Day 1: Arrival and collection at Glasgow Airport.Depending on the flight arrival time visit the famous Burrell Collection with Lunch (included in the price quoted) taken at Pollock House set in Pollock National Park. This is a grand Edwardian House with a magnificent art collection and superb period furnishings owned by the National Trust for Scotland. In the afternoon a short drive to visit the House for an Art Lover, designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh - and one of his architectural gems set in Ballahouston Park. Passing Glasgow Cathedral and Provand`s Lordship - the oldest house in the city dating from 1471 we leave the city en route to the Clyde estuary coast near Troon to overnight at our base, throughout the tour, at the impressive Lochgreen House Hotel - sharing in en suite double or twin rooms (or a single room as required) with Half Board (Dinner, Bed and Breakfast).
Day 2: Heading southwards along the Clyde estuary passing Ayr en route towards Girvan to visit Bargany Gardens - a woodland garden with lily pond, kitchen garden and rock garden. Loudon admired the new planting in 1833, as he did the flued walls round the kitchen garden.Then to the nearby Blairquhan Garden - an early nineteenth century house with pinetum and walled garden. The gardens feature an avenue of limes planted in the eighteenth century, a pond, a glasshouse built in 1820 and the Laburnum Walk. Drive to visit Culzean Castle and Country Park. Lunch can be obtained at the venue and the entire afternoon is given to exploring the Castle and its extensive grounds. Returning to relax and overnight at the Lochgreen House Hotel - with Half Board (Dinner, Bed and Breakfast).
Day 3: Heading north towards Helensburgh where the inventor of TV John Logie Baird was born as was Charles Rennie Macintosh and it is here that you can visit Hill House. Without doubt the best surviving example of Macintosh`s domestic architecture and stamped with his attention to detail which makes the place so special and popular. Leaving we reach the close-by Cardross to visit the delightful Geilston Garden in its tranquil setting, with woodland walks along the Geilston Burn and its walled garden-dating back to 1797 to discover.
Guided tour. Returning crossing the River Clyde over the Erskine Bridge we head towards Largs and then to visit the Kelburn Castle and Country Centre. The family home of the Earls of Glasgow, Kelburn has long been an inspiration for adults and a paradise for children. The castle, dating back to the 13th century, and still lived in by the present Earl and his family, is open to the public in July and August and 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 Scotland's most beautiful woodlands and leads to spectacular views over the islands of the Firth of Clyde. Stop to buy lunch probably at Largs where there is a good selection of establishments in this popular seaside resort. Spending much of the afternoon wandering around the estate. Return to enjoy all the facilities and overnight at Lochgreen House Hotel - with Half Board (Dinner, Bed and Breakfast).
Day 4: Heading along the Firth of Clyde to take the 35 minutes ferry from Wemyss Bay over to Rothesay on the island of Bute. Visiting the impressive Mount Stuart. Mount Stuart is testament to generations of Stuart passion and flamboyance. Explore this wondrous Gothic structure and its labyrinth of gardens and you cannot fail to be impressed. The house itself is arguably the finest piece of domestic architecture to come out of Britain's Gothic Revival in the 19th Century. This lavish palace boasts a majestic marble hall, awe-inspiring chapel, sumptuous accommodation and unspeakably rich reception rooms.
The sprawling gardens, amongst Europe's finest, date back to circa 1718 when the 2nd Earl of Bute laid out the beginnings of the 300 acres of botanical extravaganza that can be enjoyed today. With panoramic views across the Firth of Clyde beyond, Mount Stuart and its gardens create a spectacular marriage of art and nature. Lunch or snacks can be purchased in the excellent restaurant in the award winning visitor centre where frameless glass walls display the glorious views to their full potential. Return crossing to the mainland and short drive to the port of Ardrossan for the 55 minutes ferry crossing to the island of Arran.
Visiting Brodick Castle, Garden and Country Park - furnished historic castle owned by the National Trust for Scotland. Brodick Castle and Country Park is unique in being the only island country park in Britain. The Castle offers 600 years of history, a fabulous collection of valuable artifacts, and stunning views over Brodick Bay to the Ayrshire Coast. The Castle Gardens provide an unrivaled experience from the formal walled garden to its woodland walks. Brodick holds three national collections of rhododendron that flower in almost every month of the year.
The Park extends from seashore to mountain top with over ten miles of way-marked trails and abundant wildlife. With its backdrop of mountain peaks, its terraced lawns and luxuriant gardens, Brodick Castle and Country Park is the very image of a Victorian ‘Highland’ estate. Dramatic gorges with water-carved shapes in the rocks.Inspirational woodland and stone sculptures to admire. Drive to the north of the island to visit and enjoy a tour of the Isle of Arran Distillery near Lochranza and taste a "wee dram" of their famous malt whisky. Returning to Brodick for the ferry crossing en route to the hospitality of Lochgreen House Hotel - with Half Board (Dinner, Bed and Breakfast)
Day 5: Heading into the Ayrshire hinterland towards Cumnock to visit Dumfries House. Designed in the 1750s by the Adam Brothers, and saved for the nation in 2007 by HRH Prince Charles, Dumfries House has an unrivaled collection of furniture by Thomas Chippendale, Alexander Peter, Francis Brodie, and William Mathie. Enjoy a one hour guided tour. On the Estate, the House itself may be the heart, but it is the grounds of the Estate that is the soul. Guided walks of various lengths, from 2 hours, can be arranged.
Lunch included at the House - fresh homemade soup of the day served with a bread roll and an assorted platter of freshly made sandwiches to share, tea or coffee and a tasty tray bake. Returning to the coast in the afternoon to visit the newly completed Burns Heritage Museum at Alloway. Visit the "Brig O` Doon" and "Auld Alloway Church" - immortalized by Robert Burns in his poem "Tam O`Shanter". Returning through Ayr to Lochgreen House Hotel - with Half Board (Dinner, Bed and Breakfast).
Day 6: After breakfast transfer to Glasgow Airport for departure flight.
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