Extract from Scotland on Sunday – 12th April 2020
Scotland’s castles are magical
The feeling of motoring along the winding driveway for a stay in the grounds of one takes it to another level. Grand entrances, beautiful scenery and a right regal escape are all on the menu in one of the newly renovated cottages in the grounds of 16th-century Cloncaird Castle near Kirkmichael in Ayrshire.
Less visited than the Highlands or islands, Ayrshire is a peaceful location close to Glasgow, and home to a variety of innovative producers, many of whom are showcased at Cloncaird.
The 140-acre grounds are home to eight cottages and the estate custodians, the Belcher family, have collaborated with local artists and makers, and established Ayrshire brands on their renovation.
Tack Room Cottage, the Ayrshire Loft and Duck Pond cottage have been revamped, with the rest being worked on, and offer comfortable accommodation with bespoke details.
As well as the veg box, guests can pre-order local eggs from Little Turnberry Farm, glass bottles of Mossgiel Dairy milk; Lime Tree Larder handmade ice cream; J Pieroni & Sons seafood platters and Arran Aromatics gift boxes, or help themselves at the honesty shop.
We also enjoyed goodies from the Ayrshire Food Network – Stag Bakery crackers, Arran Fine Foods chutney, Lime Tree Larder chocolates and Ballochmyle Brie. Guests are welcomed with a freshly-baked cake, and dogs can relax in a dog robe (looks cute and dries fur fast).
This hidden gem in the peaceful Ayrshire countryside offers escapism – perfect for a weekend away with family, friends or as a romantic retreat. The cottages are cosy with unique decorative touches and the added extras, seasonal produce and bespoke items are thoughtful additions. The estate has extensive gardens, woodland and riverside walks – ideal for dog-walking and exploring.
Rosalind Erskine – The Scotsman