Thursday, October 18, 2012

Troon Harbour

This area comprises a yachting marina (one of the main centres for sailing in the Firth of Clyde), the P&O ferry port to Northern Ireland, and it is also used for fishing. It makes an interesting place to visit if you're in the town. I had a stroll around there the other day to take these photos.

The harbour has been in use since the 17th century. It was then greatly enlarged and improved in 1812 when the railway was installed. Pity the poor horses that pulled the coal wagons along the rails from Kilmarnock to Troon!

Sailors will find around 300 moorings here, plenty of marina facilities, with electricity and water on the pontoons; showers, toilets and laundry facilities nearby. You can buy fuel including calor gas. There are many other services offered and this (rather expensive in my opinion) restaurant alongside the marina. (My husband and I went back to eat at our favourite Bradfords in the town centre - by far the best value for money!)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Dunure Castle

I visited this wonderful old ruin a week ago and enjoyed seeing it very much - actually it reminded me very much of Dundonald Castle where I went in August. Both also have modern metal steps set inside the castle walls where you can climb up to higher levels.

It has apparently been in ruins for 300 years but was once the main home of the Kennedy family (the Earls of Cassillis).

Mary Queen of Scots is said to have stayed here for three days in 1563 as guest of the 4th Earl, Gilbert Kennedy.

By the 1700 the castle was becoming a ruin and large numbers of stones were taken to construct other buildings. It started to become a tourist attraction in the 1800s and, in more recent years, has been protected and made safe for visitors. There are several information boards around the castle which tell you about its history. There is no charge to go inside.

There is a large conical dovecot close by which may date from the 15th century. It is thought to have held around 200 nesting boxes and would have supplied the residents of the castle with eggs.

The castle is a short walk from Dunure Harbour, easy to see on its rocky outcrop overlooking the Clyde, and well worth a visit.