of Scotland, Ayrshire
Gulf Stream's warm currents bring the blessings of a mild climate
to the Ayrshire coast, with its holiday resorts dotted among rocky
coves and sandy beaches. Inland are lofty hills cut by rivers
flowing through wooded valleys. Here, too, are ruined strongholds,
reminders of old feuds, and the landscapes, towns and villages
that inspired Scotland's national poet, Robert Burns.
born in thatched cottage 1759. Some original furniture. Museum
has manuscripts, letters. Close by are Auld Brig 0' Doon and Alloway
Kirk, mentioned in ballad Tam O'Shanter, and Burns Monument. The
Land o'Burns Centre depicts his life and times.
of stone houses planned by Earl of Eglinton in 1805 round sandy
South Bay. Terminus for Arran shipping services.
west coast resort with sandy beaches. Two bridges -- 13th-century
Auld Brig and New Bridge of 1788 -- span River Ayr. Dominated
by 1828 Town Buildings, with octagonal turret and 126ft steeple.
Burns mementos in Tam O'Shanter Museum.
and rhododendrons surround lily pond in woodland setting. Fine
trees, rock garden and walled garden. Picnic area.
of 13th-century for-mer Lindsay seat features Gothic ceiling and
of 1244 Cluniac house. Turreted gatehouse, abbot's tower and dovecote
are 15th century.
prosperous handloom weaving centre beside Water of Girvan. Single-storey
cottages line main street.
mansion designed by Robert Adam in 18th century for 10th Earl
of Cassillis. Lavishly furnished. Oval staircase and round drawing
room overlooking Firth of Clyde. Park contains terraced gardens,
Great Cumbrae, reached by ferry from Largs, is Millport resort
with Cathedral of the Isles -- Scot-land's smallest. Museum and
aquarium. Little Cumbrae has lighthouse and ruined castle.
mill housing Ayrshire Museum of Countryside and Costume. Farm
machinery, tools, photographs; local costumes.
ironworks, now open-air museum. Rows of miners' cottages. Industrial
railway centre with locomotives and rolling stock. Visitor centre
in old weaver's cottage.
yachting harbour lined with fishermen's cottages. Overlooked by
mined castle where in 1570 4th Earl of Cassillis roasted abbot
of Crossraguel alive to make him hand over abbey lands
1790s on A-shaped plan by 10th Earl of Eglinton. Streets of weavers'
cottages enclose park called the Orry beside river.
park round former Eglinton Montgomery estate. Natural history
displays in visitor centre.
where Burns is said to have parted from Mary Campbell, his 'Highland
Mary', after exchanging vows. She died the following autumn.
nuclear power station nearby has video displays. Iron ore complex.
Boatyard where Sir Thomas Lipton built racing yachts in l890s.
Waterfalls, gardens, nature trails and adventure course at Kelburn
buildings include Barr Castle and tower. Church of St Sophia built
1886, in two-coloured brick imitating Haghia Sophia in Istanbul,
acres of walled garden, woodland and picnic area.
topped with grazing land. Ruined 16th-century Greenan Castle.
Inland, picnic areas on Brown Carrick Hill look out to Arran,
Ailsa Craig, Kintyre and Firth of Clyde.
of beaches. Water sports. Harbourside display of historic vessels.
Museum on harbour traces shipbuilding history.
Iron Age fort on rocky ridge overlooking Girvan valley.
monument in Kay Park houses first edition of his poems. Dick Institute
has collection of Scottish broadswords. Restored Dean Castle has
arms and armour, musical instruments and country park. Guided
tours of Johnnie Walker whisky-bottling plant.
centre. Long esplanade and stony beach. Monument to 1263 defeat
of Norse fleet. Hill walk to Douglas Park offers panorama over
sea and mountains. Italian-baroque Skelmorlie Aisle erected 1636
as mausoleum for Sir Robert Montgomerie.
houses of early 19th century. Cask and barrel-making industry.
Sailing and canoeing on loch in Castle Semple country park. Nature
in house where Burns and wife, Jean Armour, set up home has displays
of granite curling stones made locally. Poosie Nansie's tavern
was the setting for The Jolly Beggars.
17th-century Maybole Castle was town house of Kennedy family.
Earls of Cassillis buried in 14th-century church, now in ruins.
trails in broad leaved woodland, also conifers and rhododendrons.
Waterfall and moorland view from Windy Hill.
on Farland Head with ruined 15th-century castle and vitrified
Iron Age fort.
runs round curve of Ayr Bay. First Open golf championship played
here 1860. Mercat Cross is 13th century, ruined Church of St Nicholas
12th century. Robert Bruce said to have taken waters of Bruce's
Well to relieve skin disease.
mansion in 96 acre park. Woodlands, sculptured gardens, nature
trails, wildfowl pond. Local history displays.
resort. Good fishing. Sea wall built 1686. Harbour contains fossilised
trees seen at low tide. Museum in 18th-century church.
laid out 1770 on Ayr banks. Castle with 15th-century tower: 1650
church has outside staircase.
weaving and mining village. Burns founded Bachelors' Club debating
society, now museum with relics of poet.
red-sandstone Victorian buildings look across Ayr Bay. Five golf
courses. Sandy beach, marina and harbour.
sands backed by dunes run for 1½ miles. Two golf courses. Robert
Bruce said to have been born at Turnberry Castle.