Historic attractions in Ayrshire & Arran

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  • Exterior of Brodick Castle which is floodlit at night, the Isle of Arran
    Brodick Castle, Isle of Arran
  • Looking over to the ruins of Crossraguel Abbey in the sunshine
    Crossraguel Abbey
  • Culzean Castle & Country Park, by Maybole
    Culzean Castle & Country Park, by Maybole
  • People sit outside on tables and chairs at the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum
    Robert Burns Birthplace Museum, Alloway
  • Look onto the front of the Dick Institute in Kilmarnock
    The Dick Institute in Kilmarnock

The history of Ayrshire & Arran covers hundreds of years of social and political change which has helped shape a nation’s future. From nurturing several true Scottish icons to the ancient and mysterious standing stones and castles, this region boasts a vast array of historical attractions and has many stories to tell. 

Ayrshire & Arran is home to an array of magnificent castles from Dundonald and Portencross to Culzean and Brodick. This charming region is also scattered with intriguing historic buildings and homes like Dumfries House, the Bachelor’s Club and Souter Johnnie’s Cottage.

Why not pay a visit to Britain's smallest cathedral? Located in Millport on the Isle of Cumbrae, the Cathedral of the Isles dates as far back as 1851 and boasts a fascinating history to explore.

Ayrshire boasts connections to some of Scotland’s most influential historical icons. The region is awash with fascinating tributes to the life and work of Scotland’s National Bard, Robert Burns. Another national hero, William Wallace, spent the last few years of his life in Ayrshire and a grand tower stands proudly in Ayr town centre to mark this connection. You can download a free ebook of Ayrshire’s Famous People, or check out Ayrshire & Arran Tourism's Castles & Culture guide for more inspiration.

For more historic attractions, learn more about this fascinating region in the museums or admire the beauty of one of the local churches, cathedrals and abbeys.

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30 results, currently showing 1 to 10
  1. Alloway Auld Kirk

    Type

    Churches, Cathedrals & Abbeys

    Gradings

    Alloway

    The eerie setting for Robert Burns' famous tale of Tam O'Shanter, Alloway Auld Kirk dates back to the 16th Century.

  2. Gradings

    Dalmellington

    The Doon Valley Museum is located in a conversion of one of the oldest buildings in the small market town of Dalmellington, dating from 1744.

  3. Ayr Auld Kirk

    Type

    Churches, Cathedrals & Abbeys

    Gradings

    Ayr

    Situated on the banks of the River Ayr, the Auld Kirk of Ayr dates back to the 17th century.

  4. Gradings

    • 4 Visitor Attraction
    4 Visitor Attraction

    Maybole

    A remarkable vision of turrets and battlements, Culzean Castle is surrounded by surging seas, lush forests and secret gardens.

  5. Gradings

    • 4 Visitor Attraction
    4 Visitor Attraction

    Brodick

    From an early Bronze age grave to a 5,000 year old head, discover the fascinating history of this stunning island at the Arran Heritage Museum.

  6. Stumpy Tower

    Type

    Historic Buildings & Homes

    Gradings

    Girvan

    Often known as Auld Stumpy, and of great historic interest, Stumpy Tower was built in the first half of the 19th century.

  7. Crossraguel Abbey

    Type

    Churches, Cathedrals & Abbeys

    Gradings

    • 3 Historic Attraction
    3 Historic Attraction

    Maybole

    Founded in the early 13th century by the Earl of Carrick, the remains Crossraguel Abbey sit just a few miles south of Ayr on Scotland’s west coast.

  8. The Dick

    Type

    Museums

    Gradings

    • 3 Museum
    3 Museum

    Kilmarnock

    The Dick Institute, located in the Ayrshire burgh of Kilmornock, features large museum displays of local and industrial history, fine art and natural sciences.

  9. Rowallan Castle

    Type

    Castles

    Gradings

    Fenwick

    Set in rolling Ayrshire parkland, Rowallan Castle is a hidden gem.

  10. Gradings

    • 4 Visitor Attraction
    4 Visitor Attraction

    Kilwinning

    Nestling in a hidden valley by the River Garnock in the village of Dalgarven, the restored mill buildings house an important collection.

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