Sunday, 17 April 2011

Dean Castle Country Park

If you follow me on Twitter you might have noticed I've become a bit obsessed with taking Blondie Boy to see baby lambs. The kid LOVES animals; he coos at cats and dogs on tv, stops to smile at every dog on the street and may have been known to smooch photos of kittens on Instagram. I've taken him to the pet store to see bunnies and fish, but pet sore animals tend to make me sad. My lovely Mother-in-law seemed to remember a petting zoo in Dean Castle Country Park and the lovely Laura confirmed that while it wasn't a petting zoo there were definitely animals there.

Dean Castle Country Park covers over 200 acres, is nestled in the heart of Kilmarnock and offers something for kids and adults alike to enjoy. The Country Park boasts beautiful woodland walks, adventure playground, pets corner, visitor centre, tearoom, shop and a fantastic 14th century castle housing world class collections including historic weapons, armour and musical instruments. We were there for one thing and one thing only: the animals.

 Blondie Boy was asleep on the short walk in from the parking lot, but there was a HUGE herd of deer just chilling in their enclosed forest area. There was a HUGE buck with massive antlers and it was really cool to check them out.  Blondie Boy woke up and we followed the clearly marked signs towards the animals.

First we went to see the "small" animals which include bunnies, sheep, lambs, guinea pigs and chickens. I was ridiculously excited by the teeny tiny lamb who could just barely stand up, but Blondie Boy seemed to really like the guinea pigs; I suspect he liked them best because they were really close to the front and squeaking while they ate.  If you look really closely 
here you'll see teeny, tiny baby bunnies hiding under their hutch.

As you continue to walk around there are several aviaries with budgies, peacocks, cockatiels and lots of other birds.  I don't really like birds so to be honest I didn't pay much attention.  There were also two large fuzzy pigs and several different types of goats.

There were a few mazes, picnic benches a beautiful lake and two very awesome looking play grounds (one for bigger kids and one for little kids).  We were on an animal mission though so we walked back out and around and up following the signs for large animals.

As you walk around there is a rushing river with small waterfalls and in general it is very picturesque.  Yes you can see some houses over the horizon, but in general it's very rural.  Blondie Boy loved this funny little bridge and we stomped over it noisily to get to the large animals out in the fields.

Out in the fields there is one VERY large, but very friendly Clydesdale horse, two donkeys and three Highland cows.  I personally love Highland cows and the donkeys were pretty cute, too.

We didn't even get a chance to explore any of the buildings or any of the other walks since we just popped out for a quick visit. Best of all, Dean Castle Country Park is free! It's only about a 30 minute drive from Glasgow or even closer if you are already in Ayrshire, like we were this weekend.  I would highly recommend it and I can't wait to take Blondie Boy back again!


SusanKMann said...

Dean Castle Country Park is great. I remember going there on a primary school trip, it still looks the same. x

Anonymous said...

What an amazing day out! So lovely to experience it with a little person.