Ayr (/ɛər/; Scots: Ayr; Scottish Gaelic: Inbhir Àir, "Mouth of the River Ayr") is a town situated on the southwest coast of Scotland.

Administrative centre and town

From top, left to right: Ayr river bridges and Town Hall spire, Ayr Harbour, Newton Tower, Burns Cottage, Wallace Tower, Place De Saint-Germain-en-Laye fountain, Ayr Beach, Robert Burns statue

Coat of Arms of Ayr
Location within South Ayrshire Council area
Location within Scotland
Location within South Ayrshire
Population46,780 (mid-2016 est.)[3]
OS grid referenceNS 33853 21445
 Edinburgh66 mi (106 km)
 London330 mi (530 km)
Council area
Lieutenancy area
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townAYR
Postcode districtKA6-KA8
Dialling code01292
UK Parliament
Scottish Parliament
Conservatives (5)
  • Ian Davis
  • Martin Dowey
  • Mary Kilpatrick
  • Lee Lyons
  • Darek McCabe

SNP (4)
  • Laura Brennan-Whitefield
  • Siobhian Brown
  • Douglas Campbell
  • Chris Cullen

Labour (2)
  • Ian Cavana
  • Brian McGinley
List of places
55.458°N 4.629°W / 55.458; -4.629

It is the administrative centre of the South Ayrshire council area and the historic county town of Ayrshire. With a population of 46,780, Ayr is the 14th largest settlement in Scotland. The town is continuous with the smaller town of Prestwick to the north.

Ayr was established as a Royal Burgh in 1205. It served as Ayrshire's central marketplace and harbour throughout the Medieval Period[4] and was a well-known port during the Early Modern Period.[4]

On the southern bank of the River Ayr sits the ramparts of a citadel constructed by Oliver Cromwell's men during the mid-17th century. Towards the south of the town is the birthplace of Scottish poet Robert Burns in the suburb of Alloway. Ayr has been a popular tourist resort since the expansion of the railway in 1840 owing to the town's fine beach and its links to golfing and Robert Burns.

Ayr is one of the largest retail centres in the south of Scotland and was recognised as the second healthiest town centre in the United Kingdom by the Royal Society for Public Health in 2014. Ayr has hosted the Scottish Grand National horseracing steeplechase annually since 1965 and the Scottish International Airshow annually since 2014. The town also accommodates the headquarters of the Ayr Advertiser and Ayrshire Post newspapers.