Stunning modern housing in the harbour area of Irvine
The harbour, Irvine
Glasgow Vennel, Irvine - where Robert Burns had lodgings
Irvine
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Okay, here's today's challenge: try to get to Irvine town centre without going through the humongous and very ugly shopping centre. An almost impossible task, you may find. Irvine's Rivergate Centre, as it is known, is apparently the 'largest indoor shopping centre in Ayrshire' and, to be perfectly frank with you, that's not exactly the sort of boast that would have me clambering over shopping-trolleys to get there. This enormous carbuncle has been so designed that it is nigh impossible for visitors arriving at the railway station to reach Irvine proper without passing through its gleaming corridors, corridors lined with the shops that you see in every other shopping centre in the country. But do not despair, for I know a way. If you skirt the left hand side of the beast and head left along the river, you can pick up a pedestrian footbridge that will lead you eventually into Seagate and a very pleasant stroll along a narrow cobbled street lined with charming old cottages and complete with its very own castle ruins. A far more agreeable way to arrive in Irvine town centre, I think you will agree.
Robert Burns once lodged in the town of Irvine. What he would have thought of the shopping centre I'm not sure, but he may have had this to say:
                                                     
Oh ye sprawlin' thing o' glass, Ye're awfy shiny an' urnae class,
Ye're plonked in Irvine like a great big plook, An' a widnae gie ye a second look.
THE HARBOUR DISTRICT OF IRVINE
THE HARBOUR, IRVINE
GLASGOW VENNEL, IRVINE
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How to
GET THERE


You can get a train to Irvine from Glasgow Central Railway Station.
Scotland’s online tourist guide – tartan hippo logo