Why Ayrshire, Scotland will be your next holiday destination

Autumn is approaching and for us that means our annual UK holiday is nearly here! Before we got Maddie, I never would have contemplated a holiday in this country, but we started a little tradition each autumn to take her somewhere for a week and I love it. We haven’t been away for 3 years because of the pandemic so I’m really looking forward to long countryside dog walks and lots of pub food.

We’re often looking for new destinations but haven’t yet ventured far north. Scotland always looks so beautiful when I see it pop up on social media, and someone recently recommded Ayrshire to me so I thought I’d share what I’ve learned.

Ayrshire takes its name from the town of Ayr, a Scottish haven by the sea. Famously the hometown of celebrated poet Robert Burns, it holds a special place in the nation’s hearts. With cultural highlights, picturesque views and fun activities, there’s something for everyone on a visit to Ayrshire. There’s so much to choose from so here’s a little summary of some of the recommended highlights.

Hiking trails

A visit to Ayrshire wouldn’t be complete without a hike to appreciate its rolling hills and beautiful countryside.

The recommended walk is along Smugglers’ Trail. Walk the route used by smugglers in times gone by through woodland and coastal paths with vistas of the Firth of Clyde.

Alternatively, go to Ness Glen to see a river meandering through a gorge which looks straight from a book of fairy tales. Take a picnic to sit at one of many designated spots for a rest from the ascent.

A day on the green

If golf is more the scene (and let’s face it, Scotland is quite spoiled for the activity), spend a day on the green. Scotland has many good golf courses, including Dundonald Links golf retreat next to the Firth of Clyde.

With a par-72 golf course, it offers a classic links golf experience. There is also help on hand for any golf-related questions including do golf balls go bad? While it accommodates all levels, it has been home to championships. The retreat has luxurious contemporary facilities with an indulgent Clubhouse, lodges and suites.

Culzean Castle

Once home to the 10th Earl of Cassillis, Culzean Castle sits atop stunning cliffs and is surrounded by a country park and gardens. With deer, a Swan Pond, and all manner of landscapes, it’s a stunning historical property to capture the imagination.

Architecture buffs won’t want to miss the grand Oval Staircase or the many hidden follies to find on the grounds. Those interested in military history will love the collection of historical weapons on display. There are even children’s play areas to keep the whole family happy.

Fullarton Fairy Trail

Take the whole family out for a day trying to spot the wee folk on Fullarton Fairy Trail. The woodlands are strewn with fairy houses and plaques to keep your interest while you follow the silver arrows that take you on a self-guided walk.

The fairies have chosen a muddy place to live, so remember those wellies!

Troon Beach

Don’t forget too that Scotland also has some absolutely stunning coastlines. Those wanting to experience the majesty of a classic beach holiday won’t be disappointed. Troon Beach is welcoming for all ages and has a good selection of local amenities – after all who can resist fish and chips followed by ice-cream at the seaside!

We’re already looking for somewhere for our 2023 Maddie holiday, so maybe Ayrshire could just be on the list.

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