Group Accommodation in Ayrshire
The beautiful village of Skelmorlie is the northern most principality in North Ayrshire. It provides the perfect backdrop for an outdoor family holiday, offering several beaches as well as the activity-laden Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park.
So if you’ve booked your group accommodation holiday at Balvonie House, one of our Prive properties, you’ll be in for a treat. Balvonie House near Glasgow, is a stunning property with many features that make it truly a unique house, hence it being part of our Prive collection.
But back to the area, most specifically around Skelmorlie. The village itself is divided into lower and upper Skelmorlie and is renowned for its red sandstone which is used in house construction. The village’s history goes back to the 15th Century with the presence of historic sites like Skelmorlie Castle, the tower house built in the early 15th Century associated to the Clan Montgomery. The castle is open to the public from 1 May to 30 September although access is by prior arrangement by calling Largs Museum on 01475 687 081.
The village was also home to several Glasgow tea barons.
Being right on the Firth of Clyde, the sea plays a large part in tourism for the area. Indeed, the Island of Bute, described by The Guardian as “the Scottish island that could just have it all”, is only 35 minutes by ferry from Wemyss Bay. Bute has undergone a renaissance of sorts in recent years, particularly the port town of Rothesay. The old Victorian shops have been turned into stylish boutiques and upcycled furniture emporiums, ideal if you’re a shopaholic.
Eating-wise on Bute, there’s Musicker, a fashionable veggie cafe also selling guitars and books, while a bookshop nearby sells coffee (Print Point). This is the eclectic nature of Bute. The West Island Way runs the length of the island, providing good, waymarked footpaths through the hills.
Back on the mainland, the closest beach to Skelmorlie is Wemyss Bay Beach, a rocky beach but one with great charm. This rock and shingle beach has a wild feel to it. It overlooks the bay and offers views of the countryside and the surrounding area. Boating is popular here or you could spend hours watching the ferries approaching and leaving the Isle of Bute.
Limited parking can be found around Wemyss Bay, but the beach itself is set on a private road and can be reached down a slipway. The railway station in the town is reputed to be one of the most beautiful in Scotland. Other beaches close by include Lunderston Bay, Main Largs and Dunoon West Bay.
Those into the great outdoors away from the beaches should head for Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park, Scotland’s largest regional park. It welcomes over 700,000 visitors a year to its108-square miles of scenic Scottish countryside where people can walk, run or cycle.
If you’re looking for somewhere to eat around Skelmorlie, your best – and closest – bet is Largs. There is Koh-I-Noor, an Indian restaurant, the Green Shutters Bistro, which aims to provide authentic home cooking from a traditional menu, or the Bean and Leaf, serving breakfast, pastries and coffee, through to light bites, casual lunches and relaxed dinners.
For a meal with a view, try Scotts Bar and Restaurant, located at Largs Yacht Haven. It is the perfect venue for everything from a leisurely coffee to a memorable night out with friends. The laid-back bar area is open all day for casual drinks and a bite to eat, while the elegant restaurant enjoys a vantage point overlooking the marina. Most importantly, considering how unpredictable the Scottish weather can be, they have a heated outside terrace, enabling guests to dine al fresco all year round.
Glasgow, about 45 minutes’ drive from Balvonie House, is a port city on the River Clyde. It’s famed for its Victorian and art nouveau architecture, but is today a national cultural hub, home to institutions including the Scottish Opera, Scottish Ballet and National Theatre of Scotland, as well as acclaimed museums and a thriving music scene.
As Scotland’s second largest city after Edinburgh, there are plenty of things to do in Glasgow. Some of the highlights include:
Forget about Loch Lomond, rather head to Balloch Castle Country Park on the east of the Loch. It’s the perfect location for a picnic and has great walks to explore, as well as a sandy beach.
Whisky lovers unite! Tucked away at the foot of the Kilpatrick hills and en route to Loch Lomond from Glasgow, the Auchentoshan Distillery uses a unique triple distilled process to create a delicate, smooth and light single malt whisky.
Scotland is known as the UK’s getaway for winter sports so, if you need a bit of pre-season practice, dust off your snowboards and hit the slopes at Snow Factor at intu Braehead. Whether skiing, snowboarding, sledging or ice climbing is your thing, this is the place. Alternatively, for walking and cycling enthusiasts, there is always The Forth & Clyde canal which runs through the north of the city to Falkirk, where it meets the mighty Falkirk Wheel, the world’s first and only rotating boat lift.
Golf lovers will be all too familiar with Troon, less than a 30-mile drive from Largs. Troon is a small seaside town overlooking the Isle of Arran, but much more famous as the home to one of the greatest golf courses in the world – Royal Troon. There are actually an incredible seven courses including Royal Troon, which regularly hosts the famous Open Championship. But there is more to Troon than golf – the bustling harbour has Ayrshire’s famous fish market, while yachting enthusiasts can take advantage of the facilities at the Yacht Haven, one of the Clyde’s leading sailing centres, and sports fans can head to the beach for windsurfing, kitesurfing and more.
So many activities, so few days – book your stay at Balvonie House today and take advantage of all the area has to offer.