Culzean Castle Country Park (Best Day Trip from Glasgow)
When you arrive in Scotland you will accumulate a lot of brochures about what to do in the country and there is certainly a lot of choice. If you have a spare day and would like to experience somewhere both rich in history and culture join a tour or go on a road trip to see the Culzean Castle and Country Park - this is a great destination to visit and can be done on a day trip from Glasgow.
You might notice Maybole, a little town in the South of Glasgow, has a castle and a park to visit nearby. This is The Culzean Castle Country Park is part of the National Trust for Scotland. This really is one of the best places to visit in Scotland which is often overlooked in favour of more well known destinations.
How you will wish you had been born a Kennedy! Not an Americano-Irish Kennedy, but a Scottish Kennedy, a heir of one of Scotland's wealthiest clans. And to be a bit more precise, you will wish you had been born a Kennedy two centuries ago, when this particular Scot family was still owning most of the country's South-West coast line and used the wonderful Culzean Castle and its surrounding park as a holiday getaway.
You might have read about Culzean Castle in a brochure or on the internet but you will not be able to imagine the real scale of the building (on the edge of cliff facing the Northern sea) and the superb domain around. The castle in its present form was built during the second half of the eighteenth century by star Scottish architect Robert Adam for David Kennedy, the tenth Earl of Cassilia and then chief of Clan Kennedy.
The whole enormous thing was no more than a bachelor pad for the Earl and his country house. It tells a lot of the wealth of the Kennedys, especially as the park surrounding the castle is just as impressive with follies here and there (among which the beautiful Camellia House and a pagoda which used to house such exotic animals as monkeys), a huge glasshouse (where wine is still produced today) and an artificial swan pond.
The Country Park is also the home of a herd of red deers and sometimes if you are lucky you will see a full dressed-up pipe band playing in the afternoon. This will be great if you are looking to get classic photos of Scotland and as you can imagine your digital cameras will be busy (despite the fact that photos are not allowed inside the castle).
How to Get There & Tips
If you plan on visiting independently you could rent a car and departing from Glasgow. The drive between Glasgow and the park, along the coast, is very scenic and you might want to stop off on the way for photos. Some companies also. offer organised day trips and tours departing from other destinations in Scotland including Glasgow.
During summer be sure to pack sunscreen too, the Scottish sky is suprisingly very treacherous during this time of the year. You might also want to take your own food and drink and have a picnic in the great outdoors.
- Adult £16.50
- Family £41.00
- One adult family £32.25
- Concession £12.25
You could also consider getting a membership with the National Trust with prices strating from #4.75 per month. Benefits include free /discounted entry to thousands of locations throughout the UK - perfect if you will be visiting the UK for a long period and would like to see as much as possible.
Try not to be discouraged by the high entrance fee and to go there early during the day in order to do the most of the visit. Also if possible, join a guided tour of the castle.
If you are thinking about possibly excursions to do in Scotland which are well connected from cities like Glasgow then The Culzean Country Park is well worth a trip. You won't regret visiting!