Noddsdale is surrounded by peaceful gardens with colourful shrubs in the spring and woodlands with plenty of birds and wildlife. The views from the tops of the hills are stunning on clear days, so do bring boots for walking.Historic houses - The National Trust for Scotland properties to visit could include Burns National Heritage Park, Alloway, Ayr and Robbie Burns’ cottage, an hour away by car and to the south of Ayr, the magnificent Culzean Castle and extensive gardens. Dumfries House near Cumnock, saved for the nation by The Prince of Wales, in East Ayrshire full of wonderful furniture, or spend a day on the Isle of Bute and visit Mount Stuart House, which is magical.
Argyll - Crarae Gardens, Inverary Castle, Inverary Jail and Loch Fyne Oyster Bar would make for a great day out, either by ferry across to Dunoon, possibly taking in the Younger Botanical Gardens or driving by Loch Lomond.
Arran - Brodick Castle, the Distillery at Loch Ranza and stocking up on presents at Arran Aromatics are all worth a visit. Closer to Largs, is the Isle of Cumbrae which has the smallest Cathedral in the country and the Garrison, recently refurbished most beautifully, houses the local museum.
Glasgow - Museums, shops, concert halls, piping centre, restaurants and venues and is only an hour away by train. Stirling Castle and the Wallace Monument are a little further away, but you could take in the Falkirk Wheel en route!
Largs - Yacht Haven, Sailing Club, Kelburn Country Centre, North Ayrshire Leisure and St Columba’s Heritage Centre, which opened in 2009 and tells the story of Sir Thomas MacDougall Brisbane who left his home, Brisbane House, to go to Australia, became Governor of New South Wales in 1821 and gave his name to the city of Brisbane. The centre also tells the story of other famous people from Largs – Sam Torrance, Gallacher and Lyle and Daniella Nardini to name a few.
Land Activities - The all weather tennis court in the garden at Noddsdale is available most of the time – bring your own racquets and balls if possible. Hire bicycles and pedal 11 miles around the Isle of Cumbrae, or go over the top if feeling energetic! Play golf at any of the numerous courses in Ayrshire; Routenburn Golf Course, Skelmorlie Golf Course, Largs Golf Club and West Kilbride Golf Club – or visit the Open Championship courses at Turnberry or Royal Troon. Try your hand at Off Road Driving, or go Pony Trekking at Kelburn Country Centre. Indoor Dry Ski at Xscape, Braehead near Glasgow airport. RSPB Lochwinnoch Nature Reserve is only 20 minutes away from Noddsdale House by car.
Water Activities - Cumbrae Voyages Adventure run RIBs to see local wildlife at sea and the National Watersports Centre on Cumbrae run various courses for sailors and windsurfers. The Clyde is also a popular Diving spot. Swim indoors at the Vikingar, Largs or outdoors at the heated salt water filled pool in Gourock (May to September!)
Search Scotland - Listen to the interview I did with Catriona from Search Scotland and read the blog on their website about Noddsdale House and the surrounding area, Our Visit to Largs - The East Wing at Noddsdale House.
Shopping for Gifts - Tartan Rugs, Blankets & Throws, Many Thanks Gift Shop, Hasties and Sally Oyler Paintings & Prints - to name but a few.
Places to Eat - Nardini's of Largs Italian Restaurant, Cafe & Ice Parlour, Scotts Bar & Restaurant at Largs Yacht Haven is a stylish new addition to the Buzzworks fleet, or for more options click here.
Local Information - Largs Online is a comprehensive guide to Largs, Association of Scottish Visitor Attractions offers an interactive map of Scotland and Exploring Scotland list many things to do.