Burns Monument - 10 minutes walk from Doonbank Cottage
Views of Loch Doon, with stunning scenery and Ospreys
Tam O'Shanter Experience - 10 minutes walk from Doonbank Cottage
The Waverly is the last remaining sea going paddle steamer in the world.
As a location for a self catering holiday in Ayrshire, or a business visit stay over, Doonbank Cottage Bothy, is a great holiday base for you. There are a range of day trips available to you, to suit a wide variety of tastes and interests.
Staying at Doonbank Cottage Bothy will mean you are a mere 10 minutes walk, or a 5 minute drive from Burn's cottage - in fact his cottage is just at the end of our woodland! Visit his cottage, the famous Brig O'Doon, the Tam O'Shanter Experience, Burn's monument and the Alloway Kirk. After your walk around them, why not pop into the fabulous Brig O'Doon pub and restaurant for a drink and some dinner.
Guided tours of Alloway and Ayr
Why not get your own guided tour of Alloway and Ayr by Donald Kay. The tours focus on Robert Burns old haunts. Visit these historic places and learn how they inspired Burns to write some of his most memorable works. For more information, visit the website www.walkaboutayr.com
Pubs and Restaurants
When you arrive at the bothy for you holiday or business stop over, you will find a range of information about local restaurants and pubs within easy reach. Previous guests are always very helpful in leaving their ideas and suggestions on where to eat, have a drink or visit.
Culzean Castle [prounced cullane], on the Ayrshire coast, is about a 20 minute drive from Doonbank Cottage. The castle is the most visited property of the National Trust for Scotland. Culzean Castle was built in the late sixteeth century, above a network of caves. The castle became a centre for smuggling during the eighteenth century.
Kelburn Castle is about an hour's drive from Doonbank and dates back to the 13th Century. The castle is still lived in by the present Earl and his family. The castle itself provides an impressive background to exotic gardens, famous trees and many features of historical interest. The Kelburn Glen with its waterfalls and deep gorges is regarded as one of Scotlands most beautiful woodlands and leads to spectacular views over the islands of the Firth of Clyde.
Loch Doon is where the River Doon rises. Just a 45 minute drive from Doonbank with stunning scenery and resident Ospreys. Coupled with a visit to the Scottish Dark Sky Observatory which was the first Dark Sky Park in the UK and Europe this is a lovely day and evening out.
Isle of Arran
The Isle of Arran is one of the most southerly Scottish islands and sits in the Firth of Clyde between Ayrshire and Kintyre. Arran is 19 miles long by 10 miles wide but has a remarkable diversity of landscapes and seascapes.
The pretty villages on Arran's beautiful coastline are complemented by a rugged and mountainous interior in the north and green rolling hills and woodland in the south.
Finnich Glen and the Devils Pulpit
We would recommend adding this to a day out at Loch Lomand, but Finnich Glen and the Devil's Pulpit is stunning. You will need sturdy boots and nimble feet, but well worth the visit.
Ayr Racecourse is a 10 minute drive from Doonbank Cottage and is Scotlands Premier Racecourse. It is home to The Coral Scottish Grand National in April, and The Ayr Gold Cup Festival in September. As a dual purpose track, holding both National Hunt and Flat fixtures, they stage year round racing, with 28 days racing to choose from in 2008.
Heads of Ayr Farm Park
If you are looking for a fun place to occupy the kids, the Heads of Ayr Farm Park is only a 10 minute drive from Doonbank Cottage, on the Ayrshire coast, and is a great trip out for the whole family, but focussing on the wee'uns. It's packed with fantastic activities like indoor and outdoor play areas, an aerial runway, thrilling ringo sledging, quad bikes, tunnel land and the combine castle. Alongside that, they have nearly 50 different types of animal, each with its own particular charm. Meet them, touch them, feed them.
Why not take a boat trip around Ailsa Craig. Ailsa is a truly unique island. It is 1,114 feet high, about 2.5 miles (4 kms) around the base and is made of unique, very hard granite. Ailsa granite became the favoured stone of the curler and stones are today still removed to be manufactured into what we see on TV when the curling is played.
