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Ayrshire Area Guide

Firth of Clyde, Ayrshire Image courtesy of Flickr user eutrophication&hypoxia

A county in the South West of Scotland, Ayrshire is a collection of towns and villages scattered across 80 miles of coast line. Incorporating the county town and Royal Burgh of Ayr as well as 64 other towns and villages, the county's panorama takes in the Firth of Clyde, the Mull of Kintyre and the peaks of the Isle of Arran. Its rich history dates back to the very dawn of civilisation, Ayrshire has been home to everything from Bronze Age standing stones to Medieval Viking battles.

The county is most widely known as the birthplace of world-renowned poet Robert Burns and combines beautiful country parks and gardens, bustling market towns and ancient castles within its landscape.  The scenery and fine food are undoubtedly at the forefront of life in the county, but there is also a distinct arts and cultural scene. Sport is also an important focus in Ayrshire, with Prestwick Golf Club members being responsible for the creation of The Open Championship. There are now 40 golf courses in the area. Ayr Races is one of the leading race courses in the country, hosting the Scottish Grand National amongst other notable events.

Ayrshire's proximity to Glasgow and its wide range of bungalows, stone fronted town houses, terraces and large detached properties has made the area popular with commuters. Known as a friendly place to live, work and stay, the county is a favoured location for young families and older generations alike.

Demographics

The population of Ayrshire is around 370,000, with a majority of residents being over 60 years old. In North Ayrshire 12.7% of people considered to be economically active are unemployed, compared to 10.4% in South Ayrshire. Across Scotland, 50% of women under the age of 21 are students - 10% ahead of the male intake.

Average house prices in the South of the county stand at around £141,000, whereas in the North and East areas of the county prices are approximately £108,000.

Education

There are a large number of primary schools serving children in the towns and villages across the county. Secondary schooling is well served in the area, with more than 25 Academy schools as well as Marr College and Arrange High School which offers provision to pupils on the Isle of Arran.

Kilmarnock College in Kilmarnock offers further education courses in professional and vocational subjects including arts and social science, beauty, business, hospitality, tourism and computing. Ayr College in Ayr provides a range of full and part time courses and apprenticeships. James Watt College serves the north of the county.

The University of West Scotland has a campus in Ayr. Opened in 2011, it provides the county with one of the UK's most modern, environmentally friendly and sustainable Higher Education learning environments.

Transport

Less than an hour's drive from Glasgow, Ayrshire is well connected to the North and South of the country via the A77, M77 and the Galloway Tourist Route along the A713 - a scenic alternative to the main roads.

There are main train stations at Ayr, Prestwick, Prestwick Airport and Kilmarnock. Main line trains leave from Glasgow Central Station and this is where the London Sleeper service connects.

There are numerous buses within the county and on the Isle of Arran, as well as coach links to and from all major cities via Glasgow. Ferry services including a high speed ferry, offer access to Belfast.

Air travel is accessible at Prestwick International Airport, which is situated in the heart of Ayrshire. Glasgow International Airport is approximately one hour's drive away. 

Amenities and Shopping

Shops in Ayrshire are many and varied, ranging from small local convenience stores through to large retail complexes such as Ayr Central Shopping Centre, where you can find high street and designer outlets as well as cafés and coffee shops.

The county has a strong food heritage which can be experienced through many of the area's good quality restaurants as well at regular farmers' markets held in Ayr (Kyle Centre Car Park), Kilmarnock (The Cross), Paisley (County Square) and Kilwinning.

A number of local authority operated, and private health and fitness facilities are accessible across Ayrshire, including swimming pools, gymnasiums and sports grounds.

Whilst every effort has been taken to ensure the above information is up to date, some inaccuracies may occur. If you notice any inaccuracies please contact editor@primelocation.com

All information was correct at time of publication and is provided in good faith.