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7 outdoor activities to try in Girvan this year

Get active outdoors in Girvan

If spending more time outdoors, or getting fitter, features in your New Year’s resolutions, Girvan has a range of year-round activities to help you stay on track. With a backdrop of coast and hills, the soothing scenery provides a pleasant distraction while you burn some calories. Studies have also shown that exercising outside can bring additional benefits including improved mental well-being.

Here are just some of the ways you can keep active outdoors in Girvan throughout the year.


A saunter along Girvan promenade is an accessible walking option for most abilities and regular distance markers help you track your progress. If you are keen to stretch your legs a bit further, both The Ayrshire Coastal Path and The Whithorn Way long-distance trails pass through Girvan. Both walks are signposted from the town if you only want to sample a section of either route.

Hillwalkers are spoiled for choice with multiple summits stretching into the horizon. If you are just starting out on the hills, Dow Hill and Byne Hill are popular climbs on the edge of town that don’t require too much effort to reach the summit.


Adventure Carrick are leading providers of outdoor-based activities in Ayrshire including kayaking, canoeing and Stand Up Paddleboarding. Taking to the water offers a completely different perspective of the surrounding landscape, making it a great way to experience the coast and rivers. SUPs, kayaks and canoes open up places that are normally inaccessible on foot, including inlets, caves and hidden beaches.

The experienced instructors at Adventure Carrick will teach you the skills you need to participate in these water sports safely and competently. Their Girvan sessions are tailored for every level, from complete beginners to those looking to become more proficient in their chosen activity. Lessons are available year-round.


Wild swimming has become an increasingly popular well-being activity over recent years. It has been shown to provide many health benefits and even briefly immersing yourself in cold water can activate feel-good endorphins. Girvan is bordered by the sea, making it an ideal location for some outdoor water therapy.

Joining one of the monthly Dips & Chips events run by Swim The Lochs is a great way to enjoy wild swimming safely and make some new friends at the same time. For the full seaside experience, each session ends with a chippy tea. The sessions take place on the first Wednesday of each month at 6 pm and must be booked in advance.


A free gym that’s open 24 hours a day, with views of Ailsa Craig – sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? Yet thanks to outdoor fitness equipment installed next to Girvan promenade, committing to a gym workout has never been easier. Okay, it might not be high tech but it is well-ventilated and there are a number of machines available.

Push, pull and pedal while enjoying one of the best gym views in Scotland!


Bring your own bike, hire a cycle from Biosphere Bikes, or join a guided cycle tour with The Biking Explorers. There are multiple ways to enjoy a cycling adventure in Girvan and travelling by bike allows you to take in the spectacular scenery at a slower pace. Cycling is also a fun, low-impact form of exercise that is more environmentally friendly than exploring by car.

Biosphere Bikes have an array of cycles for hire including electric bikes that provide a wee bit of extra assistance if you need it. Their quads, karts and side-by-side tandems are fun for all the family and perfect for wheeling along the traffic-free promenade.


This is a different type of outdoor gym as there are no exercise machines involved in this workout, just a few gardening tools. Girvan’s Community Garden runs free weekly green gym sessions every Tuesday from 11 am – 2 pm, interested volunteers can register in advance or get in touch via their website for more details.

Participants help to maintain the Community Garden which is a welcoming space in the town for all. Anyone can take part, including visitors to Girvan, and it is a great way to keep fit, learn new skills, and meet new people.


The Girvan Prom parkrun takes place every Saturday at 9.30 am. Despite the name, running the 5km route is not compulsory, you can also walk or jog at whatever pace you are comfortable. The course follows the promenade and traverses the grassy boundaries of Stair Park with sea views a constant companion.

The event is open to locals and visitors alike, the only requirement is that you register prior to your first Girvan parkrun. At the end of the session, all participants are invited to The Quay Zone cafe for a post-event coffee and chat.


All these outdoor activities are available throughout the year in Girvan and they are all designed to inject some fun into exercise. Book a visit to the town and hit your goals of getting fitter and spending more time outdoors in 2023.