Irvine is the largest town in North Ayrshire, with long sandy beaches and views across the Firth of Clyde to the Isle of Arran – strong competition with its role as a very convenient commuter town for Glasgow, 24 miles away - and a great place for a new home. This once busy port town has reinvented and regenerated itself, and the harbour is now home to one of the two sites of the Scottish Maritime Museum and the waters are busy with private boats. It’s still a key town, home to North Ayrshire Council, and the focal point for the other smaller towns in the area for business, shopping and leisure.
On the road
Irvine is where the A71 cross-country route and the A78 coastal route meet each other. The A71 heads east to join the M74 but the most direct route into Glasgow is the M77 from Kilmarnock. The train station is on the main route between Glasgow and Stranraer, with the journey into Glasgow taking about 40 minutes. Stagecoach West Scotland and a local bus network keep you connected with all the county’s towns and villages. Glasgow Airport is on your side of the city, just 25 miles to the north.
In the town
The town’s facilities offer plenty of shopping options, including the Rivergate, which is Ayrshire’s largest shopping centre. This is the central shopping area of the town. Several of the national supermarkets are in town too, including a Tesco Hypermarket. The Portal is the town’s focal point for exhibitions, events, sports and leisure, and there’s also the Irvine Community Sports Club on the riverside. University Hospital Crosshouse is a large district general hospital between Irvine and Kilmarnock.
There is plenty of choice at both primary and secondary level. Secondary schools include Greenwood Academy and Grange Academy. Two other secondary schools, Kilwinning Academy and Auchenharvie Academy are both just out of town but easy to reach.
Out and about
The Ayrshire coast is well-known for its beaches, and Irvine is included. Its long sandy beach and dunes take in stunning mountain views of Arran on the horizon. Ardrossan, just up the coast, is where you can get the ferry across. There are several golf courses to choose from, and the Eglinton Country Park, the Shewalton Sandpits Wildlife Reserve and the Bogside Flats Site of Special Scientific Interest will give your family a taste of the countryside close to home.