Belleisle Estate, Alloway, South Ayrshire
At the heart of Belleisle Park is the beautiful 18th century house which is now used as an hotel. It is set within a typical estate landscape of woods, which give it a tranquil setting.
Belleisle is synonomous with golf having an 18-hole golf course designed by Mr. James Braid. Belleisle and Seafield Golf courses are both located in Belleisle Park and are pay-as-you-play courses. Both courses are owned and operated by South Ayrshire Council.
Belleisle House was originally built for Hugh Hamilton, a nephew of Robert Hamilton of Rozelle, circa 1787. This Scottish Baronial style mansion was substantially reconstructed in 1829 to form its present appearance with the exception of the single storey extension to the north west which was added in the 1970’s.
Belleisle Estate was acquired by Ayr Burgh Council in 1926 and Belleisle golf course designed by James Braid was opened the following year. South Ayrshire Council is the owner of Belleisle and Corsehill Parks in Ayr, including the hotel, stables, gatehouse, Belleisle and Seafield golf courses and related buildings and conservatory within Belleisle Park.
The main structural feature within Belleisle Park is the Belleisle Hotel. It has 14 bedrooms (2 single, 8 double and 4 family rooms), a bar, lounge, cocktail bar and a function suite. Although the hotel building is imposing and its external façade an attractive focal point within the Park, it is in need of refurbishing.
The gardens of Belleisle Estate offer plenty of open lawn area to play and picnic in front of Belleisle House, with further grassy areas to play ball games near the play park. The setting for many wedding photographs over the years the gardens provide a mass of colour in all seasons. There are several less common tree specimens throughout the park, which provide focal points and the flowerbeds are always well tended and provide a blaze of colour. There is a beautifully cared for walled garden containing a heather garden, fishpond, manicured lawns and plenty of benches to rest on in the sun or shade.
The category B listed conservatory from the late 19th century is unfortunely boarded up due to broken glass. Until a few years ago it provided a tranquil area to relax amid the warmth and enjoy the exotic perfumes and vibrant colours of the many varieties of hothouse plants and shrubs. There are proposals to restore the Victorian conservatory and relocate the building within the walled garden.
The Belleisle pets corner and aviary is now closed. Before closure in 2009 it was popular with residents and visitors for over 30 years.