On the West Coast of Scotland about five miles south of Ayr and beautifully perched on a craggy cliff top knoll stands the ruins of Dunure Castle. It was originally built for the Kennedy family. The site is actually only the shell of a late 13th century oblong keep on the main knoll with the very fragmented remains of two additional wings. These were very possibly the chapel and kitchen built in the 15th and 16th centuries, on the side facing the land. In 1429 John Mor MacDonald was killed at Dunure castle when talks between the Macdonald's and King James I's man James Campbell ended in violence. Just why a Kennedy castle was used for this meeting is uncertain but it would maybe have been seen as neutral ground. King James executed Campbell in a hope to distance himself from Mor MacDonald?s murder. The Macdonald?s still broke out in rebellion and they defeated the King's army at Inverlochy castle.
Mary Queen of Scot?s stayed at Dunure in 1563 during her Royal tour along the West Coast Later Gilbert Kennedy, who was 4th Earl of Cassillis stole the lands of Glenluce, he used a Monk to forge the land charter signatures. Then a hired assassin murdered the monk; this assassin was arrested by the Kennedy?s and hung by them after being falsely charged of theft. In this way they hid their awful crime. The Earl imprisoned the Commendator of Crossraguel Abbey in 1565 and he roasted him in an attempt to get him to renounce his claim on Abbey lands ? not very friendly people these Kennedy?s. Lord Bargany sent a small force to try and rescue the Commendator (actually the lord wanted the Abbey lands for himself). The plans failed and the small army were trapped in the keep. The Kennedy?s besieged their own castle but Lord Bargany then sent a larger army and rescued his men and forced the Kennedy?s into a settlement about the Abbey Lands.
By the late 1700's, Dunure Castle started to be used as the local quarry leaving it as a sad shell hiding it's former glory as a home of the Kennedy ?s a place of intrigue and deceit.
Visit the Robert Burns Cottage and Museum at Alloway near Ayr. The Burns cottage was built by the poets father. There is a short but very good introduction audio visual presentation in the cottage. There is a good gift shop in the museum.
There is also the Tam O'Shanter experience and the Burns monument.
The cottage and museum are open:
April - September daily from 9.00 to 6.00 p.m.
October - March monday to saturday 12.00 to 4.00 p.m.
Get away and visit Dundonald Castle.
This is a prominent large stone castle overlooking the village of Dundonald. It was built in the 1370's by Robert II. There were two great feasting halls one above the other although today the floor has gone. Archaeological excavations have shown that the castle hill was occupied by a large fort in the Dark Ages and by a prehistoric hill fort before that.
12 miles from Ayr on the A71 and then onto the B730 where it is signposted.
It is open 7 days a week from April to September 10.00 to 5.00
Tel: 01563 850201
The Ayrshire is located northwest of Glasgow,you will reach the shire in about 30-40 minutes by car.If you have a rental car you can explore all this beautiful shire and also all small villages on the coastline.One of these nice village is LARGS,is a nice and picturesque place to spend a full day,there are a few nice restaurants and small hotels aswell.
When travelling to Glasgow, take a trip to Culzean Castle. It's just south-west of Glasgow but the seeing the scenery you will not be disappointed. This picture was taken just outside of Maidens and towards Culzean on a walking trail. It is absolutely stunning.
This is Girvan - a lovely seaside town. We went to a music festival there - Celtic music at its best.