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South West Scotland is a lowland region of Scotland, a triangle bounded to the west by the Firth of Clyde and to the south by the Solway Firth. It's mostly rural, but with a strip of resort towns along the Clyde coast and industry inland.


South West (Scotland) regions - Color-coded map — switch to interactive map
South West (Scotland) regions - Color-coded map
  Ayrshire & Arran
Near 1 Ayr, the county town, is the birthplace of Robert Burns. The string of little resorts along the Clyde coast includes Largs (ferry port for the island of Great Cumbrae), West Kilbride, 2 Ardrossan & Saltcoats, 3 Troon, Ayr itself, and Girvan. Ardrossan is the ferry port for the 1 Isle of Arran, from where you can reach Holy Island. Boat trips run from Girvan to the bird sanctuary of 2 Ailsa Craig.
This is the upper valley of the Clyde, where the star attraction is New Lanark Mill near 4 Lanark. The mills and factories along the river are silent, often demolished, and its upper reaches are lonely valleys and moors.
  Dumfries and Galloway
5 Stranraer is near the ferry ports for Northern Ireland, and along with 6 Drummore gives access to the scenic Rhins and Mull of Galloway. 7 Kirkcudbright and 8 Castle Douglas are two small towns along the Solway coast. Altogether more substantial is 9 Dumfries the county town, and base for exploring the area's castles and countryside. Further east are 10 Annan, and every eloping couples target 11 Gretna.

Get in


By plane


For Ayrshire the best option is usually 1 Glasgow Airport (GLA IATA) for its wide choice of flights, internationally and within UK. It's 8 miles west of the city so you drive straight onto the roads south-west. For Clydesdale consider using Edinburgh, and for Dumfries & Galloway you might also consider Newcastle or even Manchester.

Prestwick Airport (PIK IATA) is just north of Ayr so it's obviously closer, but has few flights. These are mostly Ryanair flights, many seasonal, to Med destinations such as Alicante, Barcelona, Malta, Pisa, Rome and Tenerife.

By train


The northern part of this region is commuter-land for Glasgow, with frequent trains from Glasgow Central station. These lines stretch down the west coast as far as Stranraer.

The southern part, the Solway coast, is cut off by hills. Dumfries has direct trains every hour or two from Glasgow via Kilmarnock and New Cumnock but has better services to Carlisle via Annan and Gretna Green.

By boat


Being near Northern Ireland, there are a number of ferry routes into the south west of Scotland. There are typically at least two sailings a day and a single passenger ticket costs from around £25 to £40, depending on the time of year. Taking a car on the ferry costs from £70, again depending on the time of year and ticket type.

The ferry operators regularly have special offers and online discounts, so check all of the websites before booking.

By road


Get around



  • Robert Burns, the famous poet, was born in this region. The main sights linked to him are the Burns Heritage Park[dead link] at his birthplace in Alloway near Ayr and around his later home in Dumfries.


  • The region is famed for its numerous golf courses (over 60). Indeed, the first Open Championship was held at Old Prestwick in 1860, with Royal Troon hosting the 2004 tournament.

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This region travel guide to South West is an outline and may need more content. It has a template, but there is not enough information present. If there are Cities and Other destinations listed, they may not all be at usable status or there may not be a valid regional structure and a "Get in" section describing all of the typical ways to get here. Please plunge forward and help it grow!