About the Town of Ayr
Ayr is a traditional seaside town with soft sandy beaches, a spacious promenade, plenty of hotel accomodation and traditional seafront amusements.
The town centre has some good shopping facilities and there are are many fine parks and gardens in the town. Ayr is also host to one of the finest racecourses in Britain, home to the Gold Cup Festivals and Scottish Grand National.
There are a number of fine historic buildings in the town. The neo-Classical Town Hall is noted for its fine 126 ft high steeple, which dominates the town centre. The 16th-c Loudoun Hall, near the river is an early example of a Scottish burgh. A 12th-c tower, the only remaining section of the original Church of St John destroyed during the Civil War, overlooks the town harbour.
The Scottish patriot William Wallace is said to have set fire to a barn in the town in 1297; killing some 500 English soldiers during the English occupation. The neo-Gothic Wallace Tower, which incorporates Wallace's statue, was erected in 1832, over the place of his incarceration for this crime.
Robert Burns Birth Place
Scotland's national bard was born in 1759 in Alloway (a southern suburb of Ayr). Alloway is well signposted from the centre of Ayr, where there are many reminders of this famous poet. The River Doon gracefully winds through the town and the 'Auld Brig 0' Doon', a 13th-century bridge, spans the river flanked by gardens and tree-lined walks. Near to the bridge is the cottage where Burns was born. The history of his life and work is presented in the adjacent Burns Museum. The ruins of 'me kirk', nearby, is where Burns's father is buried.
The countryside around Ayr is also closely associated with Burns. Further associations can be found 60 miles south in Dumfries, where he lived, worked and died in 1796.