Ayr, Scotland is part of the Ayrshire region and is home to beautiful country landscapes, the gorgeous coast of Scotland, and a famous rail link and train service that connects the area. The region is a holiday hotspot, and there are many things to do in Ayr while on holiday here!
This small town is an hour away from Paisley and Glasgow, making Ayr the perfect destination to travel to Northern Ireland, England or elsewhere in fascinating Scotland.
Traditionally, the Ayr has always been where tourism from South West Scotland goes during the spring and summer holidays, giving you more reasons to travel this holiday season.
My Voyage Scotland lists just a few ideas for you and the family below!
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Things to do in Ayr
The West of Scotland is home to many incredible locations, but none more so than the picturesque city of Ayr. Visitors from Europe and North America and local tourists from England, Ireland, and Wales all flock to experience the many things to do in Ayr.
Ayr sits among a line of popular Ayrshire seaside towns on the west coastline of South West of Scotland. It’s famed for its beautiful golden beaches, fascinating attractions, and vibrant local culture.
You can also see the deep history of Ayr in every piece of architecture and park the town has to offer. Ayr was even granted a royal burgh charter in 1202, which now sits in the town hall.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed when planning a trip to Ayr and the Ayrshire region. See our guide for what you should be doing while in Ayr.
Heads Of Ayr Farm Park
You can find animals of all shapes and sizes at the Heads of Ayr Farm. A visit here includes an opportunity to meet the many furry companions of Ayr Farm Park like guinea pigs, goats, and horses.
The Park is also home to more exotic residents, including llamas, monkeys, lemurs, and meerkats. You’ll be shocked to see just how much variety this Park offers, rivalling most zoos in Ayrshire!
Ralph the Camel and Troy the Tapir are a few fan favourite attractions to those who visit the site, so set aside some time to enjoy this fantastic location and meet some incredible wildlife.
Start your family holiday with a trip to Ayr Beach this summer, one of the most popular things to do while exploring the west coast of Ayrshire.
Skip some stones, make memories, and if you are brave enough, why not paddle in the water after a picnic on the sand? The cool waters are a great way to wake up the body and refresh the mind of its worries.
Ayr Beach is an excellent destination for those travelling with kids and animals along the coast. A superb choice if you are looking for a cheap and cheerful activity while visiting Ayrshire in South West Scotland.
Cycling in Ayr
If you enjoy cycling, you will love the scenic route of Ayr, which provides some of the most unforgettable views of the west coast of Ayrshire.
Put your pedal to the mettle while you discover the beautiful cycling paths of South Ayrshire and enjoy some time riding through town and the surrounding attractions of Ayr aboard your bike. Don’t have a bike? Use some of the top-notch bike rental services around Ayr!
If your travels take you into Ayrshire, make sure to pass through Irvine, Troon and Prestwick, beautiful tiny towns in South West Scotland with lots to offer.
Don’t miss the Ayr Racecourse if you are planning to visit the town of Ayr! This Racecourse is a great day out for those that want to experience horse racing the Scottish way, especially during the Ayr Gold Cup season.
You’ll find your heart is pounding as the racers take the final turn; these magnificent horses and trained jockeys will give you the show of the lifetime in Ayr Racecourse found in South Ayrshire County.
Over thirty races are hosted every year, with leading jockeys and horses from top stables taking part in South West Scotland’s Grand National and Cup Festival events.
After building your obligatory sandcastle on Ayr Beach, why not give crazy golf at one of Ayr’s most popular spots? Pirate Pete’s play centre is Ayr’s very own treasure trove as it offers fun for children of all ages!
Located just a stone’s throw away from the seafront harbour, Pirate Pete’s offers indoor soft play, crazy golf, and laser games. Pirate Pete’s is one of the best places in Ayrshire to enjoy fun activities with your kids.
If you want to sit back and relax while the rest of the family has fun, there is also a café where you can grab a bite to eat or a cup of coffee.
Robert Burns Birthplace Museum
If you want to discover the birthplace of Scotland’s national bard, look no further than a trip to the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum. You can visit the humble cottage where Scotland’s national poet was born and spent the first few years of his life.
