Revel in the sea views from the ‘crow’s nest’ in the tower; be soothed by the sauna in the turret. This 14th-century castle, derelict for years, has been resurrected with imagination and skill. You sleep in the Keep, and make merry in the extension, with its big, new, colourful sitting room, and its dining table made from yew blown down in a storm. There’s even a sedum roof.
Bruce, whose home is 200 yards up the drive, greets you warmly and shows you around. The castle stands secluded on his 75-acre estate overlooking the sea. Walk your dogs in the deer-filled woods, enjoy crumpets by the fire and watch sunsets from the terrace.
Largs’ pretty seafront is two miles down the road. Head for ice cream sundaes at Nardini’s, and fish and chips at The Viking. Then skip across the water to Cumbrae (ten minutes), where palm trees grow on the promenade and everyone cycles – it’s not called the Bicycle Isle for nothing.