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...Ayrshire Information...

  1. What is there to see and do in Ayrshire?
  2. Why is Ayr called 'Ayr'?
  3. What is the Royal Burgh of Ayr?

1. What is there to see and do in Ayrshire? Page Top
Ayrshire and Arran hosts many visitor attractions, events and activities. Brodick Castle, Vikingar, Culzean Castle, the Burns Museum and the Scottish Maritime Museum are just some of the venues.
Ayrshire is the birthplace of Open Golf, with Open Championship courses at Troon and Turnberry, and the site of the very first British Open at Prestwick.
It is also the birthplace of Scotland's most famous poet, Robert Burns, celebrated each year in May by “Burns an' a' that” festival.
Ayrshire is steeped in the history of Scottish kings and heroes such as Robert the Bruce and William Wallace. It has castles and monuments dating back centuries.
Ayr is Scotland's premier racecourse holding at least 25 days racing every year and is host to the Scottish Grand National and the Ayr Gold Cup.
On Arran you can see prehistoric standing stones on Machrie Moor, while Brodick Castle, the Isle of Arran Heritage Museum, Balmichael Visitor Centre and Arran Aromatics are well worth a visit.
The Isle of Cumbrae boasts great sailing waters, the smallest cathedral in Britain and the opportunity to cycle around the island in a day.
2. Why is Ayr called 'Ayr'? Page Top
The town was called after the river that ran beside it which is a common name for a river i.e the Aire in Gascony, Aire of Yorkshire and Aare in Switzerland.
For many years the spelling was 'Air' but Council records of the 18th Century show that the introduction of the spelling 'Ayr' became popular and eventually the norm.
3. What is the Royal Burgh of Ayr? Page Top
Burghs were planned towns that regulated their own activities and enjoyed special trading privileges.
The first burghs were introduced to Scotland by David I during the 12th Century and were formally abolished in 1975.
Ayr has the earliest surviving founding charter of any Royal Burgh in Scotland.
The location of the Burgh is largely due to its natural harbour at the mouth of the River Ayr.
The Burgh developed through the normal pattern of local medieval administration alongside its castle (founded 1197) and the sheriff appointed there.
Before 1205 the settlement of Ayr was probably located along the Sandgate.

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