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Posts Tagged ‘Ailsa Craig’

I’ve just discovered that I can randomise the photos at the top of my blog!!

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What do you think of the selection and would you like to suggest any changes?

Cordelia

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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Many thanks to The Grumbling Gecko for allowing me to re-post this here. Wonderful photos and write up about Ailsa Craig.

Ailsa Craig looks wonderful at all times of the year … come and see for yourself.

Nature+

Ailsa Craig and its magnificent gannetry Ailsa Craig and its magnificent gannetry

Ailsa Craig is famous, among other things, for the awesome gannetry that perches on its precipitous face. The isle is what remains of a volcanic plug that rises 388 metres from the Firth of Clyde about eleven miles off Girvan in Ayrshire.  Depending on the angle from which you view it, the Craig can look like a stuffed dumpling or an embryonic pyramid.

We circumnavigated the island in a tiny fishing boat to experience the frenetic spectacle of seventy thousand nesting gannets.  To put that into context, the world gannet population is estimated to contain 800,000 birds, and a tenth of these nest on Ailsa Craig – an island barely 0.38 square miles! Only St Kilda and Bass Rock hold larger colonies and when you put all three of these Scottish islands together they are home to half of Britain’s 500,000 gannets.

The closer…

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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.

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

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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:

The Waverley sailing into Girvan harbour with the Isle of Arran in the background

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.

View of Ailsa Craig from the South Ayrshire shore at Lendalfoot

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:

Flag fluttering in the breeze

Name plate

Funnels & Passengers

Lifeboat

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

View of Girvan from on-board the Waverley

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 lighthouse on Ailsa Craig

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.  Here you can see a makeshift rail track for moving the stone from the quarry area to the jetty.

Evidence of mining for curling stones

Another photo of the lighthouse

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:

Birds nesting on the south west of the isle

More nesting birds

We weren’t the only ones out on the waters:

A small fishing boat

Volcanic columns on the south side of the isle

Scottish heather on the south east of the isle

The lighthouse viewed from the south

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!!):

Engine room information

A close up of part of the drive mechanism

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:

Storm clouds over Ayrshire

Turnberry Golf Course, Hotel and Lighthouse

Culzean Castle

Isle of Arran

I think this is a WW2 Pillbox

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.

Sea King Search & Rescue helicopter from HMS Gannet

Danure Castle and village

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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