Nature Watch at Crawfordston

These superb photos were sent by a guest who stayed with us last year. Sadly they had to cancel their spring holiday because of Covid 19 but intend to come back later when we are able to open again. Fingers crossed this could be on the 15th of July.

When we do re-open we’ll be deep cleaning between guests using a solution which kills viruses as well as bacteria. Some items, such as board games, will be removed as these are difficult to clean. Hand sanitiser will be provided and self-entry arranged. Full cleaning guidelines are to be issued which we will be following to the letter.

Although some attractions may not be open there are still many places to visit such as the isles of Arran and Cumbrae, beaches and coves, golf courses, fishing, cycling (both road and off-road), lochs and some serious hiking in the Merrick area of wild land. There’s binoculars to view the stars and wildlife and a barbecue to enjoy al freso meals.

Woodpecker enjoying some seeds
A roe deer in the grass
Chaffinch on the fence
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A great spot for wildlife

Doe in field

A beautiful doe with her fawn in the field by cottage was photographed by a guest this summer.

Doe and her fawn in field by hay bale

Guests have also seen deer in the paddock at the front and in other fields nearby. A pair of buzzards have a nest in the woods by the cottage and their chicks can be heard squawking for food. The magnificent male bird sat for ages on a branch giving everyone ample opportunity to study it through the binoculars.

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Another Galaxy

Scottish Dark Sky ObservatoryOur 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.

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Learn, eat and enjoy

Lindsay GuidiLearn 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.

Baked Eggs with MozzarellaClick here to view the website. For a 10% discount quote “cook1” and mention you’re staying at Crawfordston Cottage.

Bon appetite!

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Crawfordston is now Award Winning

Award on display in front of 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.

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Another chance to see…


Ayrshire cattle grazingThese 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




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We’re in the Biosphere

G&SABiosphere-Logo-2Col-rgb-1000We’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.

Scottish Dark Sky ObservatoryA 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.

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Sitting pretty

Hare with ears up sitting in long grass

©Peter Barby

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!

Hare sitting in the field with ears back

©Peter Barby

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Dalcairney Falls

Dalcairney WaterfallThis spectacular waterfall is close to Dalmellington and is near the start of a delightful walk up Auchenroy Hill. It looks equally stunning at all times of the year but especially so in winter when the temperature drops and the falls freeze over creating huge icicles.
view-backThis is the view from the way back down, a beautiful walk with great views over to Loch Doon and the Merrick.
lichenApparently lichen only grows where the air is pure and there is no pollution; it must be perfect here.

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