Southwest Scotland’s Ayr has a beautiful view of the Isle of Arran and the Firth of Clyde. Golfing, seeing the castles, and enjoying the expansive stretch of sand known as Ayr Beach are among the popular pastimes of visitors to Ayr. Other favourite activities include taking a stroll down High Street or enjoying a wonderful picnic in a park. With this list of the top things to do in Ayr, you can make the most of your vacation.
1. Visit the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum, the residence of Scotland’s poet.
The most well-known poet to have ever lived in Scotland was born in a thatched home in Alloway, an area south of Ayr. Burns Cottage, which his father built, was where Robbie Burns lived for his first seven years.
The cottage is currently one of the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum’s many outlying exhibits. One of Scotland’s most well-known writers and a local author are honoured with this well-liked attraction. An engaging exhibit area, it showcases a variety of Burns’ relics and exhibits. Many displays include original documents, interactive components, and in-depth historical context.
2. Check out Rozelle House and Rozelle Park.
On the southern edge of Ayr, there is a lovely public area called Rozelle Park. The Rozelle House, a mansion built in the 1760s, still resides on what was formerly a rural estate. A tea room and public art galleries are now located in this fascinating house. And the bigger Rozelle Estate provides a magnificent setting for an afternoon or day trip.
The estate’s park and woodlands are sizable. The majority of the property is made up of dirt roads, beautifully groomed gardens, and natural ponds alive with wildlife. The estate is a great place to wander, play field activities, have a picnic, and observe wildlife because of its lush grounds.
Additionally, Rozelle House frequently has new exhibits on view. It is a recognized museum with a regularly changing exhibition of works by regional and local artists. Additionally, it has a permanent exhibition of paintings depicting scenes from the neighbouring “Tam o’Shanter” poem by Robert Burns.
3. Go for a walk around Ayr Beach.
Ayr Beach is a substantial swath of sand that faces the Firth of Clyde. Locals and visitors from Glasgow, which is less than an hour away, frequent this sunny-weather resort. There is enough sand available for activities like spreading a towel out or building sand castles.
There are other places that draw people as well. The entire city of Ayr is welcoming and friendly to tourists all year long. Much of the beach is followed by a roomy promenade for relaxing strolls close to the lake. This walk includes The Lang Scots Mile, which honours the country’s history going back far further than the current metric mile.
4. Spend the day at Culzean Castle
Just 12 miles south of Ayr, Culzean Castle is situated in a lovely area on several clifftops. The current picture-perfect castle was built at some point in the 18th century, but a fortification has stood on this site since the 14th century. This popular tourist destination, which is one of Scotland’s best castles, is now under the National Trust of Scotland’s management.
Most of the year, guests are welcome to explore the castle on their own. Daily free guided tours are furthermore offered. Highlights include the historic Dining Hall, whose ceiling is covered in paintings by Antonio Zucchi, and the Armory’s significant collection of handguns. The tasteful Chippendale-style furnishings is also noteworthy.
5. Find out more about Dalgarven Mill Museum of Country Life and Costume.
A wealth of information and artefacts about the region’s vibrant cultural heritage may be found at the Museum of Ayrshire Country Life and Costume. It also offers insightful information about conventional farming methods and implements. The museum is located near Kilwinning, some 30 kilometres north of Ayr, inside the completely rebuilt Dalgarven Mill.
The actual operating water wheel and its accompanying Victorian equipment, still driven by the River Garnock, serve as the focal point of the museum. The granaries, which have exhibitions of costumes, everyday objects, and tools, are very popular with visitors. There are also guided tours.
6. Visit the Heads of Ayr Farm Park with the kids.
Visiting the Heads of Ayr Farm Park is among the best things to do in Ayr with kids. This well-liked family destination features a petting zoo and miniature theme park with lots of entertaining activities for kids. Highlights include exhilarating water features like water slides, bumper boats, and water guns.
The majority of the park’s animal collection is made up of charming and cuddly species, like guinea pigs and rabbits. The farm is also home to a few larger animals, both domestic and exotic, like camels, llamas, and monkeys.
Playing with miniature construction equipment, which offers the ability to operate miniature electric tractors and diggers, is another entertaining activity for children. There are also electric quad bikes available. An adventure playground, a large sandbox, trampolines, and an aerial runway are additional interactive features. There is also a café on-site.
7. Take a Day Trip to Belleisle Park
The 1.5 miles south of the city centre that makeup Belleisle Park are full of places to spend the day. Gardens, nature trails, and two well-known golf courses are among its outdoor features. The glass-walled Belleisle Conservatory, which features blooming plants all year round, is also located in the park.
The Belleisle or Seafield Golf Courses in the park accept tee-time reservations from the general public. Both programs have been taught in the community for about a century. A terrible fire in 2019 forced the closure of the historic Belleisle House, a manor-turned-guesthouse that once stood next to the clubhouse.
There is much more to Belleisle than just golf. The park’s gardens and hiking trails are very beautiful and expansive. The Walled Garden in the park is really beautiful and features intricate planting all through. The walled garden’s neighbour, the Belleisle Conservancy, offers similar year-round floral pleasures.
8. Explore Ayr High Street.
When visiting, take some time to stroll through the Ayr town centre. The majority of pedestrians on High Street and other nearby roadways are members of the local community, who also frequent the many stores, eateries, and historic sites. Other city landmarks, such as The Gaiety Theater, can be found in the town centre.
One such historical site close to High Street is the Auld Brig of Ayr. The late 1500s were when the foundations of this stone bridge over the River Ayr were laid. There is evidence that the area has been used as a water crossing for hundreds of years. It is now a beautiful pedestrian bridge with fantastic views of the lake.
9. Examine the Greenan Castle Ruins.
The breathtaking remains of the 16th-century Greenan Castle are located closer to Ayr. The majestic tower house, which clings to a clifftop overlooking the sea, is the most outstanding aspect. The remaining interior of the castle cannot be visited due to its damaged state and location by the sea, but its beachfront location offers a fantastic photo opportunity.
10. Attend the Burns an’ a’ That Festival.
The highlight of yearly celebrations of the life, legacy, and inspirations of Scotland’s greatest poet and local hero, Robbie Burns, is the Burns an’ a’ That Festival. Each May, it lasts for four days at Rozelle Park. During this consistently packed event, which has grown to be the region’s premier art festival, comedians, musicians, and poets pack the town.
BurnsFringe, a fringe program, is also enjoyable. It covers a wide range of topics, such as bagpiping, visual and performing arts, gastronomy, and culture.