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06th November 2018 Dominic Ryan

Getting to and around Ayrshire and Arran

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.

Getting here

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.

By road

For motorists the M77 motorway connects Ayrshire directly to Glasgow and beyond.

Road Scotland

Drive from Glasgow to Ayrshire in 40 minutes

By air

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.

By rail

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

By bicycle 

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.

By road

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.

By Rail

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

By Ferry

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.

Ferry

Travel by ferry from Ayrshire to Arran

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.

Getting around

By road

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.

By bus

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.

By bicycle

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.


Everything you need to know about Ayrshire and Arran

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Your guide to arts and culture in Ayrshire and Arran

Image credits: ©Nick Baker; Donsimon/Shutterstock.com; VisitScotland/Paul Tomkins

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