Posts Tagged ‘Culzean Castle’

Today, Balkissock Lodge B&B was awarded a Certification Mark from the Galloway and Southern Ayrshire UNESCO Biosphere “in recognition of high quality standards in delivering environmental and sustainable development benefits to the Galloway and Southern Ayrshire UNESCO Biosphere


The award ceremony was held at Culzean Castle and speakers included Dr Beth Taylor (Chair, UK National Commission for UNESCO), John Thomson and Ed Forrest both of the GSA Biosphere and the awards were presented by Scottish Government Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop who fondly remembers childhood holidays in Ballantrae and splashing about in the river Stinchar.


Two other micro businesses were also awarded a certification mark today: Adventure Centre for Education (ACE) based in Girvan and Salad Brew based in Borgue in Dumfries and Galloway.


After speaking to Dr Taylor, I understand that this accolade makes Balkissock Lodge not only the only B&B with a biosphere certification mark in Scotland but possibly in the whole world!

Cordelia Galley 2018 (c)

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












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


Balkissock Lodge B&B 2017 (c)

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See the food and views for yourself

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… as chosen by guests at Balkissock Lodge ūüėČ

The beauty of owning a B&B is that you get to meet lots of lovely people from all walks of life. ¬†I’ve been chatting to them this summer finding out where they’ve been enjoying their days and keeping a note of the most popular ¬†and enjoyable places…so in no particular order:

Culzean Castle and Country Park¬† “Culzean Castle today is a result of many years of careful restoration by the National Trust for Scotland, that has united the different stages of Culzean’s aesthetic history. It reflects the different stages of Culzean’s past, from Robert Adam’s additions to the medieval tower house, to its heyday as one of the grandest houses in Scotland.”

Dumfries House and Gardens ¬†“Dumfries House is one of Britain‚Äôs most beautiful stately homes and best kept heritage secrets. ¬†With its sumptuous interiors and magnificent furnishings, all set in two thousand acres of land, there is something to delight and enchant visitors of all ages.”

Logan Botanic Garden¬†“At the south-western tip of Scotland lies Logan, the country‚Äôs most exotic garden. Warmed by the Gulf Stream, southern hemisphere plants flourish in this plantsman‚Äôs paradise.”

Robert Burns Birthplace ¬†Museum¬†“Robert Burns Birthplace Museum offers a truly unique encounter with Scotland’s favourite son. ¬†The museum comprises the famous Burns Cottage where the poet was born, the historic landmarks where he set his greatest work, the elegant monument and gardens created in his honour and a modern museum housing the world‚Äôs most important collection of his life and works.”

Trip on the Waverley Paddle Steamer¬†“Built on the Clyde in 1947 – to replace the original Waverley that sunk off Dunkirk in 1940, the Waverley was originally built to sail only between Craigendorran & Arrochar in West Scotland. It is amazing to think that she now sails right round Britain.” ¬†Info and pictures from my blog

Glen Trool, Galloway Forest¬†“Glentrool Visitor Centre¬†is the gateway to the Galloway hills, where you can pick up maps and information on the hill ranges.¬†The Merrick, South Scotland’s highest mountain at nearly 2,800ft can be climbed from Bruce’s Stone.”

Mull of Galloway¬†“The Mull of Galloway is Scotland’s most southerly point and is one of its least known areas, remaining an unspoiled paradise for visitors seeking peace and tranquility.¬†

Day trips to Northern Ireland

Bladnoch Distillery “Scotland‚Äôs most southerly distillery nestles on the green banks of the River Bladnoch, from which it takes its name. Located in this beautifully remote area of Galloway, the distillery has been producing the ‚ÄúSpirit of the Lowlands‚ÄĚ since 1817.”

Heads of Ayr Farm Park¬†“At Heads of Ayr Farm Park – whatever the weather – you’ll find plenty to see and do, with activities for all ages. We’ve almost 50 different types of animal, each with its own particular charm. Meet them, touch them, feed them! And You could play all day at our farm park.”¬†Info and pictures from my blog

There’s loads more to do and see in the area … take a look at the South West Scotland tab on my blog for ideas.

My next task is to make sure that I go and enjoy all the ones I’ve not yet been to!!

Copyright © 2011 by Cordelia

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Balkissock Lodge

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Text in italics are quotes from the websites cited.

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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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