The place to be
Located in south-west Scotland, South Ayrshire covers 422 square miles that includes some of the most stunning scenery in the country. With beautiful beaches, quality housing, great schools, terrific leisure opportunities and fantastic transport links via air, rail, road and sea – it’s the ideal place to call home.
Known as the home of Open Golf and Robert Burns, we’re a popular tourist destination and welcome thousands of visitors to our area every year to try our unique mix of top quality public and private golf courses (including the championship courses of Royal Troon and Turnberry), visit our internationally-renowned tourist attractions and soak up our arts and culture.
Whether you prefer to be at the heart of town life or fancy some country living, South Ayrshire has it all.
We have some of the finest golf courses in the world, including three internationally recognised Open Championship courses. We are the ‘The Birthplace’ of The Open where championship golf first began at Prestwick Golf Club in 1860. The Open returned to Royal Troon Golf Club in 2016, putting Ayrshire’s coastline back at the forefront of world golf. We also operate eight high-quality links and parkland courses including three James Braid Classics, which are open all year.
We are the birthplace of internationally-renowned poet Robert Burns and you can visit the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum, which has the most significant Burns collection anywhere in the world. You can also step back in time and visit the cottage where Burns was born and lived as a child. Alloway is also the setting of Burns’ most famous work Tam o‘ Shanter. Other attractions include the famous Bachelors’ Club in Tarbolton and we have plenty of events happening throughout the year such as Burns an' a' that! and Burnsfest.
Culture and Heritage
We are home to magnificent castles and historic buildings which attract visitors from far and wide. Culzean Castle is one of Scotland’s most popular visitor attractions. The castle stands on a dramatic cliff top overlooking the Firth of Clyde, and has been associated with the Kennedy family since the 14th century. You can also visit Dundonald Castle and Dunure Castle, which have featured in the hit TV show Outlander.
We are famous for our cycling with stunning scenery, coastal towns, rolling countryside and a rich heritage to discover en route. We have exciting cycling opportunities whatever your interests and ability; bike hire is also available.
Food and Drink
With miles of picturesque coastline and acres of farmland, it’s no secret that South Ayrshire is famous for its award-winning Scottish food and drink, such as freshly caught seafood, quality beef, potatoes and whisky. You can experience the finest natural produce we have to offer by dining in our restaurants and cafés, visiting local producers and enjoying a trip to one of the many farmers’ markets.
Home to a range of independent retailers, galleries, beautiful boutiques, craft and quirky gift shops, we have a variety of shops and retail opportunities – no matter what you’re looking for.
There are lots of places to shop with a mix of well-known high street stores and boutiques; you can even discover a hidden gem off the beaten track. Shopping in the coastal towns of Ayr, Prestwick and Troon is an enjoyable experience with the golden sands, seafront promenades, leafy avenues and beautiful parks.
What’s going on?
There is always a lot happening in South Ayrshire with something to suit everybody. We have prestigious events like the Scottish International Airshow as well as the William Hill, Ayr Gold Cup.
Live music and entertainment feature heavily throughout the year with up and coming events like Live @ Troon attracting a strong following. Winter festivals include Tamsfest, Firework events and spectacular Christmas parades.
There is an array of Burns events with the enchanting Alloway 1759 taking centre stage. We also have Burns an’ a’ that!
Our summers are packed with festivals, food & drink, flowers, live music, smugglers, pipe bands and more much.