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Posts Tagged ‘wildlife’

Guests often ask what there is to do in our local tiny village …

Ardstinchar Castle and War Memorial:

The castle is a ruin and is crumbling so please don’t be tempted to go for a closer look. It greets you on the hill as you approach Ballantrae from the south on the A77.  Turn right just after the bridge and park to get a better view.F

Ardstinchar Castle

The war memorial lies on a steep slope that is not accessible if you use a  wheelchair or have a pushchair.

Old Stinchar Bridge:

The castle dates from 1450 and the stone from the ruined castle was used to build the old bridge which is no longer safe to us but makes for great photo opportunities.

Old Stinchar Bridge

River Stinchar Path:

River Stinchar

The path follows the edge of the river for a few miles although I’ve personally only walked the first mile. There are places to sit and have a picnic although there are no seats. Please be careful … when I took these photos today the river level was very low and it will rise significantly after a storm/heavy rain.

The river contains salmon and trout and we’ve had quite a few fishermen staying with us over the past few years. You’ll need to buy a permit to fish so please do ask when you book and I’ll give you details of who to speak to about that.

We weren’t the only ones enjoying the river path today. We met the staff and the pupils of the local Nursery class who were exploring the fauna and flora around the river

The bluebells were out in full bloom too.

Ballantrae Beach:

Despite the sun, we had the whole beach to ourselves today!

It’s a strange beach … some days we have sand … others we have pebbles … and other days we have a mile of kelp!!

kelp on the beach

Ayrshire Coastal Path:

The Ayrshire Coastal Path starts at Genapp Kirk about 10 miles south of Ballantrae. The route take brings you to the south end of the village and over the Stinchar via the A77 then turns left towards the shore.

Ballantrae Harbour

Follow the shore towards the harbour and then out of the village to the north.

You can buy copies of the Ayrshire Coadtal Path guidebook at the garden centre and I have copies for guests to use if they’re staying over.

Ayrshire Coastal Path Official Guide

Garden Centre and Cafe:

The garden centre itself is very easy to find. It’s on the A77 at the north end of the village. We eat there regularly and Maisy always has a peanut ball which she thoroughly recommends to everyone! It has a small children’s play area and some days in the summer they have a narrow gauge railway and train which chugs around the field. There is access to the Ayrshire Coastal Path direct from this field near where the Ballantrae Festival of Food and Drink is held in June.

Ballantrae Food Festival

Although dogs cannot go into the cafe itself, they are dog friendly and there are bowls of water for the dogs.

You can order tea/coffee, light snacks, soup or full meals and it’s all very reasonably priced. There is also a freezer in the garden centre where you can get a range of ice cream lollies.

Old Cemetery and Kennedy Memorial:

Clan Kennedy are associated with Carrick and most especially with Culzean Castle which is about 30 miles north of Ballantrae. A walk around the old cemetery on a beautiful sunny day like today was an absolute pleasure and it was lovely to see how well-kept the area is.


There is another graveyard to the south of Ballantrae and others at Colmonell and Glenapp for anyone tracing ancestors.


I even spotted the graves of former Balkissock residents. Major Onslow’s name also appears on the War Memorial.

Ballantrae Public Gardens:

They’re probably the smallest public gardens anywhere in Scotland but they’re very well kept!

On a practical note, Ballantrae also has a garage where you can get fuel 24 hours a day (via a card machine), a small Scotmid supermarket that the lorry drivers use so it has, hot pies, cakes and a coffee machine and also a cash machine if you need it. For residents, it also boasts a bowling green and tennis courts … not bad for a small village!!

We also have a wonderful thrift shop BRICC. The charity itself looks after elderly and infirm in the community and is a fabulous treasure trove of the unusual.

I bought my piano there!

BRICC hosue

So why not visit Ballantrae rather than just drive through it!!

Cordelia @ Balkissock Lodge B&B

2017 All rights reserved.

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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)

All rights reserved

See the food and views for yourself

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We had a wonderful treat this afternoon … first Daddy, then Mummy … then baby woodpecker.

Come and see our lovely garden birds for yourself

Cordelia

(c) All rights reserved

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Ayrshire often feels like the forgotten corner of Scotland but it has a huge amount of wildlife and scenery to offer guests and Balkissock Lodge B&B is a proud supporter of the Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere Reserve.

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If you want to find out more, why not visit their website.

