Prestwick Holiday Park

KA9 1UH

www.prestwickholidaypark.co.uk/local-attractions.html

234417 E    627944 W

55.517090 Latitude   4.624126 Longitude

PLEASE be advised that the information provided should not be considered as part of a PACKAGE TRAVEL and LINKED TRAVEL ARRANGEMENT (Package Travel & Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018).  It is information only.  Any arrangement that you make based on information provided should not be considered as linked, or package travel. We do not have any elegance to anything referred to in the information.  We do not assume any liability in respect of the information provided.

Prestwick Holiday Park, Ayrshire, has good road, rail and other transport connections: –

Prestwick International Airport – 1.1 Km walk from KA9 1UH

Prestwick Airport Train Station – 1.1 Km walk to KA9 1UH

National Cycle Path Route 7 – adjacent to KA9 1UH

Ayrshire Coastal Walking Route 7 – adjacent to KA9 1UH

Town of Prestwick – walk 1.8 Km from KA9 1UH

Town of Troon – walk 3.5 Km from KA9 1UH

Calmac Ferry crossing points to the Islands: – www.calmac.co.uk  (also for Service Status update)

Isle of Arran: – ferry from mainland Ardrossan to Brodick, Isle of Arran

Kyle Peninsular: – ferry from Lochranza, Isle of Arran to Claonaig, Kyle Peninsular (back onto mainland)

Isle of Cumbrae: – ferry from mainland Largs to Millport, Isle of Cumbrae

Isle of Bute: – ferry from mainland Wemyss Bay to Rothesay, Isle of Bute

Other journeys: –

Prestwick Holiday Park to the Newcastle ferry, for ferry times see: – www.dfdsseaways.co.uk

National Cycle Network: –  www.sustrans.org.uk

‘Take the TARBERT to TARBERT track’

 Ayrshire is a gateway to the Southern Hebrides and the West of Scotland. Take life slowly and enjoy breath taking scenery of Ayrshire, Arran and the West Coast.  From Arran travel Tarbert to Tarbert!  (Arran to Tabert, Tarbert to Oban, Oban to Skye, Uig on Skye to Tarbert on Harris).

1/Arran Lochranza ferry port, to Claonaig ferry port, Kyle Peninsular (mainland)

2/ Then drive to small harbour village of Tarbert, guarded by its castle ruins. (Look out for Vikings and their boats in the harbour, during their festival!).

3/Then take the following route: –

Tarbert on The Kyle Peninsular (A816) to OBAN – Oban (A828) to GLANCOE – Glencoe (A82) to FORT WILLIAM – Fort William (A830) to GLENFINNAN MONUMENT – Glenfinnan (A830) to MALLAIG – Mallaig (ferry) to Armadale SKYE – Skye Uig (ferry) to Tarbert HARRIS

Ayrshire, Arran and the Southern Hebrides have a vast exciting heritage, history and archaeology to explore.  There are lots of outdoor pursuits to keep all enthralled.  Here are a few suggestions for a unique and memorable coastal and island experience.  Blonde sandy Beaches and sensational Seascapes: –

Ayrshire Castles & Heritage

Culzean Castle & Country Park, Maybole KA19 8LE.  Take the scenic coastal road south of Ayr, the Castle and Gardens are on a dramatic clifftop setting.  Visit the grand 18th century blonde sandstone building, designed by Architect Robert Adam.  Wander through the woodlands, stumble upon the swan pond.  Scramble down to the secluded beach and look out for seals resting on the rocks.  There is a formal walled garden with ‘romantic’ blonde sandstone gothic glass house and Ice House.  Listen for The Maybole Pipe band, who often practice under the battlements.  View the first ‘experiments’ in Gas storage for heating!   For the young ones, there is Pirate ‘Adventure Cove’ outdoor play park, quite amazing and will definitely tire them out.  Then try some refreshing ice cream.  Events and activities taking place each month!  www.culzean@nts.org.uk

Dunure Castle, Kennedy Park, Dunure KA7 4LW.  Ruined Castle on the headland of a rocky promontory, protecting the small deep harbour. Stunning views, great for a picnic and ice cream.  Also, a location shoot for the hit series OUTLANDER (Visit Scotland location No.36) Have lunch or a beer at the natural deep harbour! www.dunure.info/park

Dumfries House, Cumnock KA18 2NJ.  Home of the world’s most extensive collections of 18th century British furniture, much by Thomas Chippendale.  When the house and all its contents were put on the market, there was a risk that the furniture could have been sold abroad. Fortunately, this unique collection was ‘saved’ by Prince Charles, Duke of Rothesay, when he bought the estate with the intention to keep it intact.  Fabulous Tearoom, manned by local staff, interesting shop, relaxing walks, interesting maze and daily guided tours of the house.  Stair lift and wheelchairs, for use within the house.  There is an incredible interactive play area for kids to explore sound waves and the effect of gravity on sand and water.  Fantastic fun and will keep them amused for hours. www.dumfries-house.org.uk

