Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters
Check our guide to some of the epic Ayrshire adventures that await you in the Year of Coasts and Waters!
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Take to the water
To properly explore all the watery wonders Ayrshire and Arran have to offer, you have to get out on the deep blue! Thankfully, there are a huge number of boat hire companies on the doorstep of the Salt Lodge at Troon Yacht Haven. From fully-crewed luxury yachts to self-helmed hire boats, there’s a vessel to suit every adventure at Troon Yacht Haven!
Drain a dram at the isle of Arran Distillery
Sample a dram (or three) on a tour of the Isle of Arran Distillery – home of the only single malt whisky produced on Arran. Surrounded by the dramatic views of the wee island, a tour of the distillery is the perfect chance to see behind the stills of this world-renowned whisky.
Tee off on a course fit for a king
Put politics to one side and make your way to Trump Turnberry and you’ll find The Ailsa, one of the world’s most loved – and most spectacular – golf courses. Teeing off from its ninth hole, an epic par three set in the shade of Turnberry’s landmark lighthouse and the 13th century ruins of Robert the Bruce’s birthplace, will stay in your dreams forever.
Share the sea with basking sharks
Set sail for the Ayrshire coast between may and September and you might just find yourself sharing its waters with the second biggest fish on the planet – the mighty basking shark. Don’t worry – these gentle giants only feed on plankton – but seeing them glide through the water, mouths agape, is a humbling, epic experience.
Grab a dolphin escort
Ayrshire is home to some incredible wildlife, from comical red squirrels to majestic red deer, but few experiences make your heart stir in quite the same way as seeing a pod of dolphins frolicking in the sea. Keep a keen eye on the firth of clyde and you might just spot one of the two species known to frequent the area – bottlenose and common dolphins – might just pop along to say hello.
Sink your toes into Brodick Bay
When it comes to Arran’s beaches, Kildonan might take the prize for stunning sands, but Brodick Bay’s surroundings will take your breath away. Overlooked by the soaring summit of Goatfell and the 16th century turrets of Brodick Castle which peer proudly over the treeline, the bay might be one of the most atmospheric in Scotland. Brodick isn’t a beach; it’s an experience.
Take some time at the Wee Hurrie
Perched on the edge of Troon harbour and famed for all the right reasons, seafood doesn’t get much fresher than the deep fried delights served up by the Wee Hurrie. Stop by for their multi-award-winning fish and chips or take a dip into the wonders of their daily specials board, which often features everything from Boston-style lobster rolls to grilled langoustines. Whatever you choose, you’re in for a treat!
Explore the dark past of Culzean Castle
Perched high on the Ayrshire cliffs, this beautiful castle hides tales of terrible deeds and evil spirits within. There’s no shortage of horrors in its history – the 4th earl of Cassillis captured the abbot of Crossraguel Abbey in 1570 and roasted him alive until he agreed to sign over his lands. Likewise, Sir Archibald the Wicked of Culzean was a man so evil that the devil himself is said to have attended his funeral. There’s more to Culzean than just stories, too – a ghostly knight is said to haunt the halls, while a phantom piper can often be heard on stormy nights as the waves crash against the cliff face below…
Looking for more adventures to undertake on your next trip to Ayrshire? Check out our guides to the incredible walking and cycling routes, fantastic food and drink, and legendary golf courses on the doorstep of the Salt Lodge at Troon Yacht Haven!