Exciting times at Culzean Castle
So while staying the Brunston Castle Luxury Lodges in Dailly, Ayrshire we decided to go and investigate a local castle which had been renovated by Scottish Trust and National Trust. Set perfectly amidst forest and sea Culzean Castle had many, many exciting things for us to see.
We arrived at the main entrance to the castle and obtained a map and wrist bands for the children's play area. We continued to drive down a beautiful driveway with stunning views of the coast and the castle. We carried on parking near to the deer and highland cows that were being fed at that point. The children thoroughly enjoyed talking to the farmer, learning all the names of the animals and being shown the huge collection of dogs (11) that he had in his van. My daughter who is usually petrified of dogs fell in love with a Pomeranian and managed to stroke it which was a really big deal for her. After this we headed for the stunning structure directly in front of us which was the Camillia House .
To the castle
After The Camillia house we took a short woodland walk up towards the castle, we decided to explore the outside on our visit despite the weather and loved looking at the architecture of the buildings. We were intrigued by the ruined bridge and archway leading up to the castle which had apparently been rebuilt but left in its ruined state.
We played around at the castle and the bridge for a while. Looking out at the beautiful views we even spotted a seal bobbing about in the surf, before catching the complimentary bus to Swan Lake. Ordinarily we would have walked and taken in the Walled Garden but the heavens really had opened at this point.
To the (other) castle!
This time the castle we found was slightly smaller, made of wood and over run with soldiers of a much diminutive stature. Otherwise known as Adventure Cove and Wild Woodland Children's play areas.
Although it was quite wet the kids absolutely loved this part of the castle and its grounds. Initially we (all) took off to the right into the Wild Woodland. Big enough for adults feeling adventurous this amazing multi-leveled labyrinth of winding slopes and paths; cargo nets, slides and zip lines will keep you occupied for quite some time (especially if you get lost! - yes it is that big!) Once you have quite literally exhausted this area (and yourselves) there is a further part to explore. To the left of the entrance you can follow paths round to an area specifically targeted towards under 5's as well as a huge interactive castle structure. Here you will find hidden music rooms, seesaws, swings and climbing frames.
Needless to say, the kids had an absolute ball and we knew we would definitely be back to Culzean for another visit during our holiday. (More pictures below)
We dragged them away...
... and went to investigate the real smugglers cove at Culzean.
Although well kept, care is needed on the path down towards the cove as there are a few proud roots along the way. It was also quite slippy in places when we were there due to the rain. However it was an exciting path down towards the sea where we found many interesting things.
Including a swan flying across the sea...
...a jellyfish wobbling on the sand...
...and a magnificent dragon snoozing on the sand (I have no idea who the sculptor of this magnificent beast was but the dragon was so fantastic it caught the imagination of the kids! So thank you!)
The tide was in so we headed back up the way we had come, around Swan Lake and followed a path along the cliff top, dropping down occasionally to smaller coves where the Gannets sat on their rocks. It was incredibly peaceful along the walk and we only came into contact with a few people. We took another final turn down onto a rocky cove where we could walk towards the boathouse where indoor activities were taking place.
Before we headed back up to the castle I asked my family to stand on some rocks so that I could take a photograph... all I can say is never turn your back on the tide!
Slightly wetter than when we began, we headed back up towards the Castle stopping at the battlements along the way.
(Thank goodness she couldn't read his mind at this point!)
A second visit to Culzean Castle
We decided to head to Maidens Beach, just south of Culzean Castle before we headed up for another play.
The beach did not disappoint. We managed to park up easily in one of the parking areas, and headed down for our day on the beach. It was our last day and the sun was in full summer mood!
The tide was at its lowest, and there was no one else on the beach. Unless you count the hundreds of jellyfish on the sand. I just had to take a picture of this one as it was so vibrant.
I even had an idea to turn it into a dress on Red Bubble as a bit of fun.
As well as jellyfish there was just so much to see and lots to do on the beach. We only saw the odd person walking past with their dog, a couple of horse riders and lots and lots of seabirds over the entire day! It was perfect.
We wished the day would last forever
We played on that beach from 9.30 am until 3 pm and it really was a wonderful day. We walked, we talked, we made sand castles and sculptures. We had a lovely picnic using up our last few bits of food. Every one of us felt relaxed and agreed it really was the most beautiful beach.
We finished the day off by going up to the castle where the children ate the biggest ice creams that they could find and had a fantastic time playing at Adventure Cove.
I hope you have enjoyed finding out about Maidens Beach and Culzean Castle. Please remember to check tide times and opening times before you head to any of the places I recommend.
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