Culzean Castle (pronounced Cul-ane) has long been a favourite place to visit. My first memory is of boarding the Dodds coach in Ayr on a bright, sunny afternoon and being driven down the coast road before turning off into the large estate. The Beech lined avenues finally opening up into the coach park, a deer park on one side and the castle glimpsed through the woods. The skirl of bagpipes stealing eerily through the trees as an unseen Pipe Band performed in the formal garden.

A few years later, and it was a field trip for Biology, visiting the “fire pond” and surrounding fields with the park ranger. Being sneered at by older students for wearing white cords – I lived in the country and wore them there so what was the problem? Other pupils from the school were involved in restoration work in some of the older buildings, now the present visitor centre, my brother included. Later on, the Swan pond was a place to be visited with the family. So it was fun to visit recently with smallest daughter and hubby, dodging the showers and enjoying the spells of sunshine…

View from the

There is something for everyone here; from woodland walks, shore walks, bird watching, the Historic house with the Eisenhower suite (a gift from a grateful nation). Formal gardens, walled garden, woodland gardens, deer park, orangery and greenhouses. A place to visit and get lost in, plus a cafe and restaurant when in need of sustenance or warmth! (Do check it can disappointingly be closed 😦 )

Woodland walks

The scenery changes with the seasons and the weather, from the beautiful magnolias and camellias, to daffodils and bluebells, autumn colours and fungi. Kite flying to classic car events…

Restored orangery

Nice spaces to visit or shelter from the weather…

Antique statuary

Interesting statuary and restored buildings…

Outdoor centre and beach

You could spend a day here and never see it all. Because its fairly near (and we are members of the Scottish National Trust), we occasionally drive down and spend an hour or so exploring a new corner. Well worth a visit if you are in the area.

Cat Gates