The Museum contains thousands of artefacts, including hand-written poems and manuscripts from the bard himself. The museum offers an unparalleled experience in understanding the early stages of Robert Burns’ life.
After looking through the fantastic collection of the Museum, feel free to grab a seat at their cafe overlooking the River Doon, which includes specialities that are said to have once been Burns’ favourites.
Make sure to stop by the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum and enjoy a tour that will give you insight into this influential figure.
Rozelle Estate & Park
The Rozelle Estate and Park covers a whopping 37-acres of South Ayrshire and is one of the most popular attractions to see while spending time in Ayr.
Rozelle Estate practically has it all: a museum, art gallery, and magnificent country grounds around the estate. The estate is stunning and holds some of the best woodlands walks you can experience in Ayrshire
Immerse yourself in the Rozelle House Galleries & Yeomanry Museum, or hire one of the rugby pitches to enjoy with some of your athletic friends. Make sure to book the pitches through the South Ayrshire Council!
There is a little something for everything when you go to the Rozelle Estate & Park.
Ayr Equestrian Centre
There’s no better way to enjoy the countryside of Ayr than on horseback, that’s a fact! Thankfully, the Ayr Equestrian Centre has cared for horses and taught students how to ride for over 55 years.
You can meet some stabled horses, book a riding lesson to understand the basics of dressage and showjumping or go for a country outride showing Ayrshire’s beautiful tumbling hills and the curving River Ayr as you’ve never seen them before.
Don’t miss an opportunity to try out the fantastic world-class facilities and services available at the Ayr Equestrian Centre while nearby. Take a look at their website for the latest news and information.
Lang Scots Mile
The Land Scots Mile can be found on the beachfront of Ayr and pays homage to the famous poem by Robert Burns, “Tom o’Shanter”. The poem was used as inspiration to link the historic town with Robert Burns and promote healthy exercise.
The Lang Scots Mile was inspired by the Scottish mile in “Tom o’Shanter” and now spans the length of the seafront for locals and visitors to walk down. The walk also features a kid’s play park and expansive views of the Isle of Arran, River Ayr, and the seas of South West Scotland.
Take an afternoon to relax at this beachside location and enjoy some time with the family on a very clear day.
A towering structure that stands atop a hill on the outskirts of Ayr, the Greenan Castle was a bastion against invaders long ago. This fort offers stunning views of the Isle of Arran for those who manage the trek.
Built by John Kennedy de Baltersan in 1603, Greenan Castle wasn’t such a lonely building initially, and its surroundings contained the living quarters of over 100 other people. The remnants of these still can be seen today when you hike up to this lookout point!
You can see this impressive structure when you travel through the town of Ayr. It is one of Ayr’s must-see attractions, so put it on top of your to-do list.
Ayr Gaiety Theatre
You can find one of Scotland’s oldest theatres nestled in the town of Ayr. The Ayr Gaiety Theatre presents some of the wittiest and outright entertaining musical and acting performances to be experienced in South West Scotland.
You’ll be blown away by Simon and Garfunkel, mesmerised by musical tribute shows, laughing with Scottish comedian Raymond Mearns and many more of the top performers of the United Kingdom.
Treat yourself to a show at the Ayr Gaiety Theatre; it’ll be one of the best choices during your stay in Ayr.
Culzean Castle is stunning – there’s no other way to put it. This Castle and Country Park rises from the woodlands around it as you approach the estate’s centre.
Situated on top of a cliffside, Culzean Castle provides a stunning view of the sea and the River Ayr that sweeps into it. The main highlight of this attraction is the gorgeous garden surrounding the spectacular Culzean Castle.
The Castle holds a fantastic collection of flintlock pistols and military swords that evoke visions of daring sword fights and honourable duels. However, the main centrepiece of the Castle is Roberts Adam’s Oval Staircase, a dramatic piece of the Castle’s history you won’t want to miss.
Enjoy tours of the grounds outdoors filled with swan river and ponds, woods, beaches, and even a deer park! Honestly, Culzean Castle is many of people’s favourite memories when they travel to Ayr, and it’s easy to see why!
