Across the Border for Real (not a reel you understand)

After our quick foray into Scotland yesterday we retreated back to England. Now we are crossing the border intending to stay. It seems very strange being away knowing half my family are at home staying in my house but I will see the other half very soon. There is something strange up with the sat nav. Set it up for our destination town and road and it is twenty miles nearer than if I set it for the campsite itself. Fortunately I discover where I have gone wrong in plenty of time. I am sure I can’t be the first person to confuse Culzean Road, Maybole with Maybole Road, Culzean. We travel along the M6 and M74 before turning off on to the A70. Here the landscape is barren and desolate with evidence of open cast coal mining. The villages seem run down and depressed. Annoyingly the road we need is closed but we manage to negotiate the diversion and only one U turn is required before we arrive at Culzean. It seems we have not booked this site. We so have booked. My itinerary says we have so it must be so. They insist we haven’t. Fortunately cancellations mean there is room for us. This site has a swimming pool but it is £9 a day for a family. This is good value if you have a family with you but it seems rather a lot just for me so I invest in 24 hours’ internet connection instead and begin to catch up.022 26 July 2014 Walled Garden Culzean Castle 1

In the afternoon we visit Culzean Castle and Country Park. Apparantly Culzean is pronounced Culeen and this is the largest estate in Ayrshire. Our English National Trust cards mean we do not even have to part with money to see this Adam designed stately home on the Firth of Clyde, once home to the Kennedy family. There is a list inside of some of the many servants who have worked at the castle at various dates. Many of these are clearly taken from the census returns but one, from the 1740s, is Scipio Kennedy who, with that first name and sharing has he does the family name, must surely have been a slave.

Today is decidedly cooler and by mid afternoon it has begin to rain but undaunted we look at the walled garden. This is huge and more a garden with a wall than a walled garden in the traditional sense, although the head gardener insists that the walls do have warming properties. Talking of warming properties, it seems every shop on the premises has its heating on full blast. I know it is not as hot as earlier in the week but this does seem unnecessary. We look at the deer in the deer park then investigate swan lake. This is not a balletic performance but a lake with swans and terns on. By this time the rain has set in and we are getting as wet by the lake as we would in it so we head back to the van.



2 comments on “Across the Border for Real (not a reel you understand)

  1. Brenda Turner says:

    I visited Culzean Castle last September. You are correct about evidence of open cast coal mining. And it is very bleak. There was underground coal mining too. One branch of my family came from Old Cumnock, and close by from the little village of Muirkirk. I had not realized that the coal mining industry had been in existence in that part of Ayrshire as early as the late 1780s, so what looked like a bucolic landscape of grazing sheep had become, by about 1800, a dirty smelly ash fumed industrial environment. I visited with some distant cousins in Muirkirk who told me their memories of streets of houses in the village being knocked down by the 1950s, as the population had dropped so radically from the late 1800s as the coal mining industry faded, that streets of houses formerly with families had simply been abandoned, and become safety worries. Cheers,

  2. Caro-Claire Wiles says:

    You sure are having an interesting adventure time on your journey !

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