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.
Here are a few ideas you may want to think about. You might also like to visit the ‘Visit Scotland’ tourist site to have a nosey about things to do around Ayrshire and Arran.
Staying at Doonbank Cottage Bothy will mean you are just a 5 minute drive from Burn’s cottage. Visit his cottage, the famous Brig O’Doon, the Tam O’Shanter Experience, Burn’s monument and the Alloway Kirk.
The wonderful world of the honey bee experience
Come and explore the wonderful world of honey bees with this 3 hour experience. Learn lots of interesting facts; make your own beeswax candle and get in close and personal with the bees! Visit our experiences page to find out more.
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 a 45 minute 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.
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 Devil’s 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.
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.
Dumfries house and huge formal, informal and woodland gardens which are delightful along with a magnificiant vegetable garden where Prince Charles’s interest in organic gardening and companion planting really shows through. Restored by Prince Charles and partners in 2014. Parking is free along with access to the garden and grounds. Dogs are allowed but they must be kept on a lead. The house is beautiful, but you must book your tour in advance and there is a cost – around £10 per person. Always worth ringing the visitor centre if you want to book on the day.
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.
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 50 minutes drive from Doonbank Cottage, or around 50 minutes on the train. Great shopping – great architecture and plenty to do!
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 low handicap golfer or just a hackr, Doonbank Cottage is located in the heart of golfers heaven! There are over 15 courses within an hours drive from Doonbank with the closest being just 4 minutes away! Courses also include he famouse courses at Royal Troon and Turnberry. If you need clubs, we have a set of male and female clubs which you can borrow.
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.
We do not have fishing rights for the River Doon by the cottage. The stretch is now managed by The River Doon District Salmon Fishery Board. If you are looking to fish the Doon, contact David Cosh email: [email protected] mobile 07968 071554.
Maybole – Mochrum Fishing Club
Mochrum Fishing Club, close to Maybole, offers some excellent loch fishing – 24 acres stocked with brown, blue and rainbow trout. The loch is open 7 days a week, with the exception of competition days (the first Sunday of each month). A boat is available for disabled anglers, fitted to take wheelchairs and powered by an outboard motor. Permits to fish the lake can be bought at the Station Store at Maybole Railway Station.
Girvan – Penwhapple Reservoir – 40 mins drive from Doonbank
The Penwhapple Reservoir sits just five miles to the north of Girvan, on the Barr road. Here you will find boat and bank fishing for brown trout. The season runs April 1st – September 30th. Call 01465 817226 or 01465 861 663.
Near Ayr – Springwater Fishery
16 mins drive from Doonbank
Drive to Springwater Fishery, taking the A713 from Ayr and after about three miles take the B742 to Dalrymple. This complex of 3 freshwater lochs sits peacefully amongst some delightful Ayrshire farmland – offering 20 acres of fishing, for rainbows, browns, blues and steelhead trout, ranging in weight from 2lb – 15lb. There’s a shop offering tackle, snacks and lessons. See more at https://www.facebook.com/springwaterfisheries/ (also good to ask questions and get advice?)
Annbank – Annbank Fishery
30 mins drive from Doonbank
Open all year, Annbank Fishery is just at the edge of the village of Annbank, and around about 4 miles east of Ayr. The 2 acre lochan holds Grade 1 rainbow, blue and brown trout – weight range from 2lbs to more than 10lb. Visit : https://www.annbankfishery.com/
Near Fenwick, East Ayrshire – Craufurdland Fishery
40 mins drive from Doonbank
3 miles to the south of Fenwick (follow the signs for Waterside and the Craufurdland Estate), this stocked fishery is open throughout the year. There’s bank and boat fishing for rainbows, browns and golden trout, and Craufurdland also has a tackle shop offering refreshments and lessons. Visit https://craufurdland.co.uk/outdoor-activities/fishing/ for more.
Near Largs, North Ayrshire – Haylie Trout Fishery
60 mins drive from Doonbank
Just 2 miles to the east of Largs off the A760 Dalry Road. The A760 branches off Irvine Road to the south of Largs town centre at the Haylie Hotel. This year-round stocked loch features bank fishing for rainbows and browns. Visit https://www.facebook.com/newhaylie.fishingloch/ ((also good to ask questions and get advice?)
Carrick Angling Club
Established in 1894 this club is a real go ahead bunch that built, by voluntary labour, some exceptional access platforms for disabled angler on their stretch of the river Girvan. Carrick AC offers day and week tickets for fishing on this improving river for salmon, sea trout and brown trout. They also have fishing for rainbows on Glendrissaig Reservoir with good facilities for disabled anglers.
https://www.facebook.com/CarrickAnglingClubOfficial/ (also worth using to ask for some advice on best locations etc)
The club have a number of beats:
- Bargany Beat extending from Nobles Bridge in Girvan to Drumrannie Burn south bank only.
- Lower Enoch Beat extending from Drumrannie Burn to Enoch farm bridge south bank and Cochranes Point Pipe to Enoch farm bridge north bank.
- Camreggan Beat extends from Killoup Burn to Penwhapple Burn south bank only.
Permit from Dunlop Newspaper Shop, Dalrymple St, Ultimate Anglers at Flushes Car Park and Old St, Garage Old ST, Girvan.
Sea fishing trips
If you fancy some sea fishing, have a look at: https://www.facebook.com/ailsacraigtrips
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 sandy shores, majestic craggy cliffs and caves, medieval forests, dramatic moorlands and small friendly villages. The Ayrshire Coastal Paths Initiative provides sensitively managed, well sign-posted routes for walkers who want to enjoy Ayrshire’l lovely coastline. The nearby Carrick Hills and Galloway Forests also offer many opportunities for walkers of all experience. It’s well worth visiting the GPSS Walking and Cycling website where you can find and plan a wide range of cycle and walking routes.