The rolling hills and rich soil of Ayrshire are not really at the top of most visitors’ Scottish itinerary. Ayr, the county town and birthplace of Robert Burns, won’t distract you for long. Most folk stick to the coastline, attracted by the wide, flat sandy beaches and the vast number of golf courses. South of Ayr, the most obvious points of interest are Culzean Castle, with its Robert Adam interior and extensive wooded grounds, and the offshore islands of Ailsa Craig, while to the east is fascinating Dumfries House. North of Ayr is Irvine, home to the Scottish Maritime Museum.

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On the fringes of Edinburgh: 8 ways to explore the city's quirky side

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Neil McQuillian embarked on a foodie tour of Scotland's "second" city and discovered just what makes the place tick. 

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