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Visitor Information - Arran & Ayrshire

History and Heritage

Castles 

Activities 

Out and About:

Arran & Ayrshire:  Accommodation

The Firth of Clyde dominates the region and the Isle of Arran sits proudly in the middle of it, just waiting to be explored. Walkers and climbers won't be disappointed with Goat Fell and surrounding peaks and rock routes. Cycling around the island is popular and there are plenty of other activities on offer: pony trekking, fishing, golf and sailing, to name but a few.

The mainland, too, has much to offer visitors. Turnberry and Troon have their own famous world-class golf courses. Ayrshire, of course, is the home of Robbie Burns and the area has a rich heritage, both cultural and industrial. Inland, lochs, forest and moorland provide the habitat for a varied spectrum of wildlife.

We can't leave without mentioning Cumbrae, just a short ferry trip from Largs. The island isn't large, but it has some beautiful beaches and cycling round the quiet coast road makes a super day out.
 

Saddle and Goat Fell, Arran

Historic Buildings and Castles:

Culzean Castle & Country Park

Culzean Castle

Twelve miles south of Ayr. 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. Probably the finest Georgian castle in Scotland.

Kelburn Castle and Country Park

Two miles south of Largs. The Castle makes an impressive background to Kelburn's exotic gardens, famous trees and romantic Glen, long regarded as one of Scotland's most beautiful natural woodlands. When not reserved for private functions, the castle will be open for guided tours in the afternoons from the 4th of July untill the 20th of September.

Turnberry Castle

The ruined Turnberry castle is an interesting historical attraction, being the place where Robert the Bruce grew up. The castle sits right on the coast next to the lighthouse.

Dean Castle

Kilmarnock. Once the home of the Earls of Kilmarnock. Country Park and visitor centre.

Eglinton Castle

Near Kilwinning. Scene of an extravagant tournament held in 1839. It was partly demolished in 1973 and only the ruins now remain with the surrounding parkland.

Dundonald Castle

Dundonald Castle

All parts of the castle are accessible to the reasonably fit, but the visit does involve a climb of about 30 metres up a winding path to the top of the castle hill. On a clear day the hill commands very extensive views, including the Isle of Arran, the mountains of the Southern Highlands and much of the central Ayrshire plain.

Dunure Castle

On the coast, south of Ayr. One of the abbots from Crossraguel Abbey, near Maybole, was roasted alive in the castle.

Mount Stuart

Mount Stuart

Mount Stuart, near Rothesay, is a spectacular Victorian Gothic house. It is the magnificent architectural fantasy of the 3rd Marquess of Bute and the Scottish architect Robert Rowland Anderson. It is situated on the island of Bute in the Firth of Clyde. Ferries run from Largs in Ayrshire and Colintraive in Argyll, making it one of the most accessible islands on the West Coast.

       

Museums and Galleries:

Scottish Maritime Museum

Harbourside, Irvine. On a tour you will visit the Shipyard Workers Tenement Flat (a chance to see a 'room and kitchen' restored to its pre 1920's appearance) and the collection of vessels moored at pontoons in the Harbour. It is always possible to board at least one vessel. The Museum shop, stocking a wide selection of general and maritime souvenirs, books and videos, is now open all year.

Dick Institute

The Dick Institute Museum and Art Gallery in Kilmarnock has exhibitions and collections showing the local industrial, social and natural history.

Burns National Heritage Park

Burns National Heritage Park

Two miles south of Ayr. Museum and Burns Cottage, birthplace of Robert Burns in Alloway. Important collection of manuscripts and artefacts. Nearby are Brig O'Doon and the Tam O'Shanter Experience.

Rozelle House and Gardens

Near Ayr on the A79. Rozelle House is now home to South Ayrshire Council's permanent art and museums collection and the Estate, with its variety of plants and mature woodland is a popular attraction for visitors and local residents. Paintings from the Goudie Collection will be exhibited in the House throughout.

Dalgarven Mill & Museum

Between Dalry and Kilwinning. The three storey grain store has been converted to house an extensive collection of Ayrshire farming and domestic memorabilia, reflecting the self sufficiency of the pre-industrial rural community that was Dalgarven. On the top floor, an exhibit lets the visitor compare the 1880 lifestyle of the mill-owner, as you wander through his recreated house.

 

Visitor Attractions:

Scottish Industrial Railway Centre

Scottish Industrial Railway Centre

Find out more about Ayrshire's rich industrial railway heritage. The Scottish Industrial Railway Centre is a 'living museum' where unique and historically significant industrial steam and diesel locomotives are restored and can be seen working in an authentic setting. Want to come and visit? See the website for more information on open days, times and admission costs.

Vikingar!

Greenock Road, Largs. The saga of the Vikings in Scotland brought to life with stunning use ofthe latest multi-media technology.

Machrie Standing Stones

Machrie Standing Stones

Machrie, Isle of Arran. Mysterious standing stones.

Holy Island

Off the east coast of Arran. It's a short ferry trip to the island, which is home to a Buddhist retreat. Explore and enjoy the ambience.

Dean Castle and Country Park

Kilmarnock. The castle houses collections of arms and armour, amongst other things. The country park has a visitor centre, an adventure playground and a rare breeds section.

Arran Aromatics

Arran Aromatics

Arran Aromatics is Scotland's leading manufacturer of toiletries and aromatic candles. In an idyllic courtyard setting, the Arran Aromatics factory and shop sit alongside The Island Cheese Co. and the celebrated Creelers Seafood Restaurant and Smokehouse, making The Home Farm one of Arran's most popular visitor attractions.

