Ayrshire Main Attractions
Below are Ayrshire's main attractions listed
in a way that may be helpful to anyone planning
The village of Alloway about 2 miles south
of Ayr makes a good half day out with the poet
Robert Burns Cottage and Museum, Robert Burns
Birthplace Museum with a cinema showing Burns
life and work, scenic gardens containing the
Burns Monument, the Auld Brig o Doon made
famous by Burns tale of Tam o Shanter and the
Brig o Doon Hotel with its scenic gardens,
Ayrshire’s top wedding reception venue.
See also photo Tour of Alloway. Map.
The popular Rozelle Park, Art Gallery & Tea
Room are situated only a few hundred yards
from the Burns Museum in Alloway. Rozelle Map
and Postcode: KA7 4NQ.
The Belleisle Estate with scenic gardens
and golf courses are situated next to Alloway
and Rozelle Park. There are regular inexpensive
buses that run from Ayr to Alloway all day.
Belleisle Map and Postcode: KA7 4DU.
View the Alloway, Rozelle and Belleisle
A full day should be allowed for visiting
Culzean Castle & Country Park by
traveling the 12 miles south from Ayr on the
Scenic Coastal Road A719, the
National Trust for Scotland's top attraction.
Another Kennedy castle, Dunure Castle,
an impressive ruin, is situated 6 miles south
of Ayr on the same road. This castle is also
worth a visit along with the small scenic
harbour in the village of Dunure. Map.
Between Dunure and Culzean Castle is the
Electric Brae where cars seemingly
can free wheel up- hill, you have to experience
it to believe it. Large image of the Plaque explaining
Returning from Culzean, go south to the
small village of Maidens with
its scenic harbour and beach. The Wildings Hotel overlooking
Maidens harbour has a highly rated restaurant.
Continuing south you pass through Turnberry with the world famous hotel
and golf complex, impressive. Map.
Turn north at Turnberry towards Maybole on
the A77. This road passes through the village
of Kirkoswald with Souter Johnnie's Cottage, made
famous by Robert Burns, open to visitors
throughout the summer. Kirkoswald is also where
you will find one of Ayrshires finest Inns for
meals, the House of Burns. The village
also has a Whiskey Experience shop. Map.
Between Kirkoswald and Maybole are the ruins
Abbey and Baltersan
Castle. There are guided tours of the Abbey
available for a small fee. Map.
Passing through Maybole going
north towards Ayr you will see another Kennedy
Castle (Maybole Castle)
situated on the Main Street. There is a car
park behind the shops opposite Maybole Castle
to park your car for a visit. See also Clan
Kennedy for more information on their
On the road north back to Ayr, you can take
the road 2 miles north of Maybole sign posted
for the village of Dalrymple.
About 3 miles along this road, low on your left
hand side, you can view Cassillis House, the main castle of
the Kennedy's until they sold it in 2010.
The Waverley paddle steamer that steams out
of Ayr, Girvan and Largs to the islands of
Ailsa Craig, Cumbrae and Arran is an experience
not to be missed. The only seagoing Paddle
Steamer in the world. See more at Waverley
Castle & Country Park situated in
Kilmarnock is a good day out with free
admission to the park and tours of the castle.
Boyd for more information on Dean Castle. A
few miles southwest of Kilmarnock is Dundonald
Castle that is situated in the small
village of Dundonald, built for Robert II
(grandson of Robert the Bruce). There is a
small visitor centre at the castle that can
provide tours, or just explore the castle your
self free of charge. See Clan Bruce
for more information on Dundonald Castle.
& Country Centre 3 miles south of Largs in
north Ayrshire is a good place for a day out
with young kids. There is also pony trekking
throughout the estate for youths and adults and
pony rides for kids. See Clan Boyle
for more information on Kelburn Castle.
The Island of Cumbrae off Largs makes a
great day out for cyclists with there being a
cycle lane around the island and many cycle
hire shops in the town of Millport. The only
town on the island Millport has a beach, kids
play area and the smallest Cathedral in
Europe situated on College Street in the centre
of the town. There is a sailing centre and a
few B&Bs on Cumbrae, including the
Cathedral, for anyone wishing a peaceful
relaxing holiday. Map.
About 7 miles south of Largs is Portnecross
with its secluded small harbour, castle and
popular seaside walk. Map.
The Island of Arran makes a great day out
or even a few days or weeks. Brodick
Castle a short distance north of the main
town of Brodick is the main attraction on
Arran. Other attractions are the many scenic
villages, candle/perfume factory, brewery,
whisky distillery, legendary caves, many top
hill walking trails, horse riding, helicopter
rides, golf, ancient standing stones and the
many mountains. Map.
The Island of Ailsa Craig is now a bird
sanctuary. It is situated 10 miles west of the
town of Girvan. Local boat owners offer trips
around the island or the Waverley paddle
steamer visits the island in summer, normally
Monday’s, from Largs, Ayr and Girvan.
Drive the 12 miles or walk between Girvan
and Ballantrae, another scenic route. About 3
miles north of Ballantrae is a car park on top
of cliffs. About 150 feet below the car park is
the cave of Sawney Bean the Cannibal. Only people
100% fit should attempt the steep path down and
climb back up. Always make sure you have a
phone and people know you are visiting the
cave. Sawney and his family are believed to
have been executed in Edinburgh a few hundred
years ago and the last resident of the caves
along that shoreline died in the 1970s. The
Hotel in Ballantrae is popular for Bar
Ayr Farm Park 2 miles
south of Ayr on the scenic coastal road is a
great day out for kids with a variety of farm
animals and play areas. Map.
A full day can take in Irvine Beach Park
with the huge Magnum Leisure Centre and Maritime
Museum. There are some nice Restaurants and
Bar/Diners in the Beach Park and Gailes area.
See also photo Tour of Irvine along with
Irvine Restaurants &
Irvine Bar Diners. To the north
of Irvine is the scenic Eglinton Country Park and
Castle Ruin free to visit and explore. Next to
Eglinton is the town of Kilwinning with the
ruin of Kilwinning
Abbey. The Abbey Tower Heritage Centre is
open Mid May until Mid September, Fridays,
Saturdays and Sundays from 1pm - 3pm.. Access
for pre-arranged group visits outwith these
times may be possible. Phone 01294 551496 for
details. See Clan Montgomery for more
information on how the splendid Eglinton Castle
became a ruin. Map.
Doon & Loch Doon Castle that was a
castle of Robert the Bruce (Scotland’s
most famous king). There is about a six-mile
long scenic drive, walk or cycle from east of
Dalmellington through the hills and alongside
the loch to get to the castle. An excellent
hill walking site. You can also continue into
the Galloway Forest to view another two lochs,
Riecawr and Braden. See Clan Bruce
for more information on Loch Doon Castle.
The peaceful village of Barr 8 miles
northeast of Girvan, high in the hills, is
popular for hill walking and its scenery with
three walking routes well displayed and marked.
There is a narrow hill road between Barr and
Straiton 12 miles north, another
peaceful scenic village. This road passes the
Nick of the Balloch and Stincher Falls. Some
excellent hill walking sites and scenery all
around this area. Straiton Hill Walking. Map.
Blairquhan Castle (Mansion) situated 15
miles southeast of Ayr just outside the village
of Straiton is open to the public certain days
in summer. Visit the website. www.blaiquhann.co.uk for
more information on opening days/times and
prices for tours. Map.
View Ayrshire Walking
Routes for information on more good days