Our guests had a memorable evening star gazing at the Scottish Dark Sky Observatory recently. Due to snowy conditions they drove to the stables car park at Craigengillan where they joined others booked in for the evening session. They were met by staff who guided the group up to the Observatory by torchlight. An atmospheric walk along a snow covered track and trees laden with snow. They arrived suitably warmed up and ready to view the heavens.
Fortunately it was a crystal clear night with virtually no wind – perfect viewing conditions. The instructors were very knowledgeable, friendly and answered a myriad of questions from the group.
The main telescope was set up to view Orion’s nebula first, then Andromeda, the nearest major galaxy to earth and about two and a half million light years away. A couple of other interesting areas of the night sky were viewed through the telescope and then out to the raised deck area where various constellations were pointed out with a little mythology thrown in. The Milky Way was particularly spectacular against the inky black skies. Sadly the Aurora Borealis didn’t make an appearance.
Inside a short film was shown before the torchlight walk down the hill and back to the cars. A night to remember.
Learn to cook some delicious new dishes with Lindsay Guidi from Home Cook School and enjoy eating the results with friends and family.
Lindsay will work with you to improve your cooking skills and work accommodate your likes and dislikes. She delivers bespoke lessons to small groups either in the cottage or at the Home Cook School kitchen in Maybole.
Click here to view the website. For a 10% discount quote “cook1” and mention you’re staying at Crawfordston Cottage.
We were delighted to get this award from our agency. Crawfordston Cottage consistently scored 9.5 or above through Reevoo customer satisfaction feedback which means it is in the top 12% of their properties.
It’s a great cottage for couples wanting peace and quiet although it’s only nine miles to the attractive town of Ayr with its theatre, shops restaurants and bars.
Guests have enjoyed watching deer graze in front of the cottage and hares are often spotted in the field.
These brown and white Ayrshire cattle graze in the fields by Crawfordston. Their milk is used by Trisha Bey to produce the delicious Barwheys Cheese in the nearby dairy.
Later in the programme Nick Nairn uses the cheese to produce a tasty snack but it can be equally enjoyable by itself on some good crackers. You can get your hands on it locally at Jane’s Deli in Maybole and the community shop in Kirkmichael. Harrods and Waitrose also stock it.
Barwheys was originally featured on Landward over a year ago. It was repeated yesterday (21 February) and you can watch Episode 20 again by clicking here
We’ve signed up to the Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere, Scotland’s first, and are proud to support its goals. The Biosphere status is given in recognition of the special natural qualities of this area and their goals include:
Conservation: promoting the preservation of wildlife, habitats and landscape.
Development: supporting a better understanding of nature and global issues.
Learning: fostering a sustainable economy and society.
Visit their website by clicking here to find out more about the Biosphere plus all the latest news and events.
We’ve binoculars to view the abundant bird and animal life surrounding the cottage, plus there are books on the flora fauna so you can identify what you’ve just observed. The Biosphere also promote cultural heritage and local products. The conservation villages of Kirkmichael and Straiton are great places to view traditional Scottish rural architecture, local produce include Barwheys Cheese (made almost next door), and Dorothy’s cakes are justly famous in The Buck, Straiton.
A little further afield the Galloway Forest Park is a great place to walk, cycle, fish or just commune with nature. And at night we’ve some of the darkest skies in the world making it perfect for star gazing. The Scottish Dark Sky Observatory (pictured) at Craigengilllan has a varied programme of events throughout the year.
Recently a guest spotted this magnificent hare just outside the cottage. Fortunately our guest was an expert photographer and caught the beautiful animal on camera. He also spotted several squirrels (sadly they were grey but there are red ones nearby) the buzzards which nest in woods by the cottage and a red kite among many other birds. On the stone walls he observed the tiny, but beautiful red wasps which have a nasty habit of laying their eggs in other insects!