Thursday, 23 August 2012

Not crafting ... a trip to Portencross Castle instead

Hi Everyone,

I've been busy in the craft space but there's not a lot to show for it so I thought some of you might like to see another of our local beauty spots instead.

Portencross Castle
Our Sunday drive out this week took us north, up the coastal road to the Craft Town, West Kilbride. Because it was Sunday the shops, studios, etc., were closed so we will have to return on a week day. However, close by, we discovered this little treasure. There's a picnic area nearby and, what can I say, it's just a little bit of heaven.

Fishing off the jetty
There are stunning views to be seen from the roof top - over the Firth of Clyde to Arran on the west and Cumbrae to the north.

Looking from the roof top over to the island of Cumbrae
Portencross Castle has been there since the 1300s, has had various owners over the centuries and a somewhat checkered maintenance history. At one time it was occupied by several fishing families, all living in communal harmony, but more recently it has been left empty and crumbling. Now the castle is a scheduled ancient monument and a grade 'A' listed building and is in the care of the Friends of Portencross Castle who are slowly improving its condition.

Artists at work

As you can see the castle has been built next to a pretty natural harbour and the picturesqueness makes it very popular with local artists.

Former fisherman's cottage
There are still a number of cottages there - I think a few may just be used as a holiday cottages.

Another fisherman's cottage - complete with a net drying on the stone wall
Finally, I love wild flowers and so was delighted to see so many in the area and here's a wee selection of the photos I took of them. The local insects seemed equally delighted with them - see how many I spotted.

Blackberry (bramble) blossom

Purple Vetch

A bee on an umbel
I was so tempted to caption that as a bumble on an umbel but it so clearly isn't a bumble bee I just couldn't :))

My daughter and SIL met us there and we had a tour of the castle, entry is free, and a short stroll along the path. We loved it and it's a place we will be returning to often.

I hoped you enjoyed 'visiting' another beauty spot in our little corner of this beautiful country.

Take care all,


  1. Beautiful pictures Elizabeth. Its also one of our favourite picnic spots too. The wild flower pictures are really spectacular. Glad you enjoyed your day. Hugs Rita cxx

  2. What a lovely tour you have given us, thank you. The flowers are gorgeous! The Bumble on the umbel did make me smile! xx

  3. Gorgeous pictures Elizabeth thank you for sharing these and l hope you had a fab time which l think you did looking at your piccy's xx

  4. What a beautiful day out, I really do miss Scotland, so thanks for bringing it to us digitally.


  5. These are great pictures of your day out Elizabeth. I love castles and am planning on visiting Tonbridge Castle shortly.

    Sarn xxx

  6. Oh thanks so very much for these lovely pictures. I love looking at old castles (well we don't have 'em in the USofA, but I did make it Blarney - kissed the stone too!). Would so enjoy seeing these sites IRL, but since - alas - not in the near future...I love seeing the pictures. I know you had a grand time, and thanks for sharing. Oh yes, you must go back when the shops are open. What treasures you might find!!!

  7. I did my first windsurfing at the watersports centre on Great Cumbrae! Lovely photos.

  8. Beautiful post Elizabeth & photographs.. I do miss Scotland at times.. thanks for sharing, Hugs May x x x

  9. Oh wow! You lucky, lucky girl to be there - it's totally inspiring. Wish I had that on my doorstep! I used to live in Pembrokeshire and the scenery around us was stunning and I have to confess to missing it every single day. Thanks for sharing this gorgeous corner of our country with us.

  10. What a superb picnic spot! I once cycled up that coast and got severely rained on for my trouble so it's nice to see it in fairer weather.


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