Monday - a bank holiday with a reasonable weather forecast - off we went with a picnic lunch to...
...Kelburn country park near Largs. The park is in the grounds of a thirteenth century castle which, as you can see, has been decorated with grafitti (more on this later)
There is a little museum - a jumble of old domestic articles and information on New Zealand (one of the Earls was governor of New Zealand at the turn of the last century).
My favourite part was the Secret Forest, an area of woodland with lots of interesting little things to see including a maze, sculptures and fairytale houses.
A detail of one of the panels at the centre of the maze.
One of three stone heads.
A mural detail from inside the giant's castle.
There were also some lovely walks beside the river and gorge with waterfalls (which I failed to photograph successfully!)
Then towards the castle where we had our picnic in the walled garden. It felt warm in the gentle sunshine and there was a soft breeze, just how May should really be!
Off for a another wander, past wildflower meadows.
A view of the front of the castle, this mansion house wing was added 1700 when living in castles had apparently become unfashionable.
Then up the hill, through more woodland (with the last of the wild garlic senting the air) and back round to the old part of the castle for a closer look at the grafitti.
The grafitti was added in 2007 and is mostly the work of Brazillian grafitti artsits. It's not intended as a permanent feature - a concrete render had been applied to the castle in the 1960's which is destroying the walls and needs to be removed (along with the grafitti) for renovation purposes within the next few years.
Finally (after a visit to the ice cream shop - mint choc chop for A, chocolate for N, vanilla for hubby and strawberry for me) we make our way up to the viewpoint.
Lovely blue skies, fantastic clouds, beautiful views (click pic to make bigger).
Charlie and Lola (who accompanied A) enjoyed it all too.
I have mixed feelings about graffiti. My first reaction is usually on the artistic level - admiring at what people can do with cans of spray paint and limited time. Then my moral or legal self steps up and reminds me that what I'm admiring is defacement of property. (The graffiti I most often see is on the sides of passing train cars and is probably gang-related, but nonetheless clever and artistic for all that.)
It sounds like you had a grand day out. We had a holiday too on Monday and the weather turned suddenly hot and humid and very windy. No one complained. It was so nice to eat breakfast outdoors and be warm for a change. :)
Looks like a fabulous place . I don't know what to say about the graffiti , I do like it but I'm not sure if it looks right on a castle.
I currently live in New Zealand but was bought up in ayrshire not so far away in west kilbride. I have lovely memories of Kelburn as we took my niece and nephews there and had a fab day too. I think the castle looks great in its grafitti coat. Looks like you had a lovely day and the view can rival any views in New Zealand. Although I love both...... thanks
Lovely photos, and interesting ideas for what to do with a castle and its grounds...hmmm!
Beautiful pictures. So much history there.
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