Sunday, 27 September 2009

Culzean Coast

If Burns Cottage was a let down, the same could not be said for Culzean Castle. This is the National Trust's flagship property, with hundreds of thousands of visitors a year. The castle is perched on the edge of a low, romantic seacliff, surrounded by managed policies in the fashionable English style of the 18th century. The exterior is perhaps a little plain: but the interiors are the glory, Robert Adam at the height of his powers in the beautiful ceilings, harmonious decor and furniture, giving a unifying impression of good taste that is unobtainable today. Unfortunately it is not permitted to take photos inside the castle, so you will just have to take my word for it.

Culzean Castle garden:


The grounds are extensive, and free to wander. We walked from Culzean Bay in the north along a corrugated beach, past the castle with its mature trees and swan pond, to the prettily located village of Maidens in Maidenhead Bay. We walked further still to Turnberry - along a rocky, volcanic coast peppered with agates, and round the famous Open golf course.

Castle with caves below:


On the way back we walked under the castle on the exposed shore. The caves below the castle were, it is said, used by Thomas Kennedy, the 9th Earl, for smuggling. Worried about his reputation, he decided to get into a more respectable business, and so in the 1760s bought a quarter share - in an American slave trader.

The refined dining and drawing rooms of Culzean were, it seems, built on the proceeds of human misery.

2 comments:

Dave said...

Country Park Only Ticket
Adult - £8.50
Concession - £5.50
Family (2 adults) - £21.00
Family (1 adult) - £16.00
Members of NTS / NT - Free : please bring your current membership card to show at the entrance to the Country Park

Opening Times :

Summer Season - 1 April to 1 November 2009 inclusive

Castle :
Open every day
10.30am until 5.00pm
(last entry at 4.00pm)

Country Park :
9.00am until dusk every day
All vehicles must leave by sunset

Walled Garden :
9.00am until dusk every day

Visitor Centre Shop :
10.30am until 5.30pm every day

Castle Shop :
10.30am until 5.00pm every day

The Old Smiddy Toy Shop
10.30am until 5.30pm every day

Candies @ Culzean :
Limited opening - please check at Visitor Centre Shop

The Second Hand Bookshop
11.00am until 3.00pm All Year Round (apart from over Christmas and New Year period)

Visitor Centre Restaurant :
10.00am until 5.00pm every day

Old Stables Coffee Shop :
10.30am until 5.00pm every day

Swan Pond Refreshments Kiosk :
12.00pm until 5.00pm
Limited opening depending on weather!

Admission Prices (Winter Season 2009/10) :

Park Only Ticket -
Adult - £3.00
Child - £1.50
Members of NTS / NT - Free : please bring your current membership card to show at the entrance to the Country Park

Opening Times :

Winter Season - 2 November 2009 to 31 March 2010

Castle :
Closed for Winter apart from Special Events
Re-opens for Summer Season on Wednesday 1 April 2010
(Please see 'Events at Culzean' for more information).

Country Park :
9.00am until Dusk every day

Walled Garden :
9.00am until Dusk every day

Visitor Centre Shop :
11.00am until 4.00pm each Saturday and Sunday (up to and including Sunday 28 March 2010)

Castle Shop :
Closed for Winter

The Old Smiddy Toy Shop
11.00am until 4.00pm each Saturday and Sunday (up to and including Sunday 28 March 2010)

Candies @ Culzean :
Closed for Winter

The Second Hand Bookshop
11.00am until 3.00pm All Year Round (apart from Christmas and New Year)

Visitor Centre Restaurant :
11.00am until 4.00pm each Saturday and Sunday (up to and including Sunday 28 March 2010)

Old Stables Coffee Shop :
Closed for Winter

Swan Pond Refreshments Kiosk :
Closed for Winter

Did you know that the Ayrshire Coastal Path passes through Culzean Country Park?
For more information on the Ayrshire Coastal Path please
>CLICK HERE<.

Robert Craig said...

Little tip for you, the country park is free if you walk in instead of drive.