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Girvan is a seaside town in Ayrshire on the west coast of Scotland. With a population of 6330 in 2020, it has a long, sandy beach and expanded as a resort when the railway arrived in Victorian times. But being the furthest out of the "Costa Clyde" resorts, and too far to become a commuter town for Glasgow, it's retained more of its original character as a fishing village.

Get in


By train from Glasgow Central take the train to Ayr, which runs via Paisley Gilmour St, Kilbirnie, Kilwinning, Irvine, Troon and Prestwick Airport and town. Change at Ayr for the onward train to Girvan, which is from Kilmarnock to Stranraer. The service is hourly, taking just under 90 min from Glasgow, with the last departure at 9:30PM.

1 Girvan railway station is half a mile north of town centre. It has a staffed ticket office (open M-Sa 6:30AM-1:30PM, Su 11AM-6:30PM) but no machines, so if you start from here out of hours, pay on board. The waiting room and toilets are open same hours as the ticket office. There is step-free access only to platform 1. In practice, this is the only one used.

By bus from Glasgow likewise means changing in Ayr. Start by taking the X77 from Glasgow Buchanan station, which runs every 30 min and takes 80 min to Ayr. From there take Stagecoach Bus 58 / 60, which runs every 30 min either along the coast past Turnberry or meandering inland, taking 80 min to Girvan. Bus 358 / 360 takes the same route then continues south from Girvan to the Cairnryan ferry terminals and Stranraer. The main bus stop in Girvan is by the railway station.

Bus 359 runs from Newton Stewart every two hours M-Sa, taking 70 min via Glen Trool.

By car from Glasgow follow A77, 90 min to Girvan; the highway continues to Cairnryan and Stranraer, another 45 min.

Get around


Girvan is small enough to walk around. Buses 58 / 60 make many stops along the main road, see above.

Taxi firms in town are Joe's (+44 1465 713737), McCartney's (+44 1465 712085), Paddy's (+44 1465 710000), Four Fours (+44 1465 714444), and DD Cabs (+44 1465 715282).


  • 1 Stumpy Tower (Auld Stumpy), Knockcushan St (corner of Dalrymple St). It was completed in 1827 to house the courts, police station and town jail; it replaced a 1789 jail which, having a thatched roof, never retained its prisoners long. The tower was decommissioned in 1871 but left standing as it carried the town clock. In 1911 the town hall was built around it, but this burned down and the area was cleared, so Auld Stumpy now stands in isolation. Girvan Steeple (Q7628726) on Wikidata Stumpy Tower on Wikipedia
  • Girvan Community Garden is in the block just west of Dalrymple St.
  • 2 Carleton Castle is a ruined 15th century tower house above the village of Lendalfoot 6 miles south of Girvan along A77.
  • Turnberry Castle is a scrappy ruin on a headland next to Turnberry Golf Course north of Girvan, you come for the sea view and the walk to the lighthouse. The castle is the likely birthplace of Robert the Bruce (1274-1329). Under his reign Scotland asserted its independence in the Declaration of Arbroath, and this was accepted by England in a treaty of 1328.
  • 3 Maidens is a small village a few miles north of Turnberry, where rocks create a natural harbour. The rock stacks are the original "maidens".
  • Culzean Castle is 3 miles north of Maidens, see Ayr.
  • 4 Killochan Castle 3 miles northeast of Girvan is a 16th-century tower house restored as a luxury mansion. No tours, but you can rent the lot for a very upmarket wedding or holiday, sleeps 44.
  • 5 Dalqurrhan Castle further east near Dailly village had similar ambitions but is derelict. The old castle was a 16th century tower house abandoned in 1790: its ruin stands 300 yards from the new castle. The latter was a mansion built by Robert Adam, too expensive to maintain, and its roof was removed in 1967 to avoid taxation as a dwelling. There were grandiose plans to rebuild it as a golf resort in 2019, nicely in time to be sunk by the covid travel slump.
  • 6 Ailsa Craig, the lonely pyramid west out to sea, is an uninhabited wildlife reserve, see below for boat trips.


