Castlehill Estate is a small but popular park. The Estate has a countryside feel to it with extensive natural woodland areas.
The coppice of mature Beech trees is a favourite feeding area for grey squirrels. The remainder of the woodland has a mixture of young and mature trees which provide food and shelter to a range of birds and animals.
Visitors will also find a quiet play area set within the estate with seating available to allow parents to supervise their children in comfort!
There is a network of paths through the estate for those of a more energetic nature.
In 1804 Mr. Patrick Ballantine had a mansion house built on the site of an older mansion. Both buildings held commanding views of the Ayr coastline and of the Isle of Arran. In 1810 Patrick Ballantine died and the estate passed to his brother John who was responsible for the design of the new bridge over the river Ayr. Robert Burns subsequently dedicated the poem "The Brigs of Ayr" to John Ballantine.
Castlehill Estate remained in the Ballantine family until 1909. In the 1960's the house was demolished. Ayrshire and Arran Health Board sold the lands to Kyle and Carrick Council in the early 1990's and they have been open to the general public ever since.
If you like bats then Castlehill is the place for you, around dusk you will see a great number out feeding. Birds of all kinds can be found here……large or small!
Much of the beauty of Castlehill Estate is gained from majestic mature trees. On first inspection you may think that there is only Beech, Sycamore and the odd Holly and Horse Chestnut. Look further and you will find a mature Tulip Tree, Red Horse Chestnut and Spanish Chestnut.
The highest area of the Estate is covered in a beautiful Beech stand, which in spring time, when the leaves just start to emerge, the sunlight shining through them gives the area a magical quality.
Castlehill came into local authority ownership fairly recently and there is still more work required to ensure the future of the woodland in terms of thinning and replanting.