The Local Area

The Local Area

Ballantrae is a beautiful small coastal village in South Ayrshire situated at the mouth of the River Stinchar. The name Ballantrae comes from the Gaelic meaning ‘village on the estuary’ and traditionally it formed the border with Galloway. In the 19th century it was an important fishing village and a large red sandstone harbour was built.

Ballantrae sits on a narrow coastal plain where the River Stinchar flows into the sea. This is a wild and unspoilt region of hills and heather with a rocky coastline looking across to Ailsa Craig, the Mull of Kintyre and Northern Ireland.

Today Ballantrae is a friendly place with a village shop (including post office) open every day of the week and a good pub, The Kings Arms. There are supermarkets in Girvan, Stranraer and Ayr and Asda will deliver to the cottages – so if you are organised you can arrange delivery for when you arrive. Everyday essentials can be found at the village shop. There is even a local spa where you can be pampered, the staff at Pebbles will help you unwind and get into holiday mode. 

All in all Ballantrae is an ideal place for a holiday and promises a blissful escape from the stresses and strains of 21st century life. The proximity of the sea is both restorative and invigorating and you will find many things to do during your stay in Ballantrae, these are some of the most well-known things that are nearby.

Ailsa Craig

  • This is the granite island that you can see from Ballantrae, where blue hone granite is quarried to make curling stones. It is an uninhabited island which was formed from the volcanic plug of an extinct volcano.  
  • It is a bird sanctuary famous for its gannets and an increasing number of puffins. There is an interesting array of flora on the island with a couple of rare plants being sited. 
  • Boat trips both to and round the island are possible as well as fishing trips. See www.ailsacraig.org.uk for more details. 

 Culzean Castle and Country Park – approx 23 miles from Ballantrae

  • Situated in the midst of a 600-acre estate is one of Scotland’s greatest castles. Widely considered to be one of Robert Adam’s final masterpieces it has been restored to its former glory.
  • You can wander round the park and there is an adventure playground for children, it makes a great day out.
  • See www.culzeanexperience.org for more details. Open daily from April-October and open weekends in other months.

Sawney Bean’s Cave – just north of Ballantrae

  • The tale of Sawney Bean the cannibal evolved from this cave where he set up home after running away from Edinburgh.
  • See www.ayrshirescotland.com/sawneybean for the full legend.

Turnberry – approx 18 miles from Ballantrae

  • Play a round of golf at one of the world renowned courses at this fabulous club. 
  • The Ailsa - long regarded as one of the finest golf courses in the world, it came to prominence with that famous duel between Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson in 1977. 
  • The Kintyre – offers links golf at its exhilarating best. Undulating greens, glorious fairways, magnificent ocean holes and all with stunning views. 
  • Must be booked, see www.turnberry.co.uk or call 01655 331 000 for more details.

Turnberry Adventures - approx 18 miles from Ballantrae

  •  A 4* activity centre in the beautiful grounds of Turnberry Golf and Luxury Resort offers a wide range of activities for families, enthusiasts and novices alike. 
  • Choose from archery, 4x4 off-road driving, air rifles, quad bikes, water zorbing, highland games, clay pigeon shooting, falconry and GPS treasure hunts. 
  • See www.turnberryresort.co.uk/adventures-prices or call 0844 811 3790 for more information.

Galloway Forest Park – approx 40 miles from Ballantrae

  • Britain's largest forest park, includes moorland, lochs, from seashore to mountain tops, habitat for a variety of plants and animals. Enjoy a relaxing stroll or a more strenuous climb on one of the 27 marked trails. Look out for some wonderful wildlife or enjoy a guided walk. If you would rather cycle then don’t worry there are some seriously amazing bike trails that cater for the beginner to the adrenaline junkie!
  • Furthermore the Galloway Forest Park has some of the best dark skies in Europe and is ideal for star-gazing. 
  • See www.forestry.gov.uk/gallowayforestpark for more details.

Pebbles Spa, Lendalfoot – approx 4 miles from Ballantrae

  • A health spa with swimming pool and gym as well as some wonderful treatments. Day packages with use of the pool and lunch are available.
  • See www.bennaneshore.com/pebbles_index.php or call 01465 891 223 for more details.

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