— & Tamar Manoukian outdoor pool at New Cumnock KA18 4AH 0129033986 refurbished recently www.dumfries-house.org.uk/attractions/new-cumnock

 Portencross Castle, (Portincross) (Portincroce) KA23 9QA, 01294 823 799. Enigmatic fortification, standing at the location of a former Iron Age settlement (800BC-100BC) of Dun at Auldhame (Auldhill).   The Romans used the north side of the harbour, during their invasion and construction of the Antonine Wall (100BC). The Iron Age settlement, on this important promontory, was superseded by a ‘motte & bailey’ castle in Medieval times.  The lands were subsequently given in 1315 to Sir Robert Boyd of Kilmarnock, for his valiant effort at Bannockburn, by King Robert (The Bruce). (In this same year, 1315 King Robert held parliament in AYR).  Then in 1360 Sir Robert Boyd began to build the 13th century fort.  This Scheduled Ancient Monument is where the Kings of Scotland lay in state, before making their final journey to the holy island for burial, said to be Iona……(however, Holy Isle is just across the water, in the direction of sunset!)

Dundonald Castle, Dundonald, KA2 9HD. After 10 years of restoration, examine the origins of the Royal Stewart dynasty.  Marjorie Bruce, daughter of King Robert ‘The Bruce’ of Scotland, married Sir Walter Stewart of Dundonald Castle.  The descendants of their son King Robert the II of Scotland, would sit on the throne of England.  (King James the VI of Scotland & 1st of England would unify the two countries and created the Union Jack flag.  He was also responsible for the King James Bible, translating the bible from Latin, into a language that the people could understand).  Visitor centre, shop. www.dundonaldcastle.org.uk

Dean Castle, Kilmarnock KA23 1XB

Visit Scotland location 23 of the series OUTLANDER.

Kelburn Castle & Country Centre, Largs, KA29 0BE.  Ancient home of The Earl of Glasgow.  Waterfalls, gardens, ridding, falconry secret forest, café, adventure course and play barn www.kelburnestate.com

 Robert Burns Birthplace Museum, Alloway KA7 4PQ.    Have you ever sung the old folk song “Auld Lang Syne” at New Year?  It was written by Robert Burns in 1788.  It is in the Guinness Book of Records as one of the three most popular songs in English, along with “Happy Birthday” and “He’s a Jolly Good Fellow”. Visit the Poet’s childhood thatched Cottage home.  Walk across the famous, haunting, Brig o’ Doon, or around the eerie Auld Kirk graveyard, if you dare!  Not the place for the faint hearted, especially at Halloween! Visit the award-winning, interactive museum exhibition, restaurant, shop and outdoor play area.  To further your taste for Burns, also visit: – The Bachelor’s Club, Tarbolton (KA5 5RB); Burns House, Mauchline (KA5 5BZ); Souter Johnnie’s Cottage, Kirkoswald (KA19 8HY) www.nts.org.uk

Crossraguel Abbey, Maybole KA19 8HQ.  01655883113 Enigmatic but ruined during the Reformation.  This is a sister Abbey of Paisley Abbey.  One of the most complete medieval abbey complexes in Scotland, guarding some violent secret! www.historic-scotland.gov.uk/places

EAST AYRSHIRE

For what’s on in East Ayrshire see  www.eastayrshireleisure.com

ACROSS THE WATER

ISLE OF BUTE

Mount Stuart, PA20 9LR.  Scotland’s most luxurious house, the seat of the Stuart’s of Bute, not to be missed!!!! Mount Stuart is a spectacular Victorian Gothic architectural fantasy of the 3rd Marquess of Bute, designed by Sir Robert Rowand Anderson.  The house has an access ramp, portable seat, wheelchairs and a lift. This magnificent building is set in 300 acres of gardens and grounds waiting to be explored.  Adventure play area, contemporary and fine art, house tours, and a host of regular family friendly events and activities.  To get there, cross on the ferry from Wemyss Bay to the town of Rothesay (Isle of Bute).  This will take about 25 mins.  Book the house tour on arrival at the carpark (Open 10am to 6pm).  Browse in the gift shop, whilst you wait to be collected and driven through the grounds to the house.  At the end of your tour of the house, take time to have lunch, or a snack, in the ’Bute Kitchen’.  Sample the delicious light bites and home baking, which are lovingly prepared in-house, from the finest local produce.    If you have time before you head back to the mainland, wander through the ruins of Rothesay Castle PA20 0DA 01700502691. www.mountstuart.com  (To further explore the west coast of Scotland, you can re-join the mainland at the north of the island, by ferry to Colintraive and continue to Inveraray or Oban).

