Ayrshire is a coastal county, lying along the east shore of the Firth of Clyde as the latter prepares to open into the Atlantic Ocean.
The county was heavily industrialised, with coal and iron mines, and as a result, and from its proximity to Glasgow, Ayrshire is more urbanized than some neighbouring counties. Despite a decline in industry, steel manufacture and related trades thrive in Ayrshire.
Despite its length and position of the Firth of Clyde, the Ayrshire coast has no substantial commercial ports. The coast is largely rocky, but there are few islands. The bleak rock of Ailsa Craig is a dominant feature in the empty Firth.
Ayrshire is traditionally divided into three districts from north to south; Cunninghame, Kyle and Carrick.
County Town: Ayr
Main Towns: Ayr, Ardrossan, Girvan, Irvine, Kilwinning, Largs, Prestwick, Saltcoats, Troon.
Main Rivers: Ayr, Kilmarnock, Farnock, Irvine, Lugar, Doon, Girvan, Stinchar.
Highlights: Ailsa Craig bird reserve; Robert Burns’ cottage, museum, monument, Alloway; Culzean Castle.
Highest Point: Kirriereoch Hill shoulder, 2565 feet.
Area: 1,129 sq miles
Flower: Green-winged Orchid