WestKilbride.co.uk » Places To Visit 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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The Towns of West Kilbride http://www.westkilbride.co.uk/49/the-towns-of-west-kilbride/ http://www.westkilbride.co.uk/49/the-towns-of-west-kilbride/#comments Thu, 09 Jul 2009 06:09:42 +0000 admin http://www.westkilbride.co.uk/?p=49 West Kilbride is itself a village in the North Ayrshire region, but like many rural towns and those who have crawled through the fields to merge into an indeterminable mass, it has joined with two others as well. Kilbride, Seamill, and Portencross are generally considered to be one single community, even though they all have boundaries of their own. Together, as of 2001, they had a combined total population of around 4,000.

West Kilbride was thought to have been a spot visited by an early Celtic saint, Brigid, to establish the early foundations of her church. The name itself suggests there was a cell or a group of her worshippers in the area at one point. Also in the area, you can find remnants of Old roman influence in the form of a fort that resides where the village of Gateside exists. Several of the old roads still exist and many Roman finds from the area are recovered ansd given to museums across Scotland. William Wallace’s uncle Crauford held a home in the area just the north of the village at one point.

Seamill is often listed merely as part of Kilbride, however it is indeed a village of its own. A big grain watermill, one of the oldest buildings in the area lends its name to the village. Recreation seekers will find the excellent West Kilbride Golf Club here as well as the Seamill Hydro; a hotel with all the amenities one could want.

The old harbour of Portencross is a very small, naturally occurring tidal inlet which is actually part of the Portencross Castle property, for which the area is noted for. Fishing is of course a mainstay in the area, and a North harbour was built some distance away from the castle itself to facilitate access. The Portencross Harbour Trust maintains the harbour and owns the property. The one pier in the area was built in the prime age of steamers and ship travel and trade, but compared to many other lands of the time, it was used far less than normally was done.

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West Kilbride the Craft Town http://www.westkilbride.co.uk/46/west-kilbride-is-craft-town-scotland/ http://www.westkilbride.co.uk/46/west-kilbride-is-craft-town-scotland/#comments Wed, 08 Jul 2009 17:49:34 +0000 admin http://www.westkilbride.co.uk/?p=46 Just off the coast of the Isle of Arran, you will find a town hidden away where crafts are designed and made right in the workshop and displayed in a studio. This is a first hand opportunity to see fine quality craftsmanship by a single maker, ranging from established to just starting out.

Presently there are eight craft studios dedicated to producing high quality work. Raw materials are gathered, designed and transformed on the very premises of the studios. Most studios are opened Thursday through Saturday, but they are sometimes open at additional times. Although work is available to be purchased at the studios, the craftsman may not be in attendance as they have clients and can be called away at short notice.

The first two studios were purchased by the Moffat family in 2002 and stood behind the original concept ever though there were setbacks with the original plans. Crafts range from basket work to textiles to ceramics to jewelry and metalwork. Local volunteers man the initiative centre and the crafts area and are readily available to answer any questions that you might have.

While Craft Town is truly awe inspiring, there are other things to see in the town centre. If you like architecture, not far from the railway station there are some cottages that have been restored and a museum as well. The Glen is a wonderful place to stroll along all the green paths and observe the wooden sculptures, especially the large wooden dragon.

Another fact that makes this an incredible place is that all profits are reinvested within the town to continue to develop the cultural and retail of the area. So whether you are out shopping for fine, high quality crafts and gifts or just want to see what the talk is all about, Craft Town Scotland is a great place to visit. If you are looking to purchase from the crafters, it is advisable that you call ahead before traveling to make sure the studio is open for business.

Remember there are other things to do in the area as well once you have acquired your giftware from the studios.

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