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.