Reasons to make Ayrshire and Arran a place where you can find peace and tranquility are endless. The perfect antidote to a busy lifestyle, there are many ways to switch off, slow down and enjoy some calming me-time. Here are some ideas and inspiration to enhance your overall wellness whilst you are taking a break.

1. Escape the everyday

They say that a change is as good as a rest. Escape the everyday and take some time to change the scenery, boost your mood and reduce your stress levels.  Spending time outdoors and being amongst nature goes hand in hand with wellness and feeling great!

Dig out your wellies and waterproofs and visit Eglinton Country Park, Culzean Castle and Country Park, Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park or Loch Doon and Castle.  All of which are great places to get away from it all and give yourself an outdoor boost!

Culzean Castle and grounds
Culzean Castle and Country Park

2. Ditch the car

Long distance walks not only reward you physically, the mental health benefits of being active outdoors and the sense of calm achievement remains. Ayrshire and Arran is home a number of long distance walking routes. The Arran Coastal Way, the River Ayr Way and of course, the beautiful Ayrshire Coastal Path. Breaking down these routes into sections is definitely not cheating, so which back-packing adventure will you challenge yourself with first?

Ayrshire Coastal Path
Ayrshire Coastal Path ©

3. Vitamin sea

The beach is such a great location to be for your overall wellness. If it’s a strong dose of cool fresh air, big open skies and stunning views you need, Ayrshire and Arran have plenty to choose from.

A selection of our favourite mainland beaches include: Seamill, Troon, Prestwick, Maidens, and Irvine. During the quieter times of day you will often find you have them all to yourself!

Seamill Beach, © Taste Communications
Seamill Beach, West Kilbride

4. Peaceful places

Places of peace and tranquility with historic significance are dotted across Ayrshire and Arran. Set amongst a backdrop of beautiful Arran scenery, the atmospheric Machrie Moor Stone Circles date back 4,500 years. Kilwinning Abbey is a ruined abbey that was founded in the late 1100’s. It was once the peaceful home of Tironensian monks. Perched on a coastal cliff, Greenan Castle dates back to 1603 is the perfect place for walking and exploring. Sense the Scottish history at the atmospheric Loudounhill in Darvel. It is a very scenic viewpoint too. Or jump on the Calmac ferry to Cumbrae to visit the Cathedral of the Isles.

Loudon Hill Spirit Of Scotland Sculpture
Loudounhill, Darvel

5. Sailing

On a beautiful sunny summers’ day there is no calmer place to be than out at sea. Flamingo Yacht Charters provide sailing adventures from Largs Yacht Haven. Or  join the Sea Clyde team to escape for some quality time and feel the fresh sea air. Paddle yourself and hire a kayak from Millport on the isle of Cumbrae.

Yachting at Largs Yacht Marina

6. Wellness retreats

Treat yourself to blissful relaxation and some serious spa indulgence. Visit the newest spa destination experience in Ayrshire, the Si! Spa at The Gailes Hotel in Irvine. Kick-back and relax with stress-sapping treatments in luxe surroundings. Or try The ASPA, Auchrannie where skilled therapists provide relaxing treatments and the opulent leisure facilities have something to suit all. Unwind and relax in utter bliss at Lochside Hotel and Spa. Situated in the heart of Ayrshire the ESPA spa is a real treat. Revitalise at The Marine Hotel in Troon with amazing facilities and relaxing spa treatments are blended with meditative views out to sea.

Lochside Hotel Spa
Lochside Hotel Spa

7. Refreshing short walks

Taking even a short 20 minute walk can benefit the mind and body. Wander up to the Stone Dragon at Irvine Beach, he’s perched high on the sand dunes overlooking the sea and guards the coastline from future Viking invasions. This walk can be extended to include Irvine Beach Park. A stroll around Lynn Glen at Dalry, a tranquil circular walk that takes you to a beautiful waterfall. Stretch your legs at Rozelle House and Pond in Alloway. Don’t miss the Remembrance Woodland, an impressive sculpture trail.

8. Fairways to heaven

Ayrshire and Arran are home to over 50 golf courses and some world class, iconic golf courses that include Prestwick, Royal Troon and Turnberry.

If playing a round of golf reduces your stress then you are in the right place! The Trump Turnberry Resort integrates links golf with 5 star relaxation at The Spa Turnberry. Brush up at The Gailes Hotel where they have a 30-bay floodlit covered Toptracer Driving Range . Or try the all-new classic links golf experience at Dundonald Links .

Trump Turnberry
Trump Turnberry

9. Nourishing local food and drink

Shopping locally has never been more important. The great news is that Ayrshire and Arran offer an endless amounts of delicious locally sourced produce to eat and drink and enjoy on your travels. The Isle of Arran is world famous for it.

For foodie heaven, the artisan food and drink from the Scottish Isle of Arran includes Arran Ice Cream, Arran Whisky, Arran Cheese, and Arran Gin. Which will you try first?

Arran Platter
The Arran Platter © VisitScotland

10. Slow travel

Change the pace of your travels, hit the brakes, relax and connect with our beautiful region by travelling slowly. Spend more time in one place and add depth to your experiences whilst you are welcomed by the friendly locals.

Enjoy a gentle cycle, walk or even take to horseback. Visit the small Isle of Cumbrae and spend the day walking or cycling whilst soaking up the beautiful scenery. Blow away the cobwebs at Blackstone Clydesdales where you can enjoy a beach ride on these gentle giants or simply spend time with them and meet the other farm animals.

Cycling On Cumbrae
Cycling on Cumbrae © Kenny Lam

Looking for more adventures?

The Coig’s five routes offer unforgettable experiences around the Clyde Coast and Islands – take a look and plan your next adventure along The Shire, The Shiel, The Arran, The Bute or The Cumbrae!

Be sure to download The Coig app to discover the best of Ayrshire and the Firth of Clyde on-the-go, and share your adventure with #TheCoig and #MakeItYours on FacebookTwitter and Instagram

Check out the VisitScotland website for even more info on all the amazing adventures you can have during your time in Ayrshire and on the Isle of Arran!

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