River, stream, or creek airstreams near Irvine

The west coast town of Irvine offers golf, beaches and a gateway to the Ayrshire coast.

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River, stream, or creek airstreams near Irvine guide


Lying on the north coast of Ayrshire, Irvine is steeped in maritime history. The one time major west coast seaport is now home to the Scottish Maritime Museum, located in a former shipyard building and full of hands-on exhibits. There’s also a handful of golf courses and, just outside town, Eglingon Country Park, which has miles of paths and bridleways perfectly suited for walking, cycling and horse riding. The golden sands of Irvine Beach stretch north through Saltcoats to Ardrossan, from where you can take a ferry to the Isle of Arran.

Where to go


A 15-minute drive north of Irvine, Saltcoats is joined to the port town of Ardrossan, from where regular ferries depart for the Isle of Arran. Saltcoats has a golden Blue Flag beach set around Irvine Bay, and is home to the North Ayrshire Museum. Here, Sandylands Holiday Park has electric or non-electric grass pitches.


A 25-minute drive south of Irvine, the town of Ayr has another attractive stretch of sandy beach and is close to the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum and Culzean Castle and Country Park. On the pretty wooded grounds of the Craigie Estate, and within walking distance of the beach and town centre, Ayr Craigie Gardens Club Site has pitches for tents and tourers.


A 30-minute drive north of Irvine, Fairlie’s top attraction is the street art-adorned Kelburn Castle—the setting for the Kelburn Garden Party, one of Scotland’s most colourful festivals. The castle grounds feature secluded forest and glens, as well as indoor and outdoor play areas for kids and pitches for tents and tourers; glamping yurts, and bell tents.

When to go

The area is best-visited during the summer months when temperatures range from mild to warm, occasionally hot, and daylight hours are long. This is peak season, however, and you may encounter booked-up sites during school holidays. Spring and autumn are both also good options as the weather is typically mild and there are few crowds. While the region doesn’t get too cold in winter, winter storms can occasionally disrupt ferry journeys to Arran.

Know before you go

  • Many campsites in the area are seasonal. Check opening dates if planning to travel outside of spring/summer.
  • Wild camping is possible throughout Scotland but campers must adhere to the Scottish Outdoor Access Code.
  • Irvine is on the Ayrshore Coast railway line and has direct links to Largs, Glasgow, and Ardrossan Harbour (from where Arran ferries depart).
  • Don’t worry if you forgot something. Irvine has plenty of well-stocked supermarkets. 

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