From the North Shore at Ayr to Prestwick…..

A dry, cloudy and breezy day for us so we set off the short distance to Prestwick, it seems that Ayr and Prestwick just roll into each other, parking up on the sea front (lots of free parking). The tide is pretty much at peak so not surprisingly there is little or no beach at the south end of Prestwick.

We carry on towards the harbour in Ayr as according to the map the north side of the town also has a sandy beach….

Clearly we shall have to reserve judgment on that! Running from the harbour there is a wide concrete promenade along the top of the sea defences to the end of the houses in Prestwick. We managed to get down to a little bit of stony beach at Bell Rock which seems to separate Ayr North Beach from the southern end of Prestwick beach for Poppydog to stretch her legs.

Most of the southern end of Prestwick beach is still hidden by the tide, in the middle, however a smallish sand and stone beach remains and was being enjoyed by a few young families.

At the far end of the promenade the promise of the northern end of the beach is something we shall take away with us for another day.

A blowy but very enjoyable 6 mile walk, though we could not find the ruins of St Ninian’s Chapel and hospital or indeed find anyone who had even heard of them!

Two thoughts of the day:

We are missing the remoteness of The Rhinns of Galloway – this area is all quite built up and whilst not exactly busy we do enjoy our solitary walks.

Now I am constantly designing my ideal camper van in my head but how is this for a fabulous homemade effort? All the way from Germany and apparently started life as a child’s playhouse!

A walk along to Greenan Castle and beyond….

A bit showery through the night and pretty much through the day as well with only little glimpses of sunshine – so much for ‘flaming June’! Still, off we went in search of Greenan Castle, parking up on the south side of Ayr, in Castle Hill car park (passing through the ‘leafy’ side of town) and joined the coastal path as it meandered through a wide stretch of low dunes.

The tide is fully in so there is only a small strip of soft white sand, my favourite but not ideal for walking on.So we continued for awhile across the dunes, joining the beach just below the castle.

Wow how is that still perched up there?

We had Greenan Castle Beach to ourselves and we ignored the rather ominous looking clouds for a play.

After a while we continued on around the next headland to Craig Tara Beach with the Heads of Ayr at the end of the bay.

Again the beach was empty even though part of it is backed by a large holiday park, so Poppydog was able to do her own thing until the beach ran out just before the Heads of Ayr cliffs. On the way back we followed the footpath through the fields to take a closer look at the castle.

Whilst trying to find a footpath back down to the beach the weather caught up with us and the heavens opened.

With no shelter around we were soon drenched as we made our way back to the car – still a very nice 5.5 mile walk.

Two thoughts of the day:

How different the weather is this year compared to last – we have had the odd T-shirt moment but I’ve pretty much needed a jumper and it jacket every day!

When it rains here it doesn’t mess about!

Moving on to Ayr….

A showery start to the day, with a rather unhelpful very heavy shower at the point of hitching up! However the day got better with some sunshine in the afternoon. Our rather short journey was quite straightforward, we even had to pull in and wait for awhile in a lay-by so that we didn’t arrive before the midday curfew. There followed a slight traffic jam at the site entrance with 4 of us trying to get in bang on 12 and 2 (slightly) late aways trying to get out along the short single track site road – but hey we are all on holiday and it was resolved in a very gentile manner! We were soon set up…

And ready to explore. The site is a short distance from the River Ayr Way – so we did! Heading towards the town centre (or more precisely the sea) we followed the river, passing countless bridges on the way, before crossing at Auld Bridge looking upstream…

and down towards the sea, with just a glimpse of Arran in the distance…

From the bridge we cut across part of the town centre (sadly much of it looking quite run down with quite a few empty shops) and made our way down onto the long sandy beach, which stretches round the bay to the lush green Heads of Ayr cliffs.

This beach ends at the South Pier and was reasonably busy (well it is a fine Sunday afternoon!) so Poppydog had to make do with the 8m of her lead.

We wandered down the pier to take a closer look at the lighthouse.

Now how is this for a fine and imaginative piece of sculpture?

Impressed? Hmm not nearly as much as I was – I asked someone just to make sure that I wasn’t missing something. Apparently not! It is made from coal resin sourced from Glenbuck at the start of the river Ayr Way (it’s source some 40 miles away) and an identical sculpture made from sand from Ayr is situated in Glenbuck – ok thoughtful but hey a little imagination too?

Two thoughts of the day:

First impressions of Ayr? Well let’s just say we probably won’t be back!

I think that the presence of a main road tracking along the coastline has lessened our enjoyment of this coastline.

Last day at Culzean Castle Country Park….

A few showers, a tiny bit of sunshine and a fair old brisk breeze was the order of our last day here at Culzean today. We did our chores and then went for a last walk through the park, there are so many footpaths it impossible to cover them all and as always once you go off the main pathways you rarely encounter anyone else. How lovely is this patch of daisies?Today we were lucky enough to get up close to a Fallow Deer, not something we are likely to do in the wild thanks to a certain Poppydog!

He was far more intent on grubbing around for food than showing any interest in us – pity about the fence!

Well we have enjoyed our time in South Ayrshire and absolutely loved keeping an eye on the Isle of Arran which we shall hopefully get to visit from our next site a rather long journey of 12 miles!

Two thoughts of the day:

Good thing someone is inside!

And I’ve just cleaned the window of this weeks nose art!!

A sunny afternoon on Croy Shore….

A bit of rain during the night and a fairly cloudy day though some really nice sunny intervals. As we have visited all the sandy beaches in South Ayrshire and we had a rather long walk yesterday, we decided to pop down to Croy Shore.Here we could enjoy the sunshine and solitude of Crane Dyke (not sure what it is actually called, but the beach to the north of Croy Shore.

Back on the 3rd of June on our way back from a walk along Bracken Bay we drove along Electric Brae, one of 7 gravity hills in the UK, where by phenomenon of optical illusion a freewheeling vehicle will appear to roll uphill. Now to be fair this was my fourth attempt to ‘get it’ but sure enough, when I put the car in neutral on what appeared to be a gentle decline, the car rolled in the opposite direction – quite a weird sensation!

Very difficult to describe and impossible to capture but if you look very carefully at the grass verge on the left of this video clip you can just tell the car is very slowly rolling backwards uphill!

Quite extraordinary!

Two thoughts of the day:

Where else in the U.K. would you feel confidently safe to purposefully stop your car in the middle of an A road to see which direction it freewheeled in!

It would be rather nice if the weather warmed up a bit!