Maidens Turnberry Beach
© Mary and Angus Hogg and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
The tranquil former fishing village of Maidens lies on the gentle curve of Maidenhead Bay, about 11 miles south of Ayr. It has a sandy beach, backed by grassland and flanked by rocks, which slopes gently into the sea and is approximately one mile in length, ending close to the 260-hectares Culzean Country Park.
At the south-western end of the beach is a cove with a marina and a pier which links the mainland to Maidenhead Rocks. The marina, which would have once been home to a fishing fleet, now provides berthing to pleasure craft.
The Hogston Burn enters the sea at the northern end of the beach, and a footpath links the beach with Culzean Country Park, which is worth visiting for its fine beech and conifer trees, swan pond and other interesting features.
The beach is used by watersport enthusiasts and walkers. There is a riding school nearly and horse riders can often be seen galloping across the sands. This is a good beach for birdwatching. Look out for golden plovers, redshank, oystercatchers and terns.
Looking out over the bay one can see Kewn Rock, jutting out of the sea, and also Ailsa Craig, a bird sanctuary which provides a habitat to gannets and even puffins. Further across the Firth of Clyde are the peaks of the Isle of Arran, and on clear days it might be possible to see all the way across to the Mull of Kintyre.
There is plenty of parking and there are landscaped picnic areas, children’s play area, shop and café. Public toilets can be found next to the harbour.
The village of Maidens is said to be the spot where Robert the Bruce, who was possibly born close by, landed when he sailed back to the mainland from Rathlin Island on his way to win back Scotland from the English.