Waverley Paddle Steamer boat trip
The Waverly is the last remaining sea going paddle steamer in the world. She was built on the Clyde in 1947 and operated until 1974 by Caledonian MacBrayne Ferries. The ferry company gifted her to the Paddle Steamer Preservation Society in 1974 You can get day, afternoon or evening trips. Sail from South Side of Ayr Harbour near swimming Pool. 30 mins from Ayr station. Space for parking beside berth. Ring Ayr Tourist Information on 01292 288688 or book via the websites listed here.
Loch Lomond has always been one of Scotland's most famous and beautiful Lochs. It has the largest surface area of fresh water Loch in the UK. The Loch is 24 miles long and five miles wide and at its deepest point is some 600 feet deep. The area is renowned for its beauty and tranquility and offers picture postcard views around every corner. .Loch Lomond is only about 1 and a half hours drive from Doonbank Cottage, so is easily accessible as a day trip.
Glasgow is Scotland's second largest city and is only 40 minutes drive from Doonbank Cottage, or around 30 minutes on the train. Great shopping - great architecture and plenty to do!
Edinburgh is just under a 2 hour drive from Doonbank Cottage, or a 2 hour 20 minute train ride, which makes it ideal as a leisurely day trip. Edinburgh has one of the most beautiful cityscapes in the world. With Scotland's most famous castle dominating the city skyline, there is plenty to see and do with the perfect balance between all things traditional and contemporary. Discover world-class museums and galleries, take a tour on an open-top bus or even visit the city's own zoo. From the world famous Festivals to top-class restaurants and bars, not to mention fabulous shopping, you'll be spoilt for choice. [You can even get deep fried mars bars - yum yum!]
RSPB Wood of Cree
The Wood of Cree is the largest ancient wood in southern Scotland. In spring, it comes alive, with bluebells on the ground and the sound of pied flycatchers and warblers in the air. It is also the perfect place to see willow tits, as well as barn and tawny owls. Well worth a visit as the drive down their, via the coast road is very pretty. About an hour's drive.
If you are of a sporty persuasion, Doonbank Cottage is ideal to access a range of sporting activities. For example after a hard day in meetings, or even the day before you meetings, why not try some:
If you are a, Doonbank Cottage is located in the heart of golfers heaven! There are a wide range of golf courses in the local area, including the famouse courses at Royal Troon and Turnberry. There are also additional good quality links courses. For example; Kilmarnock Barassie, Western Gailes, Glasgow Gailes, The Dundonald, Irvine Bogside, Turnberry Kintyre, Prestwick St Nicholas and West Kilbride.
If you ride, the beautiful Ayrshire countryside has endless leisure riding opportunities. Ayrshire Equestrian Centre offers treks and hacks ranging from 1 hour to 2 1/2 hours rides.
If you fancing some fishing, there is a wide range of both sea and course fishing available catering for both novice and experienced fishermen [and women!]. If you are looking to fish the River Doon by the cottage, contact Doonfoot Fishings. For general information on trout, salmon and sea trout fishing in Scotland, please click here. If you are looking for online booking and information system for all types of rod fishing, checkout Fishpal. For other local salmon runs, you might ike to contact:
As one would expect so close to the Ayrshire coastline, there are sailing and yachting opportunities from Troon and Largs, as well as scuba diving and other such waterery things! For lots more infomation on learning to sail etc, have a wee nosey at Prestwick sailing club, which is also an RYA training centre.
Walking and Cycling
Ayrshire's landscapes range from lush rolling hillsides to white sand shores, majestic craggy cliffs and caves, medieval forests, dramatic moorlands and small friendly villages. The Ayrshire Paths Initiative provides sensitively managed, well sign-posted routes for all capabilities of walker and cyclist. For more information about open parks etc, visit the South Ayrshire Council open parks and other activity web pages.
Burns Cottage - 10 minutes walk from Doonbank Cottage
Brig O'Doon - 10 minutes walk from Doonbank Cottage
[c] Doonbank Bothy