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Ayr rests along the southwestern coastline of Scotland, just a short distance from the city of Prestwick. This county town and historical royal burgh is home to an impressive seafront, therefore boasting an interesting sea-resort culture. The famous Scottish poet, Robert Burns, was born in the outskirts of town, and tourists are able to still visit his birthplace, which is now an appealing museum. In addition, driving around the Ayrshire region, which encompasses the town, is a must-do activity for all visitors to Ayr.
Who to Book With
Several large, international car rental companies can be found operating in the town centre of Ayr. These include famous firms such as Enterprise and Hertz. However, local suppliers, such as Arnold Clark Honda and Turner Hire Drive, provide reliable services for those in need of vehicles. Online bookings can be made, offering plenty of cheaper rates and greater convenience for renters.
Best time to go
Ayr can be visited during any month of the calendar year, as climatic conditions make the summers relatively cool and the winters relatively mild. This means snowfall is rare, fog and mist is uncommon, and extreme temperatures almost never occur. The town’s close proximity to the sea brings about consistent weather patterns each year. Rainfall remains constant all year round though, but not enough to cause much concern for motorists.
Need to Know Essentials
Tourists must have the following documents to rent a car in Ayr:
- A valid driving license
- A credit card
- A passport or secondary identification (showing address is beneficial)
- Receipt or evidence of reservation deposit
Driving in Ayr is generally straight forward. The roads and streets around town are well-signed, easy to navigate and safe. The weather conditions are not like other towns and cities in Scotland. Fog, rain, and snow rarely cause havoc to the traffic and road network. Parking is in abundance across Ayr, even along the beachfront esplanade.
Ayr is quite a compact town, so getting around the central districts is somewhat convenient for tourists. Despite its small size though, Ayr does offer several transportation options other than car hire. There is no rail network within the town, but buses and taxis operate seven days a week. Renting a car is certainly the best option for tourists looking to explore the Ayrshire region that encircles Ayr.
Several small taxi companies base themselves out of Ayr township. These include Main Line Taxis and Gribbens Taxis, which are both reliable cab companies. Most of the time, taxis operate using metres. If taxi drivers suggest otherwise, it is probably wise to find another cab. Nevertheless, it is much easier to find a taxi via online booking or telephone booking, so tourists don’t usually have to worry about drivers cheating patrons.
The bus services within Ayr are operated by the nationally-recognised Stagecoach West Scotland. Altogether, there are eight bus routes spanning across the city. This is in addition to the express bus services that connect Ayr to Glasgow every half-hour. Buses are modern and extremely comfortable, although they are slower than other transport options.
One of Ayr’s most alluring attributes is the fact that it sits along the central coast of Ayrshire. This allows tourists to easily explore the northern, central and southern landmarks this majestic region has to offer. From the haunted castles located throughout the shire, to famous Scotch whiskey towns, Ayr and its surrounding shire are mesmerising to say the least.
Isle of Arran - Often referred to as ‘Mini Scotland’, as this tiny island has most landscapes that one will find throughout Scotland, including beautiful coastlines and green and purple-tinged highlands. There are several castles resting upon the island, plenty of intriguing wildlife and miles of stunning roads for driving pleasure. The island can be reached by car, as ferries carry vehicles across the Firth of Clyde.
Kilmarnock - The home of ‘Johnnie Walker’ whiskey; one of the world’s most famous liquors. Tours of the bottling plant are available daily, but this isn’t the only reason why tourists flock to Kilmarnock. Dean Castle should also be visited, and there’s even a brand-new karting facility located in the city.
Culzean Castle - After recent refurbishments, is once again open to the public. Located near the town of Maybole, the castle is one of Britain’s most famous (and most haunted) estates, attracting large crowds ready to witness some spooky sites. In addition to the castle, the surrounding parkland is spectacular, so visitors will be in for a great day of strolling, picnicking and sightseeing.
Dunure Castle - Located 7 miles south of Ayr, and near to the small scottish village of Dunure this 15th Century castle is a great place to visit for travellers with car hire (pictured above). The castle was originally built to protect the harbour of Dunure.