Culzean Castle: National Trust

culzean-castle-through-archwayThis time last week, we were up in Scotland visiting Culzean Castle in Ayrshire. Now school has started, it feels like it could have been months ago, but it really was last week.

The castle and country park are owned by the National Trust for Scotland. As National Trust members, we were able to go in free. I’ve got to say that of all the properties I’ve been to, this one is worth the subscription alone. If we lived locally, it would be a perfect pop-in-when-we-have-a-moment venue.

adventure-playground-culzean-2To start with they have a fabulous adventure park. We don’t go to play parks very often. The children loved this one. There are two sides to it. One, which I forgot to photograph. I suspect it is aimed at the younger age range although my three loved the zip wire.

adventure-playground-dungeon-culzeanThe other side gave them space to run and explore. There was plenty to fire their imagination. It is a big area so they were constantly on the move (and difficult to photograph).

adventure-playground-dungeon-2-culzeanAlthough Eldest did manage to capture the other two at one stage. Oh, to be the eldest.

adventure-playground-culzeanWe pretty much had the whole place to ourselves as most schools had gone back. Even on a more crowded day, I think they would have found it fun. I had to bribe encourage them to move on to the rest of the grounds. They would have stayed considerably longer.

We headed up to the Pagoda next. Where the exotic animals were once kept. There was an amazing bat experience. No bats but we did walk through pitch black tunnels to tiny viewing points. More fun than educational although the point may well have been lost on me.

on-culzean-castle-coveNext down to the smugglers cove. A perfect cove for smuggling, if I ever did see one. I’m sure there were caves hidden in the cliffs, covered by the undergrowth. If the odd cask or two of brandy have not been smuggled into this bay, in years gone by, then I’m a monkey’s uncle (and none of my nieces or nephews want that).


We had the cove to ourselves. It will always amaze me how quickly the children busy themselves as soon as they hit a beach. Writing messages in the sand. Exploring rock pools. Daring the waves.

jelly-fish-on-beachWe noticed plenty of jelly fishes washed up on the beaches we visited this holiday. This beach was no exception.

There are oodles of walks to do in the country park. We headed off to the cliff top walk and dropped down to the swan pond.

culzean-walled-gardenNext, we explored the castle’s walled garden. I love walled gardens and took lots of photos for inspiration. My garden notes are expanding fast.

They had an interesting way of adding in wild and cutting flowers, in narrow beds. Looked tidier than our wild garden. Might try the approach next year.

culzean-walled-garden-flower-bedsBy this stage in our walk, waterproofs were required. My husband had valiantly carried them around in his rucksack, all week. Up mountains and along beaches. We had so little rain during our week in Scotland. I think this was the only moment we had to pull them out of the bag. Thinking about it, he did extract the coats with remarkable speed.

In the walled garden, the flower beds were full of colour and quite a sight. Also the kitchen garden. I’m unable to resist the lure of kitchen gardens. Part of this one was chained off, but there was still plenty to view.


And the castle?

Almost forgot.

Yes, it was impressive. I especially liked the outside.

To be honest, I only saw the outside. I sat outside, as we had the dogs with us, while the rest went inside.

I read a book about scottish hauntings, which I’d picked up from the castle’s second hand book shop (worth a visit in it’s own right), while holding the dogs and being eaten by midges.

The rest of the family enjoyed the castle. They even spotted a photo of a dog like ours.

The people at the castle door kindly let the dogs and me shelter in the door way when the heavens opened, so I did glimpse a bit of the inside. Maybe next time.


We could have happily spent more time at the castle and park. There is so much to see, that I’m not sure it can be done in one day.
Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

44 thoughts on “Culzean Castle: National Trust

  • Friday 9 September, 2016 at 9:29 pm

    Oh that looks like quite the place to visit… what an adventure!!! I love the idea of a smuggler’s beach… intriguing much!!! And your dogs are the best… I just love them again and again!!!

    • Saturday 10 September, 2016 at 11:48 am

      I think the dogs enjoyed being on holiday as much as we did. Time with the pack. It was the most perfect smuggler’s beach.

