Go west to Ayshire for sandy beaches, world-famous golf courses and plentiful outdoor adventures.
On the west coast of Scotland, Ayrshire has sandy beaches, golf courses aplenty and some lovely little coastal and countryside towns to explore. The region offers the perfect setting for such adventures as mountain biking, kayaking and white water rafting and the best way to explore the coastline is on foot by following the 100-mile-long (161-kilometre-long) Ayrshire Coastal Path. It’s also the launching point for tours of the offshore islands of Arran and Cumbrae. A summertime visit lets you see the coastline at its very best, though spring is a good alternative for dodging the summer holiday crowds.
Home to a beautiful stretch of beach and esplanade, Ayr is best known for its association with Robert Burns, who was born in Alloway just outside the town. Visitors can see his birthplace and explore the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum. Here you can pitch a tent in a country estate, close to the beach.
An easy trip from Ardrossan, Arran is often referred to as “Scotland in Miniature” for its diversity of landscapes, which include rugged mountains and glens in the north and a gentler landscape with golden beaches in the south. Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy hiking, kayaking, mountain biking and wildlife spotting and camping options include pitching a tent surrounded by mountainous landscapes to glamping-style yurts.
One of Scotland’s most classic holiday resort towns, Largs charms with its Victorian promenade and is particularly famed for its art deco ice cream parlour. The town also has a strong Viking history to be explored and a unique graffiti-covered castle, the grounds of which you can camp in.
A short ferry trip from Largs, the little island of Cumbrae is the perfect setting for a bike ride. A 10-mile (16-kilometre) circular loop leads cyclists all the way around the island, offering views of the North Ayrshire coast and Isle of Bute along the way. Limited camping options on Cumbrae include a holiday park close to the main settlement of Millport.