Posts Tagged ‘Ailsa Craig’

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Balkissock Lodge B&B 2017 (c)

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See the food and views for yourself

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I’ve had several guests this year who have been walking the Ayrshire Coastal Path and I’ve always offered pick-up and collection as Balkissock Lodge B&B is three miles from the route.

Following a discussion with our latest walkers I thought that I’d write this post with a few helpful tips for anyone following in their footsteps!

After a good night’s sleep and a hearty breakfast, I dropped the guests off at the start of the route at Glenapp Kirk with full flasks, bottled water, fresh fruit and my copy of The Ayrshire Coastal Path Official Guide Book.

The first part of the route to Ballantrae is relatively short in distance but challenging due to the terrain and there’s currently a diversion due to some engineering works.  There are no shops on this part of the walk so be prepared to carry lunch/refreshments with you.

I collected the guys later in the day and they stayed here for a second night before continuing their walk the following morning, leaving their car here at the Lodge.  I do a selection of platters or the pub in the village serve meals until about 8pm.

The father and son were having a wonderful time together and even made time to write a beautiful comment in the guest book:

Not knowing the area prior to their visit they pre-booked another B&B to the south of Girvan but found that this made day two of their journey too short and wished that they’d booked somewhere in Girvan which would have also given them a good choice of places to eat in the evening.  It’s worth remembering to pop into Scotmid in Ballantrae to stock up on any supplies as there are no shops between Ballantrae and Girvan.  The guests also called in at Craigiemains Garden Centre to buy their own copy of the Guide Book.

Being several miles south of Girvan made the following day quite a long trek as they’d booked a B&B in Dunure, a beautiful little fishing village on the coast overlooking Aisle Craig, Arran and the Mull of Kintyre.

Dunure, Ayrshire, Scotland

Again, please call in at the many shops in Girvan as the only shop between Girvan and Dunure on the Path is a small one at Maidens. They enjoyed their meal at the Dunure Inn.

This left a relatively short walk the following day to Ayr to catch a bus back to Ballantrae where I picked them up so that they could collect their car and after more coffee and biscuits headed off for a quick break in Edinburgh before returning home.

Cordelia @ Balkissock Lodge (c) 2015

We offer a drop-off and pick-up service for guests walking the Ayrshire Coastal Path … just let us know when you book so that it can be arranged.

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I had to share hubby’s photos with you. I think that they’re fab but then again I’m biased.

Taken first thing this morning on his way to his first job, this is Colmonell.


And this absolute stunning view was taken from a garden in Glenapp where he was working this afternoon.


Cordelia (c) 2015
Balkissock Lodge

Why not book yourself a winter break?

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Beloved and I took a day off from the day jobs and after a lovely lunch at Peggy’s Tea Rooms in Kirkoswald, a long walk on the beach at Maidens and a drive past Turnberry golf course we did something that we’ve promised ourselves we’d do since moving here three years ago…sail on the last ocean going paddle steamer in the world:

Waverley heading into Girvan harbour


The Waverley sails the Ayrshire shores from June to August calling in at a number of ports and cruises the lochs and isles.

We took one of the shortest cruises (due to our own time restraints) leaving Girvan harbour at 4pm and heading out to circumnavigate Ailsa Craig, the plug of an ancient volcano from which the granite to make curling stones comes from.

The steamer has been restored to it’s 1940’s glory and I wish I’d taken a few more pictures of the boat itself:

Name plate

Reversing out of the harbour gave us a great view of Girvan itself.

The weather was overcast so the photos are not brilliant and as you’ll see it stayed dry but visibility deteriorated during the journey which was disappointing but the journey itself was amazing.

We first of all got up close to the lighthouse on Ailsa Craig that we can see flashing away at night from home and sheer cliff to the north of the isle:

The sheer cliff to the north side of Ailsa Craig

Although I knew that the stone from the isle was mined I hadn’t realised that we’d see evidence of it.

There are an estimated 37,000 birds nesting on Ailsa Craig which is an RSPB reserve…that’s a lot of bird poop and a terrific noise as we passed.

We then headed off to explore the boat and found the engine room which was quite a sight to behold (handy tip: if you’re cold, then go down to the engine room!!).

Leaving Ailsa Craig behind we journeyed across the water heading up the South Ayrshire coast towards the town of Ayr taking in a number of sights on the way.

We were saddened to see that the search and rescue team from HMS Gannet had been called out to this accident.  Having searched the news in the evening, I couldn’t find any information but hope that the casualty is making a good recovery.

View towards Androssan and Largs taken from Ayr harbour

From Ayr harbour we were taken by coach back to Girvan to collect our cars…and as it was after 8pm by then and we were having a day off we went straight to the Chinese Takeaway for dinner :O)

Hope you’ve enjoyed my photo journey on the Waverley.

The Waverley operates on the Firth of Clyde coast in the summer months.

Copyright © 2011 by Cordelia

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