From adventure parks and playgrounds to cliff-top castles, celebrated museums and world-famous libraries, there’s a wide range of days out and activities in Ayr.
Activities in Ayr
Heads of Ayr Farm Park
One of the best family days out in Ayr, the Heads of Ayr Farm Park has enough attractions to keep you coming back for days, with plenty to do indoors and out. There are bumper boats loaded with water cannons, electric tractors and diggers, sandpits, swings and slides, a huge aerial runway, quad biking for children aged seven and over, trampolines and soft play – and we haven’t even covered the actual farm yet, which includes a camel, donkeys, goats, monkeys, meerkats, ponies and more. The park is located several miles south of Ayr town centre and just a short drive from our Ayr Racecourse hotel.
Culzean Castle & Country Park
Burns Monument and Gardens
Culzean Castle & Country Park
A magnificent castle and grounds nestled on the edge of Ayrshire cliffs, Culzean Castle & Country Park is a fantastic place to explore. The castle was built towards the end of the 18th century, and a guided tour will take you around the grand rooms, which host an impressive array of fine art and furniture. The grounds, meanwhile, are ripe for exploring, with over 260 hectares covering gorgeous gardens with sky-scraping conifers and beech trees, overgrowing greenhouses and several adventure woodland play areas.
Carnegie Public Library
Bookworms will probably know all about Andrew Carnegie and his fascinating work, but if not, we’ll give you a quick potted run-down. A Scottish businessman and charity fanatic, he donated money to build a staggering 2,509 libraries across the world from 1883 to 1929, including this historic library in the heart of Ayr. The Ayr Carnegie Public Library pays homage to his generous work with a series of archives and artefacts on display, while they also give regular talks and historical walks, delving deeper into the wonderful philanthropist who was born a short distance away in Dunfermline.
Entertain the whole family in one go with a trip to Pirate Pete’s, a longstanding theme park on Pavilion Road, just 20m from the Ayr beach. With mini golf, soft play, laser tag and a fun park including go-karts, slides, trampolines and fairground rides, there’s something for most children and grown-ups, with an ice cream parlour and American diner onsite to refuel.
Ayr Seafront Playpark
When the weather is good, there are few better ways to while a few hours with the family than down at the Seafront Playpark. The playground is packed with slides, swings and a sandpit, and overlooking the coastline, it’s a great place for a picnic when the sun is shining.
Make the most of the sunshine in Ayr on the 65-mile long stretch of coastline which runs from Ballantrae to Largs. There are plenty of brilliant beach spots around Ayr, but these are our favourite three.
The main beach in Ayr that runs from the mouth of the River Ayr along the Esplanade, South Beach is a large, sandy beach with plenty of parking and nearby cafés. On a clear day, you can see over to the Isle of Arran from the pier, while if you head down to the south, you’ll come across the 16th-century ruins of Greenan Castle.
Two miles further down the coast, you’ll come to Doonfoot, a large, picturesque beach made up of grassland, rocks and large expanses of sand. Popular with dog walkers, campers and hikers, the beach has impressive views across to the Mull of Kintyre and Greenan Castle.
To the north of Ayr, Troon is a small, lively seaside town famous for its beaches and golf, with seven courses a short distance away. The main beach is a huge, wide stretch of sand, perfect for more relaxed pursuits such as cycling and a casual stroll, ice cream in hand, or more adventurous pursuits like kitesurfing and windsurfing.
One of Scotland’s most famous sons and once voted the Greatest Ever Scot, noted poet Robert Burns was born in Alloway, a few miles from Ayr. There’s plenty of heritage to explore in the region, thanks to the Burns National Heritage Park, which includes a fascinating museum, monument, gardens and more.
Born on January 25, 1759, Robert Burns – also known as Rabbie Burns, the Bard of Ayrshire and the Ploughman Poet – made his name as a poet and lyricist. Best known for ‘Auld Lang Syne,’ you can find out more about this world-famous artist at his Birthplace Museum, where he lived until he was seven years old. The museum has an impressive range of artefacts, manuscripts, portraits, art, audio and visual exhibitions, as well as several interactive games and quizzes.
Linked to the Birthplace Museum, the Burns Monument and Gardens were created 20 years after his death and were finished in 1823. The centrepiece is the 70-foot high Grecian temple, which offers impressive views across the landscaped gardens. There’s also a play area for children, gift shop and café.