ago as 1590, cartographers noted a property on their maps called Dounens. This location became known as Dunans, and beginning around 1725, served as home to the Fletcher clan for over 200 years. Architect Andrew Kerr transformed the Dunans large manor house into a mock castle in 1864. Sadly, this unique and dramatic baronial house was largely destroyed by fire in 2001, leaving only the pre-Victorian west wing intact.

Dunans Bridge - Scotland Bridge and Castle Conservation ProjectEven more significant than the “castle” is the A-listed Dunans Bridge, designed and built by Thomas Telford in 1815. Although the bridge is similar to others constructed by Telford, the three arches, gargoyles and eight hexagonal piers, as well as its sheer height of 16 meters (52 feet), make it unique and of national importance.

Project and Need

After the fire, Dunans was deserted for several years before being purchased by an owner with conservation in mind. Dunans Castle Limited was formed and published the Conservation Plan for Dunans, covering both bridge and castle conservation work. The company is now transitioning into a Social Enterprise, and all profits will be used to address the conservation project.

Ruin of Dunans Castle - Bridge and Castle Conservation Project Scotland TravelOnce completed the castle will be open to the public, with event spaces on the ground floor and self-catering apartments in the upper two floors that will provide a sustainable future for the site.

The local community is both declining and aging, and Dunans currently provides jobs for 9 to 12 people, directly benefitting the local economy. The castle and grounds also contribute to the tourist market, providing a yearly increase in revenue between 5-15%.

Dunans Castle has established a program of hands-on training to provide an invaluable conservation experience. Experts in traditional building provide several 1 and 2-day courses that focus on a particular skill. Under supervision of the site manager, newly learned skills are applied to complete much needed conservation work.

Dunans is looking for passionate preservationists to take advantage of this training, and this might be the perfect opportunity for you!

How You’ll Help

Adventures in Preservation is joining the Dunans bridge and castle conservation effort, bringing teams to participate in the skills training and assist with conservation. Until the castle shell is stabilized, our teams will address work needed on the bridge and other structures on the site.

In 2018, work may include:

  • Relaying stone to repair the Haha
  • Repointing and other repairs on the bridge
  • Drystone walling
  • Controlling invasive plant species
  • Possibly, exterior castle work such as removing old window frames and fire-ruined detritus.

Scenic Setting of Dunans Bridge and Castle Conservation Project Scotland TravelSince bridge and castle conservation work is currently underway, the list of tasks may change by the time we arrive.

Each day after a leisurely breakfast, work begins at 9am with a discussion of the day’s tasks and demonstration of skills as needed. Tasks vary depending on which session(s) you attend, and you’ll have the opportunity to learn a variety of skills. There is an hour lunch break; work ends about 5pm. A detailed schedule is provided after registration.

Come to Scotland with AiP – travel, learn and preserve as you support this valuable social enterprise!

By being part of a project I learnt so much more about the local culture and met people I would never have met as a tourist. – Jennifer O’Connell, Skenduli House Project, Gjirokastra, Albania 2014

Lodging and Meals

Jammers (AiP’s term of endearment for our volunteers) will stay at the charming Ardachearnbeg Cottages. These four cottages are the original outbuildings of a traditional 18th century farm, renovated using original features and items where possible.

Bridge and castle conservation project lodging at Ardachearnbeg CottagesThe cottages are only 5 minutes from the castle, and a minibus will take us to and from the work site.

A superb local cook will prepare breakfast and dinner, introducing you to local cuisine and produce. These meals will be served as group meals in one of the cottages. Lunch will be provided at the work site. Options for vegetarians will be provided upon request.

Excursions and Other Entertainment

Our hosts at Dunans Castle have planned several entertaining evenings at the site. These include barbecues by the fire pit, an evening play by The Walking Theatre Company, and a ‘folk off’ – a folk singing competition with some local musicians. And, word is that the local community is keen to show us a warm welcome, so who knows what else they may come up with. Join us and find out! Whatever it is, we’re told there will certainly be whisky involved.

The Dunans Castle staffInveraray Bridge - Loch Fyne - Michael Parry [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
is also planning a special weekend excursion, September 15-16, filled with visits to a variety of local heritage sites, such as Inveraray with its castle. If you are attending only the second week and want to join the weekend excursion, plan to arrive in Glasgow on Friday, September 14. We will also arrange for kayaking, hiking the Cowal Way and/or horseback riding as a mid-week outing, if there is interest.

Given all there is to see and do, you might consider extending your visit to Scotland, before or after your project session, to take advantage of Scotland’s many historic and natural sites.

The people I’ve met here are as passionate about their city and their community as they are generous and kind. I am so grateful Adventures in Preservation has seen the opportunities in Gyumri and created this volunteer experience. I would go again in a heartbeat. — Lisa Harper, 2016


Your project fee of USD1580 for one week, USD2960 for two weeks, covers the cost of lodging in a double room, meals, excursions (meals on excursions not covered), materials & training, and transportation to and from Glasgow Airport. If you prefer a single room, an additional single supplement will be added to your fee. Only two single rooms are available, first come first serve.

Travel Details

If you are flying to this hands-on bridge and castle conservation project, the Glasgow Airport is closest to the project site. Airport pickup will be provided from Glasgow on Sunday, September 9, and Sunday, September 16, at 2pm. Sunday dinner will be the first meal provided at the cottages. Rental cars are available at the airport for those interested in having their own car. Drive time from Glasgow Airport to Dunans Castle is about 1 hour and 20 minutes.

If you plan to attend only the second week and want to join the weekend excursion, you’ll need to arrive on Friday, September 14. Airport pickup will be arranged.

Airport drop off will be provided on September 15 or 16 for those attending only the first week. Drop off at the airport will be Saturday, September 22, for those attending the second week. When registering, please let us know if you plan to join the weekend excursion.

Daytime highs at Dunans in September are around 60 F (15 C), with lows in the mid to upper 40s F (7-10C). Bring clothing that is appropriate for the weather and also protective while working. Sturdy close-toed shoes are required for working; and rain gear is highly recommended.

If you would like assistance with travel arrangements, contact Peace Frogs Travel/Outfitters, AiP’s partnering travel agency.

We will select dates for 2019 as soon as possible. Check back and be ready to reserve your spot!

If you have any questions or would like to chat with an AiP staff member about joining this cultural heritage experience, contact us at or call us at +1 303-444-0128.