Hotels in Ayrshire
Renowned for the beauty of its countryside, coastline, beaches and islands, Ayrshire is rich in history, wildlife and spectacular geography. Those who love the outdoors will revel in its castles, coastal walks, picturesque villages and woodlands. Book one of our Ayrshire hotels and explore the land which gave birth to Robbie Burns.
The seaside town of Ayr, one of Scotland's oldest towns, is home to a lovely sandy beach from which, on a clear day, you can see Northern Ireland. Attractions including South Ayrshire's biggest play area, on the Low Green, and soft play and crazy golf on the seafront make it a good place for a family day out. A must-visit for poetry lovers is the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum, which houses more than 5,500 manuscripts, books, artworks and artefacts relating to the Bard of Ayrshire's life. The museum site also includes the cottage he lived in as a child and the Auld Kirk church and Brig O'Doon bridge, described in his poem Tam O'Shanter.
The west coast of Scotland is one of the finest coastlines in the British Isles. Walkers can explore the Ayrshire coast along the Ayrshire Coastal Path, a 100-mile route from Glenapp to Skelmorlie. As well as stunning scenery, look out for an abundance of wild flowers and wildlife – seals, otters, roe deer and more than 130 species of bird are found along the route. Along the coast you'll also find endless historical sites, from Kelburn Castle, famously redecorated by a team of Brazilian artists, to Kilwinning Abbey. Built in the 1100s, the abbey is mostly ruined, but its south transept still stands to full height. Kelburn Castle itself is only open for tours in July, August and the first week of September, but there's still plenty to do on its 3,500-acre country estate. Kids' activities range from pony trekking to laser tag, while walkers of all ages will want to explore the beautiful Kelburn Glen, filled with waterfalls, gorges, wild flowers, ferns and trees.
Scotland's largest Regional Park covers 108 square miles and offers endless opportunities for walking, sailing, kayaking, cycling, powerboating or fishing. One of Britain's rarest birds of prey, the hen harrier, breeds on its heather moors, and between April and August you may well see one hunting. You might also be able to see live CCTV footage of the birds in the visitor centre. Look out too for orange ladybirds, ermine, roe deer, lizards, hares, bats and a variety of butterflies, as well as birds including treecreepers, great spotted woodpeckers, buzzards, wheatears and crossbills. There's lots of pretty plant life, too, from bluebells and rhododendrons to orchids and marsh marigolds.
Isle of Arran
The sweeping scenery of the captivatingly beautiful Isle of Arran will win your heart from the moment you set foot on it. The island is a nature lover's paradise – go seal spotting on the Corrie shore, birdwatching on the beaches and in the hills, or deer-spotting at Lochranza. There are also red squirrels all over the island. Natural attractions include Glenashdale Falls and King's Cave, or visit the 13th-century Brodick Castle, which overlooks Brodick Bay and is surrounded by a country park. The castle houses a collection of rare silver, porcelain and paintings.
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