Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Two Teams in Ayrshire...

The value and opportunity for football based tourism is greatly underestimated throughout Scotland. With matches with teams from the length and breadth of the country the idea of an all inclusive package with a couple of nights DBB, match ticket and match day hospitality is a sound proposal to attract shoulder and winter season visits to the area. And of course not every team has the pulling power of The Old Firm but visiting teams do have supporters with the means to make a weekend or midweek break of it?

So with that in mind how about tying up a hotel break with a football package - here's Kilmarnock Football Club's offering for their forthcoming CIS Cup match against Airdrie on Wednesday 25th August 2010 at Rugby Park, Kilmarnock.

Enjoy the 2nd round of the Co-operative Insurance Cup while dining at one of the finest venues in Scottish football for hospitality by taking advantage of our special deal at only £45 per person.

The package includes:
  • 2 course meal
  • 3 complimentary drinks
  • Executive seating
  • Match programme and team sheet
  • Traditional half time fayre
Guests arrive at 6pm. Please note cost includes match ticket and the evening will consist of a pay bar facility for additional drinks.

For more information or to book call Commercial Department on 01563 545312 email:

You can check availability for hotel accommodation on the 25th August at nearby Ayrshire hotels

Back to School Dining Offer!

Gailes Hotel in Irvine and The Old Loans Inn near Troon are celebrating (as are the rest of us parents) the kids going back to school!

From Tuesday 17th August to Friday 20th August from 3pm until 6pm the Restaurant at the Gailes Hotel or  The Old Loans Inn are offering a delicious back to school treat with all kids eating from their children's menu for FREE.

Check out the Simpsinns newsletter for more information and contact details.

Make a Weekend of the Marymass Festival in Irvine

Keeping today's theme of Ayrshire Festival's going we can't overlook the traditional Marymass Festival in Irvine.

From fireworks to folk music, crowning to comedy, racing to rock music, horses to history Irvine has it all every August for the Marymass Festival with 12 days of tradition and there's still a whole weekend and more of activities left to enjoy.  Download the Highlights Brochure for information

The Festival is steeped in local culture and retains many of its ancient traditions dating back to the 17th century. This, coupled with a modern twist, makes it a must see festival for the whole family.

Join the carnival atmosphere on Marymass Saturday (Saturday 21 August) when one of the largest horse-drawn processions in Scotland leads the crowd to Irvine Town Centre to witness the Crowning of Marymass Queen. The parade then makes its way to Irvine Moor, where a full afternoon of sporting events takes place, including what is reputed to be the world's oldest horse race meeting and legendary Greasy Pole competition – a quirky Marymass tradition which sees teams attempting to climb a 20ft pole coated in grease to retrieve the 'coveted ham'.

The Marymass Folk Festival (Wednesday 18 to Sunday 22 August) is an institution in Irvine, where a wealth of national and international musicians appear in a sensational programme over five days. This year sees many folk favourites returning, such as The McCalmans, Johnny Silvo, The Ideal Band and rising stars such as Chloe Matharu.

A new family night has been introduced to the Marymass calendar – in the shape of Dancing Queen – an all singing and dancing event in the Magnum Centre on Sunday 15 August. So dig out your flares and dust down your platforms and get down to sing along to all your ABBA favourites.

Irvine was made a Royal Burgh in 1372 and is now a busy town with important historical and maritime connections. The Moor, on Kilwinning Road, was the location of the first-ever horseracing meeting, in the 17th century. Rumour has it that the Irvine Carters' Society rode from the town to fight for Mary Queen of Scots - hence the annual celebration of Marymass.

With over 100 different events, the Festival runs from 12 to 23 August 2010 - check online availability for Irvine and Ayrshire Hotels and make short break of your visit.

Semptembayr - More Live Arts for Ayrshire

It's not only Edinburgh that is culturing it up this festival season. Ayrshire is going live in a big way; The Kilmarnock Edition Festival and Live@Troon both take place between the 3rd and 5th of September and the annual Septembayr Festival kicks off at the same time for four weeks of music and the arts.

According to the Semptembayr website, "This  is Ayr’s own festival, organised by local volunteers. Septembayr is a mixed media festival encompassing popular and classical music, drama, street events, and sport."

There are three pages of events listed in the programme and over the coming days we'll select some highlights for the visitor to Ayrshire to look out for. In the meantime have a look at a packed programme online and book your tickets - many available online - or download the PDF Event Brochure

You can easily book a great value Ayrshire short break and make a weekend of it.

Kilmarnock Edition Music Festival

At the same time as the Live@Troon event is going on there's The Kilmarnock Edition Festival taking place funnily enough in Kilmarnock. So while they may be competing there's certianly going to be no shortage of live music for that weekend in Ayrshire... and we're sure there's more too somewhere.

Fill your little world right up, right up, with a great selection of music at Kilmarnock Edition Festival 2010. From 3rd – 5th September, 3 great days, 3 great venues and over 20 great acts will hit Kilmarnock. With The Feeling, Eddi Reader, Roddy Woomble, Wooden Box with a Fistful of Fivers and on the dance stage Basshunter & guests.

In addition, this year the festival will be supported by a weeklong programme of fringe events and special offers on food and accommodation.

This year’s headliners are The Feeling, Eddi Reader and following the huge success of Calvin Harris last year, Basshunter takes to the stage at the Grand Hall for a live set plus support, filling this year’s dance slot.

The evening acts will again be supported by two fantastic afternoons of completely FREE performances from local and up and coming acts in the beautiful grounds of the Dean Castle.

Roddie Woomble who played the first ever Kilmarnock Edition Festival with Idlewild returns in a support slot with guitarist Sorren McLean.
The organisers have also introduced a Fringe Festival which will take place throughout Kilmarnock from 28th August – so keep an eye out for the many great events which supplement the main festival.