Copyright © 2016 by Cordelia

All rights reserved

Balkissock Lodge

Visit the Galloway and Ayrshire Biosphere

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My little girl is a year old now so I though that I’d share a few pics of her…


  
  

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Maisy is available for cuddles by request!!

Cordelia @ Balkissock Lodge 2015 (c)

Maisy is available for free cuddles with every booking

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Environmental Policy

We are lucky enough to live in a truly beautiful area, next to Britain’s first Dark Sky Park and in the Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere.

 

This policy was written to balance two crucial aspects of running a B&B:

  • Providing a high standard and quality of service.
  • Lessening the business’s impact upon the environment.

 

Laundry

Sheets and pillow cases:

 

The sheets and pillowcases are washed after every visitor has left or in the event of a long stay, every five days.

Any stains are pre-treated.

The sheets and pillowcases are washed at 40C.

The sheets and pillowcases are air dried when possible (a) but are placed in the dryer in inclement weather.

The sheets and pillowcases are all ironed (b).

Quilt covers:

The quilt covers are washed after every visit.

Any stains are pre-treated.

The quilt covers are washed at 40C.

The quilt covers are air dried when possible (a) but are placed in the dryer in inclement weather.

The quilt covers are ironed (b).

Pillow and mattress protectors:

 

Pillow and mattress protectors are washed regularly but not necessarily after every visit.

Any stains are pre-treated.

Pillow and mattress protectors are washed at 40C.

Pillow and mattress protectors are air dried when possible (a) but are placed in the dryer in inclement weather.

The pillow and mattress protectors are not ironed unless badly creased (b).

 

Table covers (in bedrooms) and cushion covers:

 

Table and cushion covers are washed when necessary.

Any stains are pre-treated.

Table and cushion covers are washed at 40C.

Table and cushion covers are air dried when possible (a) but are placed in the dryer in inclement weather.

Table and cushion covers are ironed (b).

 

Towels:

 

The towels are washed after every visit.

If visitors are staying longer than one night, any dirty or wet towels, or those placed on the floor or on the floor of the shower are removed and replaced with clean towels.

Any stains are pre-treated.

The towels are washed at 40C.

The towels are air dried when possible (a) and placed into the dryer to fluff.

The towels are dried in the dryer in inclement weather.

The towels are not ironed.

 

Table cloths and napkins:

 

The tablecloths and napkins are washed after every use.

Any stains are pre-treated.

The tablecloths and napkins are washed at 60C.

The tablecloths and napkins are dried in the dryer (c).

The table cloths and napkins are ironed (b)

 

Tea towels, kitchen cloths and aprons:

 

The tea towels, kitchen cloths and aprons are washed after every use.

The tea towels, kitchen cloths and aprons are washed at 60C.

The tea towels, kitchen cloths and aprons are dried in the dryer (c).

The tea towels, kitchen cloths and aprons are not ironed (b).

Kitchen cleaning

 

The kitchen is cleaned to a schedule that meets Food Safety Assurance Systems.

The benches are sprayed with Dettol spray before and after breakfast is prepared.

Paper towels are used for drying where necessary.

Washable cloths are used where possible.

Carex hand wash is used.

Rubbish and re-cycling

 

Bins in the bedroom are emptied daily. Any items found in there that can be re-cycled such as newspapers and plastic bottles are placed into the household re-cycling bin.

 

Kitchen waste:

 

Raw food waste such as strawberry stalks, pomegranate skins and similar items are placed onto the garden compost heap.

Eggshells are placed onto the garden compost heap.

Excess cooking fat is drained into a container and used to light the coal fire.

Breadcrumbs, left over toast and bacon rind are fed to the garden birds.

Waste food that cannot be composted nor fed to the birds are put into the kitchen bin.

All cereal boxes and other similar paper/card items are placed into the household re-cycling bin.

All juice bottles, milk cartons and all similar items are washed and placed into the household re-cycling bin.

All empty tins, from baked beans, prunes etc. are washed and placed into the household re-cycling bin.

Any items that cannot be recycled in any other way such as greaseproof paper used to wrap sausages are used to light the fire rather than go to landfill.

Central heating:

 

The central heating works from an oil fired boiler and is normally on ‘timed’ to ensure that the rooms are warm in the evening and morning.

The central heating is not normally switched on during the day to avoid excess Kerosene usage (d).

The central heating system is set to a medium temperature to optimise Kerosene usage.

