Moat Brae - Birthplace of Peter Pan

Moat Brae - Birthplace of Peter Pan

Moat Brae - Birthplace of Peter Pan
4.5
Visitor CentresPoints of Interest & LandmarksChildren's Museums
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
About
Moat Brae is a listed building and cultural landmark right in the heart of Dumfries. It is also the house and garden which inspired the author of Peter Pan, JM Barrie, with ideas of fairies and pirates all living in the magical Neverland, presided over by the “boy who never grew up”. Barrie had a relatively difficult early life and found escape at Moat Brae with his best pals, Hal & Stuart Gordon. As 13-year-old boys, they invented adventures in the garden, playing at pirates and planning attacks on passing boats. The house took on many forms over the years, including becoming a hospital in 1914. However, by 1997 the house had been sold to become a hotel, only to sit empty until 2008. It was then destined to be destroyed to make way for a housing project, but just days away from being completely erased, the house was saved by the Moat Brae Trust. Over the following years, the Moat Brae Trust transformed the house and garden into the amazing landmark you can see today.
Duration: 2-3 hours
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  • Welsh NZers
    Auckland Central, New Zealand1,300 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Peter Pan and Tinkerbell live on …..
    Having grown up having stories of Peter Pan read to us, we just had to visit “Moat Brae” - the birthplace of Peter Pan, so to speak. This is where JM Barrie and his friends used to play pirates and where the inspiration of Peter Pan and Tinkerbell came about. The playground isn’t huge but with climbing trees (sadly one of the original trees has died), the sloping bank and the river on the other side, you could see how perfect a place it was for an imaginative mind to create such stories. The house has been converted into the National Centre for Children’s Literature and Story Telling, with the rooms being dedicated to various authors, with some rooms being interactive. At the top of the house is a wonderful Victorian Dolls’ House that was created and built by Linda Brown who we actually met while on our way to the house. We had afternoon tea in the cafe downstairs - a delicious scone and a pot of tea. There are quizzes which children can answer after their tour and there is a good affordable book store and gift shop there too.
    Thank you so much for your 5 star review! We are so glad you enjoyed your visit and afternoon tea, and we hope you visit again soon.
    Written 10 September 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 15 August 2023
  • Atlas Adventured
    Orange County, California519 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Most amazing place for kids and families!
    The family at AtlasAdventured highly recommends visiting here! We were looking for something fun indoors for our toddler to do, and came upon Moat Brae in our research. We were debating going or not, and I am so glad we chose to visit. It’s a very unassuming building, but the inside is so magical. When you enter you pass the cute gift shop filled with beautiful kids books and toys. The ladies at the front were so friendly and welcoming. They explained everything to us and got our daughter very excited. The cafe is also when you walk in. To explore the house you pay at the front and they give you/your child a fun trail hunt they can fill out while going through the house and gardens, and bring back for a surprise! We had so much fun exploring, picking up books in each room and finding a cozy place to sit and read. The theatre room was so much fun for our daughter, and the arts and crafts space. She was so happy to hang her creation on the wall! Chasing Tinkerbell and seeing Peter Pan’s shadow was one of her favorite memories from here. The garden is absolutely stunning. There is something fun to see everywhere you look. Climbing all over the Jolly Roger pirate ship and finding the crocodile was so fun for her and us. They’ve done an amazing job of making this space so whimsical for kids. I cannot say enough good things about Moat Brae. If you are ever in Dumfries, you have to visit! Thank you for such a memorable experience. These are definitely core memories for our daughter!
    So glad you enjoyed your day with us! The theatre and chasing Tinkerbell is always enjoyed by the younger people (and some of the older ones too). The house and garden are truly inspirational as proven by the young JM Barrie and the inspiration it gave him.
    Written 4 May 2024
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited November 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 18 November 2023
  • stevedavies8089
    Dumfries and Galloway, United Kingdom2 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Enjoy Moat Brae great memories of Peter Pan
    Great place, very well kept. Good coffee. Fantastic day out lots of pictures taken. Helpful staff. Great fun kids dressing up for role play. Great story of a great storyteller lots to do for families or 68 years old Grandad. We all enjoyed ourselves thoroughly I highly recommend this great interactive place go and enjoy yourself as much as my family did. Plenty of parking nearby.
    Excellent that you had such a nice day out with us and really glad everyone enjoyed both young and old.
    Written 4 May 2024
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited April 2024
    Travelled with family
    Written 1 April 2024
  • Charlpie
    York, United Kingdom17 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Plenty of fun surprises
    Thoroughly enjoyed our visit, despite having no young children in tow. The lovely garden, where Barrie’s teenage imagination games later inspired ‘Peter Pan’, slopes steeply down to the River Nith. Winding paths, tunnels and children’s climbing routes between the house and the river make the garden an exploration quest. There’s a Pirate Ship at anchor, a Wendy House, plenty of Lost Boys forever marooned up in the trees, and even more stone Crocodiles. Inside the house there’s a light, bright modern café facing into the garden. The beautifully restored Victorian house has a sort of domed central hall and some mosaic flooring. It is pleasantly furnished with period children’s toys – optical toys, dolls houses etc – and child-friendly nooks and crannies, Peter Pan themed decorations and a whole world of children’s books, ancient and modern. Don’t leave before you have found Tinkerbelle’s flickering figure flitting round the walls of one of the top floor rooms and discover what happens if you can catch her with your hand. Likewise don’t leave without inspecting some of those many children’s books on the shelves. They’re an engaging variety. Victorian covert moral instruction tales mix with 1930s girls boarding school yarns and very modern children’s books where the covert moral instruction is of the politically correct kind. You’ll probably re-meet some long-lost favourite reads from your children’s childhood or your own. To our surprise we probably spent more time reading the children’s books at Moat Brae than on anything else.
    Thank you for such a lovely review and we're so pleased you enjoyed your time here. It really is a place for children of all ages, and those who never grew up.
    Written 4 May 2024
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited April 2024
    Travelled with family
    Written 13 April 2024
  • MNic55
    Kirriemuir, United Kingdom119 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Day of learning about Barrie’s Peter Pan .
    Being from the birthplace of JM Barrie this was a must see attraction . Seeing and hearing about how the story of Peter Pan came into being is fascinating , the history of Barrie’s childhood in Dumfries and his writings thereafter are all well presented . A visit here with children would give them a fun day out and teach them the history of Peter Pan .
    Thank you for your review and I have to say that the Wee Red Toon of Kirriemuir was deeply at Barrie's heart, and what a lovely town to have as a home. Having visited Barrie's Birthplace on several occasions it really shows that Barrie had pretty humble beginnings in life and that some inspiration and opportunity can make a huge difference in life.
    Written 21 June 2024
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited June 2024
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 18 June 2024
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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles87 reviews
Excellent
62
Very good
12
Average
6
Poor
4
Terrible
3