ISLE OF ARRAN

Look out over the bay and from KA9 1UH the skyline is dominated by the jagged summit of Goatfell.  The north end of Arran contains our oldest rocks, being 500 million years old. Much of the landscape that you see today, was formed 60 million years ago.  

Brodick Castle, Gardens & Goatfell Mountain www.nts.org.uk  Isle of Arran KA27 8HY. Take the earliest ferry from Ardrossan to Arran.  The crossing is 55 mins.  The breakfast on the ferry is very good, so make sure you have a full breakfast on board, if you intend to walk up Goatfell, you will certainly need it!  Don’t forget to look out over to the South of the bay, on a good day, you can see the curvature of the Earth as you cross, or perhaps Basking Sharks!

Brodick Castle is a magnificent Scottish baronial-style castle in a stunning setting, with impressive range of ornate furnished rooms, it’s well worth a visit.  The castle has a tearoom, and, in the grounds, you will find the Bavarian Summer House, built in 1845 decorated with cones, the shop, playground and picnic area.

To walk up Goatfell, start at the car park (NS012376) and follow the path, at 874 metres the mountain peak (KA27 8FD) is one of four Corbett’s on the island.  You will need sturdy boots and a few hours of determination to get to the top, allow 4 – 6 hours.  Dramatic and challenging landscape, the walker (10.5km/6.5miles) is rewarded with a spectacular view.

Alternatively, for ‘speed tourism’ take a drive, or cycle along the String Road, the landscape truly is Scotland in miniature, with Red deer on the hills and waterfalls.  Don’t forget to ty out the crazy ‘Mini Golf’ at Brodick, great fun for all the family, everyone must take part.  Once you have a winner, reward all players with Arran Dairies Ice Cream.

The island hosts the Isle of Arran Mountain Festival usually in May, a four-day event of guided walks and scrambling over hills and mountains, from coastline to granite ridges. Scottish hill walking at its best!  www.arranmountainfestival.co.uk

Lochranza Castle & Whisky Distillery, KA27 8HJ, Isle of Arran.  Discover the ruins of the 16th century tower house and uncover its 13th century origins.  Look out for seals!  Enjoy a wee dram of “uisge beatha” at the Isle of Arran Distillery and whisky visitor’s centre.  Excellent guided tours, exhibition, shop and tearoom. www.arranwhisky.com  (A ‘must see’ before departing Arran on the Lochranza to Claonaig ferry, if heading for the Kyle Peninsular, or Tabet)

Machrie Moor, near Blackwaterfoot, Isle of Arran KA27 8DT.  The prehistoric Stone Circle at Machrie Moor is one of the most important Neolithic sites of its kind in Britain. Prehistoric standing stones and circle, burial cairns and cists, spanning the Neolithic to the early Bronze Age, can be found all over this area. An interesting walk!  But why stop there!  The King’s Cave is close by.  www.undiscoveredscotland.co.uk/arran/machriemoor

King’s Cave, near Blackwaterfoot, Isle of Arran KA27 8DT. “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try and try again!”. Have you ever wondered where this phrase came from?  It is said that Robert the Bruce, King of Scotland (1306-1329) sat and watched a spider try three times to spin a web in this cave.  Having sat and watched the endeavours of this little spider, it is said, that the King decided to try and fight again.  Try he did and win he did. At the Battle of Bannockburn (1314), outnumbered 10 to 1, he finally won. (another reported location of the cave is on Rathlin Island, owned by his mother’s family).

To get to the King’s Cave, walk from the car park turn right through the forest trail, pass burial cairns and cists.  Take a moment to look north, when you are at the highest point and take in the vast views of the Kyles of Bute.  Scramble over rocky beach and headland to the King’s Caves.  To the south, is a Bronze Age Hill Fort DRUMADOON, marvel at the stunning views.   The peninsular to the west is Kintyre, made famous by a Beatle, singing about “the mist rolling in from the sea”. www.welcometoscotland.com/things-to-do/walking/arran

HOLY ISLE

Holy Isle, in the Firth of Clyde, just in front of and dwarfed by the Isle of Arran.  It is a Centre for World Peace and a Buddhist Retreat. Cross to Holy Isle from Arran, book ahead.  It has lovely walks, tranquil, peaceful, good for perspective, but you cannot stay on the island.  To climb the mountain will take you 3 hours. -The island has an ancient spiritual history due to a natural spring.  The earliest name of the island was INIS SHROIN, the Island of the Water Spirit in Gaelic.  In the 6th Century a monk Saint Molaise, lived the life of a hermit, in a cave on the island.  The Island was later also known as Eilean Molaise (Island of Molaise).

