Discover North Ayrshire

From its fabulous west coast location, North Ayrshire is well known for its stretches of sandy beaches, finest cruising waters, beautiful islands of Arran and Cumbrae, huge range of outdoor pursuits and famous Viking connections. But delve a bit deeper and you will also discover a land filled with myth and legend, castles and heritage, craft and culture, abundant wildlife and superb local produce. Add in whisky, Burns, festivals and world class golf, and you will find North Ayrshire has everything Scotland is most famous for.

Just 30 minutes from Glasgow City Centre, North Ayrshire encompasses bustling coastal towns from Irvine up to Skelmorlie, the beautiful countryside of the Garnock Valley and the idyllic islands of Arran and Cumbrae. With so much to see and do, amazing places to eat and stay, and warm, welcoming people with that typical west coast humour, North Ayrshire is perfect for a day trip, short break, holiday or venue for a special celebration.

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Home to Dundonald Links and the principal town and commercial centre for North Ayrshire, Irvine has lots to offer curious, energetic or chilled out day trippers.

  • Make a beeline for the Beachpark. Fly a kite at the famous dragon on the hill, build a castle on the stretch of golden sand or let off steam in the masses of great, green open space.
  • Head for the Harbourside. See the Spartan at the Scottish Maritime Museum, check out what’s on at the HAC or pop into the Courtyard Studios to see Ayrshire artists at work. Before you go, give the famous Carter’s Horse a pat!
  • Bag a bit o’ Burns. See original manuscripts at Irvine Burns Club Museum, visit his towering statue on Irvine Moor and the Drukken Steps commemorative cairn.
  • Try out the Trail. Walk or cycle the 12 mile circular route of Irvine New Town Trail, which links the town centre with Kilwinning and Eglinton Country Park.
  • Make it to Marymass. A festival like no other, Marymass features hundreds of events over 12 days, including the crowning of a queen, a horse drawn procession, music, comedy, fireworks, racing and the famous Greasy Pole.

Where to stay

Town or village, countryside or coast, budget or luxury, you will find loads of accommodation options to choose from in Irvine and across North Ayrshire. Enjoy a warm welcome at a wide range of hotels, guest houses, B&Bs and caravan parks. There’s also plenty of self-catering accommodation too. For more information go to or

How to get here

Every part of North Ayrshire is so easy to get to - even the remote bits are well connected!

By car: Approx journey times

Glasgow – 30 mins
Edinburgh – 1 hour 45 minutes

By train: Regular services from Glasgow Central to Ayr, Largs and Ardrossan, stopping at all the main North Ayrshire towns. Kilwinning is the connecting station in

North Ayrshire, with trains to all the other towns.

By ferry: Calmac services

Adrossan to Brodick (Isle of Arran)

Largs to Cumbrae (Millport)
Lochranza (Isle of Arran) to Claonaig (Mull of Kintyre)
Campbeltown to Ardrossan