Visiting Ayrshire & Arran

If you’re going to see the Ladies Scottish Open, then you’re very lucky indeed – not only is there the promise of three days of incredible, world-class golf competition, but you’ll also get to spend time in the beautiful coastal region of Ayrshire. With charming Arran on your doorstep and a great many things to see and do, it’s well worth taking time to discover the region’s numerous highlights.

Be inspired to book a tee-time

Ayrshire & Arran is one of the world’s best golfing destinations, so don’t be surprised if the action on the greens and fairways of Dundonald Links puts you in the mood to pick up the clubs! Not only does the region boast three championship courses, but it’s the birthplace of The Open – where possibly could be better for a round or two?

Play the prestigious Royal Troon, Turnberry and Prestwick and follow in the footsteps of golfing greats. The region boasts a great spread of links and parkland courses, and there are a number of superb passes you can take advantage of to get the best value for your buck.

Perhaps it’s time to introduce your budding young golfers to the sport? Go for a family coaching session at Roodlea Golf Centre, or choose from a range of moderate 9-hole courses and courses with junior tees.

Download our free Golf in: Ayrshire & The Isle of Arran guide for more information about golf in the region.

Explore miles of coastline

Stretching over 90 miles, the long Ayrshire coastline boasts a wealth of beaches and caves with pleasant stretches of sands at Ayr, Troon, Saltcoats and Largs, to name but a few. Unleash your inner child and take a bucket and spade, or why not bring a towel in case you feel like paddling in the gentle breaking waves?

One of the best ways to enjoy the coast is on foot following a section of the Ayrshire Coastal Path, one of Scotland’s Great Trails. As well as passing through sandy bays, traversing rocky shorelines and skirting links golf courses, there are a few fascinating historical sites to take in along the way, too.

From Ardrossan, you can sail to the magical Isle of Arran in under an hour and discover a gem of an island, which sits in the Firth of Clyde. The roads along the coastline are perfect for a challenging cycle, and there are plenty of pebbled inlets and fine beaches, ideal for beachcombing and spotting wildlife such as seals and otters.

Uncover treasures from the past

It’s a fact – Ayrshire is packed with history, and you don’t need to toil over dusty, old books to find out about it. Look no further than the majestic Culzean Castle, which boasts incredible period design, antique furnishings and an impressive armoury display of thousands of gleaming swords and pistols.

At Dumfries House in Cumnock, you’ll feel like a lord or lady as you stroll through one of Scotland’s grandest country estates. The house itself is a masterpiece, home to priceless Chippendale furniture, and the five-acre walled garden is a tranquil haven, having undergone an extensive careful restoration.

Ayrshire is also Burns Country, and there is no better place to get acquainted with the life and works of Scotland’s Bard. Visit sites where the wordsmith had connections with in his lifetime, including the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum in Alloway, Burns House Museum in Mauchline and the Bachelor’s Club in Tarbolton. You never know, the Ayrshire countryside may inspire you to pen a poem yourself!

Bring your appetite

Ayrshire & Arran has a bountiful local larder and it’s well worth discovering the region’s boldest flavours and local delicacies. Ayrshire is famed for its cured bacon and floury Epicure potatoes (or ‘tatties’, as you might hear them being called), while Arran is a real foodie destination, abundant in great island produce.

With artisan chocolatiers, ice cream producers, distilleries, whisky specialists, cheesemakers, breweries, smokehouses, farm shops and more, you can pretty much nibble your way around the region!

The range of eateries is vast. You could be enjoying an indulgent ice cream sundae from a traditional ice cream parlour, have a hearty meal in a cosy country inn, or sample elegantly plated seafood in a sophisticated bistro.  Is your tummy rumbling yet? Then check out Taste Ayrshire for more on the region’s produce and dining options.

And that’s only just the beginning of the many amazing wonders of this diverse region! To find out what else you can see and do in Ayrshire & Arran, visit visitscotland.com/ayrshire-arran.