Craig Smith
Manchester, UK142 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2020 • Family
We went there to look around the house. When we arrived it has been turned into a Halloween scare fest, all of the rooms have been turned into scary Halloween rooms, where you have to complete challenges to advance. We got to room 3 and walked out. There was us and another family with a young child. All kids crying, quite strange that adults would get off on doing that. We walked out and went somewhere else.

I've no doubt that the museum is very good, but the Halloween thing was quite weird, and absolutely not for kids under maybe 11 or so years old. I just found it very strange that adults would enjoy seeing kids petrified and in tears.

Would come back to see the house properly as we intended today. But the Halloween event was not for us.

£18 completely wasted.
Written 29 October 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Hi Craig, thank you for taking the time to feed back to us. We're really sorry to hear that you and your children found the Curse of Evileria distressing. We do appreciate it may have been scary at times and we will take note of this for next year to try and improve the experience. We do change our house events regularly throughout the year and we hope to have the house open fully again at some point next year. I sincerely hope you will venture back then. Best wishes, the Moat Brae team.
Written 2 December 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

GraemeT87
Bridgnorth, UK119 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2020
We were walking around Dumfries and I had seen this on Trip Advisor before we went and suggested going to have a look. It turned into the best bit of our day.

The staff were lovely. There was a little story presentation in the garden where you could see a statue of peter pan, look for fairies and older children could play on a pirate ship play area. I would strongly recommend this to anyone who loves Peter Pan or stories in general and definitely families. Great value for money.
Written 9 September 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Slavetothecat
Manchester, UK477 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2023 • Solo
I visited Moat Brae alone on a flying visit (1 hour) and wish I could have stayed longer. Despite it being a very quiet time of year so no actors or story tellers to entertain I still found Moat Brae to be a charming place, mainly because a great deal of thought must have gone into making it appeal to the child in all of us. Every room celebrated children's literature as well as telling us something of Jamie Barrie's life. There were many opportunities for children to let their imaginations run wild, a stage with costumes to try on and props for wee ones to put on their own show, corners to hunker down with a book and lots of interactive fun. And not a computer in sight! The gardens are maintained by volunteers and full of equipment to encourage imaginative play. How I wished I was small enough to tackle the tube slides, though I did roar back at the invisible lion that roared at me at one point. Did I care if people saw me?? I'm already planning to borrow some children to bring along with me next time. Seriously, it was really refreshing to find somewhere that celebrates the power of imagination, we need more places like Moat Brae. Thanks also to the friendly staff, your love and passion for the place is infectious.
Written 8 February 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for your 4 star rating! We are glad that you had such a great time. We look forward to seeing you again very soon.
Written 13 March 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Welsh NZers
Auckland Central, New Zealand1,300 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2023 • Couples
Having grown up having stories of Peter Pan read to us, we just had to visit “Moat Brae” - the birthplace of Peter Pan, so to speak. This is where JM Barrie and his friends used to play pirates and where the inspiration of Peter Pan and Tinkerbell came about. The playground isn’t huge but with climbing trees (sadly one of the original trees has died), the sloping bank and the river on the other side, you could see how perfect a place it was for an imaginative mind to create such stories. The house has been converted into the National Centre for Children’s Literature and Story Telling, with the rooms being dedicated to various authors, with some rooms being interactive. At the top of the house is a wonderful Victorian Dolls’ House that was created and built by Linda Brown who we actually met while on our way to the house.
We had afternoon tea in the cafe downstairs - a delicious scone and a pot of tea. There are quizzes which children can answer after their tour and there is a good affordable book store and gift shop there too.
Written 16 August 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you so much for your 5 star review! We are so glad you enjoyed your visit and afternoon tea, and we hope you visit again soon.
Written 10 September 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Charlpie
York, UK17 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Family
Thoroughly enjoyed our visit, despite having no young children in tow. The lovely garden, where Barrie’s teenage imagination games later inspired ‘Peter Pan’, slopes steeply down to the River Nith. Winding paths, tunnels and children’s climbing routes between the house and the river make the garden an exploration quest. There’s a Pirate Ship at anchor, a Wendy House, plenty of Lost Boys forever marooned up in the trees, and even more stone Crocodiles. Inside the house there’s a light, bright modern café facing into the garden. The beautifully restored Victorian house has a sort of domed central hall and some mosaic flooring. It is pleasantly furnished with period children’s toys – optical toys, dolls houses etc – and child-friendly nooks and crannies, Peter Pan themed decorations and a whole world of children’s books, ancient and modern. Don’t leave before you have found Tinkerbelle’s flickering figure flitting round the walls of one of the top floor rooms and discover what happens if you can catch her with your hand. Likewise don’t leave without inspecting some of those many children’s books on the shelves. They’re an engaging variety. Victorian covert moral instruction tales mix with 1930s girls boarding school yarns and very modern children’s books where the covert moral instruction is of the politically correct kind. You’ll probably re-meet some long-lost favourite reads from your children’s childhood or your own. To our surprise we probably spent more time reading the children’s books at Moat Brae than on anything else.
Written 13 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for such a lovely review and we're so pleased you enjoyed your time here. It really is a place for children of all ages, and those who never grew up.
Written 4 May 2024
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

