Nestled in the heart of the Ayrshire, about 10 miles inland from the west coast, is Kilmarnock. The bustling town has a beautiful historic centre, and a great mix of retail and eating establishments. The beautiful Kay Park is home to the Burns Monument Centre, and the largest Burns monument in Scotland. Nearby Dean Castle Country Park is a splendid day out. The fantastic 14th Century Castle is home to numerous historic collections. Take the kids to meet the residents of the Urban Farm, or for a run around in the Adventure Playground, and enjoya walk through the 200 acre woodland. The town’s Palace Theatre and Grand Hall are not only architectural masterpieces, but offer a diverse programme of events well worth investigating. Don’t leave the town without visiting The Dick Institute, home to some fantastic collections and exhibitions in the museum and gallery. The town has two golf courses to offer, Caprington to the south of the town, and Annanhill on the outskirts.
Located on the west coast, Ayrshire offers a diversity of landscapes for the discerning traveller. The shores of the Firth of Clyde offer beaches and a range of watersports, and the rolling Galloway Hills to the south offer a haven for nature lovers and walkers. Ayrshire is historically a diverse industrial county, and most famous for its production of the worldwide favourite Scotch Whisky, Johnnie Walker, in the town of Kilmarnock. The namesake town of Ayr is a bustling seaside resort. With its long esplanade and sandy beach it is a popular tourist town. Further north along the coastline the town of Irvine is home to the main site of the Scottish Maritime Museum. Other places of interest in the county include the Ayr suburb of Alloway, birthplace of Scotland’s poet Robert Burns. Ayr Racecourse, which hosts the Scottish Grand National is a great day out. Turnberry Castle claims to be the possible birthplace of Robert the Bruce, and is an interesting historical attraction. Just a ferry trip across the Firth is the Isle of Arran. Boasting geologically diverse High and Lowlands the island has been inhabited since Neolithic times and has a range of attractions with mountain ranges, rolling countryside and sandy beaches, there is a range of things to do here. If you are a golfer, the area offers over 42 courses including three Open Championship links courses at Royal Troon, Prestwick and Turnberry.
Stretching across the border with England, and reaching up to the central belt from Glasgow to Edinburgh, the Southern Scotland region is a popular location for short break holidays. Although you may not find the monumental mountain ranges of the Highlands, don’t think that this region lacks the traditional Scottish landscapes. The famous 7Stanes mountain biking routes can be found across the Border counties and Dumfries and Galloway, as there is an abundance of hills, glens and forests to challenge even experienced bikers. The region has plenty of fishing opportunities too, most popular perhaps is the River Tweed, well known for its salmon, and miles of coastline, ideal for walking and bird spotting. Golf can be found in abundance in this area too. For gentler activities, visit the Four Borders Abbeys, magnificent tributes to the religious history of the area, at Kelso, Jedburgh, Dryburgh and Melrose.