—–If you are heading North from Ayrshire to Skye, stop at Eilean Donan Castle.  Eilean Donan Castle, at the Dornie, Kyle of Lochalsh, IV40 8DX, (on the way to Skye).   The current Castle is from the 13th Century, but it is built on an earlier site.  The island is where a Pictish queen martyred the 6th century Irish saint Donan.  (Donnas in Irish means “World mighty”.  The saint, Bishop Donan of Eigg, came to Scotland in 580AD, and attempted to introduce Christianity to the Picts. He was martyred at Eilean Donan by a Queen of the Picts, 17/04/617 and his remains were gathered and placed on Holy Isle.) —- Take a moment to marvel at the ability of these early Christian Monks to navigate our waters.

LADY ISLE

Look out at sunset over the bay form KA9 1UH.  The light house on Lady Isle will be one of the first that you see.  Guarding the jagged rocks and warning sailors.

DUMBARTON

Dumbarton Castle, Dumbarton Rock, G82 1JJ 01389 732 167.   William Wallace was held here before departing for trail at the court of Edward the 1st of England.  Open all year  www.historicenvironment.scot/daysout

The Scottish Submarine Museum  West King Street, Helensburgh G84 8TR  01436 645 006  open 10-1 and 2-4pm Tuesday to Sunday.   6 man submarines.

Martyrs, Myths & Monarchs

King Robert ‘The Bruce’ of Scotland: At St. Ninians’s Episcopal Chapel, at Maryborough Road in Prestwick, KA9 1SD, you will find an ancient spring and some ruins.  You can walk from KA9 1UH, along the beach (Ayrshire Coastal Walking Route 7) to Prestwick Toll.  Turning towards land, at the slipway at Maryborough Road, pass St Nicholas Place on your left.  A bit further up on your right you will find Bruce’s Well.  A frequent ‘watering hole’ of antiquity.  It is said that these waters cured leprosy.  You will find some remains of a Lazar (leper) Hospital, erected here, so that the sick could to take advantage of the ‘holy’ waters.  Should you be in need of refreshment, before heading back to KA9 1UH, turn left on the main road, toward Prestwick.  Along the Main Street, you will discover a plethora of the modern equivalent!!!  Prestwick benefits from lots of bars and restaurants.

Robert the Bruce defeated Edward II of England, at Bannockburn on 24/06/1314, with the help of the men of Kintyre and the Isles of Argyll.  He was born ‘Earl of Carrick’ on 11/07/1274 and brought up at Turnberry Castle, (now at Turnberry Golf Course).  His mother Marjorie, Countess of Carrick’s ancestral home was on Rathlin Isle, Irish territory, but their ancestors were from Norway (Lion Rampant).  Rathlin is ‘just across the water’ and can sometimes be seen on a clear day.  The Bruce was crowned on 25/03/1306 at Scone Palace and died on 07/06/1329 aged 54.  He is buried with the other Scottish Kings at Dunfermline Abbey, but his heart is buried at Melrose Abbey.  “If at first you don’t succeed try and try and try again’”– (also see King’s cave, at Drumadoon, Isle of Arran.)

Other battles: Battle of Strath-Fillan 1306 (lost); Battle of Mathven (Methven) & Dalry 1314 (lost); Battle of Bannockburn 1314 (won, outnumbered 10 to 1)

William Wallace: Blind Harry’s epic poem, written by Robert Burns, recants a local oral tradition.  It is said that Sir William Wallace rested and prayed at the 13th century Monkton Parish Church, which was dedicated to St. Cuthbert.  He fell asleep and dreamt an inspirational dream: “To free the Scots from the torment of the English King, Edward the 1st” also known as “the hammer of The Scots” or ‘Long Shanks’.   It is also said, that William Wallace burnt the barracks of the English garrison at Ayr Harbour.  After having set the barracks alight, he scrambled up to a safe vantage point, where the Barnweil Monument is visible on the skyline as you travel on the A77.  He stopped here, pausing to look back and watched his handy work (‘Burn well’).  Another local legend has it, that he left his heel print at the side of the River Ayr, as he drank from a natural fresh water spring at Wallace’s Heel.  To discover Wallace’s Heel, take a leisurely walk along the meandering River Ayr.  It’s on the right-hand side of the river, close to Holmston Road.

