The Electric Brae Ayrshire (Croy Brae)

the electric brae ayrshire

Our second place of interest to visit on our suggested southern road trip from Ayr is the the Electric Brae Ayrshire.

If you have done the trip to visit Robert Burns cottage, then the Electric Brae is just a further short drive of around 14 miles south on the A719 road.

The word brae, used in Scots language, is the name used to indicate the slope of a hill. You would hear it used in the Robert Burns song, “Ye Banks And Braes O’ Bonnie Doon”.

We find this strange phenomenon on the Ayrshire coast road about 2 miles past the small picturesque fishing village of Dunure. When driving towards the area, you will find a stone on the left-hand side of the road explaining all about it.

There used to be metal signs pointing to the area but they were sadly taken away by visiting souvenir hunters. Although I do believe that there has yet been another replacement but whether it is still there on your visit is anyone’s guess

Electric Brae Stone Sign by the Side of the Road

electric brae stone sign by the side of the roadLocals and visitors alike, have been mystified for years, by the sight of watching balls, cylinder objects and their vehicles roll back up the hill, rather than down the hill, which would be the normal situation.

With the advent of electricity and its invisible magnetic energies, it had to follow, that this was the cause of the unusual phenomena. Visitors in cars and touring coaches are commonly found trying out the weird phenomenon.

Coming to a standstill on the road with the engine and brake off, they allow the vehicle to freewheel back up the hill. With the occupants inside, enjoying the spectacle with laughter and disbelief.

In fact, what we are witnessing is an optical illusion. The wooded glen of Craigencroy to the east, and the Croy Railway Viaduct running in the west, seemingly are the culprits. That and all the land around being sloped, culminate in causing the optical illusion.

In past years when the United States Air Force was stationed at Prestwick air-base, many Americans would take a trip along the coast, to experience the Electric Brae.

Even General Dwight D Eisenhower, who was presented a suite in the picturesque Culzean Castle following World War II, treated many of his friends to a visit of the Croy Brae phenomenon. Croy Brae is the local name used.

View of Culzean Castle From Croy Brae

There are many nice views on this coastal strip to be enjoyed which include, views up the Firth of Clyde, views across to the Isle of Arran and the volcanic stump of the Ailsa Craig.

Other views of Culzean Bay with the Culzean Castle (our final part of this trip, click link to see more) perched on the sea cliff and the small village of Dunure, with its castle ruins, also make pretty pictures.

The Electric Brae, even though we are aware of it being an illusion, still takes a bit of understanding and well worth a visit.

Video of the Electric Brae Ayrshire

Below is a video explaining more about the brae.

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