On the west coast of Scotland, there is a beautiful region known as Ayrshire. It is a county known for its rich history and beautiful charm. Also known as Ayr, the county is divided into the council areas of East Ayrshire, South Ayrshire, and North Ayrshire.  

The concave western coastline of the country lies along the Firth of Clyde, which is amazingly beautiful. However, this gorgeous part of Scotland has much more to offer to its tourists. 

Therefore, we’ve created this guide to the best things to do in Ayrshire for your trip.

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Things To Do In Ayrshire – An Ultimate Guide to Visiting Ayrshire

  • Where to Stay in Ayrshire
  • Stay at Glenapp Castle
  • Visit Robert Burns Birthplace Museum
  • Play Golf at Trump Turnberry
  • Visit Culzean Castle
  • Discover Largs
  • Stroll By the Seaside in Troon
  • Relish the Unparalleled Beauty of Ailsa Craig
  • Drive the Coast Road A77
  • Soak in the Tranquility and Spirituality of Dumfries House
  • Explore the Holy Island
  • Before You Leave

Where to Stay in Ayrshire

There is a wide range of accommodations available in Ayrshire, so you will not be short on options.



Stay at Glenapp Castle

Let’s be honest; watching those Disney movies, we all have dreamt of living in a castle. Scottish castles have a different charm, and for all the good reasons. Therefore, it shouldn’t be just visiting, but a lavish and royal experience of staying in one of those Scottish castle has to be on your Scotland bucketlist.

Glenapp Castle is one such place to be in Ayrshire. Despite being a must-visit landmark, it is a 5-star castle hotel that is truly a gem for those travellers who prefer luxury and comfort over anything. This is indeed a place where you can recharge yourself as soon as you land in Ayrshire after a long, tiring journey.

Whether you are with friends or family, this property offers you an intimate level of service to make you feel at home. Sprawling over a vast area of 36 acres of land, the property is huge, including its grounds. So, be prepared to walk for a few minutes to reach the actual castle.

There are 17 guest rooms and suites with a ground floor that has several sitting rooms along with a bar. To ensure a fun time for its guests, the castle also offers a number of activities to do, from archery to private boat tours.

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Visit Robert Burns Birthplace Museum

Under the authority of the National Trust of Scotland, Robert Burns Birthplace Museum is a place for both history and heritage lovers. It is dedicated to the national poet of Scotland, Robert Burns.

The museum is located in Alloway village, where Burns was born. If you really want to know about Burns’ life and his work, then there are different segments to explore. The museum features interesting collections talking about the early years of Rober Burns.

Not only this, the museum also hosts themed events, including Tam o’ Banter, which is a comedy and curry night. It also houses manuscripts and personal items that talk about work, relationships, and political beliefs.

Burns Cottage is another segment that you must look to explore. It was built in 1757 by his father. However, it has gone through restoration to bring it into its original form. The cottage gives you an insight into the simplicity of life and his achievements.

Auld Alloway Kirk and the Brig o’ Doon are also an essential part of your museum tour as they feature his famous poem – “Tam o’ Shanter”. Auld Kirk is the burial place of his father, and his tombstones welcome you as you climb up to the graveyard. Besides, there is also a Monument that offers beautiful views down to the exquisite Brig o’ Doon setting.

Play Golf at Trump Turnberry

In case you don’t know, Scotland is a home of golf. Trump Turnberry is amongst the best golf courses in the world. So, Trump Turnberry has to be on your list of places to visit in Ayrshire.

Sprawled over an area of 800 acres of the estate overlooking the beautiful Ayrshire coastline, Trump Turnberry is a beautiful spot to explore and visit. It is also known as the world’s original golf resort and offers some exemplary hospitality.

For a fact, the resort was also featured in Condé Nast Travelers Choice Awards “Top 20 Europe Resort” 2020. The location of the golf course is the highlight of this place. Since it is located on the coast of Ayrshire and hence, offers picturesque views of Isle of Arran and Ailsa Craig along with the Irish Sea.

Even if you don’t know how to play golf, you must look to try your hands for an experience. Not only this, the resort also includes Ailsa Course, the host of four Open Championships. Besides, there is also a 9-hole course known as the Arran.

Along with that, the resort also gives the option to enjoy a pleasant and luxurious stay. For that, there are cottages and apartments to choose from for groups, families, and even solo visitors.

You can also enjoy a spa at Trump Turnberry Resort with beautiful ocean views from the heated infinity pool that includes other amenities such as a steam room, sauna, and gym.

Visit Culzean Castle

When in Scotland, you cannot get enough of visiting castles. Culzean Castle is one of those stunning tourist attractions that you cannot afford to ignore in Ayrshire. The vicinity of the castle is quite amusing as it takes a few minutes to reach the parking area from the entrance.

As you enter the vicinity, you will get to see a large complex housing a Home Farm Restaurant. An intriguing fact about the castle is that it has 40 buildings across the vicinity.