Saint Nicholas: The Burgh of Prestwick was established in 983 and grew up around the Old Church of St. Nicholas, which is at Kirk Street in Prestwick.  It’s a spooky place at night but has interesting head stones!  Look out for the ‘scull n cross bones’.  The church was erected on an earlier site of Christian arrivals.  Priest-wick meaning town of priests. Monk-ton, being the town of Monks.  Monkton is the location of an earlier spiritual site, the old church of Monkton, being positioned close to the ancient HEIR STANE.  In 1862 the church at Monkton and Prestwick had a new minister, the Rev. Thomas BURNS, the nephew of our famous bard.  The memory of the saints who were here are preserved in the names of our golf clubs, churches and street in the area: St. Nicholas; St. Ninians (died 1329 and his shrine is at Whithorn Priory, (established 900BC)); St. Cuthbert; St. Quivox (Kevok).

Prestwick Historical Group

Meets at the 65 Club Hall, Main Street Prestwick, at 7.30pm on the first Thursday of the month.

Ancestral Tourism

Carnegie Library in Ayr has become a Visit Scotland Information Partner (VIP) and has information on attractions and activities in the area.  It’s also good place to start if you a tracing your ancestors or have an interest in the local history of the area.  The Local History Department is on the first floor of the building.  There is a lift to the department and a disabled ramp at the rear of the library. Carnegie Library, 12 Main Street, Ayr KA8 8EB 01292 272231 www.south-ayrshire.gov.uk

ACTIVITIES

Enjoy an active outdoor lifestyle in Ayrshire.  Go sea kayaking, kite surfing, sailing, wind surfing, fishing, play golf, get on your bike, or just grab a pair of boots and get outside.

Walking Route 7 Glenapp to Ardrossan and Arran Ayr to Troon Harbour.  Follow the Ayrshire coast walking Route 7, from Glenapp in the Boarders up to Skelmorlie.  Continue by taking a ferry from Ardrossan to the Isle of Arran, or Bute.  It is possible to re-join the mainland from both of these islands. (ARRAN, Lochranza to Claonaig. BUTE, Colintraive to Dunoon.   Enjoy the explosive Ayrshire Sunsets, scrambling over rocks and blonde Ayrshire beaches. The section of the route Ayr to Troon Harbour passes Prestwick Holiday Park, KA9 1UH.  You could make The Park your base and walk sections of this route and take ferry crossings to the Islands. www.ayrshirecoastalpath.org

Fishing   The waters at Prestwick are good for fishing.  There also various fisheries locally. www.coylewaterfishery.co.uk Coyle Water Fishery, Coylton KA6 6LZ. Two fully stocked Lochs.  Family friendly fishing.  The Smoke House and The Waterfront coffee shop. Tel. 01292 571490. Springwater Fishery -Dalrymple KA6 6AW Tel. 01292 560343 www.ayrshirecoarsefishing.org

Annual Events

For up to date annual events please see www.whatsonayrshire.com

Vikingar!!!  Largs Viking Festival celebrating the battle of Largs, defeating a Norwegian expedition in 2/10/1263. An exciting re-enactment of the sea battle, with Long Boats, Viking village and trades. This year, the festival will be held from August to September, with a packed program of events. www.largsvikingfestival.org  (The visitor centre is open all year – 01475689777)

Largs Regatta – the regatta week will be held at Troon Yacht Haven. There will be yachts, keelboats and dinghy racing in August   www.yachthavens.com/largs

Outdoor Bowling Championship – Northfield Bowling Championships, Hunters Avenue, AYR KA8 9AL.  This major, outdoor, bowling championship on the Lawns calendar, is held annually at Ayr and it will take place in July.  Gates open 10 am at The Northfield Bowling Complex. www.bowlsscotland.com

The Scottish International Air Show – Prestwick Airport, Prestwick, KA9 2QH.  Prestwick Airport hosts an annual   Air Show, usually in September.  The flights take place over the bay and can be viewed from The Park.  Activities for this event are held at ‘The Low Green’ Ayr Seafront.  Large selection of Aircraft past and present, including B25, Mustang, RAF Typhoon, LED planes, AROSPARK, fireworks and The Red Arrows.  Fairground, food and Classic Cars. www.military-airshows.co.uk/ven29.htm

Horse Racing – Ayr Racecourse, Whitletts Road, Ayr KA8 0JE.  Scotland’s only grade 1 track with Flat racing and National Hunt racing since 1907.  A large calendar of fixture for all the family. www.ayr-racecourse.co.uk

Boswell Book Festival – the World’s only festival of Biography & Memoirs. www.boswellbookfestival.co.uk

Ayrshire Agricultural Association County Show in May.  Ayr Racecourse, KA8 0JE, Ayr. The Ayr County Show has earned its place as a ‘must do’ event on the calendars of both the farming community and families looking for a good value day out.

