Sunday, April 15, 2007

Culzean Castle & Country Park

Another nice Sunday and off we went down the coast to Culzean Castle and Country Park. It's only about an hour's drive from Glasgow and we usually visit it a few times a year when the weather is nice enough.

The grounds are huge and there are loads of woodland and clifftop walks, a large pond, formal gardens, a walled garden, a deer park and a small beach with loads of rock pools and some interesting caves under the castle as well. There's also a decent sized visitor centre and adventure playground for the kids so it does get pretty busy on days when the weather is nice. If you're feeling fit, you can stroll over to the larger beach at nearby Maidenhead Bay, although that also gets pretty busy if the weather is good. Of course, you can wander round the 18th century castle as well as it's open to the public but we've done it before and the weather was too nice to stay indoors.

Culzean Castle

We usually take a pack lunch/picnic and just lie on the grass by the Swan Pond and watch the bird-life. There are usually swans, ducks and moorhens as well as a motley selection of gulls and terns on the pond and a fair number of wee tits and sparrows all diving around looking for a few crumbs to eat. There are a couple of picnic tables for the more genteel visitor but the grassy area here is usually swarming with people, some even organized enough to bring barbecues. If you don't fancy that, then there is a restaurant and coffee shop, which are always good for tea and a scone later in the afternoon.

The gardens aren't at their best at this time of year but the Daffodils, Tulips, Rhododendrons and Azaleas are blooming well so there was a good splash of colour around. We had lunch by the pond and then had a good walk around the gardens, grounds and cliffs. After that, we headed over to Maidenhead Bay for a laze on the sand as it was quite a nice day.

The Swan Pond, Culzean

We had a few hours lying around on the beach and pockling about in the rocks pools and then it was time to head back to civilization; sigh!

All of my Culzean photographs can be viewed here.

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