20091007 Culzean CastleSo after a hearty Scottish breakfast we  drove back the way we came yesterday and visited Culzean Castle, home of the Marquesses of Ailsa (if that’s the plural of Marquis), a stately-home-type-castle set in wonderful grounds on the Ayrshire coast. And for quite a bit of our visit we had lovely winter sunshine as I had hoped, though to be truthful it was the first day this autumn that I actually felt cold and my sheepskin gloves were produced.

The castle is well worth visiting; I hadn’t been there since a school outing back in the 1970s and was surprised by how much I had remembered and how interesting it all was. Eisenhower was given an apartment here to mark his commanding Scottish troops during D-Day and there’s an exhibition on his life with some fascinating memorabilia. The decoration by Robert Adam was stunning; I particularly loved the blue drawing room. And the grounds are fantastic, sheltered and warmed by the Gulf Stream so there are palm trees growing quite happily and a couple of seasons ago they even had a banana crop.

And there are some really good shops, including an excellent second-hand book shop and a wonderful toy shop where I gave in to my inner toddler and bought myself a large puppet dragon, christened Thorin. He may make an appearance here once I’ve decided where to keep him when I get back home.

A good day; now just thinking about what wine to have with dinner…..

Hey, it’s a tough job  but someone’s got to do it!