A well-known attraction in Scotland, Culzean Castle reflects a mix of Roman, Greek and Classical architecture. The Castle is situated in a charming cliff-top location.
Bachelor's Club, Tarbolton, Scotland
Tarbolton (8mi/12.8km north of Ayr) owes its fame to the fact that Robert Burns and his friends founded the Bachelor's Club here in 1780 and then a year he later joined the local Freemason's Lodge.
The Bachelor's Club in Tarbolton has been made famous as a place frequented by Robert Burns. In this 17th C thatched house he formed a debating club and was initiated into the Freemasonry.The house contains period furnishings.
Address: Sandgate Street, Tarbolton KA5 5RB, Scotland
Opening hours: Apr 1 to Sep 30: 1pm-5pm; Closed: Wed, Thu
Always opened on: Easter - Christian, Good Friday - Christian, Easter Monday - Christian
Entrance fee in GBP: Family £15.50, Adult £6.00, Concession or reduced rate £5.00
Disability Access: Partial facilities for persons with disabilities.
Transit: Bus: half hourly service from Ayr.
Irvine (pop. 56,000) is located 11mi/18km north of Ayr.
Scottish Maritime Museum
Trawlers, lifeboats and tugs are among the vessels on display in this maritime museum. Exhibits at the Victorian Linthouse Building at the end of the harbor include a collection of model ships.
Irvine Marymass Festival
This annual festival takes place in mid-August and celebrates Mary, Queen of Scots. Marymass horse races, crowning of the Marymass Queen and other traditional events are among the many events offered.
Saltcoats has a fine beach. The town's Martello tower dates from 1800. Ferries for Arran leave from Ardrossan. The 12th century castle was destroyed by Cromwell's troops and little now remains.
The industrial heartland of Ayrshire is centered on Kilmarnock (pop. 50,000). The town's name is derived from the early Christian missionary St Marnock. The prefix "Kil" is a Celtic word for "church".
Robert Burns' Monument
In Kay Park a monument commemorates the celebrated poet, Robert Burns. His first anthology of poems, the Kilmarnock edition, are among the exhibits in the museum.
Dean Castle and its splendid country park to the north of Kilmarnock are worth a visit. The castle (14th/15th century) was once the seat of the Boyd family. Medieval weapons, Burns manuscripts and a collection of early European musical instruments are among the most interesting items on display.
Mauchline (pop. 3,663) is located 8mi/13km southeast of Kilmarnock.
Poosie Nansie's Tavern
It was in Poosie Nansie's pub that Burns met his future wife Jean Armour.
The Castle Street cottage in Mauchline where Burns and his wife lived after their marriage in 1788 is now the Burns' House Museum.It contains exhibits of Mauchline boxware and a special display on the history of curling.
Kelburn Country Centre
Well-maintained footpaths, rare giant trees, waterfalls, beautiful views and pony trekking for children are just a few of the attractions on offer at Kelburn Country Centre.
The residents at Kelburn Castle only open their doors to visitors in July and August.This is the historic home of the Earl of Glasgow.
Turnberry - Castle & Golf Courses
Turnberry is synonymous with golf. As well as two golf courses, the "Ailsa" and the "Arran", a top-class hotel has also been built there. Turnberry Castle (2mi/3.2km to the south) was the birthplace of Robert the Bruce.
Maybole - Crossraguel Abbey
One of Scotland's few Cluniac monasteries is situated about 5mi/8km to the east near Maybole. The foundation stone for Crossraguel Abbey was laid in 1244 by Duncan, Earl of Carrick, but the monastery was destroyed by Edward I in the 13th century. It was rebuilt in the 15th C and the monks even acquired the right to mint coins. The well-preserved ruins of the monastery testify to the high status that this abbey once enjoyed.
Girvan is a popular holiday resort which every year hosts an international jazz festival. Boat trips to Ailsa Craig leave from the harbor.
The powerful Kennedy family once resided in Carleton Castle which lies 5mi/8km to the south of Girvan. According to the May Culean ballad, the knight Bluebeard once lived here. He disposed of his first seven wives by pushing them off the cliff. However, his eighth wife May was stronger than him and she threw him off first.
Bargany Gardens are noted for their colorful displays of azaleas, rhododendron and narcissi. They are situated 4mi/6km northeast of Girvan.
A huge granite rock some 1,114ft/348m high and 2mi/3km in circumference is visible from Girvan. It lies 10mi/16km offshore and is now a haven for birds. Ailsa Craig, Gaelic for "Fairyland Rock", is famous for the quality of its granite, known as "Ailsite" which is used, among other things, for making curling stones. A ruined medieval tower occupies a prominent position on the rock.
Troon (pop. 14,254) is a seaside resort noted for its shipyards.
The Pencil Monument in the sailing center of Largs (pop. 11,200) was erected to commemorate the decisive battle of 1263, which resulted in the Hebrides, for centuries under Norwegian domination, being captured by the Scots.
Auchinleck - Boswell Museum (closed)
Take a detour to Auchinleck about 6mi/9.6km to the southeast of Ayr. The Boswell Museum in the old parish church documents the life of the village's most famous son, James Boswell (1740-1795). He is best known for his association with the English man of letters Dr Samuel Johnson (1709-1784). Boswell accompanied Johnson to the Hebrides and he wrote a diary about their travels which was the forerunner for his biography on Dr Johnson.THIS ATTRACTION HAS CLOSED.
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