A charming seaside town established in 1205, Ayr centres around a Victorian esplanade, beaches and bustling seafront. Known for its most famous resident, the poet Robert Burns, Ayr offers a deep dive into the world of Scottish literature, art and architecture.
Things to do
The legacy of Robert Burns, the national bard, is evident throughout Ayr. Literary enthusiasts flock to his place of birth to explore the Burn Cottage, a thatched-roof structure about 10 minutes’ walk from the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum. The interactive museum holds original manuscripts and memorabilia, while the gardens lead to a dedicated Poet’s Walk.
The 18th-century Culzean Castle, which belongs to the Scottish National Trust, is perched on a clifftop surrounded by lavish gardens, woodlands and a deer park. A children’s area features a miniature re-creation of the castle, along with an orangery, aviary and Victorian vinery.
Spend an afternoon at Ayr Beach and Seafront Park, building sand castles and picnicking. Kids will love the play area, pirate ship climbing structure and putting green. Join the crowds who flock to Ayr Racecourse for the Scottish Grand National and the Ayr Gold Cup.
Explore the collections at Rozelle House Galleries, which features an exhibition of Yeomanry including uniforms and artefacts. You’ll also find paintings illustrating Robert Burns’ poem “Tam O’Shanter”. In the evening, have drinks at the 18th-century pub named after the same poem, then enjoy Mediterranean and Italian food at XXII Bistro.
Transportation options in Ayr include buses, taxis and bicycle hires. Rental cars are available in town or at Glasgow International Airport, located 7 kilometres away.
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