It’s hard to resist a trip down memory lane; to reminisce on days gone by and reflect on the people and places that made Ayr what it is today.

Thankfully a lot of the businesses, cafes and restaurants that we loved when we were younger are still going strong.

But, from the shops that are no longer here, what ones do we miss the most?

Last month, we asked our readers to list their favourite old-school hotspots that still give them that pang of nostalgia when they think about them today.

So without further a-do, here are the shops in the town that are most fondly remembered.


Ayr Advertiser: Photo credit: Sabrina via Woolies Buildings Then and NowPhoto credit: Sabrina via Woolies Buildings Then and Now

Residents including Karen Mitchell and Julie McBride were quick to mention Woolworths as one of the stores they wish would make a comeback in the town

Woolworths opened in Ayr in 1926 on the site of the old King’s Arms Hotel, which was demolished to build the store.

This store then closed around 2007 and moved to number 1266 at the other end of the High Street. Sandra Laidlaw said she remembers Woolies well 'when it was at the bottom o the toon'. What are your memories of it?

Ayr Advertiser: Photo credit: Sabrina via Woolies Buildings Then and NowPhoto credit: Sabrina via Woolies Buildings Then and Now


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In December 2020, it was confirmed that Ayr's biggest department store was set to close for good after the company entered liquidation and although it has not long gone from Ayr Central Shopping Centre, locals are already lamenting its disappearance.

The news came as another blow to Ayr Central after H&M, situated directly opposite the store and also a former favourite among readers, closed the month previous. June Tyson and Pamela Ireland said they were sad to see the shop go.


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A popular choice among residents was also what was one of Ayr’s oldest high street stores - Hourstons.

In January 2019, after over a century of business, it was announced  that the store, situated on Alloway Street, would shut up shop for good.

The closure sparked outcry from council officials and MSPs who shared in the "heartbreaking news" that the "longstanding Ayr institution" was to be no more and it seems the sentiment still resonates today.

Shona Quayle noted its loss, as did Fergus Little. Do you agree?


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We all remember popping into British Home Stores on a Saturday afternoon, or at least being dragged there by our mums or grannies who were on a quest to find the perfect pair of flip flops or home item, and so it is sad to think that the shop has been gone from Ayr's High Street for five years.

The Ayr store was one of more than 30 stores axed across the UK back in 2016 and is now home to the 1517 store which replaced the vacant premises in 2019. Readers Anne Mclean and Avril Jackson certainly miss it.


Ayr Advertiser: Carrick Street, AyrCarrick Street, Ayr

Last but not least, much-loved gift shop, Nirvana, formerly located on Carrick Street, was mentioned more than once when we asked readers to share the golden oldies of Ayr.

Steve Mackenzie gave it a mention, as did Hilary Denholm and Lewis Mcdowall and it seems it was a childhood favourite for many in the town who recalled the shop being packed full of trinkets, music and fantastic shirts.

Is there a memorable item that you picked up there back in the day?