I’m back from Denmark! While I’m going through the hundreds of photos I took in Copenhagen, I’m back with more about our trip down in Galloway! On the first day, we actually went to Ayrshire. I know it’s a bit anticlimactic… We drove the hour or so up on the west coast – and stopped over at Culzean Castle. Visiting Culzean was something that had been on my Scottish bucket list for a long time so I was excited to see it!
Culzean is a lovely old fortress built in the late 18th century, nestled on the west coast of Scotland, between Girvan and Ayr. It’s definitely another difficult one to reach via public transport – but there is a bus! – so we were happy to be driving in with the Brit’s parents.
When you turn into the estate you realise the grandeur of the property. It covers hundreds acres and acres of woodlands and parks. We found one of the multiple parking lots and headed straight for the gardens. It was one of those really dark and gloomy days so we thought we could try to get to the gardens as soon as possible.
Of course, you may have already guessed – it started pouring whilst we were in the gardens so we ran back to the car. We had wanted to check out the swan pond and orangery as well as the Camellia house (because obviously that’s my house 😉 ), but instead we decided to head for the main house to be indoors.
Culzean is a beautiful and massive mansion. It’s the National Trust of Scotland that manages the castle and property and they always offer great tours in their properties. One was about to start when we arrived, so we joined in!
The first section of the castle was actually an addition to the main house and now houses the armoury. It houses the biggest sword and pistol collection in the world. These kind of estates used to have their own little armies basically so they were well stocked.
From there, we passed through the various lounges, writing rooms and dining rooms of the castle. They were all very grand and lavish. What I especially loved was that in the ladies’ waiting room the guide played music from the original music box dating back from two centuries ago.
We also headed to the top floor to admire the view – like many other fortresses the castle overlooks the sea. In the gorgeous round room, there were portraits of all the ladies of the castles through the ages. It was awful, one of them died at age 37 mostly because of poisoning. She thought she would look beautiful and young if she applied layers of mercury, arsenic, lead, and wax on her skin to appear whiter. The only lady that survived them all until age 90, didn’t do this weird make up application and instead bathed in sow milk. I don’t even know what to think of all this!
We just learned so much and it was a really great tour!
It was a really fun castle to visit! Like most stately homes, it is a bit overpriced for what it is, but it’s fun nonetheless if you enjoy visiting grand castles and learning about Scottish history.
Do you enjoy visiting stately homes?xx