Yours to explore
East of Glenapp Castle lies the massive Galloway Forest Park which is the largest forest park in the UK. There are miles of marked hiking trails, with endless acres of hillwalking and cycling, all with an abundance of wildlife including wild goats, otters, and even eagles and ospreys.
Northwards, towards the cities of Ayr and Glasgow you will find many of the haunts of Scotland’s National Poet, Robert Burns who is famous the world over for his poetry and songs such as ‘Auld lang Syne’ sung at the end of every New Year celebration across the globe. Burns was born in a thatched cottage in Alloway, just south of Ayr and many of the local places and people he knew here feature in his works.
Some selected places to visit near Ayrshire
There is a rich palette of places to visit, below are some we have selected for you
South of Glenapp Castle
South of Glenapp are the Rhins and the Machars of Galloway: two wild and remote peninsulas dotted with remote sandy beaches, small villages, and beautiful gardens. From the Mull of Galloway on the Rhins, the most southerly point in Scotland, you can gaze across the sea to Ireland, The Isle of Man, and the Lake District.
From there you can enjoy a visit to Logan Botanical Gardens or Logan Fish Pond then meander round to the pretty fishing village of Portpatrick for a walk around the harbour, or a meal in one of the harbourside restaurants and pubs or afternoon tea with a view at Fernhill Hotel (24 advance notice required). You could even walk the first few miles of The Southern Upland Way, a marathon walk from the west to the east coast of Scotland.
On the Machars, you can find The Whithorn Dig and St Ninian’s Cave, both sites of the earliest Christian settlements in Scotland. Bladnoch Distillery, the most southerly malt whisky distillery in Scotland, has tours and samplings! Wigtown Book Town is host to a large collection of antiquarian book shops.
West of Glenapp Castle
West of Glenapp is the coast and the Irish Sea, with spectacular views across to the massive granite rock known as ‘Ailsa Craig’‘The Fairy Rock’. This 1100ft volcanic plug has many interesting stories to tell, and is now also a bird and wildlife sanctuary. In the summer months, boat trips to the island and sea fishing trips can be arranged.
Beyond Ailsa Craig can be seen the Island of Arran, known as ‘Scotland in Miniature’, the island has long been a holiday destination and day trips from Glenapp are possible sailing from Ardrossan on the Caledonian MacBrayne Ferries.
Further still across the Irish Sea, can be seen the Mull of Kintyre, the remote and rugged peninsula made famous in song by Sir Paul McCartney - a long drive from Glenapp, but a very short helicopter flight! From some of the higher windows of the castle and from many points on the coast, the coast of Northern Ireland is clearly visible, and a day trip from Stranraer or Cairnryan to Belfast on the ‘Stena Line’or P&O ferries is something many of our guests enjoy. The city of Belfast has great shopping, and restaurants and many sights to see, including Harland and Wolff, the shipyard where the RMS Titanic was created. Further north, the Giant’s Causeway and the Antrim Coast are well worth a visit.
North of Glenapp Castle
One of the most worthwhile trips would be one hour and ten minutes North of Glenapp Castle to Dumfries House (of 2016 TV fame). This incredible 17th century stately home was rescued by Prince Charles and his benefactors; a Scottish national treasure filled with incredibly valuable art and furniture. The whole estate is a hugely impressive endeavor with many hundreds of young people being provided with training courses and apprenticeships across a range of disciplines from art to hospitality to engineering and craftsmanship.