Ayrshire and Arran is both easy to travel to and even easier to explore. Located on the west coast of Scotland, this beautiful corner of the world is a mere 40-minute drive from Glasgow, combining the best of island life with countryside towns and picture perfect views.
Given the close proximity of Ayrshire to Scotland’s major cities, including Glasgow and Edinburgh, and its reputation as a tourist hot spot, getting here is straightforward.
For motorists the M77 motorway connects Ayrshire directly to Glasgow and beyond.
Prestwick International Airport is within easy reach of Ayrshire’s villages and towns and this makes the region a perfect destination for tourists from both home and abroad. As the only airport in Scotland with its own dedicated train station, Prestwick is also a travel hub, with frequent connections to Glasgow, Edinburgh and the local area. Travellers arriving at Prestwick Airport can also enjoy the added bonus of a 50 per cent fare reduction on train travel to and from anywhere in Scotland on presentation of a valid boarding pass.
Ayrshire is served by an extensive rail network, with stations throughout the area, including popular destinations such as Largs, Ayr, Troon, Girvan, Kilmarnock and Ardrossan. Travel times from Glasgow come in at under an hour, allowing for quick and convenient travel from the city to the coast. You can find maps and timetables at scotrail.co.uk and on the National Rail website nationalrail.co.uk.
By public transport
There are frequent bus services operating throughout Ayrshire, making it easy to travel to towns and even small villages. This also means you can leave the driving up to a professional and simply sit back, relax and enjoy the view. For more information check out travelinescotland.com.
Getting around Ayrshire
Visitors who prefer travelling on two wheels can make the most of several national and local cycle routes that pass through and connect the region, including National Cycle Route number 7 and local route number 73. Bicycle hire is available at bikeandgo. With stunning countryside, a panoramic coastline and unrivalled cultural and historical sites, exploring by bicycle is sure to be an unforgettable adventure.
An intricate network of roads serve all of Ayrshire’s towns, villages and tourist attractions. Even at the height of summer, most of these routes are not overly busy, making driving through the countryside and along the coast a pleasant experience.
Many of Ayrshire’s top tourist destinations – such as Largs and Troon – are regularly served by trains. For detailed route maps and up-to-date timetables head to scotrail.co.uk or nationalrail.co.uk.
By public transport
Buses interconnect almost all of Ayrshire’s villages. There are frequent local bus services and the drivers will be happy to help with knowing precisely where to get on and off. For more information, you can also check out travelinescotland.com.
Getting to Arran
Unless you have your own boat, the ferry is the only way to get to Arran. Thankfully, as it’s situated in the Firth of Clyde and nestled between the Kintyre peninsula and the Ayrshire coast, this is actually one of Scotland’s most accessible island getaways. From the village of Claonaig in Kintyre, visitors can enjoy the 30-minute CalMac ferry journey to Lochranza, while Brodick, Arran’s main town, is served by a 55-minute CalMac crossing from Ardrossan in Ayrshire.
Trains to and from Glasgow Central train station are thoughtfully scheduled to coincide with ferry times from Ardrossan, making it even easier to explore this enchanting island without the need for a car. For more information check out calmac.co.uk.
A 56-mile coastal road circumnavigates the island, affording visitors the perfect opportunity for a road-trip. You can bring your own vehicle on the ferry or choose to rent a car on the island: Brodick 01770 302839 and Whiting Bay 01770 700345.
Buses operate frequently across the island, allowing you to take in the scenery totally stress-free. For timetables go to spt.co.uk/timetable/arran.
Adventurers can rejoice, as Arran is renowned as an excellent cycling destination, with a variety of on and off-road routes. A word of caution though: cycling on Arran can be challenging, with rugged and hilly terrain typical, although there are flatter routes in the north of the island towards Lochranza and electric bikes for hire. If you don’t bring your own bicycle, you can hire one from arranbikehire.com.
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