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Ayrshire & Arran

Ayrshire & Arran Map

Few places can boast a heritage like that of Ayrshire and the Isle of Arran. North Ayrshire is of course home to Vikingar!, the award winning visitor attraction in Largs that tells the saga of the Vikings in Scotland and how they were finally defeated in 1263 at the Battle of Largs and fled the country. (Additional Information can be found in the Founding of the Clans). Nearby Kelburn Castle and Country Centre at Fairlie is a magical place, with gardens and the mysterious Secret Forest set round a 16th century tower, the historic home of the Earls of Glasgow.

From Largs, take the 10 minute ferry trip to the Isle of Cumbrae which boasts the smallest Cathedral in Europe.

Travelling further along the coast to Ardrossan, from where the 55 minute Caledonian MacBrayne ferry will take you into Brodick Bay on the Isle of Arran where you'll see the magnificent castle with a 13th century fortification. On the island you can travel back beyond the mists of time and visit prehistoric sites, perhaps the most impressive bening the standing stones on Machrie Moor.

Another must on the island is the Isle of Arran Distillery in Lochranza, the first legal distillery on the island for 150 years.

Moving back to the mainland, on the A737 between Kilwinning and Dalry lies Dalgarven Mill, a water-driven flour mill dating back to 1620. On to Irvine soack up the atmosphere of the historic, cobbled street, the Glasgow Vennel, where Robert Burns once lived and worked. Make a splash at the Magnum Centre, one of Europe's biggest and best leisure complexes or learn some seafaring history at the Scottish Maritime Museum.

Moving on to East Ayrshire where there is plenty evidence of even more history. The pretty 15th century Dean Castle & Country Park in Kilmarnock boasts an impresssive collection of medieval arms and armoury.

South of Ayr near Maybole you will find Culzean Castle & Country Park. This stunning clifftop Castle was designed by Robert Adam and completed in 1792. It also boasts strong connections with General (later President) Eisenhower and a presentation in his former rooms explains the part he played in history.

Forty minutes drive from Maybole is Dundonald Castle which was the ancestral home of the Stewart Kings of Scotland over 600 years ago.  The Ayrshire mainland also boasts some of the strongest connections in Scotland, with the country's most famous poet, Robert Burns, and the Burns House Museum in Mauchline and the Burns National Heritage Park in Alloway is just south of Ayr.

South Ayrshire is also home to a numer of outstanding golf courses including Open Championship courses such as Turnberry, Royal Troon and Old Prestwick, where the first Open Championship was played in 1860.

With the wide range of visitor attractions and activities from golf to paragliding, horse racing, to watersports, horse-riding and quad biking. Fishing is also very popular from freshwater on rivers such as Arran's Machrie and Iorsa and the mainland's Rivers Ayr and Stinchar to name but a few, to sea fishing from a charter boat off the coast. Ayrshire & Arran really does have something for everyone, so whether the pace be leisurely or frantic, take a breath of fresh Ayrshire & Isle of Arran.

Visit the Ayr & Isle of Arran Tourist Board
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Ayr & Isle of Arran

Ayr & Isle of Arran

Ayr & Isle of Arran

Ayr & Isle of Arran

Ayr & Isle of Arran

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