This gorgeous part of Scotland boasts dramatic mountainscapes, wide sandy beaches and the wonderful castles of Brodick, Drumlanrig and Culzean.
Day 1 We travel northwards to our overnight hotel in Lancashire, having suitable refreshment stops along the way and arriving in time for dinner.
Day 2 We travel up to the border, entering Scotland at Gretna Green. We stop to visit the Old Blacksmith Shop, where you can see the original wedding room and the famous anvil – site of runaway marriages since 1753. We continue our journey through Dumfries and Galloway, with a visit to Drumlanrig Castle. There will be time to visit both the house and the gardens of this magical pink 300-year-old castle, and we have an included guided tour of some of the magnificent rooms. We then continue to our hotel in Troon, home for the next four nights.
Day 3 Today we take the ferry from Ardrossan over to the Isle of Arran. We first visit Brodick Castle and Gardens, dramatically set against the backdrop of Goatfell and with stunning views over Brodick Bay and the Firth of Clyde. The grand red sandstone baronial-style castle is filled with an impressive collection of fine furniture, silverware, porcelain and paintings. Before returning to our ferry we just have time to see a little of the south of the island.
Day 4 A free day to enjoy Troon, a popular seaside resort with lovely sandy beaches, magnificent views, the famous Royal Troon Golf Course and fine walks along the esplanade. Troon offers a wealth of charming independent cafés and unique boutiques, or you might choose to take the bus or train to Kilmarnock or the cosmopolitan city of Glasgow. Tonight we have live music at our hotel.
Day 5 After a leisurely breakfast, we visit Culzean Castle, further south along the Ayrshire coast. The castle is a celebrated design by Robert Adam, built in the 18th Century for the 10th Earl of Cassillis, and donated to the National Trust for Scotland in 1945. There is plenty to discover inside the castle, the walled garden, the visitor centre and on the multitude of woodland and clifftop paths. The views from the castle are breathtaking. On our return we stop at the conservation village of Alloway, where you might like to visit the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum (entrance not included).
Day 6 Leaving our hotel after breakfast, we make our way southwards, leaving Scotland and travelling to our overnight hotel in Merseyside, arriving in time for dinner.
Day 7 We continue our journey, making suitable refreshment stops along the way, and reaching the local area early evening.
Our three-star family-run hotel is situated in the resort town of Troon, a short walk from both the town centre and the seafront. The hotel boasts a pleasant restaurant serving fresh local produce, a relaxing lounge and bar. The 32 bedrooms have TV, telephone, WiFi, hairdryer and hospitality tray. The hotel does not have a lift, but does have a few ground floor rooms.