Culzean Castle

A visit this morning to two National Trust for Scotland properties in Ayrshire: the new Burns Birthplace Museum and Culzean Castle & Country Park.

Both were excellent - but I need more time to fully appreciate the wonderful exhibition at the Burns Centre and to stroll around the other Burns attractions in Alloway which have been improved as well. For example the re-presentation and repair of the birthplace cottage , which I did get to see and for which I campaigned a decade ago, is certainly a resounding success.

Culzean is even more special for me. As a student I worked in the Country Park for the summer of 1973 and it was curious ( and a little moving) to discover how much of the landscape , environment and history came back to me as we walked around in the sunshine today.

At the end of the visit the Trust officials on site - who are doing a great job - gave me a light lunch in the Eisenhower Suite , where I had never been before , and discussed how important it is to ensure that young people get a chance to see such places - the more so now that Curriculum for Excellence allows deep learning which connects so much.

The park and the castle are superbly situated and the castle itself is one of the great buildings of Scotland and probably Robert Adam's masterpiece. I need to go back there too !

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