Round Britain: Luss to Culzean

On a quiet dull morning in Luss, several mallard ducks appeared at the site just before we set off southbound on the old military road through the village to rejoin the A82. The road crossed the border into West Dunbartonshire before crossing the Erskine Bridge over the River Clyde. The A8 continues along the south bank of the Clyde past Langbank and then through Port Glasgow and to Greenock where we took the A770 to Gourock stopping for coffee and enjoying the views over the water.

Gourock was a port before Greenock was and has the Kempock Stone which I didn’t see but is surrounded by superstitions. It is said that sailors would march around it with baskets of sand chanting incantations for safe voyages. Continuing we passed the Cloch Lighthouse and Lunderston Bay before rejoining the A78. The road passes Inverkip, Wemyss Bay and parallels the railway line. We saw the ferry to Rothesay and entered North Ayrshire near Skelmorlie where the sun came out. Largs had a fair taking place on the shore. We passed Hunterston Nuclear Power Stations.  A closed in 1990 and B in 2022. The decommission processes are ongoing. After West Kilbride we passed Adrosssan, Saltcoats and Irvine. After Prestwick Airport the A719 coastal route ran through the town where people were coming out of the churches. We crossed the River Ayr before heading through the town where an Air show was taking place on the shore. Over the River Doon and past Dunure which has a ruined castle, we saw the Ailsa Craig for the first time on this trip. Shortly afterwards we arrived at the campsite at Culzean which has views over the sea to Arran although rather hazy at the moment.

The following morning, we walked from the site down to Culzean Castle and Country Park. Fallen leaves by the side of the road made it look rather autumnal.

The Home Farm is now the visitor centre with a café and gift shop.

In the nearby Gas House was a small collection of bath chairs and a small carriage.

Culzean Castle was originally called Coif or Cove Castle and belonged to the Kennedy family for several hundred years. The original building was defensive and military but in the 18th century it began to be converted into its current state involving the architect Robert Adam. It has belonged to the National Trust for Scotland since 1945. After walking through the woods, we entered through the ‘ruined arch’.

You can join a guided tour around the interior or as we did, just wander around by yourselves. There are information sheets in several languages in each room.

Afterwards we visited the secondhand bookshop and then the deer park. It has been at Culzean since the 1750s and now has red and fallow deer and llamas.

There are lots of other things to see in the park but we decided to return to the site for lunch and relaxation.