Girvan in Carrick , South Ayrshire, is a traditional seaside resort. South of Prestwick and Ayr, and situated on the sea estuary of the River Girvan, its fishing port history remains, though it is nowadays known equally for its beaches and cliffs.
What’s Girvan Like?
Girvan is a traditional seaside town, passed through by the A77 coast road. The town was created in 1668 when King Charles II granted a charter to build the port with harbour and fort. The harbour still attracts many visitors booking angling trips or sea tours.
The town is quite imposing in places and has its fair share of interesting buildings – for example, the Stumpy Tower, built in 1827 as a prison, but now used as a historical display centre. Visitors will also enjoy the town’s greenery at Knockcusham Gardens, the Rose Garden and Orchard Gardens.
Archaeological finds indicate that people have been settled in the Girvan Valley for perhaps as long as 5,300 years, so, unsurprisingly, there is plenty to see in the area of historical interest, especially if you enjoy castles! There are around 20 castles locally – many are ruined, but some, like the cliff-top Culzean Castle near Maybole, are imposing, magnificent and complete, with sea caves underneath, ghosts and years of history. Of course this area is also great for wildlife, especially for salmon fishing on the river or lochs, and bird-watching. Ailsa Craig, 10 miles away, is a hillock-shaped island of volcanic rock, and is home to masses of seabirds – especially gannets. Sea tours are available from Girvan harbour.
Golf can be played at the Turnberry course, and walkers will love the trails in Carrick forest and coastal walks. While on the coast, try to find the hiding-cave of Sawney Bean. A possibly mythical 15th/16th century figure, he was reputed to have cannibalised 1,000+ people. Also 12 miles South of Girvan is Ballantrae, a picturesque harbour town.
Girvan holds a few annual events which might be of interest to visitors – a folk music festival in May and a festival of light each November, to name but two.
How to get to Girvan
Girvan’s position on the far South West coast of Scotland is not remote, given that the A77 runs along the coast and directly through the town. Thus the traveller can easily get to Glasgow and the M77 to the North, and the M74 to the East. Glasgow’s Prestwick airport is only 40-minutes-drive away to the North, and Girvan is also on the main West coast railway route so is accessible even for those travellers who prefer not to drive.
Where to stay in Girvan
We are proud to offer some charming holiday accommodation in the Girvan area. Mainly self-catering cottages and hotels, we offer family holidays, pet friendly holidays and smaller, more intimate accommodation for couples simply wishing to get away from it all. We are sure you will find accommodation to suit your budget and requirements, whether traditional or contemporary. Check out our listings below and visit the Girvan coastline soon!