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Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Croy to Culzean November 2011

It's Monday the 21st of November 2011 and today I'll be making a long overdue visit.
I'm meeting up with my fellow rambler from Cumnock and we're going to walk from Croy to Culzean Castle and Country Park,have a look around before walking back. ( Culzean was spelt Cullean in the Victorian age and is generally pronounced like other Scottish words with the 'Z' silent.To the locals it's Cullane )
The car park is on the shore north of Maidens on the coastal route to Ayr.
Croyburnfoot Leisure Park is also next to the shoreline.(you can hear the waves on their website)

It's a better day here than it is in Galloway as I later learned.

Although in need of a clean up there's a very good information board by the beach.

I get a fully zoomed shot of the castle across Culzean Bay.

Apart from a couple of dog walkers we're quite alone as we set off.
It's a couple of kilometres along this lovely beach.There are a few small burns which discharge into the bay, but only one needing any negotiation.
There's a fair variety of  birds in and around the beach.Above bottom left is a flock of Shelducks.

An enterprising person or persons have done a nice job connecting a couple of cottages into a nice beach house.

I take quite a few pictures of the castle.I'm only uploading a fraction of them.

Another burn  making it's way inexorably to the sea.

Swans and Oystercatchers.

We're getting closer and the castle looks quite spectacular.

Upon reaching the grounds of Culzean the first point of interest is the Gas making plant.
It's been restored and when open in the season,a full size realistic model can be seen in the Retort House.
This link is quite detailed.     Hevac Heritage Gas Making

We won't get to look inside any parts of the castle today.It's open from April to October.
During the winter season the shops and restaurants are open weekend and Christmas.
Here's their own website. The Culzean Experience

Side view of the castle.

Most of it's original grandeur is still in place.

Front view

The Viaduct.

Reaching the Deer Park my walking companion has found her bearings.As an ex teacher she used to bring her class out here.We'll be heading to the Swan Pond a 15 minute walk away.

An educational tree top walk to be accompanied by a park ranger.

This will be beautiful once the Silver Firs again reach maturity.

Late November in the walled garden is still amazingly colourful.

As befits a a place of splendour, there's a great variety of trees.

We reach the Swan Pond.
There's more ducks and other birds than swans.They don't take a lot of notice of us as they enjoy the warmth of this late November day.

I've no problem getting colourful pictures.

Close by is one of the entrances and the play-park.
We have our lunch watching all the activity on the pond.
I left my video camera running.Here's a little bit of the footage.

After an enjoyable lunch we head up to the Pagoda.There's no one in today.

We're now walking along the opposite bank of the Swan pond.I should have changed my camera setting for the Swans.

This is the sort of tree all kids love.If the branches hadn't been damp I'd have had a clamber myself.

The southern outlook of the castle comes into view.

Below is the Dolphin House ,in Victorian times it was the laundry,now It's an educational outdoor activity centre.

This is the Battery.The cannons go back to the glorious days of Scotland's industrial heritage and Ironmaster and Merchant Thomas Edington

Now we're back at the gardens at the front of the castle.

This is Dudley,a big friendly Bernese Mountain Dog.We pass the time of day with his owner.

More exotic and colourful blooms.

Our last port of call is the Visitors Centre where I try out my ten second delay feature on my camera.

This was Culzean Home Farm.It's all closed today but I imagine they'll get a few visitors at the weekend.

Chaffinches are enjoying sharing someone's lunch.We saw the robin earlier.

Back on the beach and the tide's well on it's way out.
What a fabulous place Culzean is.
We had a great day.


  1. Oh my god! I need to be on a plane to visit you Jim! That is soooo magical!



    Have a beautiful day, I need to go back and visit those pictures again!


  2. I paid Culzean a visit earlier this year. Brilliant building especially if you view it from the sea side (I had to do some very dodgy dangling from a tree up cliff to try and get a picture) and excellent grounds. I was a bit dissapointed with inside the house itself (at least with national trust membership I got in for nothing)

  3. You fairly get about James. You were walking in my part of the world. When the conditions are right it is really a wonderful place to be.The teacher and I were also in that area today when we did a wee trip to Girvan on the shore. Your blogs are a real credit for Bonnie Scotland.

  4. Thank you lovely lady from Maui,glad you like the post.

    I'd like to get some pictures from the sea too Sandy,they'd certainly be the most dramatic.Now I've broken my duck and finally paid a visit,I think I'll soon be back.
    Cheers Gordon,I'm glad we abandoned our original plan of our return route now you've put me right on the conditions.

  5. One of my Favourite places.You certainly got it nice and quiet.
    Always better when the summer crowds leave,you see more wildlife then.


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