Culzean Castle also comes under the administration of the National Trust for Scotland. Located on the top of the cliff, the castle is not just only an architectural marvel but also offers exquisite views across the Irish sea.

Besides, it is also engirdled with beaches, trails, and woods and dotted with gardens and adventure playgrounds. It was designed in the late 18th century by Robert Adam. In order to learn everything about the castle, we recommend you to take a guided tour.

Discover Largs

Located in the north of Ayrshire county, Largs is a lesser-known and undiscovered part of Scotland. There are plenty of reasons to add this place to your list of Ayrshire things to do.

The town of Largs is bounded by the high ground to the east and is known for being a relaxing and friendly seaside resort. The town is dotted with an abundance of greenery and beautiful Victorian promenade vistas.

The town is a perfect place to escape city life as it is not just surrounded by exotic scenery but serves as a laid-back destination to spend some quality downtime. While you are in Largs, you get the opportunity to indulge in plenty of activities, including walking, golfing, cycling, highlands, and islands touring and exploring hidden gems in the west of Scotland. You can also take the short ferry across to the small island of Milport for a day trip! 

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Visit the Seaside Town of Troon

Troon is another quaint little seaside town in Ayrshire which also serves as a pretty location to explore and be a part of. Located on the west coast of Scotland, this peaceful town attracts people from across the globe because of its surreal beauty.
However, the town is majorly famous for hosting golf tournaments at the popular Royal Troon Golf course. Apart from that, there is much more to do here in Troon. In fact, Troon can be your perfect holiday destination.

Troon Yach Haven is another key highlight of the town which was even voted as the “Best UK Harbour/Marina 2017”. Visit the harbour as it is one of the most picturesque locations where you can capture some amazing clicks.

If you want to indulge in a watersport, then kitesurfing is what you must try your hands in. In case you don’t know, the town of Troon is the home of Kitesurf in Scotland.

Amongst those amazing things to do in Troon, you can also indulge in a castle tour, luxurious spa, beach hopping, golfing, church, and trail exploration. Troon is indeed a place where you can enjoy a fun-filled vacation time.

Relish the Unparalleled Beauty of Ailsa Craig

Located some 10 miles off the coast of Ayrshire in the Firth of Clyde, Ailsa Craig is a nature reserve. It is also the home to one of the best Curling Stone Quarries in the world.

One of the interesting facts about Ailsa Craig says that it was formed from a volcanic plug from a volcano that is long extinct and believed to be more than 500 years old.

This natural grandeur sprawls over a circumference of 2 miles to ascends to an elevation of more than 1100 feet above sea level. Apart from its stunning beauty, the place is also known for being the breeding ground of one of the world’s largest colonies of gannets.

Besides, it also has the world’s most important ‘blue hone’ granite quarry. There is also a lighthouse which was built in the late 19th century by Thomas Stevenson. Besides, on the foot of the cliff, there is also a small cottage and a ruined castle on the path.

Drive the Coast Road A77

Scotland tourism is full of scenic drives, and Coast Road A77 is one of them. Southwest Scotland offers an amazing and distinctive experience when it comes to drives. And of all the routes, Southwest 300 is a crucial one.

It is a circular route that covers around 300 miles. The Ayrshire part of the route is all about A77 Road. It begins in Glasgow and goes all the way on the Irish sea to Portpatrick.

On the route, you can find the main towns of the region, such as Prestwick, Girvan, Ayr, and Stranraer. For a fact, as soon as you will reach Givran, the route takes you to the sea down to the gorgeous Portpatrick.

Soak in the Tranquility and Spirituality of Dumfries House

One of the most beautiful houses in the region, Dumfries House is Britain’s best-kept heritage secret. You need to take a guided tour in order to get admission to Dumfries House. Also, what you need to know here is that there is no admission fee.

Being one of the most popular Ayrshire attractions, the houses attracts history and heritage lover from across the globe. The place combines known to witness the architecture of Robert Adam and the furniture of Thomas Chippendale.

In 2007, the house was saved by the intervention of HRM, the Prince of Wales. The house is open to visitors for free. However, it is important to know that it is only daily from April to October. Whereas, between November and March, the house opens for visitors only on weekends.

In terms of tourism, the house still retains its old-world charm of a bygone era. The sublime setting is beautifully dotted with ancient trees, river walks, and exotic wildlife.

Explore the Holy Island

A pint-sized island that perfectly talks about undiscovered Scotland. Also known as Lindisfarne, it is one of the most beautiful tidal islands in the UK. The island is not that long and is only 1.4 miles wide and 3 miles long.

In warm summer months, this is the perfect place to not just beat the heat but also to escape city life. There is a regular ferry service that runs from Lamlash across to the Holy Island and it is a great place to go on a short hike and see incredible views of nearby Arran and the west coast of Scotland.

Such is the beauty of this place that it can easily be your favourite destination on your tour to Ayrshire. The exquisite scenery and the stunning views coastline is the key highlight of this place.

