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Exploring the Ayrshire Coast
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Stunning Ayrshire coast
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Ayrshire is often overlooked as many people travel up north into The Highlands, all I can say is in my eyes they are without doubt missing a trick. The people, the hotels, the activities and last but by no means least the views are spectacular and unforgettable.
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The place is full of interesting and exciting activities and adventures and hopefully we can provide you with just enough information as a wee sneaky taster and get you to put on your travelling boots and take a trip down the beautiful Ayrshire Coast.
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Lunch recommendations
"Fantastic food all down the coast"
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Apart from its beautiful countryside and stunning beaches Ayrshire is also renowned for its hospitality and wonderful selection of local hotels offering a variety of fare to satisfy the most discerning of palates. By clicking the link below you will find six of our recommended hotels to choose from.
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Burns Monument and Gardens
The Gardens were beautifully constructed on the banks of the River Doon between 1820 and 1823 and houses a magnificent monument dedicated to “the Bard”. Robert Burns was and still is one of Scotlands most famous poets even though he died a very young man (37) back in 1796. The gardens are situated only half a mile away from the famous white thatched cottage where he was born on 25th January 1759. “Auld Lang Syne” is probably one of Rabbie Burns’ most famous pieces of work and is sung practically all around the world. Meaning “old Long since” it signifies bidding farewell to the old and bringing in the new, written away back in 1788 it is still going just as strong as ever.
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Crossraguel Abbey
The Crossraguel Abbey built in the 13th Century now stands as a magnificent ruin looked after by Historic Scotland. Although the abbey is a ruin it still holds many clues as to how it looked 100’s of year ago, the abbey is one of the few ruins which shows practically the entire layout of the original monastery. What is remarkable is the abbey was unbelievably used as a so called “quarry” for stone to build many of the house in the local village of Maybole. Certainly one of the most interesting ruins in the area and definitely worth a wee visit.
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Culzean Castle
Culzean Castle is not just a castle it is an 18th century architectural masterpiece that sits proudly high on the rugged cliffs overlooking the crashing waves below. In the capable hands of the National Trust for Scotland the castle is surrounded by a 260ha estate with beautiful parklands full of wildlife, over 40 buildings and follies to explore and without doubt some of the best views in Scotland. The Castle itself is full of historical artefacts and amazing stories from the past, and if you are lucky (or unlucky) you may see one of the reported 9 ghosts that walk the corridors.
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Castle Kennedy Gardens
The ruins of Castle Kennedy are surrounded by 75 acres of beautifully looked after historical gardens which have been sculpted, manicured and pruned for nearly 300 years. These magnificent gardens have something for everyone from the 14th Century castle overlooking the gardens to a stunning 2 acre pond filled with rare Victorian Waterlilies. To make sure you make the most of your visit 5 interesting garden tours have been designed to showcase the architecture, trees, shrubs and flowers at their best.
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It’s a beautiful part of the country and it is no surprise that the gardens are described as ‘one of the showpieces of Galloway” and is one of Scotland’s most important historical landscaped gardens due to the collection of championship Rhododendrons.
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Dumfries House
Dumfries House is a majestic 18th century stately home set in stunning 2,000 acres of manicured gardens, farmland and forest. The estate was bought by Prince Charles in 2007 and has been renovated back to its former glory. The estate is free to explore and open every day of the year. There is something for everyone on the estate from marvelling at the original 18th century Chippendale furniture to experiencing their educational farm, there is also a fantastic adventure playground for the kids situated nicely next to the cafe so the grown ups can relax for 10 minutes.
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Glenwhan Gardens
Glenwhan gardens have an amazing unique sea view looking across to the Isle of Man. There is plenty of activities to do with a wonderful 20 acre moorland walk. There is also a tree trail with over 120 trees as well as a beautiful 12 acre ornamental garden. If you are looking for a quick pit stop there is a wonderful tearoom looking over the gardens.
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Sawney Beans Cave
As legends go this has got to be one of the best. The cave way back in the 15th century housed Alexander “Sawney” Bean who was responsible for murdering over a 1000 people for food and also to get rid of the evidence ATE them, he obviously had to go on the run and with his “better half” found this coastal hideaway where they stayed in the cave for more than 25 years. Believe it or not they incredibly produced a clan of 48 family members who would go out at night and kill locals for food. Finally, after being caught trying to dismember a villager, the clan were transferred to a jail up in the capital where they were all executed without trial.
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Ailsa Craig Trip
The Ailsa Craig is an uninhabited island sitting proudly just off the coast and is unbelievably a volcanic plug of an extinct volcano. The rock is incredibly hard and is made from blue hone granite which has been used to make curling stones for centuries. The wildlife on the island is also extremely interesting with gannets, puffins, otters and if you are very lucky you will see some porpoise or dolphins. The Ailsa Craig Boat Trips sail on a daily basis all the year round from Girvan Harbour and are fully licensed to carry up to 12 passengers. If you have a spare couple of hours this is a tour you definitely shouldn't miss.
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Dunure Castle
Dunure Castle dating as far back as the 1200’s is a ruin sitting proudly on the coast overlooking the River Clyde. Probably its most famous resident would have been Mary Queen of Scots who stayed there for 3 days. You may have also seen this historical gem on TV as it was in the "Outlander" series. The castle was believed to have been set on fire in 1570 and was finally evacuated in 1696, it was at this point it slowly started to crumble to the ruin as it stands today. The castle is believed to be haunted and cries have allegedly been heard from the chamber in which Allan Stewart was killed in the fire of 1570.
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Heads of Ayr Farm Park
This is one for the family and the kids, as you know the weather on the west coast isn’t always the driest and the farm park have plenty of exciting activities even on a wet and blustery day. The park has activity zones with tunnels, dungeons and rope bridges with 3 giant slides at the park as well as aerial slides and quad biking suitable for kids and adults.
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The parks also has an extensive range of indoor and outdoor exotic and interesting animals where you can get up close and personal. From alpacas to monkeys or wallabys to Ralph the camel you are guaranteed to have an excellent adventure.
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Our tour of the area is just a small taster of what the beautiful Ayrshire Coast has to offer, all the way down this picturesque coast you will discover warm and welcoming villages with their own individual characters. There are dozens of interesting beaches and bays all telling their own stories and showing off their best bits, my advice is to get out there and explore as much of Ayrshire as you can.
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You will not be disappointed.
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Other Routes
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Alba Experiences
"VIP Travel Tours"
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Alba Experiences
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Why not book a V.I.P day out in style with one of the finest tour guides in Ayrshire.
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Ayrshire
"The best of the rest"
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Ayrshire
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