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Adventure Details 

Project Instructors

Eland Stuart
[Bio coming soon]

Project Funders

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

Project Partners

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. 

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1 week:
Double Room US$1,580
Single R00m +US$300

2 weeks:
Double Room US$2,960
Single Room +US$600

*Costs are per person.


Join us for one adventure in preservation, and you’ll receive a 10% discount on all subsequent adventures.

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 during excursions

  • Travel health insurance, including emergency evacuation coverage. Send AiP proof of purchase.



Dunans from Telford to Turret

Dates: May 3-17, 2020

Learn hands-on conservation skills as you repoint both castle turret and Telford bridge and help save the architectural heritage of Scotland.

It’s time to climb the castle tower and begin conservation of the turret! Debris from the massive fire has been cleared, and the tower will be ready when you arrive at Dunans in May.

At the same time, great progress is being made on the Thomas Telford bridge, with the upper walls and one arch repointed by jammers in 2018 and 2019. We’ll continue work, taking on the second arch.

Come to beautiful Argyll and immerse yourself in the culture of western Scotland’s coastal region.

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Unique Bridge and Castle Conservation Experience in Scotland

As long ago as 1590, cartographers noted a property on their maps called 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 manor house into a mock castle in 1864. This unique and dramatic baronial house was largely destroyed by fire in 2001, leaving only the pre-Victorian west wing intact.

Even more significant than the “castle” is the A-listed Dunans Bridge, designed and built by Thomas Telford in 1815. Telford was one of Scotland’s greatest civil engineers and bridge builders. The arches, gargoyles and eight hexagonal piers, as well as its sheer height of 16 meters (52 feet), make it unique and of national importance.

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Project and Need

After the fire, Dunans was purchased by an owner with conservation in mind. Dunans Castle Limited, a Social Enterprise, was formed. Once work is completed the castle will be public with event spaces on the ground floor and self-catering apartments in the upper two floors to provide a sustainable future.

The local community is both declining and aging, and Dunans currently provides jobs for 9 to 12 people, having a direct impact on the local economy. Castle and grounds also contribute to the tourist market, providing a yearly increase in revenue between 5-15%. AiP jammers meet many of the visitors as they cross the bridge to tour the castle grounds.

Dunans and AiP are looking for passionate preservationists to take advantage of this valuable program of hands-on training. Eland Stuart, an expert in traditional building, is onsite each day, teaching the methods and benefits of lime mortar repointing.

This might be the perfect opportunity for you!

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I have so many great memories. I really enjoyed all the people and the personalities. We all got along so well. I loved the castle and even the rain!
– Lisa, 2018 

Lodging, Meals, Daily Schedule

Lodging is at Glendaruel Lodge and adjacent cottages. Each has its own living area and kitchen, with clothes washer and dryer. Enjoy hiking the grounds up to the waterfall. The lodge is 15 minutes from the castle and a minibus takes us to and from the work site.

A local caterer prepares delicious meals, introducing you to local cuisine and produce. Dinners will be served as a group meal in Glendaruel Lodge. Breakfast food is provided for jammers to prepare. Lunch is provided at the work site. Options for vegetarians will be provided upon request.

Each day after a leisurely breakfast, work begins at 9:15 am with a discussion of the day’s tasks and demonstration of skills as needed. There are breaks for tea and lunch; 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!


Your project fee of USD1,580 for one week, USD2,960 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.

Excursions and Other Entertainment

Our hosts at Dunans Castle provide an entertaining evening at the site. We’ll enjoy a barbecue by the fire pit combined with storytelling of local mythology of the glen.

The local community is also keen to show us a warm welcome. You might spend an evening learning Scottish dance, and an evening with the community choir. Both are followed by a visit to the local pub.

The Dunans Castle staff plans amazing excursions to sites along the Cowal peninsula and to the Isle of Bute. Wednesday afternoon and all day Saturday are spent exploring the region’s history and natural beauty.

Given all there is to see and do, you might consider extending your visit to Scotland, before or after your project session. 

This experience has left such a huge imprint on my life, and I hope to do more projects. It was an incredible journey that has helped me learn and grow as a person.
— Samantha Coppola, 2017 

Travel Details

If flying to the project, book your flight into the Glasgow Airport (GLA). Airport pickup is provided on Sunday, May 3, and Sunday, May 10. 

Arrival time at the airport must be prior to 3pm on Sunday. Sunday dinner is the first meal provided at the lodge.

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.

Airport drop off is provided on Sunday, May 10, and Sunday, May 17. Drop off is around 11 am.

May is one of the sunnier times in western Scotland, so look for sun and plan for rain. Daytime highs range from 54-60°F (12-15°C), with lows in low to mid-40s°F (5-6°C). 


Rain gear is essential. Plan to bring waterproof socks, waterproof/water resistant shoes, waterproof jacket and pants. A waterproof hat may be helpful in addition to the jacket hood. Several sweaters and/or sweatshirts are recommended to go under your rain jacket. Sturdy close-toed shoes are required. You may want to be a bit dressier for visits to the village and other site seeing, but plan for comfort.

Contact us

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

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