Historic places to visit in Ayrshire

Scottish Maritime Museum

The Linthouse Building, Laird Forge, Gottries Road
Irvine KA12 8QE


Scotland's influence on the maritime history of the world from the 18th century to the modern day has been enormous and out of all proportion to the size of the country. The two sites operated by the Scottish Maritime Museum contain the exhibitions and collections that tell the story of that great maritime tradition.

Skelmorlie ROC Post

PA17 5AQ


Fifteen feet below the ground, a close-knit team of dedicated and highly trained volunteers waited for the message they hoped would never come. Throught the Cold War, the underground monitoring post of the Royal Observer Corps at Skelmorlie played an important role as part of the United Kingdom Warning and Monitoring Organisation. Collections: Includes many items of post equipment including air raid siren, ground zero indicator, bomb power indicator, burndept radio, teletalk and fixed survey meter. the post is also lucky to have the only known example of an experimental air filtration system in Scotland.

Souter Johnnie's Cottage

Kirkoswald KA19 8JH


See Scottish literature come to life in this 18th-century thatched cottage in the heart of Kirkoswald, Ayr. The former home of cobbler - or souter - John Davidson, the real-life Souter Johnnie immortalised in the Robert Burns poem Tam o' Shanter, it features a thatched tavern in the garden, complete with life-sized sandstone statues of the poem's main characters. The house also offers a taste of how the Davidson family would have lived and worked - inside the cottage there is a reconstructed shoemaking workshop crammed with Souter Johnnie's original tools, as well as living quarters with period furniture.