We know that you love a day out and there are certainly lots of gems along the Ayrshire coast.  However, one of our favourite places is right on our doorstep.  We love Largs because it has so much to offer.  Whether you’re exploring by yourself or entertaining the whole family, you can spend a whole day here and still come back for more.

Getting to Largs

It’s an easy drive along the coast road, so you can take in some wonderful views to start your day.  If you’d rather leave the car behind the train runs from Glasgow Central every hour and brings you right into town.

Where to start

If you’ve never been to Largs before, we’d recommend a stroll along the front to get your bearings.  You can wander along the promenade or the shoreline and past the Pencil whilst being treated to the beautiful views out over the Isle of Cumbrae.  The beach is pebbly here so not the best place to stop unless you’ve brought your deckchair.

Largs Yacht Haven, the largest marina in Scotland, is very popular with sailing fans and you can charter a boat if you like.  If you prefer to stay on dry land you can still wander around the marina and guess at how much the yachts cost!  There are also some good places to eat and drink if you need a pit stop.

Take in some history

People in Largs are very proud of their Viking heritage and hold a Viking Festival every year in early September.  It gets incredibly busy but is well worth a visit, particularly for the spectacular closing fire festival where the Viking hordes process through the streets with flaming torches.  The festival commemorates the battle of Largs in 1263 when a fleet of Viking longboats were successfully turned back by the locals.

You can get a taste of Viking culture all year round at Vikingar! an interactive museum where you can learn more about the history of Vikings in Largs.  There are living history displays along with regular historical re-enactments.  You may even find yourself face to face with the real thing.

Where to eat

Even if you’ve come to Largs without the kids, a visit to Nardini’s is an absolute must.  Their ice cream sundaes are legendary.  Tony Macaroni’s Italian restaurant also has its’ home there if you’re looking for a full meal.  A visit to the building is a treat in itself.  It’s an art deco era building that has been faithfully restored inside and out.  It was closed for refurbishment last year.  We were disappointed to miss out on our favourite ice cream but the results have been worth the effort.

There are lots of good cafes and places to get takeaway along the promenade.  We’ve heard good things about the Bean and Leaf which offers coffee, breakfast and light lunches through to fish and chips.

On your way back

If you’re in the car and fancy a spectacular stop off on your way back down the coast, Kelburn Castle and Country Park is ideal.  The outside of the castle isn’t what you’d expect from a 13th century building as it was redecorated by Brazilian graffiti artists.  You could easily spend a day here, walking through the woods and gardens or letting the kids burn off some energy in the adventure playground.

All this and we haven’t even got to the golf, bowls or swimming pools!  Those are for another day.  If you have any favourite spots to share, please let us know in the comments.