This winter, you’ll find exciting curling competitions taking place at ice rinks in Stirling, Kinross, East Kilbride and across Scotland. Many events are free and feature World and Olympic Champions, competing for titles or aiming to qualify for the World Curling Championships.
Why not try out the sport for yourself this winter? You can enjoy taster sessions at the Braehead Curling Rink just outside Glasgow, and many other rinks around Scotland. Coaching is also available at the North West Castle Hotel in Stranraer, Dumfries & Galloway, the only hotel in the world to have its very own indoor curling rink!
Ailsa Craig, an island located just off the west coast of Scotland has been quarried for its rare type of micro-granite with riebeckite (known as "Ailsite"), which is used to make stones for the sport of curling. As of 2004, 60–70 per cent of all curling stones in use were made from granite from the island and is one of only two sources for all stones in the sport, the other being the Trefor Granite Quarry in Wales.
Ailsa Craig produced two types of granite for curling, Blue Hone and Ailsa Craig Common Green. Blue Hone has very low water absorption, which prevents the action of repeatedly freezing water from eroding the stone. Ailsa Craig Common Green is a lesser quality granite than Blue Hone. In the past, most curling stones were made from Blue Hone but the quarry is restricted by environmental conditions that exclude blasting.
Kays of Scotland has been making curling stones since 1851 and has the exclusive rights to the Ailsa Craig granite, granted by the Marquess of Ailsa. The last "harvest" of Ailsa Craig granite by Kays took place in 2013, after a hiatus of 11 years; 2,000 tons were harvested, sufficient to fill anticipated orders until at least 2020,
For more information on curling at the Peak at Stirling visit the website at http://www.the-peak-stirling.org.uk/ice-rink/curling-times-and-prices/
The Dewars Centre offers a state-of-the-art curling ice rink in Perth, open to beginners and experienced curlers. With international competitions, Dewars attracts the best players from all around the world.
For information on what is available at the Dewar’s Centre Perth visit the website at
There are other venues across the central Scotland area including one at Kinross where visitors can try their hand at the sport.
If you are planning a holiday in one of Cooper Cottages self-catering holiday cottages why not have a go at curling while you are here and see for yourself what a fascinating past time this can be.