Maybole & North Carrick's Villages

North Carrick lies in a beautiful part of Scotland with a huge variety of picturesque scenery for visitors to enjoy. The area encompasses Maybole and the eight villages of Dunure, Kirkoswald, Minishant, Maidens, Turnberry, Crosshill, Straiton and Kirkmichael, each with their own rich history. From walking and cycling trails, to castles and historic sites, and from outdoor pursuits to beautiful food and drink, there is something here for everyone.


Maybole – The Ancient Capital of Carrick lies on the A77 between Ayr and Girvan. Maybole has a rich history and heritage which goes back hundreds of years. Maybole has links to Robert Burns and Robert the Bruce and a thriving community spirit which has lasted through Maybole’s history. Six etched stainless-steel boots marking some of the old locations of the boot and shoe factories, which dominated Maybole during the 19th century – you can find them all when you follow the Boot & Shoe Trail.

View the Maybole 500 Heritage Trail Map


Crosshill is situated 3 miles South East of Maybole. The village’s history is dominated by key trades such as forestry and carpentry, and the family generations associated with them from the 1900’s. The village has a wonderful community spirit with a fantastic Primary School and Early Years Centre, active Bowling Club, Guide Unit, as well as excellent Post Office and several other local businesses based in the village. You will also discover it is set amongst many popular walking and cycling routes.


Kirkmichael is a lovely quiet village located between Maybole (3 miles east), Straiton & Patna. It was a weaving village and entire families often worked from home on the unique craft of Whitework. As you enter the village from Maybole, you will immediately spot the award winning Kirkmichael Arms. To the left along Patna Road you will find the unique Kirkmichael Community Shop & Cafe with Carrick Community noticeboard outside. The McCosh Hall in which the café & shop are found, was gifted to the village by John McCosh & opened in 1899. It now houses a History Corner upstairs. Further along the road is another interesting  area around the Village Church with c17th Lych Gate &  Graveyard with the Covenanter McAdam Memorial. Kirkmichael is a popular rest stop for cyclists & walkers.


Dunure is a lovely, quiet, fishing village which sits 5 miles North West of Maybole, and 5 miles south of Ayr. Dunure’s harbour provides stunning views of the Firth of Clyde, and the beautiful castle ruins are the perfect picnic spot. Dunure is home to several active fishing boats as well as a pub/restaurant, harbour cafe and gift shop.

Dunure was Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s holiday home, as a student, when the famous Glasgow architect and his great friends, known as ‘The Immortals,’ spent weekends and summer vacations at two rented cottages in the village.

The Electric Brae

Lying five minutes car drive south of Dunure on the Girvan road, this popular optical illusion makes the road appear to be descending when in fact, it’s rising! The Electric Brae is a phenomenon reputedly brought about by the contours of the surrounding landscape. Visitors often stop their cars here and put it to the test! A football placed on the brae can also prove entertaining. Please take care and look out for slow moving vehicles and pedestrians when you pass by.


Where in 1775, at the age of 16, Scotland’s bard Robert Burns spent his summer studying in the building which now houses Souter’s Restaurant.

Kirkoswald is a village and parish which lies 1 ³⁄₄ miles from the coast, and 4 miles southwest of Maybole.

Shoemaker, John Davidson, alongside his neighbour ‘Tam O’Shanter’ (Douglas Graham) were known for their excitable nights out after visiting the market in Ayr, and were well known friends in the village. Robert Burns immortalised the pair in his masterpiece Tam O’Shanter. Souter Johnnie’s Cottage is now preserved by the National Trust for Scotland.

Kirkoswald is also home to other visitor attractions including a garden centre, and designer homeware store.


‘The Maidens’ is a beautiful village around 6 miles west of Maybole which once boasted a remarkable shipyard and gave birth to “Early Ayrshires” gourmet potatoes in 1875, which continue to be a commercial success.

Maidens is in the Kirkoswald parish and looks out over the Firth of Clyde at the southern end of Maidenhead Bay. There are a series of rocks known as the “Maidens of Turnberry” which form a natural harbour which is a popular spot for paddleboarders, kayakers, and dog walks! Maidens also has a very well stocked village shop and café, and well as other restaurants with a stunning sea view.


One of the world’s most famous golf destinations is also the birthplace of Scottish King Robert the Bruce at Turnberry Castle in 1274. Turnberry is a popular spot for seaside walks with it’s stunning beach views. The perfect spot for dog walks, you’ll often find folks paddle boarding or kayaking off Turnberry shore, taking in views of the Ailsa Craig and the famous lighthouse.


Minishant Village lies around 2 miles North of Maybole, on the A77. Minishant is a popular pit stop for folks travelling through with their well stocked village store and lovely family restaurant.

To find out more about the history of Minishant you can visit where there is a book which delves further into Minishant’s history – looking back to the days when Minishant was the granary of the monks of Crossraguel Abbey, and when ruling families the Kennedys and Mures fought fiercely for power. This pretty little village became a busy little place with two woollen mills at one point, and now is a quiet little village with a strong community spirit, the perfect pit stop for folks visiting South Ayrshire.


Straiton village lies on the River Girvan, South West of Maybole and neighbours Crosshill and Kirkmichael.

The area surrounding Straiton is known as ‘rambling territory’ due to the selection of beautiful walks available. There are several signposted walks that start from the village car park where there are maps and route markers for walkers to follow!

The village also has a well stocked community shop, a traditional pub serving great food and a newly refurbished café.

To find out more about Straiton’s stunning walking routes check out our Walking & Cycling information.

Getting Here

North Carrick is home to many renowned restaurants and café’s drawing visitors from afar as well as lots of local trade. You can travel here by train or bus and the details are below.

Maybole Train Station lies on the Glasgow to Stranraer line, between Girvan and Ayr. The station is within walking distance of all the town’s amenities and buses connect Maybole to the surrounding villages.

Maybole is less than 30 mins from Prestwick Airport and less than 1hr 15 from Glasgow Central Station by train, with easy links to the rest of Scotland. You can plan your route using the Scotrail or Trainline websites – Scotrail Information

Maybole and North Carrick are served by several bus routes operated by Stagecoach, including the services 58 and 358, 60 and 360 and 61 and 361 which connect North Carrick to the rest of South Ayrshire. To plan your route, you can visit the Stagecoach website. Most bus routes terminate in Ayr, connecting you to other destinations, including coaches to further afield.

Cycling is very popular in North Carrick due to our fantastic scenery and popular race routes. We encourage all visitors to explore North Carrick by bike. For more information please visit:

Free street parking is available across North Carrick. Free visitor car parks are available at Maybole, Turnberry, Maidens, Kirkoswald, Dunure and Straiton. Parking is readily available at attractions across the area, most of which are free of charge.

For information on disabled car parking and car changing points please visit the Ayrshire Roads Alliance website –

For information on public amenities please visit South Ayrshire Council’s website and search for ‘Public Conveniences’.