Burn’s Festival – family fun day in May, with food and drink, free entry, Rozelle Park, KA7 4Q

ART

The Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum, Argyle Street, Glasgow G3 8AG 0141 276 9599 www.glasgowmuseums.com

A great day out for all of the family and its free.  Have lunch on the ground floor after having viewed the lower gallery.  Then  take to the second floor. A great thing to do on a wet day. Paintings by Salvador Dali, Claude Monet and the Glasgow Boys, Egyptian tombs and creatures great and small.

MUSIC

DUNURE FESTIVAL OF THE SEA

Beer, fish and chips, live music, diving off of the pier

Live@Troon Festival www.liveattroon.com

16th to the 18th of August 2019, Fringe Festival taking place at various venues in Troon.  Mini’s Festival for under 18’s at Reception Room of Troon Concert Hall.

Friday 13th of September to Sunday 15th of September 2019, the 100’th Anniversary of this festival.  At the Troon Concert Hall for over 18’s.  Tickets from £20.60, to £55.25 for the full weekend.

Prestfest Prestwick (see face book)

Musical Mayhem in first weekend in August, at  various venues in Prestwick such as: –

THE RED LOIN        THE CENTRAL BAR                  THE GOLF INN       THE BUF

Golf

Ayrshire is the birth place of The Open Golf Championship.  The inaugural tournament was held at Prestwick in 1860 and was the result of a discussion in a local pub ‘The Red Lion’.  Prestwick Holiday Park is set between two championship Golf Courses – Royal Troon and Old Prestwick.  Troon Golf Club was founded in 1878, with the original links comprising of 5 holes.  The course was extended to 12 in 1883 and to 18 holes, by Willie Fernie in 1888.  The Open Championship was first held at Troon in 1923, then 1950, 1962, 1973, 1982, 1989, 1997, and 2004.  The last OPEN was held at Royal Troon in 2016.  The world-famous par 3,  ‘Postage Stamp’ is the shortest hole on the open rota, it was created in 1909, whilst the 6th is the longest.  The Club received the Royal Charter in 1978, its centenary year.  The Ladies OPEN Championship will be held at Troon in August 2020.

Local courses are:

Old Prestwick (KA9 1QG); Royal Troon (KA10 6EP); Troon St Meddans (KA10 6NF); Dundonald Links (KA11 5BF); Turnberry (KA26 9LT); St. Nicholas (KA9 1SN); St Cuthbert’s (KA9 2SX); Bellisle (KA7 4DU); Auchincruive complex (KA20 3HU); Dalmilling (KA8 0QY); Gailes (KA11 5AE); Irvine (KA12 8SN); Rowallan Castle (KA3 2LP)

bookings@royaltroon.com    01292 311 555

reservations@dundonaldlinks.com  01294 314000

Cycling

The National Cycle Path, Route 7 runs across the entrance to Prestwick Holiday Park, KA9 1H, parallel to the A79.   For details see Ayrshire, Lanark & Isle of Arran cycleway. www.sustrans.org.uk/map/cycle-routes.  The cycle path to Troon and Irvine is a safe route for cyclists and parents with young children.  It is an easy tarmac route and mostly traffic free.  Take your first adventure to Troon have an ice cream and return, or carry on as far as Irvine, getting the train back to Prestwick Airport, or continue on 19 miles of the Ayrshire coast.  The small Island of Cumbrae is very safe to cycle, since there are very few cars on the island, it is tarmac, flat and family friendly.  In the town of Millport, kids can hire bikes from Mapes www.mapesmillport.co.uk  and cycle safely around the Island in an afternoon.  The ferry crossing is from Largs and takes 11 minutes, a wee adventure!  On the way back, take time to have dinner at Nardini’s in Largs, www.nardinis.co.uk This is Scotland’s most famous ice cream parlour and originally opened in 1935.  A good day out and you will have very happy children.

Experienced cyclists should make use of the undulating tarmac of the Ayrshire countryside, following the route laid out by the British Road Cycling in 2016.  To extend your adventure, take a trip across the water to the Isle of Arran, pedal hard!

Not had enough yet?  Cross over to the Kintyre Peninsular, from Lochranza, Isle of Arran, about 20 min in the ferry.  If you still feel the need to head west, take the ferry from Tayinloan, Argyll to the small Isle of Gigha.  It’s only seven miles long with easy cycling, makes it great for kids.  With the beautiful twin beaches, sand like white sugar and standing stones. (Breakfast at Big Jessie’s Tearoom at the ferry port, PA29 6XQ).  End your day with excellent seafood at Ardminish Bay www.boathouseongigha.com   Relax and unwind to the sound of the water lapping at the rocks, before heading back to the mainland on the ferry.

