Visiting Ayrshire & Arran this winter could be one of the greatest treats of the year. From November 30, St Andrew’s Day, to December 3 the historic waterfront of Irvine and the nearby Scottish Maritime Museum will be lit up to welcome the Scotland’s Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design.
This Harbour Festival of Light will open with a free firework display and continue from dusk to 10pm daily with a water themed sculpture trail featuring hundreds of glowing origami boats and butterflies by international light artists Aether & Hemera, aerial acrobatic performances in the museum, a community lantern parade and closing fireworks on December 3.
The western Scottish region of Ayrshire & Arran has plenty to attract people of all ages, whatever the season, not least picturesque coast, wonderful walking country and spectacular wildlife including otters, golden eagles, seals and even basking sharks.
Taking a ferry across to Arran you can ‘bag a Corbett’ by climbing its largest mountain, Goatfell, go gorge walking and find plunge pools, or you might visit Cumbrae and the Cathedral of the Isles, Britain’s smallest, in Millport.
You could hardly call a trip to Ayrshire & Arran you complete without visiting the birthplace museum or Robbie Burns in Ayr.
It is the to the prolific penman Burns that we owe all those cups o’ kindness taken at the seeing in of the new year, Hogmanay, and to his memory that we find the intricate ceremonies of Burns Night, January 25, the birthday celebrated by patriotic Scots everywhere, in which a freshly cooked haggis is given a bagpipe escort and formally addressed before being eaten with turnips, mash and whisky.
The 5 Star attraction details Burn’s extraordinary life, from its beginning as a poor farmer’s son in 1759 to his death at 37.