If you are looking for a mild climate, coastal waters, and history, you might want to consider retiring in Ayr, Scotland. This moderate sized town of 46,000 sits on the west coast of the lowlands of Scotland and has connecting bus service to Cairnryan where you can catch the ferry to Belfast, Ireland. Ayr enjoys excellent train and bus service.
Ayr is a very nice little town with well tended homes and gardens. We stayed downtown in the big hotel next to the train station. After dinner, we walked around town (in a drizzle of rain – this is Scotland after all) and enjoyed looking in shop windows and visiting with those we met. We also walked around an ancient graveyard and saw stones that were hundreds of years old. There is just a good feel to Ayr.
The town is ample shopping, clubs, and festivals throughout the year. Ayr has no shortage of sporting events and is home to the Ayr Racecourse, a huge outdoor course that hosts several events each year, the Ayr Football Club, an ice hockey team, a rugby team, and a cricket team. They also have a Curling Club, serves as home to Scottish Bowling. There is a motor speedway with races at various times each year.
We easily found one and two bedroom flats in the $600-900 US range. There are 3 hospitals in town and a veterans mental health facility. There is a small airport with connecting service to the big city airport in Glasgow, about 80 miles away.
Ayr is probably most famous as the home of Robert Burns, the national poet of Scotland. Burns was a famous womanizer, a sweet talking Scot, who wrote dozens of poems and is regarded as a pioneer of the Romantic movement in the UK. In addition to his most famous work “Auld Lang Syne” he also wrote a poem that discussed a local bridge “The Brig O’Doon” which became a stage play and a movie by that name. (Forgive me – being a Scot, we just had to go to Ayr and stand on the bridge after my husband an I were in the play! We found the Brig O’ Doon and walked across it to find a herd of big red highland cows mooing at us. They didn’t look like they could be 200 years old, but who knows?) Aye, retiring in Ayr, Scotland would make me a happy lass!
Photo By The Library of Congress via StockPholio.com