Ayrshire is good for the SOUL

The West of Scotland is painted with vibrant, breath taking colour as the Sun goes down.  Then just when you catch your breath, the stars come out!

Stargazing

The Sky at Night from KA9 1UH.  If you are into ASTRO TOURISM, October is the month for ‘Starry, Starry Nights’ – Ponder Man’s insignificance in the vastness of the Cosmos, stare at the Moon, or gaze at distant galaxies.   Prestwick Airport is in the shadow of Goatfell and has never been affected by sea fog, it rarely has ice on the runway and receives very little snow. It’s the only airport in the country with a record like this.  Additionally, Prestwick Holiday Park, KA9 1UH, is also protected from many of these weather events.  The Vikings gave the port of AYR its name and ‘AYR’ means clear skies.  The Park, benefiting from having few neighbours, offers reasonably ‘dark skies.  Of course, in Scotland you cannot guarantee the weather, but Scotland has some of the darkest skies in Europe and at the KA9 1UH location, you can see all 360 degrees of the night sky.  With upwards of 400 billion stars and a super massive black hole, the night sky is amazing! For beginners see  www.astronomyfrobeginners.com For more serious Star Gazing, head for The Scottish Dark Sky Observatory at Craigengillan, Dalmellington, KA6 7PZ.  Set within a rare ‘Gold Tier’ Dark Sky Park, roll off roof observatory, dome-housed telescope, viewing deck and activity room. www.scottishdarkskyobservatory.co.uk

Wildlife

Prestwick Holiday Park is in a Green Zone area, on the edge of a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

Red mullet shoal is often seen under the bridge to the west of Prestwick Holiday Park, KA9 1UH in the Pow Burn.  Flounders, Razor Clams and Crabs at the beach.  Scottish black honey bees, buzz in the ivy covering the walls of the garden, surrounding St. Andrew’s House, KA9 1UH.  Bunnies frolic at dusk. Crickets sing and butterflies flutter in the long grasses as you walk to the beach.  For the bird watcher, we have our resident swans, pheasants, curlew, Pied Wagtails, Magpies, Waders, Turns and Robins. If you are an early riser, occasional Roe Dear in the early morning. For more information on bird watching see  www.ayrshire-birding.org.uk  Pow Burn, Prestwick:- Mute Swan, Eurasian Wigeon, Eurasian Teal, Greater Scaup, Little Grebe, Ringed Plover, Dunlin, Bar-tailed Godwit, Whimbrel, Common Sandpiper, Arctic Skua, Mediterranean Gull, Short-eared Owl, Common Kingfisher, Skylark, Barn Swallow, Pied Wagtail, Stonechat, Common Grasshopper Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Garden Warbler, Common Whitethroat, European Goldfinch, Yellowhammer.

Kids

Beach Fun – Windsurfing & Body Boarding. With the benefit of The Gulf Stream, the waters are slightly warmer than you would normally find at this latitude.  Water quality at Prestwick and South Troon is three stars. Good waves at Barassie Beach are great for Wind Surfers.  In the bay of Prestwick, Prestwick Sailing Club is for all ages and it’s a good location for Kite Surfing.  Body-boarding is for the kids at the wide, blonde, sandy beach at Prestwick, a short walk from Prestwick Holiday Park. If you bring a wet suit this makes this an all-weather sport!  You can spend hours building Sand Castles, or ‘digging to Australia’.  Catch flounders, minnows and crabs in the small stranded pools when the tide goes out is great fun too!  The sand dunes are a perfect place to ‘coorie in’ and have a picnic, lose time and unwind.

Scottish Maritime Museum, Harbour Road, Irvine KA12 8BT. Home to Scotland’s national maritime collection. This award-winning Museum tells the story of the inventors, craftsmen and explorers, who helped shape shipbuilding across the world.  Get hands on with history with interactive exhibits and step back in time in the 1920s shipyard worker’s tenement flat.  Puffers Café has stunning views over the river Irvine estuary.  Take time to browse around the maritime themed gifts in the Boat shop.  It’s a great day out, with so much to do. www.scottishmaritimemuseum.org

Sailing & Wind Surfing  www.prestwicksailingclub.co.uk Book a week sailing for beginners at Prestwick Sailing Club, 31 Grangemuir Road, Prestwick KA9 1SN.

