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Issue 21 - Ayrshire & Arran

History & Heritage

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Scotland Magazine Issue 21
July 2005


This article is 13 years old and some information provided may be time sensitive. Please check all details of events, tours, opening times and other information before travelling or making arrangements.

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Ayrshire & Arran

There are countless hotels, restaurants and sight-seeing opportunities in the area. Sally Toms provides a selection

Where to visit

Arran Aromatics
Home Farm, Brodick
This visitor centre offers an unrivalled range
of hand-crafted pampering products.
Tel: +44 (0)1770 302 595
Arran Brewery
Cladach, Brodick
New, high-tech micro-brewery and visitor
centre. See for yourself how beer is made.
Tel: +44 (0)1770 302 353
Balmichael Visitor Centre
Shiskine Valley
A relatively new centre of craft studios, gift
shops, adventure playground and a tea room.
Tel: +44 (0)1770 860 430
Brodick Castle and Park
Once the ancient seat of the Dukes of
Hamilton, the castle houses a glorious
collection of furniture and beautiful gardens.
Tel: +44 (0)1770 302 202
Holy Island
Lamlash Bay
This sheer-sided island was once home to a
sixth century monk who took up hermitage in
a cave. Now under the stewardship of the
Samyé Ling Buddhist Community.
Isle of Arran Distillery
This whisky distillery is among the most
recent to begin production in Scotland.
Includes a visitor centre, guided tours and
the opportunity to pour your own bottle.
Tel: +44 (0)1770 830 264
Kildonan Castle
Standing on a raised beach on a gorgeous
stretch of shoreline, the 13th century keep is
now an ivy-clad ruin. A great place to see
grey seals.
Lochranza Castle
Moody 13th century ruin said to be the
inspiration for Hergé’s Tin Tin adventure The
Black Island.
Machrie Moor
Around seven separate rings of standing
stones have been discovered on the moor,
with many still laying undiscovered under the
peat which now grows in the vicinity.
The Isle of Arran Heritage Museum
Rosaburn, Brodick
Once a working croft and smiddy, these
buildings now house fascinating exhibits
reflecting the social history, archaeology and
geology of the island.
Tel: +44 (0)1770 302 63


Ailsa Craig
Firth of Clyde
A strangely shaped granite island, home
to one of the world’s most important
gannet colonies. A growing number of
puffins are also present on the island,
which is accessible by boat from Girvan.
Bachelor’s Club
Sandgate Street, Tarbolton
In this 17th-century thatched house,
Robert Burns and friends formed a
debating club in 1780. Burns attended
dancing lessons, and was initiated into
Freemasonry here. Period furnishings.
Tel: +44 (0)1292 541 940
Burns National Heritage Park
Murdoch’s Lone, Alloway
Explore the Burns Cottage and museum,
Burns Monument, the Brig o’Doon and
haunted Kirk Alloway and relax at the Tam
o’Shanter Experience visitor centre.
Tel: +44 (0)1292 443 700
Dean Castle
Houses a superb collection of medieval
arms, armour, tapestries and musical
instruments. At its core is an almost
windowless keep dating from 1350.
Tel: +44 (0)1563 522 702
Heads of Ayr Park
Open farm hosting the largest collection
of rare and exotic animal in Ayrshire.
Tel: +44 (0)1292 441 210
Souter Johnnie’s Cottage
Main Road, Kirkoswald
The home of John Davidson, village
souter (shoemaker), who was the original
Souter Johnnie of Robert Burns’ Tam
O’Shanter. Period furniture, Burns relics
and a reconstructed workshop.
Tel: +44 (0)1655 760 603
Greenock Road, Largs
An award-winning visitor centre built to
commemorate the Battle of Largs in 1263,
considered by many to be the turning
point in the Viking occupation of Scotland.
Tel: +44 (0)1475 689 777

Where to eat


Catacol Bay Hotel
Catacol, Nr. Lochranza
A fine pub for food and real ale, ceilidhs in
the summer. Situated on the seashore,
overlooking the Kilbrannan Sound.
Tel: +44 (0)1770 830 231
Creelers Restaurant
The Home Farm, Brodick
Much of the food presented in the restaurant
comes straight from West Coast waters via
the Creelers Smokehouse to the table.
Tel: +44 (0)1770 302 810
Drift Inn
Shore Road, Lamlash
Enjoy good pub grub in the beer garden.
Tel: +44 (0)1770 600 656