Lifeboat entering Girvan Harbour
  • Ailsa Craig Trips (MFV Glorious), 7 Harbour St KA26 9AJ, +44 1465 713219, . They offer boat trips around and sometimes onto the island. They claim to sail daily, year round, in practice it's erratic even allowing for weather and customer demand.
  • Beaches are sandy south side of town. Kite surfers and windsurfers enjoy relatively calm seas yet a stiff breeze.
  • Fishing: try the end of the pier, or off some of the rocky outcrops a couple of miles south of the town.
  • Golf: the famous one is Turnberry, next to Trump Turnberry Hotel, see Sleep. Their courses are the Ailsa (£375 pp), the King Robert the Bruce (£120), and the Arran (9 holes, regarded as a practice course).
  • Open Links of Ayrshire is a combi-package with Turnberry, Prestwick Old Course and Royal Troon. Reckon £2000 for a couple playing all three, plus accommodation and meals at Turnberry. You can't book this online, call +44 1655 333 991 or email
There are two golf courses at the north edge of Girvan itself.
  • Hill-walking[dead link]: Waymarked trails start at the south of the town. One leads over the hills to Barr; the trails are very quiet and you are unlikely to come across other hikers. The markers are poorly spaced and the surfaces are slithery after rain. Take a map and sturdy footwear.
  • The Quay Zone by the harbour is a leisure centre with gym, fitness classes and swimming pool.
  • Girvan Folk Festival is held in early May.
  • Carrick Lowland Gathering[dead link] is similar to Highland Games and Clan Gatherings. It's held on Victory Park Girvan, in early June.


Trump Turnberry Hotel
  • Asda supermarket is by the railway station, open M-Sa 7AM-11PM, Su 8AM-10PM.


  • In early summer, get a bag of new Ayrshire potatoes. Perfect when boiled up in salty water and served with plenty of butter.
  • Main drag for cheap and cheerful eats in Girvan is Dalrymple Street, spilling into Bridge St and Hamilton St.
  • Yasmins, 10 Dalrymple St KA26 9AE, +44 1465 712712. W-M 4-11PM. Reliable Indian restaurant.
  • Auld Acquaintance at 9 Dalrymple St is quirky and creative fusion food. It remains closed in 2022.
  • Wildings Hotel, Maidens Rd KA26 9NR, +44 1665 331401. Daily noon-2PM, 6:30-9PM. Excellent restaurant with rooms in Maidens village. B&B double £140.
  • Eat local travellers according to the implausible legend of Sawney Bean. He supposedly lived in the sea caves south of Ballantrae in the 16th and 17th century. If he really did, then he devoured all witnesses and documentary evidence of these deeds as thoroughly as he ate his dinners.


  • Town centre choices are Harbour Bar and Flix Theme Bar (F-Su 10PM-2AM). Athletic Tavern is south down Dalrymple St.
  • Grant's Distillery a couple of miles north of town make grain Scotch whisky for blending into Grant's various brands, plus a new malt whisky line, and Hendrick's Gin. They don't do tours.


Auld Stumpy
  • Caravan pitches are available at Strathavon just north of the centre, and Byne Hill on A714 two miles south.
  • Queen's Hotel, 1 Montgomerie St KA26 9HE, +44 1465 713670. Small welcoming place with bar. B&B double £70.
  • Royal Hotel, 36 Montgomerie St KA26 9HE, +44 1465 714203. More a traditional B&B than a hotel, some furnishings tatty but overall value for money. B&B double from £70.
  • 1 Woodland Bay Hotel, Woodland Farm KA26 0HP (on A77 two miles south of town), +44 1465 710700. Clean spacious hotel, good service and restaurant. B&B double £110.
  • 2 Trump Turnberry, Turnberry KA26 9LT (by jcn of A77 & A719), +44 1655 333991. Top-flight hotel, with spa, horse-riding and golf. B&B double £160.
  • Glenapp Castle: see Stranraer for this swish affair in Ballantrae 10 miles south of Girvan off A77. You're unlikely to mistake it for Ardstinchar Castle a mile north, of which only one forlorn wall remains.



As of April 2022, Girvan has 4G from EE, O2 and Vodafone, and 5G from Three.

Go next

  • Galloway Forest Park is the best area to get totally muddy on a mountain bike. Follow A714 towards Glen Trool and Newton Stewart.
  • Stranraer is a grubby industrial port, but a good base for exploring the scenic Mull of Galloway.
  • Ayr is a pleasant town on the coast, where the big attraction is Robert Burns' birthplace and memorial park.

Routes through Girvan
GlasgowKilmarnockAyr  N  S  StranraerPortpatrick

This city travel guide to Girvan is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.