Visitors are enjoying the lovely spring weather, gardens, walking, cycling and golf in South West Scotland.Guests wrote in the visitors book: “Better than the reputation! Wonderful food, hospitality and company. An exquisite short break. Thank you so much”.
Culzean castle has been refurbished and delighted our guests with the fabulous cliff walks. They were railway enthusiasts and reported what a wonderful scenic trip it was on the train from Ayr to Stranraer, over some of the remotests part of Galloway.
As our guests cross the court yard after dinner, they are wonderous at the beauty of the dark sky. At Cosses we have a fabulous vista of stars, the grey band of the Milky Way, other galaxies and nebulae, which appear assmall fuzzy patches to the naked eye, shooting stars, the northern lights and, of course, true darkness.The best observing conditions are any clear night, two weeks either side of the new moon.
our guests visited the new Burns Museum, opened in January, a living tribute to Scotland’s much loved poet.Starting at the ‘Auld Clay Biggin’ (thatched cottage) where Robert Burns was born in 1759, before taking in some of the famous locations such as the Auld Kirk and Brig O’Doon. (Burns an’a’ that festival is in May).They loved their varied breakfasts from porridge and kippers or fresh fruit salad and shirred eggs to home grown orchard, stewed fruits followed by a full Scottish breakfast with kidneys. Dinner was great fun, meeting other guests. Scallops with Dalduff black pudding, Marrbury Auld smoked salmon with local langoustine, Dalduff fillet of beef, Gressingham Duckling breast with plum sauce, home grown spring greens. Desserts made with this season’s rhubarb – brandy snaps filled with Rhubarb Fool with rhubarb and ginger icecream and poached julinne of rhubarb.
Theres lots going on in Ayrshire and Dumfries and Galloway. This weekend is the Scottish Grand Nationalwww.ayr-racecourse.co.uk. For walkers – The Newton Stewart Walking Festival is from 6th – 9th May, whether you enjoy the challenge of a true hill walk or lower level themed walks. the woods are full of bluebells and other spring wild flowers. The Irvine Valley Walking festival www.east-ayrshire.gov.uk/ivrp is 13-15th May. dumfries and Galloway has the Arts Festival from 20th – 29th, the spring Fling from 28th – 30th. Castle Kennedy Gardens are looking fabulous with rhodedendrons and azalias to inspire the Art and Photography Competition for 2011. This year’s theme competition theme is “Shapes” inspired by the myriad shapes to be found in the gardens and which are formed by all the different trees, plants and flowers and by the curves and banks of the landscape itself. Entrants will be invited to draw, sketch, paint, photograph or create a piece of artwork based on this year’s theme. The competition will run from April through to end October and entry forms will be available from the Garden Shop.Visit the Gardens and complete the family Easter Egg Trail. Follow the trail, receive a chocolate easter egg prize and have the opportunity to enter a Prize Draw and win a ticket to Snow White, being performed at Castle Kennedy & Gardens on Wednesday 20th July 2011.Enjoy the full displays of rhododendrons, azaleas and magnolias for which the Gardens are well known. All the Hybrids, many bred at Castle Kennedy, will be coming into bloom, including Rhododendron “Cynthia” a memorable mass of pink. The azaleas are also starting to flower with the Azalea Avenue coming into its own. Bargany, Culzean, Glewhan, Logan and Dunsky are all at their best in May.
On 15th May, Cosses Country House is opening its garden as part of Scotland’s Garden Scheme. Come and join us.