Ayr town & area is nestled on the south west coast of Scotland overlooking Ayr bay at the Firth of Clyde near to the Isle of Arran. Ayr Racecourse & Burns on their doorstep. Other attractions and areas include Tam O'Shanter, Dundonald Castle & Culzean Castle. Golfing in Ayrshire is well known with the likes of Troon Golf Course & Turnberry Golf Course. To find out more information on Ayr accommodation or the Ayr area, please take a look at their web page.
Pls also take a look at scotlandscotour's page
This Georgian castle, built between 1777-1797, sits on 563 acres of land. For the price of about $15 dollars (adult) you can visit the inside of the castle (not all of the castle is open though) and you can also visit the castle grounds. Inside the castle you can tour rooms showcasing furniture, armor, weapons, paintings, etc. If you have seen your share of castles, you can pay about $10 and just visit the grounds, which are quite impressive. There's a large park, a Pagoda, a Swan Pond, a cliffside path running alongside the Firth of Clyde, a kid's playground, and more things I can't even recall. There was an Old Stables Coffee Shop where you can get tea service for 2 which includes 2 hot scones, clotted cream, and jam for only about $3. There's a restaurant and accomodations are available.
The Auld Kirk within the Burns Heritage Park is 'a haunted graveyard' and church...
You will find this church and graveyard near:
Burns National Heritage Park
Murdoch's Lone, Alloway, Ayr KA7 4PQ
Tel: +44 (0)1292 443 700
Fax: +44 (0)1292 441 750
If you enter, you first encounter the grave of father William Burns... father of the most loved poet of Scotland, Robert Burns.
Just outside Ayr is the Robert Burns Heritage Park. You have to go here, it is a nice place with some restaurants, some beautiful site, the famous Brig O'Doon and more.... Close to the park is the Burns Cottage, this is a museum where they ask an entrance fee of I believe 4 GBP, the entrance to the Heritage Park is free...
On their website they write: "Robert Burns' birthplace is brought to life through a mixture of modern technology and unique authentic locations and artefacts. Travel back in time in Robert Burns Cottage and visit the Burns family. See the world's most important Robert Burns collection in the Museum. Walk in the footsteps of Tam o'Shanter in "Alloway's auld haunted kirk" and across auld Brig o'Doon, where Tam's mare, Meg had her narrow escape from the witches. View Robert Burns' beloved Ayrshire countryside from the roof of Burns Monument and experience the humour and excitement of Robert Burns best-loved tale in the Tam o'Shanter Experience. With free parking, gift shops and licensed restaurant, as well as a full programme of events including the annual Burns an' a' That festival, Burns National Heritage Park offers a year-round chance for all the family to experience the pride, passion and power of Robert Burns."
Just south of Ayr, this stunning castle in a beautiful location was lovely to visit. Entry for an adult costs £12! Which at first I thought was a fair cost, for the size of the castle and park. We are members of the National Trust however and didnt have to pay a penny! On our way out I was very glad we didnt pay £12 to get in!!!
The castle is stunning, with great views, but we couldnt find where you could enter the castle, so didnt go inside. The deer park was full of deer. The walled gardens were lovley. And there were only 3 swans on the swan pond. Then we left. A good hour or so spent there. Unless there were specific events on there I wouldnt pay £12 to get in.
We visited the cottage where Scottish national bard Rabbie Burns was born. My son won a prize at primary school for recitation of Burns' poetry, so being in the area, it seemed right to make it a bit more "real" for him. He loved it!
Its interesting stuff with a small museum and very pleasant gardens (looking especially good in early October) as well as the 300 year old cottage as well.
There's other Burns stuff in Alloway as well - the monument and Doon bridge for example - but we didn't have time. Next trip!
Miles of golden sand. No crowds. Peace & quiet. Unwind. Chill out?
Yeh, chill out. Its freezing!
First weekend in December. No wonder its quiet!
Still, all the nutters have gone Christmas shopping, so we must be the sane ones.
You can spend a full day visiting both the castle and the surrounding park; be sure to get a map (I believe one is offered to you at the park entrance; if not, try the Visitor Centre). Here are some of the places I visited within the park -
Fountain Court: At the foot of the castle, a lovely garden and fountain.
Walled Garden: Another tranquil place to walk around. Especially recommended for people with gardening and botanical knowledge; there are many species of plants to see. There's also an Herb Garden with different plots for medicinal and culinary herbs.
Swan Pond: The pond itself is peaceful to look at, though when I was there, I didn't see a single swan (there were lots of sea gulls though). Nearby is a small pagoda, and also a shop where you can buy Arran Ice Cream (very creamy and not too sweet). Be sure to have some midge repellent on hand; the midge situation wasn't too bad when I was there, but sometimes there are small clouds of them.
Cliff Walks: Spectacular. The paths themselves aren't right at the edge of the cliffs, though there are a few points where you can venture off them and closer to the edge. The wind, the ocean, the wild trees... just amazing. Towards one end of the cliff walk you can also get a great view of the castle itself.
Deer Park: A bunch of deer lying around and chewing on grass. Personally I didn't think it was anything special.
There are various other walks through wooded areas. You'll see quite a few ducks; at some point there's also a wooden carving of a stoat. The official park map is pretty clear. Though I didn't get the chance to go there, I've heard the beaches are a good place to visit too.
Culzean Castle, as many Scottish castles, is layered in history, with newer structures built around and incorporating older ones. The castle is best known for the construction and renovations it underwent at the direction of architect Robert Adam, in the late 18th century. Inside the castle you can take a self-guided tour of the various rooms including the Blue Drawing Room, Armory (with its circular arrays of firearms), kitchens, and the grand Oval Staircase, which is considered to be an Adam masterpiece.
Also of interest is an exhibit on Eisenhower, his life and military accomplishments. Eisenhower was given a suite of rooms in the castle in appreciation for his WWII achievements, and it was a surprising delight to discover the connection to Eisenhower while exploring the castle. The exhibit is interesting and informative, with correspondence, maps, and other historical items.
Before you even enter the castle though, it's worth just standing and admiring from the outside. It's perched overlooking the ocean, so from both outside and inside the castle you can get different views of the beautiful water.
Before heading out to the rest of the estate, you can have a quick lunch at the Old Stables Coffee House, which is right near the main body of the castle.
The big lump of granite rock you may well notice popping up from the sea if you are anywhere near the coast [unless its hazy] is in fact a volcanic plug known as Ailsa Craig. Its best seen from further down the coast [between Girvan & Ballentrae] and you can actually take a boat trip out there from Girvan although its something I've never done. Its now a bird sanctuary