This is a beautiful spot - Morton Loch, a little ways off the A702 between Carronbridge and Durisdeer.
And it's made even more picturesque with the ruins of Morton Castle.
I had the place to myself when I stopped off here on Saturday, returning cross-country from Ayr. There could have been no better picnic spot on a perfect spring day.
There's probably been a fortification on this spot since the 12th century, with the earliest features of what is standing today dating to c1300. The round gatehouse tower (above) is impressive. The matching tower was apparently destroyed in the 14th century. According to the Historic Scotland information board on site, "... a treaty with England in 1357 to release David II from captivity took its toll on Morton. Part of this treaty called for the destruction of several castles in the SW of Scotland, and Morton was one. The demolition was not total but it may explain the loss of one half of the gatehouse."
More on the history of the castle can be found here.
Inside what would have been the Great Hall.
From the loch side.
My lunchtime companions were these Greylag geese. There were several 'courting couples'. It was interesting to observe all the interactions! I rather liked the reflections made by these two as they swam close by.