  • Saturday 10 September, 2016 at 7:31 am

    What an amazing place. That adventure playground looks like every child’s dream, and how great to be able to have it to themselves?! I love the look of Smuggler’s Cove. We noticed a lot of jellyfish a few weeks back in North Wales – I wonder why there seems to be so many at the moment.

    • Saturday 10 September, 2016 at 11:52 am

      Watching the children run and play around the play park was wonderful. They were just enjoying playing. I wondered if it is the time of year to see jellyfish on the beach. Not familiar with area, so maybe its the same each year. The cove is lovely. Imagine a pirates birthday party there……

  • Saturday 10 September, 2016 at 8:56 am

    What a fab castle to be able to explore, it really does look like there’s so much to see and do! Those gardens look wonderful, I’ve always loved seeing wildflowers integrated into formal gardens. That play area is amazing, I bet the kids were having a wondeful time exploring the play castle. Smuggler’s Cove looks so similar to some of the famous smuggling beaches here that if you hadn’t told me it was in Scotland I never would’ve guessed!

    Thanks for sharing with me on #CountryKids

    • Saturday 10 September, 2016 at 12:00 pm

      They had so much fun in the play park. I loved that it was all natural materials and looked like the backdrop to a play. The cove reminded me of Cornwall too. In fact a lot of the beaches in the area did.

  • Saturday 10 September, 2016 at 9:07 am

    What an incredible place to explore- you need more than a day, I think. The beach alone looks amazing and what a fantastic play area. The National Trust seems to make the properties so family friendly. #countrykids

    • Saturday 10 September, 2016 at 12:50 pm

      They certainly seem to have good areas for children to play and use their imagination. Wish we lived closer to this one.

  • Saturday 10 September, 2016 at 9:46 am

    That sounds like a lovely day out, especially the play area. I also love the NT for fab, family days out. #CountryKids

    • Saturday 10 September, 2016 at 1:04 pm

      It was a fun day.

  • Saturday 10 September, 2016 at 2:05 pm

    Sounds like you had an amazing day there – and a great week. We haven’t visited Scotland yet but my boys love play parks and that one definitely looks right up their street.

    • Sunday 11 September, 2016 at 8:20 am

      It’s nice to find a play area that suits the older children too. It was a lovely day.

  • Saturday 10 September, 2016 at 6:24 pm

    Oh wow, this looks amazing. I love that top picture, superb framing. I’d love to go but we have no plans to visit Scotland sadly. Mich x #CountryKids

    • Sunday 11 September, 2016 at 8:04 am

      Thanks Mich. It is an amazing place to visit.

  • Saturday 10 September, 2016 at 6:30 pm

    What an amazing place to explore. That adventure park is amazing. Would love to visit Scotland at some point with my son #CountryKids

    • Sunday 11 September, 2016 at 8:03 am

      I love Scotland, so really pleased that we have finally made it up there with the children.

  • Saturday 10 September, 2016 at 9:00 pm

    This looks like one to visit, what an amazing place. I love the Smugglers’ Cove, and it must have been so nice having it to yourself. The playground looks amazing too, very similar to Leeds Castle’s playground. Though if my children spotted it at the entrance we wouldn’t have gone any further – things like this need to be at the end, for bribery purposes! #CountryKids

    • Sunday 11 September, 2016 at 7:57 am

      Now Leeds would be slightly closer to us, but still too far. I think you are right to time a playpark for the end of a visit. Good strategy. 🙂

  • Sunday 11 September, 2016 at 10:34 am

    Oh my days it looks simply beautiful here. I love everything about this place! I would really like to visit here one day.xx #Countrykids

    • Tuesday 13 September, 2016 at 11:16 am

      It is a fabulous estate. Well worth visiting.

  • Sunday 11 September, 2016 at 6:08 pm

    It looks impressive with plenty to see. The beach looks gorgeous, and wow, that is some (massive!) adventure playground. I think I’d have needed bribes to get N of it. #countrykids

    • Tuesday 13 September, 2016 at 11:15 am

      Certainly was a wonderful place to visit.

