North Ayrshire is one of the 32 unitary council areas into which Scotland has been divided since 1996. It extends from Irvine in the south to Largs and Skelmorlie in the north. Other settlements include Saltcoats, Ardrossan and West Kilbride along the coast, and Kilwinning and Beith further inland. North Ayrshire also includes the Isle of Arran and Great Cumbrae and Little Cumbrae. For accommodation in North Ayrshire and a full list of features, see our Ayrshire area pages.
North Ayrshire is the 17th largest Scottish council area in terms of physical size and the 15th largest in terms of population. The section on the Scottish mainland is anchored at its southern end by the built up area of Irvine, Stevenson, Kilwinning, Ardrossan and Saltcoats. The north tends to be more rural, with settlements largely confined to the coastal strip by high ground rising to the east. Meanwhile, the Isle of Arran is one of the most accessible of the Scottish islands and one of the most southerly, and as a result is also one of the most popular, with a character all of its own.
From the point of view of local authority coverage, the 1996 reorganisation that discarded Scotland's 12 regions in favour of 32 unitary council areas saw North Ayrshire formed from the Cunninghame district of Strathclyde Region. If you take a longer view and compare South Ayrshire to the traditional counties of Scotland before they were replaced by regions in 1975, its mainland areas occupy the northern part of the traditional county of Ayrshire. However, until 1975 the Isle of Arran and the Cumbraes were part of the traditional County of Bute. They became part of Cunninghame district when it formed in 1975, and in 1996 became part of North Ayrshire when it took over the areas previously covered by Cunninghame.
InformationNorth Ayrshire Council:
Tel: 0845 603 0590
Irvine KA12 8EE.