Nestled in the southwest of Scotland, Ayrshire is a historic county that combines lush green landscapes, vibrant towns, and a magnificent coastline, fresh with the salty sea air of the Firth of Clyde. Ayrshire is characterized by a rich historical legacy, incredible architecture, stunning coastal views, and resilient local communities.

In this guide, we will be exploring the multifaceted attractions of Ayrshire, from its historic castles and beautiful islands to its friendly towns and world-renowned golf courses. We will also provide valuable information to those considering a move to Ayrshire, including details on local schooling, transport, and the housing market.

History of Ayrshire

Ayrshire, also called the County of Ayr, holds an intriguing history that resonates even today. Known by many as the birthplace of the world-renowned Scottish poet, Robert Burns, Ayrshire's heritage reflects a kaleidoscope of cultural influences. In the Medieval era, Ayrshire was a pivotal region with Dundonald Castle being home to Scottish Kings. The region wears its Industrial Revolution heritage with pride, especially in towns like Kilmarnock, which prospered due to textiles, shoe-making, and railways. Through centuries, this colourful past has infused the region with a deep sense of cultural richness and identity.


The county is home to some notable landmarks that are steeped in history. Culzean Castle, which overlooks the Firth of Clyde, is renowned for its dramatic clifftop setting and stunning architecture. Another classic landmark is the Dundonald Castle, a medieval fort that provides breath-taking panoramic views. The Burns National Heritage Park, comprised of the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum and the Burns Cottage, is a testament to Ayrshire's cultural richness.

Landmarks we love

  • Troon Beach: Located in the charming town of Troon, this extensive sandy beach offers lovely coastal walks and popular sailing and windsurfing opportunities.
  • Brodick Castle: Situated on the Isle of Arran, Brodick Castle boasts a blend of characterful architecture and breathtaking parklands.
  • Wellington Square: Located in the heart of Ayr, this is a classic Georgian square noted for its architectural beauty.
  • Saltcoats Beach: Offering stunning sea views, this family-friendly beach is often visited for its beautiful sunsets and calming environment.
  • Dean Castle: Set within Dean Castle Country Park in Kilmarnock, this 14th-century castle houses a bustling collection of arms and armour.

Top things to do in Ayrshire

  • Visit Isle of Arran: Also renowned as 'Scotland in Miniature,' this island offers everything from dramatic mountain peaks to beautiful sweeping beaches.
  • Golf at Royal Troon: One of the host courses of the Open Championship, this is a must-visit for golf enthusiasts.
  • Discover Burns Cottage: Robert Burns' birthplace provides an inspiring window into the life and times of Scotland's national bard.
  • Hike in the Galloway Hills: Enjoy some fantastic hill walking and soak up the stunning landscapes.
  • Tour Ayr Town Centre: Explore Ayr's charming blend of shopping, dining and architectural landmarks.

Our recommended areas to live in Ayrshire

  • Troon: Known for its top-rated schools, affluent character, outdoor activities, and strong community spirit, Troon is one of Ayrshire's most desirable locations.
  • Prestwick: With its bustling town centre, excellent transport links, and well-respected schools, Prestwick is a great choice for families.
  • Kilmarnock: Offering a great mix of leisure facilities, shopping destinations, and quality education, Kilmarnock suits a diverse range of residents.
  • Ayr: As Ayrshire's bustling heart, Ayr offers an appealing mix of city amenities and the charm of coastal living.
  • Alloway: Famous as the birthplace of Robert Burns, Alloway combines a rich history with a peaceful village vibe.

Best schools in Ayrshire

Education is a priority in Ayrshire, and the county has a great mix of highly-rated schools. Prestwick Academy, Kyle Academy, and Marr College are all situated in Ayrshire. Prestwick Academy, renowned for its nurturing environment and high academic standards, often tops the performance tables. For those considering private education, Wellington School in Ayr offers excellent education with a variety of extracurricular activities. For primary schools, Monkton Primary School and Ayr Grammar School are phenomenal options. These institutions offer an array of opportunities, including varied sports programmes, music education, and exceptional teaching standards, creating a strong foundation for lifelong learning.

Transport links in Ayrshire

Access to Ayrshire is fantastic with a good network of motorways like the M77 and M8, serving the area. The county is served by bus services, providing convenient local and regional travel. Rail links are robust, with frequent services operating between Kilmarnock, Prestwick, and Glasgow. Both Prestwick and Ayr boast international airports, enhancing travel convenience considerably. Furthermore, for island getaways, the ferries to the islands of Cumbrae and Arran are easily accessible.

In conclusion, Ayrshire is a mesmerizing blend of cultural heritage, striking landscapes, top-notch education, convenience, and connectivity. It's a blend of the countryside's tranquility, the seaside's freshness, and urban living's modern amenities. The rich past, vibrant festivals, friendly towns, and alluring islands give Ayrshire a unique charm that distinguishes it from other regions. Whether you crave the quiet countryside, the bustle of town life, or the freedom of the coast, Ayrshire offers it all.

Buy A Home

With thousands of homes for sale, find your RealMove today.

Buy A Home in Ayrshire

Rent A Home

With thousands of homes for Rent, find your RealMove today.

Rent A Home in Ayrshire

Create alerts and save properties & searches

We've created a new tool to help you easily find the areas that match your budget and needs.

Creat an Account


Whether you're looking to buy your dream home, rent your very first apartment or want home design inspiration, we have everything you’re looking for just one click away.

Latest property news

Everything you need to know about the housing market, explained by our experts.

Subscribe for Newsletter

We've created a new tool to help you easily find the areas that match your budget and needs.