  • Sunday 11 September, 2016 at 8:40 pm

    Oh that looks like the most fantastic playground mixed in with fabulous surroundings. Would love to visit! #countrykids

    • Tuesday 13 September, 2016 at 11:14 am

      The whole estate is worth a visit.

  • Monday 12 September, 2016 at 2:52 am

    Wow how awesome! That playpark is epic! Amazing design and just so well thought of. Everything there is so pretty. I agree that with just that site NT membership is so worth it! #countrykids

    • Tuesday 13 September, 2016 at 11:14 am

      I can quite imagine the plan on paper, when it was being designed. What a project to be involved with.

  • Monday 12 September, 2016 at 1:46 pm

    What a wonderful place. It looks stunning and the play park looks fantastic, I think my kids could play there all day. #CountryKids

    • Tuesday 13 September, 2016 at 11:12 am

      I’m sure some families probably don’t make it any further. At least its a good excuse to go again.

  • Monday 12 September, 2016 at 7:05 pm

    oh wow!! what a wonderful adventure! so much to see and do!

    • Tuesday 13 September, 2016 at 11:11 am

      Really couldn’t do it in a day.

  • Monday 12 September, 2016 at 9:03 pm

    My 9yo was looking over my shoulder as I was reading this post and said “Wow! That play area is well epic!” He now wants us to take a trip to Scotland 🙂 I have to agree with him though. It looks amazing, in fact the whole place looks incredible.I wish it wasn’t so far away.


    • Tuesday 13 September, 2016 at 11:10 am

      I like your son’s reaction. They have plans to make the adventure park even bigger. I wish it wasn’t so far away, but we do have plans to return to that part of the country soon.

  • Tuesday 13 September, 2016 at 6:40 pm

    First, the park looked amazing! Eeeew jellyfish, I’ve never been a fan washed up or not! Well done on your hubby carrying the waterproofs all week. The castle looks impressive it really does. Shame you didn’t get to go on in but you probably enjoyed the peace with the dogs #countrykids

    • Wednesday 14 September, 2016 at 9:10 am

      The park is amazing. We did a project on jellyfish last year, so it was fascinating to see them on the beach. Ha! Yes I thought it would be quiet and I’d read my book. The midges were distracting. Also lovely people wanted to talk to the dogs and take their photos by the castle! I think I read about 2 pages.

  • Wednesday 14 September, 2016 at 9:40 pm

    What an amazing castle, so much to explore. The adventure playground is every child’s dream isn’t I?! And the walled garden looks divine, I could get lost in there for many hours #countrykids

    • Saturday 17 September, 2016 at 1:34 am

      I agree. Walled gardens should never be rushed.

  • Wednesday 14 September, 2016 at 10:13 pm

    What a fabulous place to visit. That adventure playground looks amazing – my girls would be in seventh heaven somewhere like that. Love how your Eldest captured the other two! Looks like the beach was fun as well and those gardens are stunning. Shame about the rain though but at least you didn’t have too much of it. #countrykids

    • Saturday 17 September, 2016 at 1:35 am

      The rain was only passing. Yes, the children all had fun in the park. We all enjoyed our visit.

  • Thursday 15 September, 2016 at 11:28 am

    National Trust properties are all different but all so amazing and this one fantastic. That’s probably the best adventure playground I’ve seen, I’m sure my kids would love it too!
    The NT Membership is so worth its weight in gold when you see places like Culzean Castle.

    • Saturday 17 September, 2016 at 1:36 am

      I’m sure it must be a very popular park. Lovely to find.

  • Friday 16 September, 2016 at 5:17 pm

    Oh wow, that’s so impressive! I love the scenery, the castle, the history and that adventure park!

    • Saturday 17 September, 2016 at 1:38 am

      There is so much to see and do. A fun day.

  • Saturday 17 September, 2016 at 9:31 am

    We adore places like this and that playground looks amazing x #countrykids

    • Sunday 18 September, 2016 at 5:34 pm

      It was amazing and they have plans to make it even bigger.

Comments are closed.

Follow by Email