Find our more about the Kilmarnock Edition Festival or check availability for hotel rooms in Ayrshire over a busy musical weekend.
Troon is set to host an exciting three-day music festival over the weekend of 3-5 September 2010. Called Live@Troon, it's the first of what the organisers hope will be a really successful annual event.

You can find out who's appearing on the Live@Troon website

Fancy a weekend break watching music? Check availability and book online now...

Old Loans Inn
South Beach Hotel
Lochgreen House Hotel
Highgrove House Hotel

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Wedding Suite Unveiled at Turnberry Resort

Turnberry, a Luxury Collection Resort, Scotland, has unveiled a new wedding reception suite that boasts one of the most inspiring and romantic backdrops in the UK.

The Turnberry Suite combines a five-star quality wedding destination for up to 200 people with stunning ocean views over the Irish Sea, Ailsa Craig and the mountains of Arran.

Direct access to a large private terrace offers space for wedding parties to enjoy an alfresco champagne reception while the sun sets. This stunning wedding venue also offers an array of photo opportunities throughout the 800 acre estate, from dramatic locations at the Turnberry lighthouse and on the steps of the hotel to warm and intimate settings in front of the log burning fires in the The Grand Tea Lounge.

The venue is fresh, spacious and ideally suited for wedding receptions. A series of floor-to-ceiling windows flood the venue with natural light and offer direct access to the terrace.

The choice of ocean-view suites are the perfect setting for the happy couple to relax in style after their big day. Generous in size, opulent in design, the suites offer all the thoughtful touches you might wish for, including large, walk-in shower with separate bathtub and, enticing Arran Aromatics toiletries.

Offering special accommodation rates for wedding guests, Turnberry has 198 guest rooms including 42 newly renovated deluxe rooms and four lavish ocean-view suites in main hotel, as well as 12 lodges with eight bedrooms and six bedrooms on the estate.

Prices for weddings at Turnberry of 50 or more people start from only GBP80 per person, including:
  • Turnberry Suite room hire
  • Three course wedding breakfast
  • Optional drinks package (half bottle wine and 2 glasses of sparkling wine per person)
  • Bed & Breakfast accommodation for the Bride & Groom in a deluxe ocean-view bedroom with VIP amenity
  • Flowers for table centre pieces, menu cards, place cards and table plans
  • Table linen and chair covers
  • Cake stand and knife
  • Microphone and speakers
To speak to a member of Turnberry's dedicated wedding team, please telephone 01655 333 996, e-mail or visit

If  you're looking for wedding availability in Ayrshire you can book your rooms directly with Scotland's For Me Online

Monday, 9 August 2010

British Boys Championship Arrives in Ayrshire

The R&A have rolled into town with two of Scotland's West Coast Links golf courses joint hosting the British Boys Amateur Championships.

Practice started on Sunday morning at Barassie and Dundonald with the Strokeplay Qualifying teeing off on Tuesday morning.

Visitors are welcomed along to both clubs to watch the proceedings and you can download the full start list for Tuesday and Wednesday play here. The draw will be published on a daily basis on this blog for the Matchplay sections from Thrusday onwards.

Barassie are publishing their images from the event directly onto their Facebook pages at

Friday, 6 August 2010

Keep up to date with Ayrshire Golf news

If you're a visitor or even an operator or accommodation provider in Ayrshire you can keep up to date with the very latest offers and news from ten of Ayrshire golf courses direct from their homepage.

Scotland's West Coast Golf Links features ten of the country's finest links courses including three Open Championship venues and they are updating their availability and offers online at their updated website.

Thursday, 5 August 2010

British Boys Battle It Out at Barassie

Kilmarnock (Barassie) will once again add to its fine championship pedigree when it acts next week as the main host for the 2010 Boys Amateur Golf Championship. Since starting its long association with R&A championships in 1948, when it welcomed the Boys Amateur for the first time, Barassie has staged five Boys Home Internationals, two Jacques Leglise Trophy matches, stroke play qualifying for the 2001 Amateur Championship and a further four Boys Amateurs – not to mention having previously acted as a final qualifying venue when The Open has arrived at Royal Troon or Turnberry.

For the first time, in 2010, the Boys Amateur will be staged across two venues. Consequently, in addition to the match play venue, nearby Dundonald Links will host stroke play qualifying rounds over the first two days of the Championship. Opened in 2003, Dundonald has already hosted the Duke of York Young Champions Trophy event, as well as qualifying for The Senior Open Championship.

The event is open to spectators and several thousand are expected as family and friends follow the boys through the qualifying strokeplay and then through the matchplay. Both golf clubs will open their facilities to non members and car parking facilities have been set up at both venues.

Admission is free and the event takes place from Tuesday 10th until Sunday 15th of August and it is a great opportunity for visitors who are in the area to watch the future Champions of the future - Ronan Rafferty was one of the previous winners at Barassie!

More information is available directly from the golf clubs own websites.

Monday, 2 August 2010

Dundonald Games This Weekend

The first Saturday of August is always the date in the diary for Ayrshire's largest Highland or actually Lowland games. The Dundonald Games takes place in the village which is almost equidistant from Troon, Irvine and Kilmarnock and therfore perfect for visitors to Ayrshire to get to.

It may not have the scale of the Cowal Games but held under the shadow of the historic Dundonald Castle it provides a fun day out for family, friends and visitors and this year as usual there will be the pipe band competition, heavy events, battle re-enactments and a host of community benefiting stalls.

So if you're at a loose end or your guests are looking for something to do in Ayrshire on the 7th of August you could do worse than hop along to the Dundonald Games, car parking is signposted and admission is free from twelve noon onwards.

More information is available on The Dundonald Games website