If you enjoy walking Straiton is perfect. You can choose from several way-marked trails starting from the village; from a half hour stroll along the river to a strenuous hike up the hills. Your efforts are well rewarded with fabulous views and, if you're lucky, you might spot peregrine falcons.
Fishing on a three mile stretch on the Girvan for trout, sea trout and salmon is a pleasant way to completely relax. You'll find the price very reasonable and tickets can be bought Straiton Stores. The shop also sell tickets for several lochs nearby stocked by the Forestry Commission. Or why not charter a boat from Girvan and spend a few hours sea fishing and enjoying spectacular views of Ailsa Craig and Arran.
We're also very close to the Galloway Dark Sky Park, which has gold tier status and offers some of the darkest skies in the UK. You might want to check out the Scottish Dark Sky Observatory which has a programme of events throughout the year. Click here to view their calendar.
Of course South Ayrshire is famous for golf with Royal Troon and Turnberry. There are many other excellent courses such as Gailles in Barassie, Prestwick, Belleisle, Dundonald, Girvan, Brunston Castle at nearby Dailly and a 9 hole course at Maybole. You can book online or buy a 3, 5 or 7 day pass to play all the municipal courses. Click here to get all the info on Ayr's courses.
Enjoy a canter (or gentle trot) along the beach at Maidens, or extend your trek and take in the beautiful Culzean Country Park. All abilities are catered for so don't worry if it's been a while since you were last on a horse or pony. Click here for options.
Learn a new skill when on holiday and enjoy eating the results with Home Cook School. Lindsay Guidi offers cooking lessons either in the cottage or at her kitchen in Maybole. You can opt for a two, or three hour lesson or a full day’s lesson (6 hours) for up to four people.
Click here to view the website, there’s an extensive range of dishes to choose from Italian and Greek to Scottish, Indian and Thai.
Previous guests will know that Holly Tree is well very equipped with everything you need for cooking. There’s a good range of pots and pans, oven dishes and utensils we’ve even got a fish kettle, asparagus steamer and blending stick.
For a 10% discount quote “cook 1” when booking and mention you’re staying at Holly Tree Cottage.
During the summer months you can climb aboard the Brake Van for unlimited trips along a section of line between Waterside and Dalmellington. Click here to see the Steam Days calendar and ticket prices.