scarlett65Preston
Preston, UK145 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2023 • Couples
A wonderful place for adults and children. I think if you had children you could spend all day here. Interesting displays about JM Barries visits to the house which belonged to friends of his. Lots of interactive boards and activities for children.
Lovely gardens and a great cafe. It was very quiet when we visited but think at the weekends and during the holidays it would be very lively.
Written 18 March 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for the 5 star review!
Written 9 May 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Eleanor719
Newcastle upon Tyne, UK44 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2022 • Friends
Beautiful and inspiring tribute to the power of storytelling. Vivid exhibitions of illustration and characters from so-called ‘children’s literature’ - it’s for grown-ups too! Many snug corners for reading. The gardens are pretty and full of surprised. All staff were very welcoming and helpful.
Written 1 September 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Hi @Eleanor719, thank you so much for your positive feedback. We are so glad you had a wonderful experience. Be sure to follow us on our socials and website for up--to date news and events, and we hope to see you back at Moat Brae again soon!
Written 1 September 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Matthew George
Dumfries, UK26 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2023 • Family
I take my 4 year old daughter to Moat Brae every Friday morning for Little Story Pirates. One of the house’s many ‘characters’ tells a story, and then the kids get to take part in a craft session based on the book. All great fun!

The garden is beautiful and easily accessible by all. And if you’ve got a little more time, the house itself is well worth a visit. Staff always on hand to answer questions.

The volunteers at Moat Brae are wonderful, and very much deserve a ‘shout out’…. They really do help make Little Story Pirates what it is!

Oh, and the homemade sausage rolls in the cafe are to die for! Together with a coffee, who even needs to go to Greggs?

I think my photographs say everything you need to know… it’s definitely Beatrice’s (and our) ‘happy place’.
Written 13 April 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for the 5 star review! It is so heart warming to know that we are your "happy place!" Our volunteers are definitely worth a shout out. Thanks again
Written 9 May 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Christine B
Liverpool, UK33 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2023
So good! We went at the end of April during school term time so it wasn't very busy, in fact we had the place to ourselves. I cannot praise too highly the enthusiasm, knowledge and friendliness of Lesley who both served us our excellent lunch and sold us our entry. The exhibition in the house was very interesting, visual and immersive and, in the absence of real children, we could be children ourselves although the dressing-up clothes were too small for us. I loved the garden/adventure playground. It was delightful just as a garden but there was plenty of play equipment too and so nice to be beside the river.
Written 30 April 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you so much for the 5 star review! What a tagline "possibly the best thing in Dumfries." I will pass your lovely comments on to Lesley who will be delighted. We hope to see you again soon.
Written 9 May 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Tarrobyn
Kames, UK2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2023
We visited for the first time this weekend with our daughters aged six and eight. We had a brilliant time. Staff were lovely, cafe food was delicious and the house itself was really really engaging. My intention was to give my children a positive experience. Then I then realised I had entered the house as an angry minister, by the time I left I'd found the boy inside me who had been lost
Written 26 March 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for the 5 star review! We are glad you found the child inside.
Written 9 May 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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MOAT BRAE - BIRTHPLACE OF PETER PAN (2024) All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

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