We know that you love a day out and there are certainly lots of gems along the Ayrshire coast. However, one of our favourite places is right on our doorstep.
We love Largs because it has so much to offer. Whether you’re exploring by yourself or entertaining the whole family, you can spend a whole day here and still come back for more.
Getting to Largs
It’s an easy drive along the coast road, so you can take in some wonderful views to start your day. If you’d rather leave the car behind the train runs from Glasgow Central every hour and brings you right into town.
Where to start
If you’ve never been to Largs before, we’d recommend a stroll along the front to get your bearings. You can wander along the promenade or the shoreline and past the Pencil whilst being treated to the beautiful views out over the Isle of Cumbrae. The beach is pebbly here so not the best place to stop unless you’ve brought your deckchair.
Largs Yacht Haven, the largest marina in Scotland, is very popular with sailing fans and you can charter a boat if you like. If you prefer to stay on dry land you can still wander around the marina and guess at how much the yachts cost! There are also some good places to eat and drink if you need a pit stop.
Take in some history
People in Largs are very proud of their Viking heritage and hold a Viking Festival every year in early September. It gets incredibly busy but is well worth a visit, particularly for the spectacular closing fire festival where the Viking hordes process through the streets with flaming torches. The festival commemorates the battle of Largs in 1263 when a fleet of Viking longboats were successfully turned back by the locals.
You can get a taste of Viking culture all year round at Vikingar! an interactive museum where you can learn more about the history of Vikings in Largs. There are living history displays along with regular historical re-enactments. You may even find yourself face to face with the real thing.
Where to eat
Even if you’ve come to Largs without the kids, a visit to Nardini’s is an absolute must. Their ice cream sundaes are legendary. Tony Macaroni’s Italian restaurant also has its’ home there if you’re looking for a full meal. A visit to the building is a treat in itself. It’s an art deco era building that has been faithfully restored inside and out. It was closed for refurbishment last year. We were disappointed to miss out on our favourite ice cream, but the results have been worth the effort.
There are lots of good cafes and places to get takeaway along the promenade. We’ve heard good things about the Bean and Leaf which offers coffee, breakfast and light lunches through to fish and chips.
On your way back
If you’re in the car and fancy a spectacular stop off on your way back down the coast, Kelburn Castle and Country Park is ideal. The outside of the castle isn’t what you’d expect from a 13th century building as it was redecorated by Brazilian graffiti artists. You could easily spend a day here, walking through the woods and gardens or letting the kids burn off some energy in the adventure playground.
All this and we haven’t even got to the golf, bowls or swimming pools! Those are for another day.
Discover the past at the Largs Viking Festival
31 August – 8 September 2019
As you know, we’re always looking for ways to keep you entertained here at Crosbie Towers. We’d be missing a trick if we didn’t tell you about one of our favourite events, the Largs Viking Festival.
Those of you who’ve paid a visit to Vikingar! will already know that the people of Largs are very proud of their Viking history. The Festival takes the celebrations a step further, combining education and a craft market with full scale Viking re-enactments.
The Festival began in 1980 and commemorates the battle of Largs which took place in 1263. The Norse King Haakon attempted to land his fleet of long ships at Largs but was defeated by King Alexander III and his army. The Norsemen headed for home, but their king was taken ill and died in Kirkwall.
The Festival’s main hub is the Viking Village which will be open every day between 11am and 5pm. The re-enactment group Swords of Dalriada will be based in the village to talk to visitors about the Viking way of life. We’re told that you can ask them anything you like about Viking history, whether you want to know about their food, religion or even why they left Norway to head for Scotland. There will also be Viking traders from Ireland, Germany and Sweden. For something a little more familiar you can pay a visit to the Scottish Craft Fayre which will also be open every day.
There will be events going on throughout Largs during the Festival. As well as the entertainment on the main stage, Owl Magic will be on site with a breath-taking range of birds of prey. All of their birds were hand reared, so they’re used to being with people. Their handlers are happy to share their knowledge of these beautiful birds and to let you and your family handle the owls if you’d like to.
If that weren’t enough there will be street performers and a funfair on the Promenade so there’s something for all the family.
The Festival starts on 31 August and ends on 8 September Largs is only a short drive away or you can get there on the train from West Kilbride in just 10 minutes.
The full programme is available at https://largsvikingfestival.org/whats-on/
Best of all, at the end of a busy day you get to come back to your cosy caravan and relax. If you’ve been to the Festival before and have any advice for new visitors, we’d love to hear it.