Walk 126 – Ayrshire Coastal Path: Ayr – Prestwick – Troon (9.6 miles)

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An easy walk starting at Seafield in Ayr and passing through Prestwick en route to Troon Marina. After the initial section through Ayr’s industrial backroads, you can enjoy sandy beaches and concrete promenades for the remainder of the route. Finish with the excitement of Troon’s cliff walk along the Ballast Bank. 

  Blackburn car park at Seafield, Ayr (KA7 4AD) and at Troon Yacht Marina. Bus and train services between Ayr and Troon.

route-image  Route: From the beachfront car park at Seafield, Ayr head north along the promenade for 1.5km. Shortly after passing the Horizon Hotel, look out for NCN7 cyclepath signage and follow this right (East) to emerge in front of the River Ayr on South Harbour Street. Turn right (South East) and walk along South Harbour Street for 370m. Turn left (North East) to cross the bridge and onto Main Street. After 300m, at a fork on Main Street next to National Tyres and Autocare, keep left to join Peebles Street. At the end of Peebles Street turn left (West) onto Waggon Road and take the first right (North) onto Glebe Road. Turn left (West) at the end of Glebe Road to follow the street to the railway bridge. Cross the bridge and and wind down Saltpans Road to Newton-on-Ayr promenade. Turn right (North) and walk along Newton-on-Ayr promenade then use the ramp to drop down onto the beach and continue on the sand until you reach a ramp up onto Prestwick promenade. This section is approx 1.8km. At the north end of Prestwick 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 (North West) to emerge next to the Pow Burn. Continue onto the sandy beach of Troon South Sands with the Pow Burn on your left. 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. Turn left (West) along the promenade for 400m and at a small car park continue ahead (West) to reach Titchfield Road. Walk along the pavement next to Titchfield Road to the base of a high grassy mound (the Ballast Bank). Here you can choose to either walk along the cliff path to the left (not recommended at high tide) or take the steps up onto the Ballast Bank. Both end at a car park 700m along. Walk through the car park then turn right (North East) to stay on the road. At the end of the road turn right again (South) onto the B749/Harbour Road. You will arrive at the entrance to Troon Yacht Marina approx 600m along on your left.

Ayr to Troon

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This is the section of the Ayrshire Coast that I am most familiar with; it is the one closest to where I live so I had been coming here my whole life.   For that reason it was the stretch I was least looking forward to when I set off on my 100 mile charity walk of the Ayrshire Coastal Path. Today was day three for me and would see me walk 25 miles between Ayr and Ardrossan, this 9 mile stretch being part one of that. Having walked the first half of the ACP alone (50 miles), I was delighted to have company today in the form of my mum and friend Helen. It was a particularly blustery day with some heavy rain at times and a fair bit of mileage along sandy beaches, so having people to share the experience with really made a huge difference to my morale.

If I am honest I didn’t particularly enjoy the section between the end of Ayr Promenade and the start of Newton-on-Ayr Promenade. It was very industrial with lots of traffic and noise. Not where I would normally choose to go for a walk. Having said that it is a relatively short section with few alternatives, otherwise I assume the ACP would not pass this way! Newton-on-Ayr was interesting! Not a place I had ever been before as far as I am aware, but somewhere I would consider coming back to with the kids. There was parking nearby and the beach looked very pleasant with sand and plenty of stones for them to throw in the water.  One thing that stood out though was the unnecessary number of bins along the promenade!! For such a quiet place it seemed a tad overkill! Perhaps it gets busy here on a hot day?!

The Lang Scots Mile signs in Ayr – until the 1700s, a Scottish mile was about 1814 meters, whilst in England a mile was only 1609 meters!
Newton-on-Ayr Promenade

Heading past Prestwick St. Nicholas Golf Course I kept a look out for my Uncle Rab who was out there somewhere enjoying a round! No sign of him when we passed though. It was on reaching Prestwick Prom that we were caught in the first heavy rain shower; the type of rain that really drenches you. My camera was stowed away in the rucksack, heads down and onwards we trooped.

I love the walk along the sand dunes between Prestwick and Troon.  The view from up there is beautiful. I equally love the cliff walk in Troon! It is a difficult choice between the cliffs or the grassy mound known as Ballast Bank; both offer equally exciting experiences: I love the cliffs because they are so dangerous! The path is very well made but a little uneven and sometimes the sea water can crash up onto it! On the other hand the views from Ballast Bank are simply spectacular on a clear day and towards the end of it you get a birds eye view into the sawmill, always popular with my kids!

View from the sand dunes between Prestwick and Troon
Prestwick International Airport seen from the sand dunes, Prestwick Golf Club in the foreground.
This is Troon South Sands – how beautiful is it!!? The firm sand also makes for easy walking, always welcome on a blustery spring morning. In our case it was a headwind which slowed us down a little and made the thighs work hard!
Looking back along the cliff path between Troon South Beach and the Sawmill. To the left is Ballast Bank, the top of which is where you would be walking if you had chosen to walk along the grassy mound instead.

If you like the sound of this but would prefer a loop, check out my Prestwick to Troon Sea & Golf walk

Go to: next section Troon to Irvine
Go to: previous section Dunure to Ayr
Go to: full Ayrshire Coastal Path review

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