The Ayrshire coast has long been a popular place for day-trippers and was once the destination for Glaswegians during the Fair Fortnight.
Today it’s easy to see why, with a number of lovely towns and a selection of attractive beaches along this portion of Scotland’s west coast.
This Great Scottish Journey heads north from Ayr, to pass through the likes of Troon, Ardrossan and Largs before it crosses the border into Inverclyde and continues its way to reach Gourock and Greenock, two more of Scotland’s popular seaside resorts.
Largs’ famous ice cream parlour, Nardini’s, is a well-known spot and one that should be taken advantage of along the way.
Many visitors still flock to the Tail of the Bank to explore these historic and attractive coastal settlements.
You can also extend your horizons by jumping on the ferry to visit Arran, Great Cumbrae, Bute or Dunoon.
All of the above could be turned into a fantastic mini-journey. A walk up Goat Fell on Arran, for example, is an experience not to be missed if you are in this part of the world.
Similarly, Dunoon offers many great sights, and you can relax as you watch the sailboats passing by as they make their way to an overnight berth on the calm and clear waters of the Holy Loch.
Or, you can complete this wonderful trip with a visit to Lyle Hill where the Free French Memorial Cross offers a moment of reflection and an exceptional view across the Firth of Clyde to the Southern Highlands.
- Ayr was granted Royal Burgh status in 1205. The first Parliament of Scotland was held here by Robert the Bruce in 1315.
- Prestwick hosted the first Open Golf Championship in 1860 (played over 12 holes) and 24 times in total, the last one in 1925.
- The Three Towns of Ayrshire – Stevenston, Saltcoats and Ardrossan – merge together almost imperceptibly. Coal mining, salt panning and fishing have all played key roles in their development.
- Largs translates from the Gaelic “learg” and simply means hillside. The town is most identified with the Battle of Largs that took place in 1263.
- One of the River Clyde’s most famous shipyards, Scotts, was established in Greenock in 1711. Ships were built there for more than 270 years.
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