While spending time here, make sure you keep an eye out for some of the local birdlife along with the affluent flora and fauna. For a fact, this was also the home of St. Cuthbert, who is known to hold the power of spiritual healing.

Therefore, this quaint little island is known as a place of tranquility and spirituality. Not only this, it is also the final stop of one of Scotland’s iconic trails – the St. Cuthbert’s Way.

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Before You Leave for Scotland

Before you set off on your way to Edinburgh, there are a number of things you will need to get organised to ensure a smooth and enjoyable journey. These include what to pack, where to stay and what is the best insurance for your trip to Scotland. All of this is discussed in detail below.

When is the Best Time to Travel Scotland?

It is no secret that Scotland is a wet and cold country, it is the reason the countryside is so beautifully green. There is, however, a certain time of the year when the weather in Scotland is more likely to be dry and warm. As the winter fades away from the highlands and the Spring warmth comes through, Scotland is without a doubt one of the most beautiful places in the world.

If you were to choose a time of the year to visit Scotland, we would highly suggest April to June. These months tend to be the driest of the year, with summer rains coming through later into July and August. It is also early enough in April that the flying “Midges” (biting insects like nothing you have ever experienced) have not woken up yet to cause misery and doom.

What to Pack for Your Trip to Scotland

When it comes to packing for a trip to Scotland there is one item of clothing that you are going to need all year round: a waterproof. It rains in Scotland on average 250 days a year, meaning that during your 10 day Scotland road trip you will probably experience at least a drizzle of rain. Due to this, the number one item on any Scotland packing list is a good waterproof jacket.

As for the rest of the year, the temperature in Scotland and the central heartlands is reasonably mild for most of the year. During the winter months, you will most likely experience snow, however, temperatures usually sit around freezing, so it is not too cold. For your reference, the average temperatures in Scotland are listed below during each season.

Spring (March, April, May) – 5-10 degrees C

Summer (June, July, August) – 15 degrees C

Autumn (September, October, November) – 5-10 degrees C

Winter (December, January, February) – 0-5 degrees C

As you can see, the weather never really gets above the teens, with anything over 25 degrees C considered a heatwave. The best way to pack for your trip to the highlands is with layers that can be added and removed as you need them. You will definitely need a hat and gloves during the colder months and will most likely need sunscreen to protect you on the long days in the open.

For our full list of items that we pack no matter where we go in the world, check out our full packing guides over here.

Given the beautiful sights and scenery that you are no doubt going to see around the highlands of Scotland, we highly recommend packing a good camera for your trip. If you want to read more about the cameras we use and why we love them, check out the link below.

You can read what else we keep in our camera bag over here.

What to Pack for Your Trip to Scotland

When it comes to packing for a trip to Scotland there is one item of clothing that you are going to need all year round: a waterproof. It rains in Scotland on average 250 days a year, meaning that during your trip to the Isle of Skye, you can expect rain at some point. Due to this, the number one item on your packing list is a good waterproof jacket.

Second to that, another item to not leave home without is a good pair of warm and, if possible, waterproof boots. A lot of the best sights on Skye require a bit of walking to reach them and the conditions underfoot can become very muddy. You do not want to ruin a good pair of white trainers so pack some sturdy boots.

You will definitely need a hat and gloves during the winter months as the wind chill can be bitter.

For our full list of items that we pack no matter where we go in the world, check out our full packing guides over here.

Given the beautiful sights and scenery that you are no doubt going to see around the Edinburgh, we highly recommend packing a good camera for your trip. If you want to read more about the cameras we use and why we love them, check out the link below.

You can read what else we keep in our camera bag over here.


What is the Best Travel Insurance for Scotland

I know travel insurance is the least enjoyable thing to purchase and look at when you’re planning a trip, however, you wouldn’t want to be without it in the event that something happened. Accidents can happen anywhere and the extortionate medical bills will ruin your trip if you are not covered.

To ensure you have a stress-free trip with no worries about potential medical bills, make sure you cover yourself when you travel. We can recommend using SafetyWing, a backpacker-friendly and cheap insurance company that provides good coverage and support. It is also nomad-friendly, unlike most other insurance companies, meaning you do not need to worry about being out of your home country for too long.

Get a quote for your travel insurance right here and get covered!

So there you have it, a guide to Things To Do In Ayrshire in Scotland. If you are visiting this incredible place and have any other questions on what to expect, leave us a comment down below. We love to chat about this stuff! If you have already been, let us know how it was! 

Also, remember to share this guide with your friends and family that you are going to share this amazing experience with. Sharing is caring and we want to ensure that everyone is fully prepared to maximise their experience in Scotland.

If you are planning a Scotland trip soon then check out our other Scotland content right here. Come and find us on social media to see where we are currently exploring. Tag us in your photos from your stay and we will share them with the rest of our community of explorers and backpackers.

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