Things to do in Ayr

Discover more about Ayr and its surroundings:

About Ayr

The Royal Burgh of Ayr in the south-west of Scotland is situated on the Firth of Clyde and is the largest coastal town in South Ayrshire. It’s a lively and active town with great shopping that combines High Street stores with quality independent retailers; fantastic transport links that make it accessible by road, rail, air, land or sea; and a multitude of leisure and cultural opportunities that provide lots of different things to do.

Ayr is a popular tourist destination – especially for day visitors – and thousands of people take to our beaches and open spaces whenever the sun appears. As we can’t always guarantee the sun will shine(!), regardless of the weather, there’s always lots to do in and around Ayr and we’re very proud of our thriving event and festivals programme that runs throughout the year.

Overall, there’s always somewhere to go and something to do in Ayr and, with such easy transport links, there’s no excuse for not paying us a visit!

Ayr shopping

This famous county town offers excellent shopping facilities and counts branches of the main multiple stores alongside a wide range of interesting individually owned shops. Add a selection of bars and restaurants to suit all tastes and pockets, many serving local produce and Ayr Town Centre has everything you need for a great day out.


Local businesses and retailers are the lifeblood of Ayr town centre and the Council is committed to working with them to make a difference for our people and communities. A huge amount of work is underway to ensure Ayr lives up to its potential as a retail and employment destination and that’s already making a difference with the volume of vacant retail space decreasing from 9.8% in 2012 to 4% in 2015.

To support business start-ups and growth, the Council has created the aptly-named Ambition enterprise and employment programme. This offers advice, support, funding and even business incubator space and has helped support 285 new jobs, safeguard 665 jobs, and help 500 young people find work across South Ayrshire.


Energetic visitors can choose from a range of outdoor sports including tennis, bowling and golf, whilst the town's Citadel Leisure Centre, situated at Ayr Harbour, is a first class venue for indoor activities including swimming and keep fit. There’s also a packed arts and culture programme available at the Gaiety Theatre.

Golf courses in Ayr

Ayr boasts three public golf courses – Belleisle, arguably the finest public parkland course in the United Kingdom; Seafield, located in the magnificent grounds of Belleisle, offers a classic combination of links and parkland course; and Dalmilling, set between Ayr's famous racecourse and the A77, plays over open parkland.

A stroll around one of Ayr's beautifully kept parks and gardens which include Belleisle, Rozelle and Craigie or an exhilarating walk along the seafront promenade provide a more leisurely experience.

Robert Burns

Scotland's National Bard, Robert Burns, was born in Alloway, on the southern outskirts of Ayr. A visit to the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum is a must to see the poet's birthplace, Burns Cottage, the Burns Monument, Brig O'Doon and Alloway Kirk.


Ayr was awarded Fairtrade Town Status on 26 February 2007. Local businesses, retailers, caterers, organisations and schools are providing Fairtrade products in Ayr.