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One of the best ways to explore the county of Ayrshire is to make your way down (or up) the Cumbrae Sensory Trail, which is 11 miles of western Scottish coastline. This is one of the best ways to try the local produce and see why Ayrshire has become so renowned for its agriculture. Wander through the Farmer’s Markets where fresh fruit, vegetables, jams, pickles, baked goods, cheese, organic meat and seafood produce and local arts and crafts are all available, allowing you to bring back holiday tokens to give to your loved ones.
Step back in time, and see the UK’s smallest cathedral — the Cathedral of Isles —or see the Culzean Castle that is set on a rising bank overlooking the Firth of Clyde. Wandering the extensive grounds of the Culzean Castle will take you through its beautiful landscaped gardens, and if you’re feeling adventurous, you can tour the wilder parts of the property where you might spot darting red squirrels or majestic red deer.
But Ayrshire doesn’t lack for cultural attractions or history, discover the medieval Dundonald Castle, and see in person a Scottish stronghold used by King Robert II to fend off the encroaching English. Spend some time seeing where Scotland’s premier poet Robert Burns was born in the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum, or delve into Scotland’s intimate relationship to the sea by visiting the Scottish Maritime Museum.
Hotels Close to Ayrshire’s Outdoor Attractions
When people think of golf and Scotland, their minds immediately spring to the Old Course in St. Andrews, but golf is the national sport of this country and there are courses running the length and breadth of Scotland. Some of the most beautiful are to be found in Ayrshire, where the Open Championship was first held back in 1860. Play the links courses like Prestwick and Trump Turnberry. Then soothe those tired back muscles by booking into one of the many spa hotels available in Irvine, where there is also accommodation to suit every budget and need if you don’t fancy a spell in the sauna.
If golfing isn’t for you, you can still make the most of the outdoors by visiting reserves like Ayr Gorge Woodlands, where you can walk through the trails of the ancient forests, and see the green grass turn blue with bluebells. Or explore the Muirkirk and North Lowther Uplands, a protected area of wetlands and dry heaths that has become a sanctuary for a diverse list of bird life, such as short-eared owls, merlins and peregrine falcons. There are few exhilarating sites than seeing these fantastic birds of prey in their natural habitat.
Wine and dine in the seaside town of Ayr, with its excellent connections to Glasgow. This vibrant town has seen its fair share of travellers over the centuries; welcoming fans of horse racing by playing host to the renowned Scottish Grand National every year. Find restaurants, bars, cafes, and shopping boutiques and stay in one of the many hotels, bed and breakfasts, inns and guesthouses that are available in this pretty town by the sea.
No matter where your interests lie, the Scottish Lowlands have plenty to offer its visitors, whether it be cultural and historical interests or outdoor and sporting ones. Book a holiday to Ayrshire and enjoy the Scotland that Robert Burns made famous.
This family-friendly Girvan hotel is located by the sea, 0.2 mi (0.3 km) from Turnberry Golf Club, and within 6 mi (10 km) of Girvan Beach and McKechnie Institute. Culzean Castle and Crossraguel Abbey are also within 6 miles (10 km).
Situated near the airport, this eco-friendly hotel is 0.6 mi (1 km) from Vennel Gallery and within 3 miles (5 km) of Scottish Maritime Museum and Irvine Beach. Rugby Park and Dick Institute are also within 9 miles (15 km).
This family-friendly Ayr hotel is located near the airport, within a 15-minute walk of Ayr Racecourse and Auld Brig. Pirate Pete's Family Entertainment Centre and Auld Kirk are also within 1 mile (2 km).
Situated in Kilmarnock, this hotel is within 1 mile (2 km) of Rugby Park and Dick Institute. Kay Park and Dean Castle are also within 3 miles (5 km).
This family-friendly Ayr hotel is located by the sea, within a 10-minute walk of Wellington Square, Pirate Pete's Family Entertainment Centre and Ayr Pavilion. Ayr Beach and Auld Kirk are also within 15 minutes.
Located in Troon, this beachfront hotel is next to a golf course, 0.2 mi (0.3 km) from Royal Troon Golf Club, and within 9 mi (15 km) of Irvine Beach and Vennel Gallery. Pirate Pete's Family Entertainment Centre and Scottish Maritime Museum are also within 9 miles (15 km).
Situated in Irvine, this golf hotel is within 3 miles (5 km) of Vennel Gallery, Scottish Maritime Museum and Irvine Beach. Rugby Park and Royal Troon Golf Club are also within 9 miles (15 km).
Situated in Troon, this hotel is 2.1 mi (3.4 km) from Royal Troon Golf Club and within 6 miles (10 km) of Vennel Gallery and Scottish Maritime Museum. Irvine Beach and Rugby Park are also within 9 miles (15 km).