Free things to do in Ayrshire & Arran

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  • A family admire the Great Hall in the Keep of Dean Castle, Kilmarnock
    Great Hall in Dean Castle, Kilmarnock
  • Glenashdale Falls, Isle of Arran
    Glenashdale Falls, Isle of Arran
  • Glenrosa Water in Glen Rosa, Arran
    Glenrosa Water in Glen Rosa, Arran
  • Walkers on a guided walk up to the summit of Goatfell, Arran
    Hike to the summit of Goatfell, Arran

With an abundance of natural wonders, a 14th century castle, the UK’s only Dark Sky Park and excellent walking and cycling opportunities, you don’t have to pay money to have a lot of fun in Ayrshire & Arran.

Dean Castle and Country Park is a fantastic free day out and must-visit attraction. Take a free tour of this wonderful 14th century castle and explore the world-class collections of armoury, weapons, wall tapestries and historical musical instruments. Ensure you leave time to discover the delightful country park, which covers over 200 acres, with its pretty woodland walks, adventure playground, pets corner and visitor centre.

Families will love the wide range of gardens and parks in Ayrshire & Arran. Enjoy activities like walking and fishing at Eglinton Country Park and browse the interpretative displays in the free visitor centre. Belleisle Estate boasts beautiful walled gardens, a play park and a large picnic area and Castlehill Park has lovely woodland walks and an assault course.

Spend a day enjoying the great outdoors at Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park or the Galloway Forest Park, home to Scotland’s first UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and the UK’s only Dark Sky Park. Admire natural wonders like the blue pools at Glen Rosa, the spectacular Glenashdale Falls, Loudoun Hill and Lion Rock on the Isle of Cumbrae. Just south of the village of Dunure is the Electric Brae, a popular optical illusion where a car in neutral will appear to roll uphill all by itself.

Walking is a great way to explore the wide-ranging scenery that Ayrshire & Arran has to offer. The Ayrshire Coastal Path allows you to walk some of Ayrshire’s extensive coastline, taking in some glorious beaches along the way. During a visit to Arran, challenge yourself to reach the summit of Goatfell, which nudges the clouds at 2,867 ft, or enjoy some spectacular scenery on a walk along the Arran Coastal Way.

If you prefer two wheels, Arran offers a 56-mile circular route and cycling is certainly the easiest and most fun way to navigate around the 11 miles of stunning Cumbrae coastline.