Ayr United, the 'Honest Men' are the local professional football team. As of writing, they are looking a good bet for relegation to the Second Division. Here are some salient points:
They are, generally, rubbish. Logically, a town of Ayr's size should be able to support a team capable of generating a decent level of support and spending at least some time in the SPL (top division). Not for the last 25 years or so. Made even more galling by the success of bitter local rivals Kilmarnock (SPL regulars, Scottish Cup winners, games in Europe). The nearest brush with success was reaching a Cup semi-final two or three seasons ago (hammered 6-0, I believe). Still, it did involve beating Kilmarnock on the way.
For years, sponsored by Barr Construction. Ironically, as Barr have built most of the recent stadia in Scotland, and Ayr's home, Somerset Park, is (reportedly) decrepit. Still, at least they are not bankrupt.
The legendary manager Ally McLeod. The man who made Scotland believe we would win the 1978 World Cup. Also was manager of Ayr United, and I'm sure it is no coincidence this was their most successful recent period Recently deceased, but his memory will live in Ayr, as long as football is played there.
Hugh Sproat, the punk goalkeeper. Several pints of beer is probably the best preparation for watching an Ayr United match.
Largs, in the north of Ayrshire [take the A78 from Ayr], is a popular seaside town, great for daytrips. Its famous for the Nardini's Italian ice cream [shop is located right next to the ferry terminal] which is delicious!! There is a beach with all the usual amusements, restaurants and some interesting shops. Its also the ferry terminal for the island of Grand Cumbrae
I like to park at the marina, on the edge of the town, and walk into the centre along the shore, passed "the Pencil" [big needle like structure in the photo], get some ice cream and stroll back.
On my last visit I also discovered a viewpoint up in the hills above the town [it was signposted from the main road]. It wasn't the best day, weather wise, but even then the views over the town and islands was worth a look. Would be great on a clear sunny day!
Ardstinchar Castle, South Ayrshire
The scant remains of this castle are situated just south of Ballantrae, by the side of the Stinchar River. Much of the castle was canibalised to build the nearby bridge over the river.
The ruin is viewable but great care should be taken as there is often falling masonary to contend with.
Ayr - beautiful small town charm
On the last day of my trip to Scotland 2004 Ronny had to leave with an earlier flight from Prestwick so I took the opportunity to spend the day in Ayr, just south of Prestwick and it was a really nice thing to do. I really loved the small town charm of it all and might go back some day...