Ayr is an ancient town in Scotland, on the Firth of Clyde and 12 miles from Kilmarnock.
A small town since the 8th century, it received its charter as a Royal burgh from William the Lion in 1202, and was the site of the Barns of Ayr massacre of 500 English soldiers by William Wallace in 1297, in revenge for the execution of 360 Scottish nobles. Perkin Warbeck sailed from Ayr in 1497 to his final fdefeat.
The town was a serious rival to Glasgow as a port and trading centre right up to the early19th century.
Oliver Cromwell made Ayr his administrative centre and founded the Auld Kirk in the 1650s.
Ayr is regarded as the centre of Burns Country. Robert Burns was born in nearby Alloway, and christened at the Auld Kirk. The Tam o`Shanter Museum is housed in the building that was the starting point of the wild ride immortalised by Burns. The cobbled bridge known as the Auld Brig dates from the 13th century and features in Burns` poem "Twa Brigs".
The coming of the railway in 1840 opened up the area to tourism. Ayr now has a very pleasant greensward beside the Firth of Clyde, with extensive sands and fine views across to the Isle of Arran.
Ayr has a popular racecourse.
Among persons born in Ayr was John Loudon McAdam, inventor of tarmacadam ("tarmac").
Blue Badge Guide Colin Crosby is available to lead Guided Walks around Ayr for groups.