Natural Sites

Ailsa Craig (Paddy’s Milestone)

Off the coast of Carrick

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An iconic island, Ailsa Craig can be viewed from all along the Carrick coastline. Jutting 1,114 feet out of the sea, with a base circumference of about 2.5 miles, this mass of very hard granite takes a different shape from each view point along the coast. Though its form may change from each angle it is viewed, the breathtaking nature of the view is a constant.

Historically, the Crossraguel monks owned the island. In the charter of 1304, King Robert the Third bestowed the island upon the monks who in turn passed it to the Kennedys and who still own it today.

An fascinating fact is that Ailsa Craig is actually in Dailly Parish. This is because the island was owned by the Barony of Knockgerron, with Knockgerron being in Dailly Parish which extended to the sea in what today is now the Parish of Girvan.

Ailsa Craig has one export, Ailsa granite is recognised as the best material to use to manufacture curling stones. Today many of the curling stones seen on the television in events such as the Winter Olympics are in fact Ailsa Craig stones. 

The island is now managed as an RSPB Nature Reserve by agreement with the Marquess of Ailsa, it is also by Law a SSSI and designated a Special Protection Area.

If the glorious view of Ailsa Craig from the Carrick mainland is not enough and you want a closer look, there are some boat trips that will take you around the island.