Sunday, 17 October 2010

Owl House (Part 1)

On paper a week in Ayrshire perhaps is not the most appealing prospect. Ayrshire has a long history of Orangeism - the nearest large town to where we were staying, Maybole, was home to the 1st civilian Orange Lodge in Scotland, in 1808. In modern Scotland this is probably most vividly reflected in a stream of busses up the M77 every other weekend for a trip to Ibrox Stadium.

South Ayrshire is also notable for it's battle to halt growing sales of Buckfast in the region, resulting in legal threats from the hard working monks of Buckfast Abbey.

I know I'm being a little cruel to Ayrshire here - it has much to offer. Famous as the birthplace of Robert Burns the area has a long socialist history. Keir Hardie founded the Ayrshire Miners Union here in 1886, before being instrumental in the birth of the labour party at the turn of the century. In fact my great uncle Robert Climie was an early labour MP for Kilmarnock (2nd largest town in Ayrshire) in the 1920s.

Ayway, thankfully before our trip, we knew we would not be staying in the local orange hall, next to a Buckfast showroom.

Instead we had been invited by my cousin and his wife to stay in a former 15th century bothy, The Owl House, situated in the midst of rolling hills and countryside.

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