The development of tourism at this shorefront started in the late 1800's, as did
many other coastal resorts. Ayr was so popular because of its proximity to industrial
towns and cities such as Glasgow, Paisley and Kilmarnock. Workers could come for
a day or weekend and those who could afford it would stay longer. The clean air,
sandy beaches and mild climate all contributed as an attraction to visitors. Ayr
could cater for any pocket, from those who simply wanted bed and breakfast to those
who wished the comfort of an hotel.
As with many coastal towns it became fashionable to recuperate from illness "by
the sea" and there have been a number of convalescent homes in Ayr over the
The Ayr beach is predominately sand and has been enjoyed by people of all ages through
the years. From picnics and sandcastles to paddling, collecting shells and playing
games, you can always find something to do.
The esplanade, which runs from the harbour south to the river Doon, has adjacent
to it a number of facilities for visitors to enjoy. The putting green, the well
equipped play area which caters for a wide age range and the newly refurbished Pavilion
which provides indoor soft play. The Low green, which has a long history as a place
of recreation, is still a firm favourite with locals and tourists alike for picnics,
sunbathing and generally watching the world go by.
Fishing is also available in and around the harbour area or go out on a boat trip
to fish for skate haddock and cod. The National Cycle Route passes through South
Ayrshire along the Ayr shorefront toward the new Millennium Bridge over the river
Doon and on towards Greenan.
If you prefer to stop and admire the scenery watch the world go by there are a number
of seating areas along the length of this section of Ayr shorefront. Stop at the
river Doon around dusk and you might be treated to the otters playing in the river
or depending, on the time of year, cygnets and ducklings out with their "mums".
This particular area is always a popular location with birdwatchers with over 190
species having been spotted here.