A Coastal Drive – Galloway to Ayrshire up the West Coast of Scotland
A firm favourite day out for folks on holiday in the Rhins of Galloway is a drive up the coastal road. Perhaps to Ayr or maybe one of the delightful villages and other points of interest in between.
The border between Dumfries & Galloway and Ayrshire is shortly after you leave Cairnryan and as the road gently ascends you get excellent views across Loch Ryan to the North Rhins and Milleur Point, the most northelry point on the Rhins of Galloway Peniinsula.
The Road snakes through Glenapp with deligftul forest scenery out of both windows. Soon you are descending towards Ballantrae with views of Ailsa Craig as you go along. It is worth detouring from the main road through Ballantrae to drive along beside the shore towards Ballantrae Harbour.
There is a coffee shop at the Garden Centre at the far end of Ballantrae or you may want to wait for that coffee and visit Pebbles Spa just before Lendalfoot where they serve coffee in a comfortable area behind reception. If you are lucky enough to get a window seat then you are about as close to the sea as you can get with awesome views of Ailsa Craig and Arran.
A mile or so up the road is Lendalfoot where you can often see a colony of seals on the rocks beside the parking area where there is a memorial to a Russian Ship, the Varyag.
Carrying on up the South Ayrshire Coast, the road keeps very close to the sea as far as Girvan with its interesting harbour.
Continue northwards to Turnberry with its lighthouse and famous golf courses. Here, you leave the main A77 and soon after Turnberry, you reach Maidens, another coastal village with a harbour.
Onwards, the road heads inland towards Ayr but its well worth a few miles detour to visit Dunure. Dunure has a large ruined castle and also has a delightful harbour. Before Dunure, pass the Electric Brae at Croy where an optical illusion makes you thing you are driving downhill when you are actually ascending.
Of course, all this is already about a full day and you will probably have to decide whether to visit Culzean Castle or Ayr – or you may want to leave both for another day!