WestKilbride.co.uk » Featured http://www.westkilbride.co.uk Just another WordPress weblog Mon, 02 Nov 2009 09:42:31 +0000 http://wordpress.org/?v=2.8.5 en hourly 1 The Museum of Ayrshire County Life & Costume http://www.westkilbride.co.uk/52/museum-of-ayrshire-country-life-and-costume/ http://www.westkilbride.co.uk/52/museum-of-ayrshire-country-life-and-costume/#comments Thu, 09 Jul 2009 20:28:42 +0000 admin http://www.westkilbride.co.uk/?p=52 Just down the coast, about 15 km from West Kilbride is a town called Kilwinning. Every town has a story, much like everyone has a tale to tell, and so does the former village of Dalgarven. Gathering up their history and what makes them individual and unique provides a way for them to show who they are to others who would take time out of their day to learn something new. This is exactly what the Country Life and Costume Museum of Ayrshire does by showing us many examples of that unique existence.

A flour mill exists on site, hearkening all the way back to when Kilwinning Monks originally maintained one back in the 14h century. Milling has been a staple of the area’s economy in ages past. Though the wheel turns rarely now, the original methods and means with which the monks milled can still be seen. The structure currently in place was built in the 1600s and rebuilt because of a fire that ran through it in the late 1800s.

River Garnock flows through the area, providing those with a more natural eye and taste a sight to behold. You can stroll through the area which is rich with many species of wildflowers and a large meadow teeming with flowering species during the spring season. If you’re a bird watcher, or someone you’re with is, take them on this walk as well. Heron, swallows, and many other species of birds and wildlife call the area home. Definitely a nature lover’s destination of choice.

If all the walking and outdoor activity has worn you out, you can finish off your day by visiting the museum and stopping at its shops. Grab some tea and relax while reading or people watching or stop in at the farmhouse kitchen for a light lunch. Food and drink are plentiful for those who visit and expend their energy at this great destination. While contemplating your next move, you could also visit one of onsite antique shops as well. At this museum, there’s a little something for everyone and all tastes. Unforgettable and definitely a destination highly recommended for those who are looking for something new and exciting.

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The Castles of West Kilbride Scotland http://www.westkilbride.co.uk/44/castles-of-west-kilbride-scotland/ http://www.westkilbride.co.uk/44/castles-of-west-kilbride-scotland/#comments Thu, 09 Jul 2009 17:03:09 +0000 admin http://www.westkilbride.co.uk/?p=44 The area in and around West Kilbride in Ayrshire Scotland is the home of four standing castles. As with many towns of Scotland, the castles are an integral part of the area’s rich history that goes back many centuries.

Built in the 15th centurury, Law castle was a gift to the Princess Mary, the oldest daughter of James the II, for her marriage to the Earl of Arran. Law Castle is comprised of five floors that are connected by a stone, spiral staircase and is available as one of Scotland’s most luxurious holiday rentals. It has been completely refurbished and is also available for wedding parties and ceremonies. The restored kitch is completely equipped for catering to the needs of wedding parties.

Portencross Castle is located near West Kilbride, is the fourth castle belonging to the Boyds. The sad history of this castle is that it was the departure point for the funeral boats carrying the kings of Scotland to their final resting place on the Isle of Iona. This castle is not open to the public but there is a public parking area nearby that is used for recreational purposes. Portencross Castle is typical of the area and era in which it was built. It has lots of history as several Stuart Kings stayed in the castle on their travels in and around the area. Unfortunately the castle is closed to the public because it is in a hazardous state of disrepair.

Crosbie Castle otherwise known as Crosbie Towers is just on the outskirts of West Kilbride. The home of Sir Ranauld Craufurd during the 13th century and was rebuilt in the 17th century after a tower was demolished. It is not inhabited today and was semi-demolished in 2007 after storm damage to the external walls of the castle. It is situated in the center of a caravan park also known as Crosbie Towers.

The last castle in the area of West Kilbride is Hunterston Castle. It was originally built in the 13th century by Hunter, Laird of Hunterston. It was strategically built at the mouth of Clyde, which is the main access by sea to Glasgow. Today, this castle still hosts clan gatherings and members of the clan from all over the world attend. The current Chieftain of Clan Hunter, is Pauline Hunter. The walled gardens of this magnificent castle are currently being restored and replanted.

There is much history in the grounds of these castles and whether you go for the history or for just to see a castle first hand, this would be a trip well worth the time and money.

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West Kilbride’s History http://www.westkilbride.co.uk/34/west-kilbrides-history/ http://www.westkilbride.co.uk/34/west-kilbrides-history/#comments Thu, 09 Jul 2009 15:07:07 +0000 admin http://www.westkilbride.co.uk/?p=34 Where is West Kilbride? It is a village in the North Aryshire, Scotland. Located on the west coast by the Firth of Clyde and looks across the waters to the Isle of Arran and Goat Fell. The districts of Seamill and Portencross, combined with West Kilbride, are considered together to make up a small town with a population less than 5000 around 2001.

It is believed, that West Kilbride is named after the Celtic Saint Brigid of Kildare who, according to local history, established her church sometime around 500AD. The West was added in front of Kilbride to differentiate it from other communities that commemorate St. Bride in the area.

West Kilbride and the surrounding area hold a lot of history. There four castles in the area that are still standing. Law Castle which can be rented for a holiday, as well as Portencross Castle, Hunterston Castle and Crosbie Castle (also known as Crosbie Towers). A park in the West Kilbride area bears the name of Crosby, the maiden name of William Wallace’s mother. One of the oldest houses in West Kilbride is Kirktonhall House. This house, dating back to the 1660’s, was rebuilt partially and extended between 1791 and 1868. Currently it is used as office for the North Aryshire Council.

Although mostly a rural area, farming only makes up about 1.4% of the local employment. In addition to the famous Ayrshire potatoes, crops such as sweetcorn, root vegetables and berries are grown. Livestock, primarily cattle and sheep, are also farmed here. Other areas of employment are real estate, rentals, manufacturing, health and social services and education make up the majority of the employment. It is home to Airtricity which is a wind turbine field located just above West Kilbride and Seamill.

West Kilbride is becoming known as “Craft Town Scotland”. There are several craft studios where you can actually see the raw material converted to the final product and you may buy straight from the studio. You can also go online and shop the studios. This was an initiative to contribute to the growth of the area culturally and through retail.

Other features of this small town are the West Kilbride Primary School and beautiful West Kilbride Institute and Public Hall. The school opened in 1983 and the Institute opened in 1900. West Kilbride has the distinction of being the first Scottish town to host a Scarecrow Festival. A championship 18-hole golf course, the West Kilbride Golf Club, is located in Seamill with the breathtaking backdrop of the Scottish coast.

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