Why Live In Ayrshire?
Known as Scotland's holiday County, Ayrshire is located in the South West of Scotland and enjoys many naturally beautiful areas, not least the spectacularly beautiful stretch of coastland which is one of the most striking in the UK. Just off the coast, in the Firth of Clyde, the impressive form of the Isle of Arran dominates the coastal scenery. This wonderful Island is only an hour by ferry from Ardrossan in North Ayrshire and is well worth a visit.
The county, which is politically arranged into three council areas, North, South and East Ayrshire, enjoys rich arable and agricultural landscapes and these, as well as the coastal position, give Ayrshire a rich historical heritage, which are celebrated today and preserved in many museums and castles. It was in these fields that a young Rabbie Burns spent his informative years and later in his career, where he was employed as an excise man.
The landscape is one of rolling green hills and the arable land means that agriculture has been very important to the economy of the county as is the position in relation to Scotland’s largest and most industrial city; Glasgow. The mining industry locally was also significant in keeping the wheels of industry moving and so the communication and transport links with Glasgow have historically been very important.
The Ayrshire coast has long attracted visitors from afar, from religious figures to Viking invaders and smugglers throughout the ages; the West coast has many places of interest worth visiting. The Royal Borough of of Irvine in North Ayrshire was for a long time, the main port for landing goods for the Glasgow markets. The maritime museum in the town gives great insight into the close relationship between the towns.
Today Ayrshire is well served by an excellent rail network which connects Glasgow and Paisley with the coastal towns, with a main line to Largs which splits from the main Ayr line at Kilwinning. Kilwinning, known as the crossroads of Ayrshire, boasts 6 trains per hour to and from Glasgow because of its position as a hub for the Ayr and Largs lines. The trains to Ayr stop at Prestwick International Airport ( it has its own station) and the ferries to Northern Ireland sail from the towns of Troon and Stanraer which is served by the same line (even though the latter is not in Ayrshire).
The A77 is the main road artery from Ayrshire into Glasgow and has seen major improvements in recent years. From Ayr, the road is at least dual carriageway, travelling northwards, and has been upgraded to motorway status from Fenwick, just north of Kilmarnock, significantly cutting journey times.
The A76 links Kilmarnock (junction with the A77) with Dumfries and many Ayrshire Towns, while the A737 and A736 links the North Ayrshire population with Glasgow Airport and the City mean that the residents of Ayrshire can enjoy the beauty of the area and comfortably commute or travel further afield.
Of course, no mention of the county of Ayrshire would be complete without mentioning Golf. There are 44 courses among which are 2 of the most famous championship courses in the world, Turnberry and Royal Troon.
In addition to Golf, the area is well endowed with clubs and facilities for almost all sports and boasts an SPL football team at Kilmarnock and many respected Rugby clubs. Ayr Race Course has both a national hunt and a flat course for the horse racing enthusiasts and holds a meeting most months including the Scottish Grand National in April. The sailing enthusiast is also spoiled for choice with various marinas and clubs locally.
Places of Interest to Visit.
Vikingar, Largs. - Visit the Viking experience and how it relates to the local history.
Kelbourne Country Park & Estate, Largs. - Beautiful woodlands, walkways and plenty of events and attractions throughout the year.
Millport, the Isle of Cumbrae. - Attractive holiday town a short ferry hop from Largs. It is the done thing to hire a bike and cycle around the Island, although about 10 miles is very flat.
Eglinton Country Park, Kilwinning. - Enjoy the walkways, bridal paths, ruins, wildlife and miles of cycle track, campsite and regular events. The Tournament Café is the perfect resting place.
Dalgarven Mill, Kilwinning. - Featuring the Ayrshire Country Life Museum set in a restored Victorian grain mill building.
Abbey Tower, Kilwinning. - Set in the ruins of the ancient Abbey, the Abbey tower offers an insight into the life of the monks who established the abbey and offers great views of Ayrshire from the top.
Irvine Beach Park. - Great walks with views along the shore front.
Harbour Arts Centre, Irvine. - Music, Art and Performance Theatre all well represented.
Dunonald Castle. - Recently restored areas and a visitor centre with tea room.
Rozelle Park, Ayr.
The Burns Museum-Alloway Ayr, Visitors centre, the Tam O’Shanter bridge and Burns Cottage
Craig Tara- Caravan Park, South of Ayr, great family holiday centre
Heads of Ayr Farm park, A great family day out with games, rides and lots of animals to feed
Culzean Castle and Country Park, Beautiful gardens and waterways and the most spectacular castle above the shoreline