A day off work today partly to prepare for tomorrow's show in Dumfries, but also to catch up on much needed exercise given the big freeze over xmas and new year - or at least that's my excuse!
As the golf course is too wet this time of year for my taste, it was a walk. I chose the Smugglers Trail that runs from Troon to Dundonald Castle. For those outside the UK this is on the west coast of Scotland, famous for its championship golf course.
In the 18th Century the smugglers and the Revenue Officers played a game of cat and mouse down the coast and the Loans Smuggling Company was the most successful in Scotland. Their preferred route from the beach by the modern golf course, around Troon, through Loans and up to Dundonald some 8km inland, can be walked on a well marked and maintained path.
The path ends at Dundonald Castle. This is a fortified tower house built by King Robert II in 1371. The Stuarts maintained it as a royal residence for the next 150 years. It is in reasonable condition, more than a ruin and has a visitor centre open in the summer only.
A pleasant walk in good weather and a bit of history. What more could you ask for!