Lapping it up in lovely Largs!

Lovely Largs is where two magnificent bus routes in the Great Scenic Journeys collection come together. The 585 from Ayr to Largs from Stagecoach West Scotland and then the 901 Clyde Flyer to Glasgow via Greenock. Both are stunning routes clutching the Firth of Clyde with absolutely amazing views from the window and a real sense of occasion and ambience, whatever the weather of time of year. A better day out you’d struggle to find in Scotland, not just the scenery but also fab places to visit en route and it’s a fab way to blow away those notorious January blues. To find out more, check out the links below….

585, Ayr-Ardrossan-Largs – Great Scenic Journeys

901 Clyde Flyer – Great Scenic Journeys

Largs, the largely underrated treat

Largs is a particular favourite of ours’ across the UK and is a very underrated, charming seaside town with a delightful array of activities and sights for visitors. The view from the bus window on the approach to Largs is like no other too and whets the appetite for the town that follows! You’re literally counting down the stops to disembark and get out and explore this wonderful place.

It’s a blissful retreat, nestled in a wonderful corner of Scotland but it also has a real thriving sense of hustle and bustle. The activity in the town contrasts with the serene views over the sea.

Pencil in a visit!

Sharpen your pencil for a great starting point to peruse round Largs and a look at the iconic Pencil Monument, commemorating the Battle of Largs in 1263. Explore the history further at the Vikingar! Centre, where interactive exhibits bring Viking history to life, including a recreated Viking longhouse and storytelling sessions.

A scrawling large secret at Kelburn

For nature enthusiasts, a trip to Kelburn Castle and Country Centre is a must. Discover the lush gardens, adventure trails, and the famous Graffiti Project, where artists transformed the castle walls into vibrant, contemporary art.  Discover the Secret Forest, an enchanting area of the park with trails leading through ancient woodlands, hidden sculptures, and surprises around every corner. It’s an adventure for both kids and adults. Visit the farm animals on-site, which can be an enjoyable experience, especially for young visitors. There might be opportunities to interact with and learn about various farm animals.

The other side of the water…

If you’re craving some adventure, head to Largs Yacht Haven for sailing or take a ferry to Cumbrae Island for cycling around the serene, paradisical island. Or if you fancy staying put in Largs (and who can blame you?),  there’s a lovely parkland area with pleasant places to rest and gaze out onto the sea.

A large pineapple of a status symbol

In Largs, there’s a quirky connection to an unexpected tropical fruit—pineapples! While Scotland isn’t known for pineapples due to its climate, there’s a historic link. In the 18th century, affluent families would rent pineapples for their parties as a symbol of wealth and luxury. The Boyle family, who owned the Kelburn Estate in Largs, had their summerhouse adorned with elaborate stone-carved pineapples—a status symbol of that era. This rather peculiar but fascinating association with pineapples in Largs reflects the historical cultural significance attached to exotic fruits in Scotland during that time.

Big Battle remembered

The Largs Museum stands as a captivating repository of the town’s rich heritage and history, encapsulating centuries of local stories within its walls. Exhibits within this cultural gem offer a glimpse into the Battle of Largs, showcasing artifacts, documents, and displays that unravel the town’s pivotal role in Scottish history. From maritime treasures to insights into the town’s evolution, the museum paints a vivid picture of Largs’ past. Its curated collections preserve the essence of the community, fostering an appreciation for the town’s cultural tapestry and serving as a window to its historical significance in Scotland.

Largs’ larger than life people

Largs has been home to several notable individuals. Some famous people associated with Largs include John Boyd Orr – A Nobel Prize-winning scientist and nutritionist, born in Kilmaurs, but spent his early years in Largs. Meanwhile, Brian Connolly – The lead singer of the rock band “The Sweet” was born in Hamilton but grew up in Largs. Maybe the most famous of all, though, is David Niven – The iconic actor spent his childhood in Largs before embarking on his successful acting career.

Glory be to Largs’ lovely Knickerblocker!

Largs boasts a variety of dining options, catering to different tastes and preferences. The Bean & Leaf is a cosy café offering freshly brewed coffee, delicious cakes, and light bites. It’s perfect for a quick snack or a relaxing coffee break. Then there’s Scotts at Largs, which is a popular seafood restaurant located along the promenade, known for its stunning sea views and a menu featuring fresh seafood dishes. It’s a great spot for a seafood feast with a beautiful backdrop. One of our favourites though is Nardini’s which is a yard or two from the bus stop. It’s a classic ice cream parlour and café that’s been an institution in Largs since 1935. It’s not just about ice cream; they serve a range of snacks, light meals, and, of course, delicious desserts. However, the Knickerbocker Glory is absolutely legendary and our favourite dish in all of our Great Scenic Journeys ventures of 2023! If it’s Italian scran that you like, then why not try La Dolce Vita.  This Italian restaurant offers a wide array of traditional Italian dishes, from pasta to pizza, in a warm and inviting atmosphere. Perfect for families and anyone craving Italian cuisine. Finally, Henry’s Café & Bar is great and is a vibrant spot serving a mix of Scottish and international cuisine, from hearty breakfasts to flavourful mains and cocktails. It’s a versatile place suitable for various dining occasions.

Vikings vibrant still…

In Largs, the calendar brims with vibrant events and festivals that celebrate local culture, history, and community spirit. The Largs Viking Festival, a highlight, pays homage to the town’s Viking heritage, featuring re-enactments, historical talks, and lively displays of Viking crafts and traditions. The festival often includes a grand Viking parade through the town, captivating locals and visitors alike.

During the summer months, the Largs Food Fest tantalizes taste buds with a diverse array of culinary delights. This gastronomic extravaganza showcases local produce, artisanal foods, and a medley of international cuisines. It’s a feast for food enthusiasts and a chance to savour the best flavours of the region.

Highland melodies and games

The Highland Games, a beloved tradition, bring forth a spirited showcase of Scottish culture, featuring traditional games, music, and dancing. These games foster a sense of community pride and draw participants from near and far to engage in athletic competitions and revel in Scottish traditions.

Adding to the festivities, the Largs Live Music Festival echoes melodies through the town, hosting a line-up of talented musicians across various genres. This musical celebration transforms the streets and venues into stages, creating an electric atmosphere for music enthusiasts.

All this made possible by super Stagecoach and magnificent McGill’s

This is all so much to take in, particularly for what is, in essence, a becalming and beautiful town with views on the eye that creating a sedate, tranquil feeling that belies all the festival fun on offer here. Just like the two fabulous bus routes and others that serve the town, this is such a well connected place with a great vibe and so much going for it. An unmissable treat and the perfect antidote for the rigours of city life, made possible by super Stagecoach West Scotland and magnificent McGill’s!