Walk 58 – Cliff Walk at Culzean- 2.7 miles

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Culzean Castle

A short scenic walk through lovely woodland inside Culzean Castle & Country Park. Admire the 18th century castle and it’s gardens, look out for wildlife around the swan pond and take in the panormic vistas of Ailsa Craig and Isle of Arran from the clifftop. The kids will love the Adventure Cove! 

  Car parking available within Culzean Castle Country Park KA19 8LE Рentrance charges apply if you are not a National Trust for Scotland Member. Suggest parking in the car park just off Silver Avenue, in front of the Deer Park.

route image  Route: Leave the car park and turn right and follow the road until you reach the majestic castle entrance on your left. After admiring the views from the raised platform at the cannons, exit this area to the right and descend the staircase into the castle gardens. Turn right at the bottom of the stairs and follow the footpath through a gap in the wall out onto a flat grassy area. There is no footpath here but cross the grass to the left and you will join up with a track heading into the woods. Continue along this track and at the bottom of the hill keep right to walk along the side of the pond. Close to the end of the pond you will see a way marker for the cliff walk on your right. The footpath immediately narrows and begins to climb through the trees, then follows the coastline along the clifftop back in the direction of the castle. At the end of the path you will emerge out onto a familiar track. Turn right to repeat this section of the walk but this time keep left at the fork and walk along the other side of the swan pond. You will arrive beside the ice cream shop and adventure cove. Follow the footpath left past the adventure cove out onto a tarmac road, Piper’s Brae. Turn left and follow the road back to the car park.

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WALK REPORT: 22nd May 2016

I thought this was going to be a buggy friendly walk…. oh how wrong I was. I have been to Culzean so many times and walked what I would have called the ‘cliff walk’ but this was definitely not buggy friendly, nor was it the cliff walk I remembered! It was beautiful, but hard work! Thomas was ordered to walk for most of it as I just couldn’t push with his weight in the buggy as well. Mind you, I think he is becoming used to that happening on walks with Mum and Gran!!

Culzean is such a beautiful castle and I have many childhood memories of walks around it’s vast estate. Normally we would park the car in Maidens and walk along the shore to Culzean but since having the kids we have been inclined to use the visitor car parks within the country park to make for shorter walks. It is always busy with tourists and local people out for a wander, and today was no different. At this time of year the neatly landscaped gardens are vibrant with colour  which adds to it’s beauty. We also found plenty of flowers inside the woods and along the banks of the swan pond such as bluebells and a yellow daisy-like flower called leopard’s bane.

Gateway to the castle

I loved this thistle emblem found on the cannons beside the castle. They sit on an elevated platform overlooking the Firth of Clyde so on a clear day the views from this vantage point are spectacular. The kids love to climb on the cannons and pretend they are firing them out to sea ūüôā

Thistle emblem on the side of the canons

The swan pond was full of life today and we saw water lillies as well as a grey heron, and of course the resident swans! There was a man throwing tiny crumbs of bread into the pond and we stood for a while watching as the fish swam up to nibble it. Quite a sight!

Culzean swan pond
Grey heron

Once on top of the cliffs it becomes a woodland walk with a variety of path surfaces. This is where we ran into problems with the buggy because some paths had a lot of tree roots and were quite narrow and hilly with lots of tight twists and turns. We came to a gap in the trees at one point and were treated to a beautiful panoramic view over the coastline. There is a well-positioned bench at this point which serves both as a place to rest and to admire the view for a while.

Woodland path on the cliff walk
View across the Clyde to Ailsa Craig
“Poor” Thomas ordered to walk as the terrain becomes too tricky for him in the buggy

If you have kids in tow, then no walk at Culzean is complete without a visit to the Adventure Cove and my little man loved it there. My other advice is to take a picnic if the weather is good – there are lots of lovely spots around the country park to sit at to enjoy it.


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