North Ayrshire

Sea Front, Ardrossan
©2022 Gazetteer for Scotland

Sea Front, Ardrossan

Situated on the north side of Irvine Bay, an inlet of the Firth of Clyde, Ardrossan lies 5 miles (8 km) northwest of Irvine. One of the Three Towns of North Ayrshire, along with Saltcoats and Stevenston, Ardrossan was founded as a resort in 1805 by the Earl of Eglinton, its deep-water harbour was suitable for steam boats connecting with Arran, Belfast, the Isle of Man and Campbeltown. Ardrossan also became a seaport for the export of coal, iron and chemicals, although it never realised its ambition to be a terminus on the proposed Glasgow, Paisley and Ardrossan Canal. Created a burgh in 1846, one of the last to be established in Scotland, Ardrossan became a centre of railway engineering, shipbuilding and oil refining. It still maintains a ferry link with Arran (dating from 1834) and the Isle of Man (dating from 1892), and timber bound for the paper mill at Irvine is imported. There are three railway stations at Ardrossan. Offshore is the Horse Isle nature reserve.

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