The Historic Town of Ayr
So what's special about it now?
Ayr is truly a wonderful town. It is steeped in history - from the days of Bruce
and Wallace, through to the Civil War and Cromwell, and industrially as a major
shipbuilding and fishing town... so it is fair to ask, okay, that was then, what
The one thing I as an outsider have been struck by is the typical Ayrshire
mindset that still prevails. Tolerance, acceptance, fair play and honesty... as
Rabbie Burns noted:
"Auld Ayr, wha'm ne'er a toon surpasses, for honest men and bonnie lasses"
Such a phrase rings so true even to this day, but there is more to Ayr these
days than that, enviable though such a claim may be.
It is a vibrant place, of industry and leisure, unsurpassed.
North of the river Ayr you have many, many industries, starting with its port,
handling timber, coal, scrap, fertiliser, salt, wind turbine parts and other
commodities. The hinterland of the port encompasses a wide range of firms
dealing with anything from confectionary to metal fabrication and all manner of
In the main town itself a delightful collection of shops and businesses, mostly
locally owned and run, and probably the best value for money places to eat you
Ayr people are used to good, healthy, nutritious Scottish fare as well as
Chinese, Indian and other nationalities foods being on offer, so it is no
surprise to find that good food does not come at a premium, rather it is
expected. Prices therefore are competitive, and I have to say, in all my
extensive travels of Scotland to date, I have yet to come across a town that can
offer the best of fare for the most surprising of prices as Ayr does.
In short, Ayr spoils you!
But it's the people of Ayr that are the real jewels. Thoroughly warm and
welcoming, proud of their town, but prouder too of their reputation, they carry
with them the maxims of old - be kind to a stranger, be a friend when you can -
and they do so not out of some civic duty, but because it is part and parcel of
their own daily lives.
People say Glaswegians are friendly, and they are, but compared to Ayr (and
Ayrshire) folk, they seem a little distant in comparison.
Ayr also carries an air of a town that can and will do at all times. It's new
shopping centre, recently opened, is a beautiful, yet modern addition to the
overwhelming variety of shopping places to go to. Interspersed with the best
pubs in the kingdom, it is a delight for shopper and wearied partner alike!
All in all, modern Ayr is better than it ever was, earthy, yet sufficiently
sophisticated, ancient, but thoroughly modern, it is amongst the best of the
rest, and all in all, a good, well rounded place to stay and visit. Ayr folk
don't stand on ceremony, but they hold firm with respect.
The history and values of the town are real - I urge you to visit and experience
for yourself. I wouldn't do so if I, an outsider, did not mean it!