In the introduction to her Channel 5 programme featuring her 15 mile daunder along the coastline from Ayr to Dowhill, Kate Humble described South Ayrshire as “a region of rich contrasts”. Her walk followed the route of the ACP, including the detour to Burns Cottage in Alloway, and highlighted our beaches, countryside, heritage, and all its wild unspoilt beauty.
The programme presented some excellent drone footage of that labour-of-love which is Fisherton Gully and the slightly less impressive but nonetheless useful Smugglers Brae steps just south of Dunure; both features built by our hard-working band of volunteer pathminders. Other highlights along the way included Greenan Castle, the Lagg section from the Heads of Ayr, Dunure Castle, the Lookout Field, and of course Culzean Bay. Expressing her excitement for the wild Turnberry beaches, she observed that “this is a very, very special place that deserves to be much better known, considering it is so easily accessible from both Carlisle and Glasgow.”
Amongst the numerous attractions along the way, Kate remarked on the many castles in the region which had all been strongholds of the various branches of the powerful and often treacherous Kennedy family (“Never cross a Kennedy”). One of these castles was of course the showpiece Culzean Castle and Kate was permitted to explore the labyrinth of caves which underlie the castle and which are not normally accessible to the public.
Other points of interest which were highlighted included UNESCO’s Galloway and Southern Ayrshire ‘Biosphere’: a status awarded to world-class environments that demonstrate a balanced relationship between people and nature. Alongside some lovely shots around the Swan Pond at Culzean, Kate described the exceptional habitats, the sustainability ethos and the unique cultural heritage of the area.
On through Maidens, where she joined the crew of a locally-built Fair-Isle skiff , Kate completed her walk at Dowhill where she met local farmer Jay Crawford (who is a supporter of the ACP and helps out at the annual beach clean event). Jay explained the unique characteristics of the early Epicure Ayrshire tatties to Kate who seemed very impressed.
photo source: Daily Record/Curve Media
All-in-all this was a terrific showcase for both South Ayrshire and the ACP but one question has to be asked: considering all her references to the ever-present Ailsa Craig, why was there not a single mention of the equally ever-present Arran backdrop? Answers on a postcard please.