The Royal Burgh of Ayr in the south-west of Scotland is situated on the Firth of Clyde and is the largest coastal town in South Ayrshire. It is situated about 35 miles south west of Glasgow (the largest city in Scotland).
Ayr railway station has services to Glasgow Central station with a half-hourly service except on Sundays. There are regular services to Stranraer, Girvan, Kilmarnock and Newcastle. These services are operated by SPT/First ScotRail.
The town has air links to European cities from Glasgow Prestwick International Airport just 2 miles from Ayr. Further destinations are available from Glasgow Airport, which is 35 miles away.
The town also has bus connections serving all of the town and Prestwick. These services are operated by Stagecoach West Scotland. The town has eight local services. There are express coaches to Glasgow Buchanan Street every 30–60 minutes. Ulsterbus operate bus services to Belfast via Stranraer Ferry service on Stena Line.
Although the town does not have any ferry services from its harbour, it has good access to ferry services mainly to Northern Ireland. Troon, 5 miles north of Ayr, has a seasonal service to Larne onboard P&O. Troon can also be reached by train with trains every 30 minutes, or by bus. Stranraer, 60 miles south of Ayr, has up to eight daily departures to Belfast.
Ayr is the most important shopping hub on the west coast outside of Glasgow. Most of the major high street chains have a presence here and join a large amount of small independent retailers.
There are many bars and restaurants throughout Ayr town centre should you require a refreshment after all your shopping! There are also nightclubs if you wish to party on until the wee small hours!
Ayr has a number of private golf courses and three public golf courses – Belleisle, one of the finest public parkland courses in the United Kingdom; Seafield which offers a classic combination of links and parkland course; and Dalmilling that plays over open parkland.
If you wish to travel outside of Ayr, there are a number of championship courses just outside. You have the home of the very first Open championship at Prestwick Golf Club and current Open Championship courses, Royal Troon and Turnberry less than 10 miles away.
In fact, Ayrshire has over 50 golf courses so there is plenty to choose from.
With some of the most breath-taking scenery in Scotland, Ayr and the surrounding area has some great walks and cycling routes for the more energetic of visitors. There are also plenty of outdoor sports to take part in including tennis, bowling. The Citadel Leisure Centre has a top class swimming and diving pool, a gym and keep fit classes.
Travel back in time to Robert Burns Cottage and visit the Burns family. See the world’s most important Robert Burns collection in the Museum. Walk in the footsteps of Tam O’Shanter in “Alloway’s auld haunted kirk” and across auld Brig O’Doon, where Tam’s mare, Meg had her narrow escape from the witches. View Robert Burns’ beloved Ayrshire countryside from the roof of Burns Monument and experience the humour and excitement of Robert Burns best-loved tale in the Tam O’Shanter Experience.
Set among the delightful scenery of historic Alloway, Burns National Heritage Park is an unmatched opportunity to experience Scotland’s National Poet. Robert Burns’ birthplace is brought to life through a mixture of modern technology and unique authentic locations and artefacts.
A day at the races is a great day out and Ayr boasts Scotland’s premier horse racing course, Ayr Racecourse. This has more race days than any other Scottish race track so the chances are that there will be a meeting on when you visit. Ayr Racecourse hosts the Scottish Grand National and the Ayr Gold Cup which is Europe’s richest sprint handicap race.
With Ayrshire’s rich history, there are numerous castles both abandoned and still in use. Greenan castle on the southern periphery of Ayr is a wonderful landmark as it hangs precariously on the edge of a cliff. Culzean Castle to the south is like a storybook castle, this fantastic example of Robert Adam’s genius stands dramatically on a cliff with superb views across the sea to the mountains of the Island of Arran. Between 1777 and 1792 Adam converted an old fortified towercastle for David Kennedy, the 10th Earl of Cassillis , creating at Culzean (pronounced “Cullane”) probably the finest Georgian castle in Scotland. Its Circular Saloon and Oval Staircase are acknowledged as Adam’s final masterpiece. In Ayr itself are the remains of a huge Cromwellian fort, from where Oliver Cromwell governed much of Scotland for a short while.
The beach is mostly sand and has historically been the place to go for people in the west coast of Scotland and beyond for day trips and longer breaks. The promenade has many facilities for visitors to enjoy. There is a well-equipped play park and the old Pavilion ballroom is now an indoor kids soft play area. A large area of common ground called “The Low Green”, is a great place for a picnic or to relax and sunbathe during the summer. There are also opportunities to go fishing either from the pier or to go out on a fishing boat from the harbour.