The Great Outdoors

Balloch Castle Country Park

By yon bonnie banks an’ by yon bonnie braes
Whaur the sun shines bright on Loch Lomond

Balloch Castle Country Park

Balloch Castle Country Park

Balloch Castle Country Park, situated in Loch Lomond is a stunning attraction for a doggie day out.

Balloch Castle Country Park

Balloch Castle Country Park

The 19th century castle and gardens, built by John Buchannan in 1808, was officially recognised as a country park in 1980.
The castle now dies derelict, but still makes for beautiful viewing for historian enthusiasts.
There are many derelict buildings on the grounds which have fallen into ruin such as the gameskeepers house and the gatehouses, which are popular sites for having a nosey around.

The castle is surrounded by 200 acres of unspoilt woodland, nature trails, walled gardens and guided walks, making it the perfect destination for outdoorsy types. Screen Shot 2013-04-26 at 06.57.01

The park provides panoramic views of the stunning scenery Loch Lomond has to to offer. The backdrop of the rolling hills are sights that people travel to Scotland for, just to see.

There are quiet benches, and picnic tables dotted in idyllic spots around the grounds. If you want to bring a packed lunch that your doggy friend can enjoy to, then head to the picnic benches at the water’s edge for some some grub and a well deserved rest.

An excellent place for wildlife watching, the nature trails and surrounding woodland makes perfect walkies for you dog. Trust us, they will have the perfect doggy day out!

TIP: Bring treats for your pooch!

Balloch Castle Country Park

Balloch Castle Country Park

Our rating

BONES 5

 

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Prestwick Beach

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Our favourite beach on a sunny day!
Preswick Beach in Ayr is a little out the way for a Glaswegian, however it just happens to be Holly’s favourite beach.
When the weather is great, and the promenade is full, you’d be mistaken for a warm beach off the coast of France.

Admittedly, you have to make the day of it (and chose a nice day!) because a beach is miserable in Scotland when it’s raining.

The length of the beach provides good walkies, with many dog walkers out for a stroll during the day.
There are plenty of facilities nearby the beach just off the promenade, including shops, restaurants, a picnic site and a children’s play area.
So if you want to enjoy lunch with your fur baby, then bring a packed one!

There’s plenty to see and do around the Ayr area if you have the time, with golf and hill walking activities available in the surrounding area.

And best of all, the double car park is located right next to the beach, so no long walkies back to the car!

We would recommend bringing towels with you, we like our car interior clean!

Our rating

BONES 5

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The Roman Fort & Bath House at Antonine’s Wall

The roman fort and bath house is situated atop Bar Hill in Twechar.
The fort and separate bath house was built as part of Antonine’s Wall, erected between AD142-144, and running the best part of 60 km.

Construction began on the commands of the roman Emperor Antoninus Pius, the wall and fort made3_3e9850cb2b
of stone and turf and taking 12 years to finish.
It is thought due to the strategic placement of the fort, the roman soldiers who occupied it would have been monitoring and controlling the movement of people and goods in the surrounding areas.
The Bar Hill fort provides stunning, panoramic views of the unspoilt countryside, surrounding town and Campsie Fells, with the view stretching as far back as the high-rise flats of Glasgow city.

The site was part of an excavation project between 1979-1982 which exposed the fort and bathing house near Antonine’s wall.

The excavation gave an excellent visual sense of what both the fort and bath house would have looked like, and its positioning back when it was first constructed.
Extensive research has since gone into discovering the layout of each side, and plaques are now situated at the site to provide a rough guide of each buildings layout.

Down from the barr hill fort is Antonine’s Wall, an extensive ditch which carries on through to the surrounding town of Kilsyth. The build was similar to Hadrian’s wall in the South, but has not preserved as well, with less remains evident.

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Following Antonine’s wall will take you further up to a preserved Iron Age site, on display at the highest summit.
Access to Antonine’s wall is via a pedestrian walking path in Twechar. Starting at a war memorial, the path passes by farmhouses and private fields before reaching a water reservoir and veering off to the left over a hill. The site is excellent for hill walkers, with steep and difficult terrain.
If you are taking your dog, then they must be kept on a leash while taking the pedestrian pathway, as open fields contain farm animals.

Excellent for days out and picnics, it is a quiet area with only the occasional hill walker passing by. A perfect day out for the whole family, providing an education experience for children, who may even be learning about the roman empire at school.
As long as you pack food (and a treat for getting to the top) this is a great family adventure.

If you are bringing your dog, we would advise you bring water, as Holly was exhausted after her walkies here.

Our rating

BONES 4

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