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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)
Parking available at Prestwick sea front – next to KidzPlay (KA9 1QG). Train services between Prestwick and Troon
Download the route to your mobile phone HERE (Viewranger app required)
Route: From the car park in front of KidzPlay, head over to the promenade. Pass the Kidzplay building keeping it on your right-hand side. Make your way down onto the sandy beach and walk along for just over 1km. Look out for an Ayrshire Coastal Path marker post on the sand dunes to your right. Turn right (East) here to go over the sand dunes and onto a sandy footpath along the edge of the golf course. There should be a fenceline on your right-hand side. After crossing the Pow Burn via a footbridge, keep left. You will reach a gate with a kissing gate at each side of it. Go through the kissing gate on the left then turn left (West) to walk along a surfaced track just outside Prestwick Holiday Park. The path soon narrows and becomes sandy, bending to the left (West) to emerge next to the Pow Burn. Continue onto the sandy beach of Troon South Sands. Walk North along the beach for approx 3km, heading up onto the promenade at any of the ramps to arrive in front of Troon South Beach play area and Kiosk/toilets. Turn right (South East) to walk along the promenade and take the first turn on your left onto Victoria Drive (North East). Go straight on at a crossroads to continue along Victoria Drive. After passing beneath the railway bridge, at the end of the street turn right (South East) onto Golf Crescent. At the end of Golf Crescent turn left (North East) onto Willockston Road until you reach a crossroads. Turn right here (South) and head along the cycle path taking in the views of the golf courses along the way! After 1.8km you will come to a bridge over the railway tracks. Use the ramp to go up onto the bridge, leading to Royal Troon Golf course. Cross the golf course heading South West to reach the beach. You will emerge at a wooden marker post indicating that you are on part of the ‘Smugglers Trail‘. Head down onto the beach and turn left (South East) to re-trace your steps from here back to the car park via the Pow Burn, Prestwick Holiday Park, the sandy path along the edge of the golf course and finally coming onto the beach at the Ayrshire Coastal Path marker post. The car park in front of KidzPlay is approx 3.3km from the Smuggler’s Trail marker post.
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.