Day Four - Ayrshire - Dean Castle & Culzean Castle

return to 2019 UK trip index

return to mdimage site index

Ardyne B&B at Rothesay - On the front step was a wide open view of the Firth of Clyde.

After a great breakfast, we packed up & were on the 9 am ferry to the mainland, and then drove south, along the coast. 

note - you can enlarge any part of a picture by left-clicking in and then out again.

front yard view  the Ardyne Guest House owner & breakfast chef Rothesay looks a little run down
crossing the Firth of Clyde highlands, again

On the map below, look for Kilmarnock, where Dean Castle is, and for Maybole, south of Ayr, where Culzean Castle is. 

map of Ayrshire

We drove inland to see Dean Castle, near Kilmarnock, knowing ahead of time that it was closed & undergoing a multi-year restoration, but we could still walk around the old structure, clad in scaffolding. LCB has a Dean family name connection. 

the Dean connection Dean Castle under repairs scaffolding all around picture of a tapestry in the Castle
- postcard photo  a large County park surrounds the Castle visitor center

From Dean Castle we drove south past Ayr & Alloway to Maybole & thence to Culzean Castle, one of the most-visited Castles in Scotland.  The original buildings were renovated and expanded in the late 1700s by Robert Adam, the famous Scottish Architect who introduced neo-Palladian style architecture to the UK.   

CULZEAN CASTLE

Since around 1500, the London based Kennedy family held or earned the hereditary title of Earls of Cassillis and there was an early structure at Culzean since the 1600s. It was Thomas Kennedy of Culzean and 9th Earl of Cassillis who in the mid-1700s embarked on large scale improvements to the Castle and Estates.  Much of the ground floor was completed at that time.  David Kennedy, 10th Earl of Cassillis, commissioned Architect Robert Adam to finish the job in the last 1790s.       

The Castle is in a stunning natural setting, perched on a cliff above the Firth of Clyde. The grounds are enormous & the handout map shows at least three walking paths down to water level. One could stroll for hours here, but windy & rainy weather prevailed, today.    

a ruined arch & viaduct visitor entrance Culzean Castle note the palm trees in the landscaping on the Firth of Clyde 
  cotoneaster  clematis

 

huge gun display at the entry  
Docent in dining room great ceilings in the study great ceilings, continued...
  Isle of Arran across a wine- colored sea   elegant stairways  
a little portrait galley on 3rd floor landing Brits admired Napoleon at first the hand  
        Susanna, Countess of Eglinton
the best of the best last Q&A opportunity a cold & rainy day outside on the viaduct    

AYR & TARBOLTON

After the Castle tour, we drove north on a back road into the City of Ayr where we had an early dinner at Chestnut's Hotel, a classy old place. We were the only ones there, and enjoyed relaxed service & food. There was a small fireplace, next to us.  

It is quiet & relaxed whenever you dine out early in Scotland (before 7 pm) and the staff appreciate the business, the cooks are attentive, and the food comes out quickly & just right, it seemed to me. 

Thanks to Linda B's ongoing online driving guidance, we found our way uphill on a rainy night, after dark, to Crofthead Farms B&B in Tarbolton, a place that gets perfect scores in every category, on all travel sites, worth going out of the way for, was my reasoning. 

We were out in the country, and it was quiet at night. With windows open we had coastal air quality and some wind.  

return to 2019 UK trip index

return to mdimage site index