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Ayrshire

Birthplace of the Open Championship ©

Welcome to Ayrshire--land of Robert Burns, the Vikings, Scotland's premier horse-racing venue, and a brilliant array of fine Scottish links golf courses. From Royal Troon and Turnberry (the two Ayrshire courses on the Open Championship rota) to the venerable Prestwick (where the very first Open was played in 1860), to the many other excellent Scottish golf courses, Ayrshire is an area rich in golf tradition.

It's easy for the independent golfing traveler to experience and enjoy Ayrshire.

The seacoast town of Ayr, our home base  for golf in Ayrshire
Ayr, a seaside town with lots of eateries and lodging, originated in the 8th Century and given "Royal Burgh" status in 1202.

How rich is Ayrshire in golf courses? There are 32 golf courses within a 20 minutes drive from the town of Ayr, the largest town in Ayrshire. And because the Gulf Stream lies off the coast here and keeps the greens frost-free, golf can be played all year. Ayrshire is historic and picturesque. If you're a Robert Burns fan, this is the place to be. And for the golfer...well, Ayrshire's links-fringed coast is a feast.

The town of Ayr is our base for golfing in this part of Scotland. The Royal Burgh (say boor-ah) of Ayr is the capital of Ayrshire, and is ideally positioned for all of your activites in this area. The local Tourist Information Centre is located in the Burns House, Burns Statue Square in Ayr. They have Ordnance Survey Maps of the area and lots of good info to enhance your stay. Prestwick International Airport is only a short drive away.


Prestwick Clubhouse
Clubhouse at Prestwick, birthplace of the Open Championship


And here's something to get you started on some of the great golf in this area.
http://www.gailesgolfexperience.co.uk/
Where to Stay in Ayr

Many good B&Bs in the area. Here's some we personally like. Each offers first-rate lodging at comfortable rates. All are in the town of Ayr and all are 4-star rated.

Coila Guest House --
Elegant Victorian villa. Tasteful, comfortable, well-located in town centre yet quiet and with ample private parking (a major plus). All four bedrooms are large with king-size or twin beds, and good-sized modern bathrooms. Everything is first-class. Easy walk to restaurants, pubs, many shops, the railway station, and large supermarket. Owners Charlie and Hazel are fine people who have created a lovely, very popualr guest house. They will even book tee times for you, Breakfasts are beyond words, with no shortage of "golf chat" at the breakfast table !!. Enjoy. www.coila.co.uk

Craggallan Guest House
www.craggallan.com
Immaculate guest house run by gracious Margot McLaughlan. Five very attractive en-suite rooms, near the sea.

The Crescent Guest House
www.26crescent.freeserve.co.uk
Quiet yet very convenient location. An opulent Victorian home with spacious, sunny, comfortable.rooms, one with a beautiful four-poster bed.

Langley Bank Guest House www.accommodation-ayr.co.uk/langleybank.htm
A well-appointed guest house close to the town centre. Large Victorian home on spacious property, offering 6 bedrooms. Most but not all of the rooms are en-suite, so be sure to ask.













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Where to Eat in Ayr

The town of Ayr offers many good eating places. You'll have no trouble finding them. We always find that asking our lodging hosts gives us the best suggestions. If you are staying at any of the above places in town, a short 5 minute walk will bring you to the Tudor Inn, a simple and attractive eatery with good food and good prices.

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Mary-Alice suggests ...
What to Do All Day in Ayrshire

Culzean Castle
On your way to Turnberry visit Culzean Castle (pronounced cul-EEN), a 30 minute drive south of Ayr. The stunning building sits on a cliff above the sea. The Park surrounding the castle has been described as "Britain's most beautiful." But this Scottish National Trust property is also famous for another reason. General (later President) Eisenhower was given an apartment in the castle as gratitude for his commanding of Scottish troops in World War II. To visit his rooms and see his eyeglassses on his desk and the photos and memorabilia of his times at Culzean is a moving experience. Easy to find, Culzean is clearly signposted along the roads.
Culzean Castle on Scotland's west coast


Robert Burns

In Alloway, 2 miles south of Ayr, is the Burns National Heritage Park where you can experience the romance and the genius of one of Scotland's great literary figures. The Park is a collection of some of the most famous Burns-related sites in the area, including his birthplace, the Burns Cottage, and the museum.
Good websites -- www.burnsheritagepark.com,
www.robertburns.org


Scottish Maritime MuseumScottish Maritime Museum

In Irvine, a few miles north of Ayr, is an excellent museum of ships and boats and maritime history. I relish these things, and if they interest you, I recommend this. You can go aboard the world's oldest clipper ship, the Carrick. Explore old Clyde "puffers" and tugs. Nearby at 122 Montgomery Street see the living conditions of shipyard workers from a century ago, all carefully restored to its original condition. I enjoy visiting and recmmending this to you, as it is not the usual tourist attraction but rather an authentic bit of history.
www.scottishmaritimemuseum.org ... Laird Forge, Gottries Road, Irvine


One of Great Britain's premier racetracks is in Ayr. Officially founded over 200 years ago, racing probably took place on that site as far back as the 16th Century. The track is open most of the year, so check the schdeule when you're there.

Day trip to Glasgow. You can easily take a train from the Ayr railway station and spend a day in the city of Glasgow (pronounced Glass-coh). Check with the Tourist Information Centre in Ayr for brochures and suggestions for what to see and how to get around. Glasgow is noted for its excellent examples of fine architecture...notably that of Charles Rennie Macintosh, whose art and architectural design have been a great influence on the western world. Visit the museum devoted to his work, and also see some of the buildings. If you are interested in architecture, you'll want to take advantage of the opportunity to visit Glasgow.



SPECIAL NOTE !!
If you've come down the coast to Turnberry, why not drive a few miles south and enjoy the excellent James Braid Stranraer Golf Course, located in the fine town of Stranraer. And while you're there, go a few more miles up the hills to the Dunskey Links, great views and fun to play. Want to see Northern Ireland? The ferry is right here in this pleasant area.
Where to Stay? Knockinaam Lodge -- a luxury Scottish small hotel, with AA award for Scottish Romantic Hotel of the Year, 2007. www.knockinaamlodge.com
Very highly recommended.