Home » Four Unmissable Attractions in Ayrshire – A List

Four Unmissable Attractions in Ayrshire – A List

Ayrshire, situated on the Firth of Clyde, is an historic Scottish county with not only a vibrant history, but a breath-taking landscape and shoreline. Its place in history is cemented by stories and myths, odd facts that tie it irrevocably to the movements of history. For example, did you know that famed Baltimore writer and poet Edgar Allen Poe actually went to school in Kirkgatehead? Or that Robert the Bruce’s life was purportedly saved by a magic well in Prestwick?

Ayrshire is certainly a magical place, even besides its Viking roots – and there are four places you cannot miss the next time you find yourself in Scotland’s South-West. Here they are:

 

Attractions in Ayrshire

Kelburn Castle and Estate

Kelburn Castle is truly bespoke amongst its peers; built in the 12th century, the castle has since been given an anachronistic twist in the form of fully-graffitied outer walls. The graffiti was carried out by Brazilian graffiti artists, in reverence to the style and form of counter-cultural Brazilian graffiti art in the 20th century – making for a stunning, utterly unique view as you advance from the estate. The estate also boasts a Secret Forest, as well as a host of glens and gardens for you and yours to explore. If you find yourself enchanted by the prospect of such a magical place, there are also on-site glamping opportunities for you to make the most of.

 

Culzean Castle

For a more traditional castle experience, look no further than the imposing Culzean Castle on the shores of the Firth of Clyde, to the south. This edifying monument is impressive in size and scope, with quintessential battlements and a sprawling estate boasting 40 different buildings and follies to discover and explore. The castle itself was designed by the one and only Robert Adam, the forebear of his eponymous Neoclassical ‘Adam style’. The castle is a must-visit for its architecture alone, but the gardens are also a peaceful way to spend an afternoon. There is no on-site accommodation, as with the following two suggestions, but there are many ways for you to make the most of a stay in Ayrshire, whether making use of one of many cottage AirBnBs in the area or cosying up in your very own accommodation.

 

Attractions in Ayrshire

 

Skelmorlie Secret Bunker

Perhaps the most unusual entry on this list, Skelmorlie Secret Bunker represents an odd chapter in Ayrshire’s recent history. The small, unassuming concrete bunker belongs to the Royal Observer Corps, built in 1965 as part of a mass construction project across the UK. Its purpose was to monitor fallout radiation in the event of a nuclear attack during the Cold War; it was operational until the apparent end of the Cold War in 1991, and respectfully restored in 2004 for public visitation. A tour of this monument to the post-war period is available, with ex-servicemen from the Royal Observer Corps who served in Skelmorlie on hand to speak about their experiences.

 

Burns Memorial Tower

Ayrshire’s contributions to history include the works of Scotland’s most-loved poet, Robert Burns, who composed much of his best work while living in Mauchline. As a tribute to his efforts, a memorial tower was built there on the centenary of his death, in 1896. It stands to pay respects to a great artist, and is an essential stop on your Ayrshire trip.

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