Nature and geography in Ayrshire & Arran

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A rural idyll within an hour of Scotland's largest city, Ayrshire & Arran is the perfect destination for those looking to soak up some wonderful nature and geography.

From magnificent forests and woodlands to the charming gardens and parks and the islands of Arran, Cumbrae and Holy Isle, the nature and geography of Ayrshire & Arran is one of the many reasons people flock to this unique part of Scotland.

With 80 miles of coastline and lush countryside to explore, spend a day exploring the great outdoors of Ayrshire at the Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park and the Galloway Forest Park. Relax on one of Ayrshire’s long sandy beaches, gaze up at some of the darkest skies in the UK on a visit to the Scottish Dark Sky Observatory, and explore rugged mountains on the Isle of Arran. Continue your exploration of this region on the Isle of Cumbrae, which boasts an unspoilt coastline and a diverse range of bird and marine life.

With fantastic views, a majestic coast, a huge variety of outdoor activities and a rich history, Ayrshire & Arran really is the ideal escape.

  • River Ayr Way through Ayr Gorge Woodlands, near Failford
    A trail on the River Ayr Way through Ayr Gorge Woodlands, near Failford
  • A couple walking along the sandy beach at Brodick towards Goatfell on Arran
    The sandy beach at Brodick and Goatfell, Isle of Arran
  • Looking onto the Bavarian summer house in the gardens of Brodick Castle, Arran
    Bavarian summer house in the gardens of Brodick Castle, Arran
  • Brodick, Arran
    Brodick, Arran
Cycling in the Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park

Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park

Enjoy some fresh air and explore the great outdoors at Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park, Scotland's largest regional park.

River Ayr Way through Ayr Gorge Woodlands, near Failford

Forests and woodlands

Ayrshire & Arran is the perfect destination for those looking to enjoy the great outdoors.

A cyclist stops to look out over Lamlash Bay and the village of Lamlash with Goatfell behind, Isle of Arran

Arran and Cumbrae

Relax, unwind and experience stunning island landscapes on Arran.

Two mountain bikers on McMoab, a black graded granite rock trail at Kirroughtree 7stanes centre

Galloway Forest Park

Spend a day in the Galloway Forest Park and take in the scenery as you enjoy wildlife, mountain biking, walking and stargazing.

A guided tour of Brodick Castle Gardens, Arran

Gardens and parks

Grab some fresh air and enjoy the great outdoors at one of the many wonderful parks and gardens in Ayrshire & Arran

Dalmellington, East Ayrshire

Towns and villages

There are a number of unique and fascinating towns and villages scattered throughout Ayrshire & Arran.

Thousands of stars visible in Scotland's Dark Sky Park at Galloway Forest Park, Dumfries & Galloway © James Hilder

Scotland’s Dark Sky Sites

Scotland boasts some of the clearest skies in Europe, which provide exceptional conditions for stargazing. In 2009, Galloway Forest Park was named the UK’s first Dark Sky Park. See if you can spot the Milky Way, The Plough or Polaris.