Isle of Arran Distillery

The Visitor Centre, which was opened in 1997 by Her Majesty the Queen, is built next to the Distillery in stunningly beautiful surroundings at Lochranza. On offer are fully guided tours, an audio visual facility set in a mock eighteenth century Crofter's Inn, an exhibition, shop and restaurant.

Blairquhan

Blairquhan Castle, one of the finest Georgian castles in Scotland, was built on the site of a previous castle dating back to 1346. The Castle is set at the centre of a 2000 acre Estate of woodlands and countryside and an idyllic park of about 500 acres laid out to take advantage of the beautiful landscape of the valley of the Water of Girvan.

Northfield Bowling Complex

The South Ayrshire Council owned Northfield Bowling Complex at Ayr has been the home of Scottish bowling for more than 12 years. Major alterations and upgrading work have now been completed, turning Northfield into a truly world-class venue and also helping to create a National Centre for Excellence for bowling.

       

Golf:

Prestwick Golf Course

Prestwick Golf Club

Prestwick Golf Club is a relaxed and friendly club that enjoys hosting golfers from all around the World. Visitors are encouraged to use their temporary membership to its full capacity, and enjoy the full lunch in the lavish Dining room or just a snack in the relaxed Cardinal room.

Royal Troon Golf Course

Founded in 1878 by a few enthusiasts Troon Golf Club soon outgrew its purely local reputation. The Old Course today presents a stern golfing examination and in particular the inward half of Royal Troon is widely accepted as the most demanding of any Course on the Championship rota.

Turnberry Golf Course

Near Girvan. The course has been the venue for the Open Championship on three occasions.

 
       

Car Hire:

Compass Self Drive

Kilmarnock. Hire cars, MPVs and minibuses.

Kerr & Smith Ltd

Cumnock and Ayr. Car and van hire.

Nordek Travel

Nordek Travel

Nordek Travel will be delighted to quote for any type of transfer business no matter the destination or distance.

Arnold Clark

Ayr and Kilmarnock. Car and van hire.

Discount Car Hire

Discount Car Hire

Discount Car Hire is a Scottish owned, family run business who have had their roots in the vehicle hire business for over 20 years. Experience has shown us that most customers don't insist on brand new vehicles but would rather get the best possible value for their money. By offering nearly new vehicles, we sincerely believe we can do this and add a level of service and flexibility that is just not possible with other companies.

Arran Transport Limited

Brodick, Isle of Arran.
tel 01770 302121

Mainland Taxis

Mainland Taxis

We offer airport transfers to and from the Arran ferry to all Scottish airports and any other destination. We pride ourselves on being a friendly and reliable service. Also we are disabled friendly with wheel chair accessible vehicle and 7 seater available on request.
tel: 07921 998457

       

Selected Accommodation in Arran and Ayrshire
 

Hotels

Guest Houses

Bed & Breakfast

Kings Arms Hotel, Ballantrae
Turnberry Luxury Collection Resort
Sorn Inn, Mauchline
Park Hotel, Kilmarnock
Fairburn Hotel, Mauchline
Southfield Hotel, Girvan
Glenapp Castle Hotel, Ballantrae
Lochranza Hotel Country Inn, Arran
Douglas Hotel, Brodick, Arran
Lamlash Bay Hotel, Arran

Langley Bank Guest House, Ayr
The Dunn Thing, Ayr
Tigh na Ligh Guest House, Largs
Daviot House, Ayr
Coila Guest House, Ayr
Queens Guest House, Ayr
The Glenartney, Brodick, Arran
Rosaburn, Brodick, Arran
Roberta's Guest House, Largs
Tigh An Eilean, Lamlash, Arran
Broom Lodge, Largs
Hunters Guest House, Brodick, Arran

The Old Rectory, Largs
Fairways B&B, Turnberry
The Dormie House, Prestwick
The Barrels, Prestwick
Chalmers B&B, Ayr
Jameston Farm, Turnberry
Alexandria House, Ayr
South Whittlieburn Farm, Largs
Grange View, Ayr
Abbey Cottage, Prestwick
Alton Albany Farm, Barr
Lilac Bank, Crosshill
Stonewater House, Lamlash, Arran
Boghouse Farm B&B, Colmonell
Gardenrose B&B, Maybole
Laighbent, Blackwaterfoot, Arran
Sherwood B&B, Ayr
Links Lodge B&B, Turnberry
Carraig Mhor, Lamlash, Arran
Balkissock Lodge, Ballantrae

Self Catering

Caravans

Hostels/Bunkhouses

Woodcroft Cottages, Ayr
Church Cottage, Ayr
Craigengells Cottage, Barrhill
Strathconon, Whiting Bay
Castleview Apartment, Brodick, Arran
Woodside Cottage, Sannox, Arran
Haus Saron, Largs
Back House, Pirnmill, Arran
Stick House, Saltcoats
Acorn Cottage, Prestwick
18 Main Street, Straiton
Sealladh na Mara, Pirnmill, Arran
Bellevue Farm Cottages, Blackwaterfoot, Arran
Woodlea, Brodick, Arran
Laighdykes Cottage, Saltcoats
Lochdean Cottage, Lochranza, Arran
Turnberry Luxury Apartments, Turnberry
Aros Beag, Shiskine, Arran
Largs Apartments, Largs
Seawinds Cottages, Corrie, Arran
Dowanhill Cottage, Ballantrae
Kildonan Schoolhouses, Kildonan, Arran
7 Crawford Street, Millport, Cumbrae
Rosebud Cottage, Galston
Darnhay Cottage, Mauchline
Seacrest, Kildonan, Arran

 

Kilmory Lodge Bunkhouse, Arran

 

 
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