Stalkers Eating House
Main Street, Brodick
Waterfront location and good home cooking.
Tel: +44 (0)1770 302 579
The Coffee Pot
Golf Course Road, Whiting Bay
A good selection of meals and displays of
coffee pots from around the world.
Tel: +44 (0)1770 700 382


Braidwoods Restaurant
Nr. Langside Farm, Dalry
Another restaurant worthy of the title
‘best meal in Ayrshire’.
Tel: +44 (0)1294 833 544
Fouters Bistro
Academy Street, Ayr
Cellar bistro specializing in Ayrshire
produce and local seafood.
Tel: +44 (0)1292 261 391
The Harbour, Troon
Excellent harbourside seafood bistro.
Tel: +44 (0)1292 319 339
Main Street, Gourock
Tucked away restaurant popular with the
residents of Gourock.
Tel: +44 (0)1475 633 998
Ristorante La Vigna
Wellgate, Lanark
Famously good Italian restaurant.
Tel: +44 (0)1555 664 320
The Ivy House
One of the best meals in Ayrshire. Pricey,
but worth it. Also has rooms.
Tel: +44 (0)1292 442 336
Wellington Fish Restaurant
Sandgate, Ayr
For the best fish and chips.
Tel: +44 (0)1292 263859

Where to stay


The finest Guest House in Lochranza.
Attention to detail and excellent
set dinners.
Tel: +44 (0)1770 830 229
Unusual B&B in a converted church
opposite the castle. Traditional features and
a gallery. Exclusive – only four rooms!
Tel: +44 (0)1770 830 202
Kilmichael Country House Hotel
The island’s best hotel and oldest building.
Eight rooms and an excellent restaurant.
Tel: +44 (0)1770 302 219
Lagg Inn
Lovely B&B in a good location. One of the
rooms has a four poster bed. Good food.
Tel: +44 (0)1770 870 255

Lochranza Youth Hostel
An excellent self-catering hostel. And
with beds from £8.50, it’s a great way
to explore the island on the cheap.
Tel :+44 (0)1770 830 631
Middleton Camping
Cordon, Lamlash
An upmarket campsite in a quiet location.
Tel :+44 (0)1770 600 251


Benane Shore
Lendalfoot, Girvan
Family run holiday park with one mile of
private coastline.
Tel: +44 (0)1465 891233
Culzean Castle
A grand castle with six luxury suites
you can stay in. Superb cliff top setting,
formal gardens and grounds
to explore.
Tel: +44 (0)1655 760 615
Drumboy Lodge
Drumclog, Strathaven
Large, modern self catering
accommodation in picturesque
surroundings. Sleeps up to eight.
Tel: +44 (0)1357 440 544
Fairfield House Hotel
Farifield Road, Ayr
A relatively large four star hotel, inclusing
leisure club and restaurant.
Tel: +44 (0)1292 267461
Gleddoch House
The hotel and 360 acre estate offer a
range of outdoor activities.
Tel: +44 (0)1475 540 711
Glenapp Castle
By Ballantrae
Luxury manor newly refurbished.
Excellent service and food. An upmarket
hotel with all the trimmings.
Tel: +44 (0)1465 831 212
Marine Hotel
Crosbie Road, Troon
Grand hotel, recently refurbished, not five
minutes from the airport. Great starting
point for island exploration.
Tel: +44 (0)1292 314444
Piersland House Hotel
Craigend Road, Troon
A magnificent hotel, the former home of
the Johnnie Walker whisky family.
Tel: +44 (0)1292 314 747
The Crescent
Bellevue Crescent, Ayr
Small townhouse hotel with excellent
rooms, all en-suite.
Tel: +44 (0)1292 287 329
Westin Turnberry
Turnberry, Ayrshire
A massive hotel complex home to one of
Scotland’s most renowned links golf
courses and the Colin Montgomerie Golf
Academy. Also offers a range of outdoor
activities. Restaurant has two AA rosettes.
Tel: +44 (0)1655 331 000