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31 Mar 2023

Why we love Culzean

Why we love Culzean


6 voices: Alasdair, two visitors, Michelle, Ian and Gordon


I’m Alasdair Law. I'm the Operations Manager here at Culzean Castle & Country Park, part of the National Trust for Scotland.

Culzean Castle sits on the clifftops in South Ayrshire overlooking Arran and Ailsa Craig. It's part of a wider estate which includes woodlands, historic gardens, cafes, shops, adventure play for everyone and, of course, the magnificent Culzean Castle. Culzean has a wide variety of visitors from all over the world, and also the people of Scotland, who just enjoy coming to experience what was Scotland's first country park.

I love Culzean because of the diversity of audiences. We have so much for everyone really here.
One of the things that I really enjoy is bringing my daughter now to the adventure play, walking along the miles of footpaths and enjoying an ice cream down at Swan Pond.

Visitor 1

I love Culzean Castle gardens because I like how all the bees and butterflies like the flowers and I like the greenhouses.

Visitor 2

I love Culzean Castle because it's got really good hiding places for hide and seek.


I’m Michelle, I’m a Countryside Ranger here at Culzean Castle & Country Park.

What I love about Culzean is the variety of habitats that I get to work in. We have mixed woodland, coniferous plantations; we have ponds; we have 3 miles of coast. I just think it’s amazing in such a small pocket of Scotland.

Every day is different. It can be engagement with the public; it can be biological monitoring; and it can also involve estate maintenance and practical conservation work.

So we also look after the deer gang. We have 18 red deer, we have 27 fallow deer and 10 llamas. We look after them on a daily basis. We check their welfare, we feed them and sometimes that’s with the public involved, but we feed them daily as well.

I absolutely love working outdoors; that is also one of the best things about this job. Come rain, hail or shine, it’s always great to be in the great outdoors.


I’m Ian Bell. I've been here 20 years. I’m the Assistant Head Gardener, Assistant Head Groundsman and First Gardener.

I particularly love Culzean because, of all the places I’ve worked, it's a friendly place. Over the years that I’ve been here, the 20 years I've been here, it's been wonderful for friendships, for people that help you out, for the things that you can learn. The people that come here come here to enjoy themselves, so it brings a happy vibe.

The wildlife you see here is phenomenal. If you come in first thing in the morning, when you were doing the watering, you come in early and you would see everything ... it was like a Walt Disney film! And so if you like wildlife, and you’re patient, there is so much at Culzean.

If you’re a gardener here, if you stayed about five years here, I'm pretty sure that you could go anywhere because we have all aspects here from rockeries to herbaceous to tree work. We have everything at Culzean for a gardener. If you're prepared to learn, Culzean is a tremendous place to come and work.


My name’s Gordon Nelson. I work for the National Trust for Scotland here at Culzean Castle. I am the Collections Care Officer and I'm also the Head Guide.

This wonderful building behind me here, this wonderful great sandcastle, it's an 18th-century building. It was designed by the famous Scottish architect Robert Adam, designed for one man in particular: Lord David Kennedy, 10th Earl of Cassillis, the head of Clan Kennedy at the time. And he remained a bachelor all his life. So what you're looking at behind me here is Lord David’s bachelor pad. It was a place for entertainment and has some wonderful rooms for entertainment, music, food and drink, poetry recitals.

One of the best things about this particular castle is where it's situated, right on the cliffs of South Ayrshire overlooking the Firth of Clyde with almost 600 acres of land round about it. It is so special but also the contents of the castle are quite remarkable, in one room in particular: The Armoury, one of the most iconic rooms of the castle.

I love Culzean because it's such a special place to come to. I love coming here first thing in the morning when there’s no one else around and I get the beautiful fantastic views across the Firth of Clyde but inside the castle we have this wonderful atmosphere of a place you could live. Maybe not the staircase! The staircase is such a grand place. But all the other rooms are places you could sit down and have a cup of tea, and read the newspaper.

It’s such a special place.

From llamas to 18th-century sandcastles (!), find out why Culzean Castle & Country Park is such a special place.

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Please note that permission for drone flying was granted by the National Trust for Scotland. Please contact for recreational and commercial drone filming enquiries.

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