Fairlie sits on the eastern shore of the Firth of Clyde and looks across to the Isle of Arran and the Cumbraes.
It is currently little more than a commuter village, with few businesses still running within Fairlie. These include the «Village Inn» (a pub and restaurant), a petrol station, a deli, a Chinese takeaway and a small gift and flower shop.
According to the 2001 census, Fairlie counted 1,510 residents.
Fairlie House near Gatehead, Ayrshire in East Ayrshire was named after the Fairlie family of Fairlie; it previous name had been Little Dreghorn.