This route follows the Ayrshire Coastal Track between Prestwick and Troon, running alongside both Prestwick and Royal Troon Golf courses. The return leg forms a semi-loop by joining the NCN7 cycle track and then the Smuggler’s Trail across Royal Troon Golf Course. Enjoy the stunning views out across the Firth of Clyde!
Dog-friendly walk (I would suggest returning to Prestwick via the same route rather than completing the loop – this means almost the entire walk will be along sandy beaches)
Download the route to your mobile phone HERE (Viewranger app required)
Parking available at Prestwick sea front – next to KidzPlay (KA9 1QG)
Route: This walk starts from behind the KidzPlay building and rather than being on the beach itself, it follows a track along the grassy embankment. When you reach the end of Prestwick Golf course turn right down to a bridge across an inlet and then left through a kissing gate towards the caravan park. A small path leads you along the outside of the caravan park and onto a lovely white sandy beach. Walk along the beach for a short distance, looking out for a tall wooden way marker on the right in the sand dunes. Here you come off the beach and follow a small grassy track along to the left alongside Royal Troon Golf course. The grassy track eventually leads you down onto the beach again and from here you can choose either to stay on the sand until you reach Troon, or you can come off and walk along the cycle track on South Beach. I did a bit of both! Once off the beach follow the signs for the train station and the #7 cycle route. At the railway bridge, turn right along Golf Crescent and then left along Willockston Road until you reach a crossroads. As directed by the signs, turn right here and head along the cycle path taking in the views of the golf courses along the way! The track starts to run alongside the Prestwick-Troon train line and you will come to a bridge over the tracks which allows you to cross Royal Troon Golf course. On crossing the golf course you will find yourself back at the wooden way marker indicating that you are on part of the ‘Smugglers Trail‘. Head down onto the beach and re-trace your steps from here back to the car park, enjoying the views out across the Firth of Clyde as you walk.
WALK REVIEW: 17th March 2016
A child-free day and so many walks to choose from!! No time restrictions and no need for buggies! I picked a route I had never tried before, surprising considering the number of times I have been to Prestwick. If you like golf, you will love this walk: it passes alongside both Prestwick and Royal Troon Golf courses, even crossing Royal Troon on the return leg. If you aren’t so keen on golf you will still love the walk for it’s views out across the Firth of Clyde 🙂
There is something to be said for walking alone: I like to call it ‘thinking time’, and as today progressed a couple of things were mulling around in my head….
There was a lot of litter lying around the beach and sand dunes. Most likely debris washed up during the recent storms. I couldn’t help but wonder if the council employs people to clear up or if there are private companies who do so? Perhaps only on the most populated stretches of beach? I realise it would be an endless job, with new debris being washed ashore with each tide. But what if there were teams of people on all beaches in Scotland whose job it was to keep the area litter-free, wouldn’t that make a difference? I would be interested in volunteering to do this work a couple of times a month if I knew that there were others happy to do the same. I would love to see a team of us covering the whole of Ayrshire working to keep the area clean. We should be proud of the beautiful coastline we have here in Ayrshire and do all we can to preserve it. Just a thought…. 🙂
During my walk I met a chatty, cheery man out walking 4 large dogs. I assumed they belonged to him because they seemed extremely protective over him (2 of them didn’t seem very sure of me and made sure I kept my distance from the man, either that or they thought I had some treats for them) It turns out that he runs a local dog-walking company. What struck me was this: it was obvious that he was in his element down here with the dogs, rarely have I come across someone who looked happier than this man did – isn’t it amazing that he is able to earn an income by turning 2 of his passions into a business! I don’t own a dog, nor am I really a ‘dog person’, but this guy’s cheery demeanor actually made me come home and look up his company to find out more about them. Based on that one interaction, I wouldn’t hesitate to use their services if I was a dog owner! This is exactly what I want to achieve in life – to earn a living doing something that makes me THAT happy! Imagine if everyone loved their work this much…. I only met him for a few minutes, but he really inspired me.
This is the crossroads you come to after following the signs for the cycle track in Troon – my route turns right here.