Castles, Ruins & Places of Interest in the area

culzean castle Culzean Castle & Country Park - National Trust Property, (approx. 30 mins drive from cottage), situated in the midst of a beautiful 600 acre estate and is one of Scotland's oldest castles. Considered to be one of Robert Adam's final masterpieces it is restored to its former glory and makes a great day out for everyone. Click here for further details. Open daily from April - October and weekends throughout the year. Fantastic children's playpark, deer, Highland cattle and much more.

Blairquhan Castle - approx 32 miles from Ballantrae. A Regency castle situated in a charming estate beside the River Girvan. Click here for more details.

Dumfries House - approx 45 miles from Ballantrae - A magnificent stately home with sumptuous interiors and wonderful furnishings, including a huge collection of Chippendale furniture, situated within 2000-acres. Recently purchased for the nation by HRH Prince of Wales. Click here for more details.

Ardstinchar Castle - Ballantrae. The ruins of the castle built in 1421 above Ballantrae. In 1770 the ruins from the castle were used to build the old bridge over the River Stinchar.

Dundonald Castle - approx 44 miles from Ballantrae. Situated on a hill with spectacular views of Ayrshire. Click here for more details. Open daily from April-November.

Dunure Castle - approx 40 mins drive from Ballantrae. Continue on towards Ayr from Culzean Castle, just south of Ayr, the ruins of this castle stand on a rocky lip on the Carrick coast. Mary, Queen of Scots, was said to have stayed here for a few days in 1563.

Dunskey Castle - approx 25 miles from Ballantrae (Portpatrick). The ruins of a supposedly haunted 16th century tower house just south of Portpatrick. There is a good cliff-top walk to the castle from the south end of Portpatrick.

Glenluce Abbey - approx 25 miles from Ballantrae. Founded in 1192 in this secluded valley you can see why the Cisterian monks settled here. A peaceful location with well-preserved fragments of this former Abbey. Click here for more details. Open April-October.

Crossraguel Abbey - approx 27 miles from Ballantrae. Founded by the Earl of Carrick in the 13th century the remains include the church, cloister, chapter house and domestic buildings. Click here for more details. Open April-October.

Ailsa craig Ailsa Craig - The iconic landmark in our beautiful coastline. This is the granite island that you can see from Ballantrae, where blue hone granite is quarried to make curling stones. It is an uninhabited island which was formed from the volcanic plug of an extinct volcano.

It is a bird sanctuary famous for its gannets and an increasing number of puffins. There is an interesting array of flora on the island with a couple of rare plants being sited. Boat trips both to and round the island are possible as well as fishing trips. Click here for more details.

Sawney Bean’s Cave - just north of Ballantrae. The tale of Sawney Bean the cannibal evolved from this cave where he set up home after running away from Edinburgh. Click here for the full legend.

Robbie Burns Birthplace Museum - approx 32 miles from Ballantrae. See the cottage where Robbie Burns was born and the most important collection of his life and works. Click here for more details. Open daily apart from Christmas & New Year bank holidays.

Robbie Burns House Museum, Alloway Ayr - approx. 50 mins drive from Ballantrae. For an authentic Burns experience, go to Mauchline and visit the house where Robbie & Jean began married life. Robbie lived and worked here between 1784 and 1788 and many original manuscripts and objects from his life are on display. Click here for more details. Open Tuesday - Saturday.

The Whithorn Story Visitor Centre - approx 45 miles from Ballantrae. Discover about Whithorn’s early Christian past. Click here for more details. Open April-October.

Castle of St John, Stranraer - approx 25 mins drive from Ballantrae. A medieval tower house built around 1500. - Open June - September