I will always check if guests are warm enough and the heating will be turned up to a higher temperature.

Hot water:

 

Please note that the water is heated in a tank (i.e. it is NOT a ‘combi’ system with instant hot water).

The water is heated morning and afternoon to ensure that there is sufficient for all guests.

The water heater is not normally switched on during the day to avoid excess Kerosene usage (d).

I always check if the water is hot enough and the system will be turned up in the event of water being too cold.

Lighting:

 

The bulbs in the overhead lights and bedside lamps are low energy types.

The bulbs in the corridor are standard types due to the dimmer switch.

Shopping:

 

Shopping trips are kept to a minimum as it is a round trip of approximately 50 miles to Stranraer or 80 miles to Ayr to do the shopping which increases the carbon footprint of the business.

Items that can be stored easily such as toilet rolls and tinned beans are normally bought in bulk whether at the supermarket or the cash and carry.

Items with a short shelf life such as milk can be bought locally in Ballantrae.

To reduce mileage, some items, such as smoked salmon, are frozen.

Bread is made on-site and is fresh each day.

I try to source as much of the produce locally to reduce its carbon footprint.

Water supply:

 

All of the water entering Balkissock Lodge comes from a spring located on Balkissock Hill next to the property. The water is potable and has passed all chemical and bacterial tests. To meet necessary stringent water quality tests the water is treated as follows:

The water passes through an ultra violet light to kill bacteria.

This ultra violet light operates 24 hours a day, 365 days per year.

The ultra violet lamp is replaced every year to ensure that it is working at an optimum level.

The water passes through a string filter to remove all dirt particles.

The string filter is changed every month

The water supply is treated with Milton every two months.

Sewerage, surface water and drainage

 

Septic tank:

 

Balkissock Lodge is serviced by a septic tank that requires a fine balance of waste and microbes to keep it functioning correctly.

All toilets and bathroom waste water at the lodge empty into the septic tank.

Environmentally friendly cleaning products are used to clean the toilets.

Flushing unsuitable items into the tank such as condoms, tampons, baby wipes, etc. result in blockages which are not only costly to rectify but an overflowing septic tank is not only unhygienic and odorous but can damage plants and wildlife (e).

 

Soak away:

 

Surface water from the gutters flows into a soak away in the nearby burn.

Waste water or harmful chemicals are not put down the sink nor into the septic tank but are taken to be treated at a local centre.

 

 

NOTES:

 

(a) In the event of a bird related incident, the item is re-washed.

(b) Items are not re-washed if they get water marks on them from the ironing process.

(c) Items are not placed outside for hygiene reasons.

(d) Guests are normally out of the property during the daytime.

(e) Guests are requested not to flush away such items.

 

What can I do to be an environmentally friendly guest?

 

 

 

Laundry:

Excuse occasional peg marks and water marks on the bed linen and towels.

If staying for a visit of more than one night, place towels that you’re happy to re-use on the towel rail and dirty/wet ones onto the floor of the shower for changing.

If you require fluffier towels please do ask … there are likely to be some in the laundry cupboard.

 

Rubbish:

Place all rubbish for re-cycling into the waste bin in your bedroom. I’m happy to sort it out into the correct recycling boxes for collection.

Bag and dispose of other rubbish, such as tampons and condoms, and place into the covered pedal bin in the bathroom.

 

Central Heating and hot water:

If you are cold PLEASE do let me know and I’ll turn up the heating.

If you’re too warm, feel free to turn down the radiator and/or open the windows.

Please close your window before you leave for the day and through the night both to avoid excessive heat loss and for security of yourself and your items.

Please do not leave the shower or taps running if you are not using them.

Please do not leave the entrance door open when you’re not using them.

 

Cold water supply:

Please do not leave the taps running if you are not using them.

 

Toilet and Septic Tank:

Please do not flush anything down the toilet other than toilet roll.

Place items in the bags provided and dispose of them in the covered pedal bin in the bathroom.

 

 

If you have questions regarding the Environmental Policy please do ask. If there are items that you think have been omitted, please do let me know. This is a live document that grows with age!

 

 

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Cordelia Galley

Balkissock Lodge B&B

April 2015

Check availability and book direct with the owner here

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We woke up to a scene reminiscent of a Christmas card this morning….

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We rarely get snow but can guarantee you’ll enjoy the view at any time of year!

Cordelia (c) 2015

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