The Wallace Tower
Down the high street from Ayr Town Hall and a citadel to everyone living in Ayr, the Wallace Tower has stood tall in the city since 1855. It boasts a beautiful tourist attraction that makes for the perfect picture!
Its Gothic architecture is bold, built mainly of asher stone, giving the citadel its striking look. The architect behind the citadel, Rober Snodgrass Snr., dedicated it to commemorate the legendary William Wallace.
While you’re in Ayr and visiting other unique attractions like Loudoun hall and the Auld Brig, carve some time to admire this incredible citadel.
The Belleisle Conservatory goes to show the power of Ayr’s community. This Conservatory was transformed in 2010 into a beautiful and lush project that will be seen for many generations.
In 2016 it opened its doors and now is open for the public to see and support its wide array of colourful flora. The Conservatory has many lovely plants to delight in, from alpines, cacti, and orchids. They even have a live beehive exhibit that allows you to peer into the daily ongoings of a beehive!
If you’re itching for a round of golf, the Belleisle Golf Course nearby has all you could ever want out of an excellent afternoon of 18 manicured golf courses.
The Belleisle Conservatory and the Belleisle golf courses are incredible attractions that you won’t miss while on holiday in South Ayrshire, Scotland.
Teetering on the edge of the cliffside, Dunure Castle is certainly an intriguing sight as you approach the site of its ruins. This Castle’s exact building date is unknown, but the 1200s seem to be the close approximation given by experts.
You can scale the ruins using safety bridges that take you through the interior of the Castle’s bowels. You can also gain terrific views of the Firth of Clyde from the uppermost points accessible to tourists.
When you see it, you’ll be entranced with how immense and ruinous this Castle truly is, so it’s worth taking an hour or two to enjoy its sights.
Barassie Beach is one of the most beautiful beach spots when you travel north of Ayr towards Glasgow, with incredible views of the Isle of Arran in the distance. During the summer, it’s one of the most popular holiday resort locations in Ayrshire.
The beach is best visited during low tide, as the flat sands extend out for vast distances and reveal rockpools for those curious. When high tide comes, almost the entire area is swallowed by the ocean.
The beach is also nearby to the town of Troon and its harbour, the perfect place to grab a few picnic items for your next adventure on Barassie Beach.
Fullarton Fairy Trail
The Fullarton Fairy Trail is a magical location found just north of Ayr near the town of Troon and its harbour. This hiking trail boasts incredibly scenic walks of adorable fairy cottages and hideaways scattered across the path.
Little badgers poke their heads out from under trees, wooden doorways are carved into the trunks of great oaks, and other mystical handiworks bring delight to all those that venture into the Fullarton Fairy Trail.
Experience the magic of this fairy trail next time you’re passing through Ayr onto the United Kingdom.
St. John’s Tower is located near the town hall and is considered the oldest building in the town of Ayr, with it surviving since the 1200s.
One of many churches dedicated to St. John the Baptist, the patron saint of Ayr, this tower is now one of the beautiful attractions you can enjoy while travelling through the city. The tower’s intricate stonework is polished and durable, a possible secret to its longevity.
A trip to see the grand St. John’s Tower should be hitting the top of your to-do list while you’re in the Ayrshire county region.
In the town of Ayr sits Auld Brig; this stone bridge has become one of the most iconic attractions you can see while in Ayrshire. Once a timber bridge, Ayr remade Auld Bridge with polished stone that draws the eye.
A trip to this historic bridge is a real treat as it spans the River Ayr and grants clear sights of the town of Ayr around you.
The Auld Bridge offers an opportunity to those that want a taste of old town Aye, with stunning architecture and gorgeous sights to boot.
More Things to do in Glasgow, Clyde & Ayrshire:
- Things to do in Girvan
- Things to do in Glasgow
- Things to do in Gourock
- Things to do in Greenock
- Things to do in Helensburgh
- Things to do in Kilmarnock
- Things to do in Largs
- Things to do in Motherwell
- Things to do in Paisley
- Things to do in Renfrew
- Things to do in Troon