I know what you are about to say - "TORI, Culzean Castle does not reach your requirements for the castle casanovas challenge as it was technically not used for 'defence' purposes and you'd be absolutely correct. However, we have included this as we loved visiting Culzean and it was a really great day out for Alex. 

Culzean Castle is Castle number 4 in the challenge and is a masterpiece created by Robert Adam for the 10th Earl of Cassliss. It was designed as an L-Plan castle and to demonstrate his wealth. The castle was built in stages between 1777 and 1792. 

In 1945 the Castle was given to the National Trust for Scotland, in an attempt to avoid inheritance tax, however the Kennedy family stipulated the apartments at the top of the castle were to be retained for the us of Dwight D Eisenhower in recognition of his efforts during WW2 as the supreme commander of the allied forced in Europe. You can actually see part of the apartments and pay a pretty penny to stay in them if you wish. 

Culzean Castle can also be used as a corporate venue or wedding venue and actually closed early on the day we visited to accommodate a wedding which was taking place the next day. 

To be entirely frank and honest with you, there is little more I can say historically for Culzean Castle. It is a beautiful rich man's playground that can now be visited and remarked as being a very beautiful home and a cracking place to host a party. 

As there is little historical input for the Castle Casanovas to add, I'll instead share a copious amount of beautiful photographs and talk you through where we visited and the activities for children. 

The walk to Culzean Castle from the carpark is beautiful. The grounds are filled with flowers and displays and there is a beautiful and quirky bookshop situated on the way up which sells second hand books. We did have a little nosey, but unfortunately did not find anything suitable for ourselves although the selection was quite impression and it was rather busy. A real fairytale type of bookshop. 

As Culzean Castle is situated on a cliff top you are surrounded by stunning scenery and really tranquil ocean views. I am 90% sure I will be framing some of these photos to use around the house as 'soothing' images, because I honestly wish I could spend my life by the sea. 

The tour of the castle took around 30-40 minutes. We were slower as we had the pram and took a very ornate lift to the top of the fancy staircase. The staff were incredible discussing the many artefacts on display and engaging with the children. Also the level of accessibility was great and this had really been considered for pram and wheelchair users, which we love to see! 

Then you exit the castle through the gift shop at the rear and end up viewing Culzean Castle in all of its glory. A stroll through the grounds leads you out into more of the countryside park with very useful signposts to enable you to navigate the correct path for whichever area you are headed for; for example the walled gardens are in one direction and the lake with the kid's play area is in the other. 

Th gardens were extremely beautiful and had a vast array of different borders / planted areas which had different themes. We then took a lovely walk down to the lake, which takes you around to the ice cream and coffee stop and also to the children's play areas. Alex was too small to have a play, but he did enjoy the lakes and his snooze on the way back to the car. We also saw some Llamas (I think) near the car park which was quite nice.

We didn't stop for food, but there is an on site cafe and little shack selling coffees and ice cream. We could have, but we were on slightly limited time due to needing to grab Alex's afternoon nap to avoid a rough night of no sleep. I really enjoyed our time at Culzean and although it wasn't quite a Castle Casanovas challenge meeting we have included it, because it was a castle we visited and we enjoyed the trip. 

You can visit just the Country Park or both the Country Park and Castle - we did both. It cost £20.00 per adult (17 and over). I believe Alex was free when we visited in June 2022, however they do have a new 'Young Scot' option for tickets so I am guessing that is for children younger. The child option seems to be 16 and younger, so I am presuming (like most places) young scot would be 1 and under. Although do double check, just in case. 

Do let me know if you visit Culzean and your thoughts on it - personally we loved it, but we did go slightly off peak and didn't find it too busy, but other parents I have spoken to have said they weren't that bowled over by it. 

Until Next Time

Castle Casanovas

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