Located in south-west Scotland, Ayrshire has become a desirable place to live for many people in the UK. Being a coastal county, it has plenty of great beaches as well as having all manner of shops, restaurants, cafes and bars. 

Ayrshire would make a great choice for families and young professionals thanks to a number of employment opportunities, great schools and affordable property prices. In fact, Ayrshire was named one of the most affordable places in the UK to buy a home

Dunure Castle, Ayrshire, Scotland

Dunure Castle, Ayrshire, Scotland

There are several great areas to choose from when moving to Ayrshire. In the south, you have many beautiful beaches, which makes it a very popular spot for tourists. There are also a number of heritage sites and events taking place throughout the year. 

To help you make the right decision when moving to Ayrshire, we’ve compiled a list of the best areas to live in the county. Let’s take a closer look at them. 


Prestwick would make a great choice of place to live for families. Not only is it a beautiful town with plenty to offer but it also has its own international airport, making it incredibly convenient to travel elsewhere in the UK or further afield. 

Another thing that makes Prestwick a great place to live is its close proximity to Glasgow. Whether you need to commute there or just plan to visit, it’s very convenient to be so close to one of Scotland’s two main cities. 


Ayr Sunset

Auld Brig, Ayr

A beautiful seaside town located southwest of Glasgow, Ayr is one of the most desirable places to live in Ayrshire and for good reason. In addition to the beautiful beach, it’s also home to many great restaurants, shops and cafes as well as multiple golf courses. 

The property in Ayr is very affordable, so whether you’re looking for a house or a flat, you should have no problem finding something that’s right for you.


As one of the largest towns in the country, Irvine is perfect if you want a combination of relaxing coastal lifestyle combined with plenty to see and do. As well as its beaches, Irvine also has great shops, restaurants and cafes in addition to excellent golf courses. 

Just like the rest of Aryshire, the property prices in Irvine are very reasonable and it would make a great choice for both families and young professionals. 

Isle of Arran 

Isle of Arran

Isle of Arran

A beautiful island in north Ayrshire, Isle of Arran would make a great choice when moving to Ayrshire thanks to its mix of beautiful beaches and range of things to see and do. Some of the cultural highlights of the Isle of Arran include Brodick Bay, Island Cheese Company, Isle of Arran Heritage Museum and Kildonan Beach. 

Although being an island can make it a little trickier in terms of travel, the low property prices, beautiful beaches and great culture more than make up for it. 

West Kilbride 

With superb views and a great golf course, West Kilbride would be perfect if you’re looking to live somewhere that’s quiet and away from the hustle and bustle but still has plenty to offer. 

If you like arts and crafts, then West Kilbride is ideal thanks to its many artists’ studios and galleries.  The property prices are also very reasonable, whether you’re looking for a house or flat. 


A small town situated in the southwest, Maybole has a lot of great history in addition to numerous shops, restaurants and cafes. It’s a good choice for families thanks to the number of schools it has too. 

The town has mostly houses although you can find some nice flats there too, with prices being very affordable for both. 

Pros and cons of living in Ayrshire 

Now that we’ve looked at some of the best areas to live in Ayrshire, let’s look at the pros and cons of the county. 


  • Affordable property prices – Property prices in Ayrshire are very affordable compared to a lot of other areas in the UK, whether you’re looking for a house or flat. They also haven’t increased a huge amount in recent years, which is certainly a bonus when you consider the ever-increasing cost of property in much of the rest of the UK.  
  • Great atmosphere – Another thing Ayrshire can boast is a great atmosphere. The people tend to be warm and friendly, making it a great place to move for families. There’s also plenty going on throughout the year, including various festivals and events, so you’ll never be short of things to do. 
  • It’s located on the coast – Being located on the south coast of Scotland, Ayrshire is home to a number of great beaches, such as Dunure Beach and Brodick Bay. This makes it a great place to live if you enjoy walks and there are plenty of stunning views to take in at any time of the year. 


  • The weather – If you’re looking for great weather, then Ayrshire isn’t ideal. It can get very cold during the winter, so this is certainly worth bearing in mind if you’re planning to move there. That isn’t to say it never sees sunlight though. The summers can actually be quite pleasant thanks to it being in the south of Scotland. 
  • Distance from major UK cities – Another drawback of Ayrshire is its distance from major UK cities, such as Manchester, Liverpool and London. How much of an issue this is will depend on how much you plan to travel. 

Things Ayrshire has to offer

One of the things that makes Ayrshire an appealing place to live is its culture. There are some fantastic things to see and do there. Let’s take a look at some of the cultural highlights of Ayrshire. 

  • Dundonald Castle – Dundonald Castle has been extensively redeveloped in recent years and is now one of the top attractions in the whole county. Because of its hilltop location, it offers some incredible views and the history of the castle is fascinating to learn about. There are guided tours available as well as the Dundonald Games, which are held every August. 
  • Ayr Beach – Another highlight of Ayrshire is Ayr Beach. As well as providing incredible views of Ailsa Craig, there’s also a great cycle route. It’s also a great place to visit with kids thanks to the nearby Pirate Pete’s Family Entertainment Centre. It’s open throughout the year but the summer months are definitely the best time to visit. 
  • Scottish Maritime Museum – Home to an impressive collection of vessels, the Scottish Maritime Museum is a great place to visit if you want to learn more about the region’s history. You can also visit the Scotland Cathedral of Engineering – an incredibly beautiful building that has its own history to learn about. 
  • Eglington Country Park – Eglington Country Park is one of the best things that Ayrshire has to offer and provides you with the opportunity to take part in a wide range of activities. These include walking, running, horse riding and fishing. There’s also plenty of space to have a picnic. The area itself is very beautiful and it’s a great place to visit if you have kids thanks to the playground.
  • Prestwick Beach – Combining a beautiful beach with water that’s perfect for swimming in, particularly during the summer, Prestwick Beach is one of many great beaches that Ayrshire has to offer. It’s also dog-friendly, so ideal if you’re a dog owner.