Ayr (//; Scots: Ayr; Scottish Gaelic: Inbhir Àir, "Mouth of the River Ayr") is a town situated on the southwest coast of Scotland. It is the administrative centre of the South Ayrshire council area and the historic county town of Ayrshire. With a population of 46,982 Ayr is the 16th largest settlement in Scotland and second largest town in Ayrshire by population. The town is contiguous with the smaller town of Prestwick to the north.
|Administrative centre and town|
From top, left to right: Ayr town centre and River Ayr, Ayr Town Hall, Town Centre, Burns Cottage in Alloway, Wallace Tower, Place De Saint-Germain-en-Laye fountain, University of the West of Scotland Ayr campus
Coat of Arms of Ayr
|Population||46,260 (mid-2020 est.)|
|OS grid reference|
|• Edinburgh||66 mi (106 km)|
|• London||330 mi (530 km)|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
Ayr was established as a Royal Burgh in 1205 and is the county town of Ayrshire. It served as Ayrshire's central marketplace and harbour throughout the Medieval Period and was a well-known port during the Early Modern Period.
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.
Notable people should also include Alex Bell 1882-1934 footballer Ayr Parkhouse and Manchester United.