Ayrshire is bordered by Dumfries and Galloway, Lanarkshire to the East and Argyll to the North. It is the 'playground' of the Western seaboard of Scotland with walks everywhere, the amazing Culzean Castle, the 'home' of Scottish horseracing at Ayr and many of Scotland's most famous golf courses. Ayrshire is the perfect area of Scotland to explore if you do not want to be too far from civilisation - the coastal views are as fine as anywhere in Scotland, the sailing clubs abundant and enthusiastic, the towns unspoilt by out-of-town shopping centres and the walking unfettered and idyllic.
There are a number of wildlife reserves around Irvine that are recommended for wild flowers and bird-watching: Gailes Marsh, Lawthorn Wood, Oldhall Ponds, Perceton wood, Shewalton Sandpits and Wood and Sourlie Wood. Further South you have Ayr Gorge Woodlands near Mauchline, Knockshinnoch Lagoons near New Cumnock, Dalmellington Moss, Auchalton Meadows near Crosshill and Grey Hill Grasslands near Girvan
There seems to almost be a Museum war between Ayrshire and Dumfries to take the most ownership of Robert Burns. Now Burns has made it to be one of Scotlands major icons but rather like the bag-pipes, he makes a fabulous Scottish sound but he is not going to replace the electric guitar! In addition to the Art Galleries and Museums linked below, Private House Stays lists the following also for your consideration: The Baird Institute Museum, Rozelle House, Burns Memorial Tower, Doon Valley Museum, Largs Museum, Museum of The Cumbraes, North Ayrshire Museum, Robertson Museum and The Tam O Shanter Experience
Ayrshire is a great area for finding interesting ancient castles, some still functioning dwellings and others ruined from some ancient and barely remembered clan feud. However ancient castle sites are nearly always in interesting locations and many of the ruined ones can be visited for free. In addition to those with links below, Private House Stays recommends the following for your consideration: Eglington Castle, Ardrossan Castle, Carleton Castle, Dunure Castle, Greenan Castle, Turnberry Castle and Sorn Castle.
Due to the influence of the gulf stream, Ayrshire is famous for some beautiful gardens. Private House Stays recommends the following for your consideration: Kelburn Castle And Country Centre, Loudoun Castle Family Theme Park, Culzean Castle Country Park, Culzean Castle Country Park, Sorn Castle and Dean Castle Country Park
Amongst the many churches, Abbeys and religious sites in Ayrshire, we have chosen 3 for your consideration: Crossraguel Abbey, Skelmorlie Aisle and St Columbas Church.
The Ayrshire attractions that we recommend for entertaining children are Doon Valley Rare Breeds Farm, Loudoun Castle Family Theme Park, Heads Of Ayr Farm Park and Vikingar! in Largs. Also worth visiting but perhaps less child orientated are two monuments: Gowanbank Monument and Pencil Monument and Poosie Nansies Tavern is worth a mention.