Culzean Castle, Ayrshire, Scotland

Culzean Castle from garden

This is Culzean Castle from the front, the right hand side of the building is the oldest part, dating from the 15th century and the building has been added on to and redesigned over the centuries. The famous Scottish architect and designer Robert Adam made a beautiful job of the whole place, particularly the interiors, some of which you can see here. You can read about the building of the castle here and more about Robert Adam here. He was actually born in Kirkcaldy, not far from where I live but sadly his home, Gladney House, was pulled down some years ago. They’ve got rid of everything which would have been of interest to visitors to the town, including the economist Adam Smith’s home and Pet Margery’s home and the school which Thomas Carlyle taught in. Shame.

Culzean Castle sea view

The photo above is the view from the castle, over to the isle of Arran, on a very clear day you can apparently see down as far as Ireland, but not on the day we visited, despite it being a beautiful day.

Culzean Castle garden + fountain

Culzean is set in beautiful parkland with gorgeous trees but there’s plenty to be seen in the way of formal gardens. These are a couple of photos showing the fountain.

Culzean Castle fountain

At first we thought that this cormorant was a model but it eventually moved. I can’t make up my mind about it, it is a sort of mixture between comical and sinister, a wee bit vulture-like somehow. It was crouched over Swan Pond, we didn’t see any swans at all though.

Culzean Castle cormorant

The walled garden below is quite a walk away from the castle but it’s worth visiting and there are nice benches to have a rest on.

Culzean Castle walled garden gate

The top storey of the castle has ben turned into a very upmarket hotel. It’s handy for the golf course at Turnberry but I think it would be a bit too expensive for my liking. President Eisenhower was given a set of apartments for his lifetime, as thanks for his wartime contribution, but since his death it has been incorporated into the hotel.

This was a really enjoyable castle to visit, although here’s quite a lot to see, unfortunately they don’t allow you to take photos inside the castle. I can’t understand why the National Trust has this policy at all of their properties. They would get more publicity if people could see what the interiors are like. It costs £15 to get in but you can easily spend the whole day there. Joining the National Trust is the best way to go about it because at a cost of £64 or so for a double membership, we’ve already saved ourselves a lot of money just in the last month.

Unfortunately we didn’t realise that there was too much to see in this area in one day, otherwise we would’ve arranged to stay overnight. We could have visited Robert Burns’ birthplace and Souter Johnnie’s cottage too. Alloway turned out to be a lovely village, as you’ll see tomorrow.

10 thoughts on “Culzean Castle, Ayrshire, Scotland

  1. How beautiful! The grounds are absolutely lovely. I am so drawn to green since that is not a color much in evidence in Phoenix.
    I love reading your travel posts – they bring a bit of peace and beauty into my life that is much welcomed!

    • Anbolyn,
      I’m so glad you enjoy them. Everything here is a wee bit too green for our liking, the rain has been terrible, but I’m sure you would love it!

  2. Very grand, isn’t it! We got to see Eisenhour’s apartment all those years ago when I visited with my parents. I seem to remember a large bow window. I must go back there sometime. I’ve just been to Alnwick castle and it’s pretty grand too!
    Great photos you took at Culzean!

    • Evee,
      That window was probably in the round room, everything is amazingly symmetrical in the rooms with dummy doors to match the one on the other side of the room. There’s lots going on too, like Pirate School for kids, that sounds great fun, kids are all half way to being pirates anyway! I saw Alnwick on TV last week, it did look gorgeous.

  3. A beautiful post, and thankyou for the links.
    [A special thrill for me to see the glimpse of Arran, where my great-grandfather was raised.]
    Valerie, NZ.

    • Valerie,
      I’m glad you enjoyed it. There is actually a National Trust property on Arran which we hope to visit some day. I don’t think I’ve ever been to Arran, unless I went when I was very wee. It was a very popular place with day trippers and holidaymakers from Glasgow.

  4. When we were there in 2003, there was no bar to photos except in the “Eisenhower suite” for some reason. I still marvel at the trompe l’oeil ceilings and trim!

    • Pearl,
      I can’t understand why they won’t let you take photos now, I think they’re shooting themselves in the foot. I loved the staircases but I suspect the whole place is freezing in the winter.

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