Stayed at the Marina Inn for 6 nights with the family in Room 8. It's budget, no frills / basic so you pay for what you get. No harbour views from this room either, just a view of the back of the property. I imagine that room is one of the converted downstairs rooms that once used to form the bar area.
It can be noisy with the comings and goings of the evening but I read up on this before so it was no surprise and I remembered to pack my earplugs.
Rooms are serviced every morning with fresh towels and toilet rolls etc.
The room itself was on the small side for 2 adults and 2 young children despite us keeping things to a minimum. Sadly this will be a major factor in us returning again as a family, but perhaps one day further down the line we will return as a couple.
The free bike hire was a let-down as the tandem broke down, but on the upside we went swimming at the nearby Magnum Leisure Centre instead and I also got to go out running (instead of cycling) on the Ayr National Route 7 (Sustrans), so all was not lost.
It's a shame we were not around for the forthcoming Marymass festival, but what we did find was that it was a good base to visit nearby attractions as well as the beach and 'Shona' the dragon (check out the children's book Darkisle by D. A. Nelson).
We also visited (and I hope this helps someone plan ahead like we did):
1. Irvine itself, Old and New town for shopping / site seeing. Great to see some of the Glasgow 2014 events on the big screen in the town centre and there are shops galore in the numerous shopping centres.
2. Vikingar in Largs
3. Seacoats - Eglinton Diner & Fish Fry - great food and service!
4. Magnum Centre - great for swimming but ice rink closed so went to nearby Auchenharvie for ice skating
5. Good to run / cycle on Sustrans route 7 starting behind the Magnum Centre
6. Eglinton Country Park (free)
7. Dean Castle Country Park (free)
8. HAC, next door for a meal and drink with a totally relaxed 'arty' atmosphere (and that's with kids!)
9. Puffers Cafe for decent grub and great views across the harbour
10. Jungle Madness Kids Soft Play, Kilmarnock
Plus numerous other places along the way!
Hope the funding is available soon to maintain both the Harbour Masters House and the Tower building, but also not forgetting the maintenance of 'Shona' the dragon and the surrounding beach park.
Thanks for reading, there's a lot to be said for the area and I hope it gets the funding it deserves to improve it even more.
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- Also Known As:
- Marina Inn Irvine, Scotland