Culzean Castle has been on my to-do list for a long time now.
As a kid, we had a family camping holiday there. I remember swimming while it was raining and a big castle, but everything else was a blur. Ah, vague, useless memories.
Today, the National Trust for Scotland’s website made the place look very interesting, so we decided to pack up a picnic and make the 50 mile journey with the kids.
Located just south of Maybole on the Ayrshire coast, the Culzean Castle estate is huge. If your kids are young, you can do what we did and drive between the different areas to save their little legs. Our first stop was the play area, Adventure Cove.
We’ve all seen the wooden fort style play areas in various places, but I have never seen one as impressive as this. It was huge and in excellent condition. It looked brand new. There were half a dozen slides built into the fort, climbing areas and a sand pit. The kids adored it.
There were also rope slides with baby seats on, which, again, the kids loved. Horse saddle swings, seesaws, boats, more climbing areas. It was top quality. The kids would have been happy to stay there all day.
We tore them away with the promise of ice cream. A short walk to the shop took us past a picturesque lake with ducks and swans. The sun had come out and was sizzling at this point. It was simply beautiful.
After a little more admiring of the scenery and pagoda, we jumped in the car and headed to the next stop – the Walled Garden.
Even though the garden was in something of a transition, it still looked great. Cleverly intertwined trees formed circular secret spots, tropical trees faired well and avenues of flowers made the place look and smell divine. My favourite was a stunning Yew tree. I don’t know why, but it resonated with me. Perhaps I was a Yew in a former life.
Onwards, and we parked again further along the park. The parking spaces are a little snug. Nevertheless, we managed to find spaces at every attempt with little to no stress.
The walk to the Castle takes you over a bridge from which you can see more beautiful gardens. You also get your first view of the sea. And then, of course, there is the castle itself. It is stunning and in great condition.
Entering the castle takes you to a room decorated entirely in guns and knives. If you have any questions about any aspect of the castle, every room had staff to hand who knew an incredible amount of information about the history of the castle.
A well signed tour of the castle takes you through well preserved rooms to see amazing décor, furniture and surroundings. We were looking at a huge portrait of Bonaparte when a guide told us all about it. About its history and what the different aspects of the picture meant. I was extremely impressed!
Culzean Castle is one of many amazing properties managed by The National Trust for Scotland. Entry cost £38 for a family ticket, but if you like visiting places like this, you may be better off with an annual Family Membership pass. They cost £84.00 and will allow two adults and up to four children access all of their wonderful places. If that isn’t enough to persuade you, then how about getting an extra three months free? Yup, follow this link and get 15 months for the price of 12. Deals for families don’t get any better.