My parents were both born on the west coast of Scotland in a small town called Stevenston. I have always thought of it as one of three Stevenston, Saltcoats and Ardrossan as they were all in a line close to each other on the coast.
My fondest memories, though, are of Ardrossan, where an aunt of mine lived and where I spent many happy holidays. The sandy beaches there are always sunny in my mind and the view over the Firth of Clyde towards Arran is incredible. Only 30 miles from Glasgow, this little gem of a town was once a thriving port and its maritime history is still apparent today as little boats bob in the Clyde Marina.
And, of course, you can’t mention Ardrossan and boats without mentioning the CalMac ferry which goes back and forth between Ardrossan, Campbeltown and Brodick on the Isle of Arran. It only takes 55 minutes to cross the Firth of Clyde and you’re suddenly on an island that has everything wildlife, mountains, beaches, history and golf!
There are two beaches in Ardrossan South Beach and North Shore. If you want a great view of Arran, head for North Shore, but if you’re not keen on sand and would like a large grassy area for your picnic, choose South Beach.
The three railway stations in Ardrossan are a reminder of the days when the small town was one of the top holiday destinations for Glaswegians escaping to the seaside. Still catering to holidaymakers, I don’t think you will have any problem finding a shop that sells buckets and spades and the obligatory stick of rock!