Skate Boarding, BMX & Scooter – Shred, Ayr KA8 9SN. Ayrshire’s only indoor skate park.  All ages and skill levels welcome.  Great indoor activity for energetic boys and girls.  Equipment can be hired.  Mini Shredders for under 12’s every Sunday 11am – 12noon, builds confidence.  For Skateboard Priority Thursday6-10, or Scooters Priority Monday’s 6-10.  View their videos on line, to be inspired! www.shredskatepark.co.uk

Paint Balling – Scottish Paintball Centre, Rowallan, Kilmaurs Road, Kilmarnock, KA3 6AY. 50 acres of mixed woodland for the paint ball enthusiast. www.welcometoscotland.com/things-to-do/activities/scottish-paintball-centre

Ayrshire Segway & Hovercraft Adventure – KA18 2LR.  Segway adrenaline rush for all the family.  Mini Highland Games, hovercraft and laser clays. www.ayrshiresegway.co.uk

KIDZ Play – Links Road, Prestwick Ka9 1QG.  Seaside themed indoor play park on Prestwick beach front. Café. Open 9am to 6 pm. www.kidz-play.co.uk

Heads of Ayr Farm Park – Dunure Road, Alloway by Ayr, KA7 4LD.  Outdoor and indoor play areas, quad bikes, trampolines, air pillows, café and picnic area. Critters, reptiles, primates and mammals, large and small. Open 10am to 5 pm. www.headsofayrfarmpark.co.uk

Best outdoor Play Parks for Kids in Ayrshire: –

Ayr Beach Front then got to www.renaldosayr.co.uk for the best ice cream

Culzean Country Park, ‘Pirates Cove’ Woodland Play Park

Dumfries House, outdoor play park and engineering water features, parents reward yourself with a coffee and a cake in the court yard.

Bring your K9 to KA9 1UH

Our post code KA9 is perfect for your pooch. Dogs on leads are most welcome and must be exercised off The Park.  We have 13 acres and are situated between Royal Troon and Old Prestwick Golf Courses.  With access to the blonde, sandy beaches of Troon and Prestwick, at the mouth of the Pow Burn.  A walk to Troon from The Park is an hour of long blonde, wide sandy beach.  Amazing view over to Goatfell and incredibly beautiful Ayrshire sunsets in the evening.  Being north, the sun sets a bit later, with longer hours of daylight in the summer. www.walkiees.co.uk  search walks in Ayrshire, Pow Burn to Troon, or Prestwick, simply Paw-some!

The Pub, KA9 1UH

All welcome: – The fire is on, the beer is cold, the Wi-Fi is free, the cocktails are good, and food available

An excellent watering hole, right next to the famous ‘Postage Stamp’, the 9th hole of Royal Troon Golf Course and ‘The Monk’.  The very cheerful Charles McGuire, the licence holder of The Pub, hosts a variety of acts thorough out the calendar, on Friday and Saturday nights.   BINGO on Friday nights (7-8pm), Saturday nights (7-8pm), and Sundays (4-5pm).

The pub was the ‘dance hall’ of St. Andrew’s House, KA9 1UH and is hewn from the same red sandstone.  With sprung flooring, the ‘dance hall’ is very comfortable under foot, whilst the domed ceiling allows for excellent acoustics to support ‘every voice’.  So, do not be afraid to try out the karaoke!  After a few of Charles’s cocktails, we feel sure that you will sound amazing!   Free WI FI, Sport on the multi-screen television and coal fire blazing.

AYRSHIRE FOOD

Ayrshire is home to one of Scotland’s most diverse larders and has a rich history in dairy farming.  From the world famous ‘Ayrshire Tatties’, to the finest farmed beef and lamb, fresh seafood, cheeses and other dairy products, at let’s not forget the distilleries.  Since the 1800s Ardrossan, Troon and Saltcoats exported herring, salmon, cod and skate all over Europe and langoustine caught in Ayrshire are served in the top restaurants of Paris and Milan (two thirds of the world’s langoustine are found in the Firth of Clyde).

We have everything that you need to create some amazing recipes.  Some of our local producers have been taking these ingredients and creating something amazing.  Renaldo’s in Ayr has been making and serving old-fashioned ice cream, since 1920, their traditional recipe is truly delicious, although it is made with full-fat cream, it has less than 3% fat and is gluten free – Irresistible!!  Dalduff Steak Pies, mouth-watering, perfect for after a long Sunday afternoon walk!!

DIARY DATES (working on)

Marymass festival – August

Cumbrae Music Festival -September

 

BESTS of the REST (working on)

Eilean Donan Castle, Kyle of Lochalsh on the way to Skye

Crannog Centre, Kenmore, by Aberfeldy, PH15 2HY (Loch Tay) www.crannog.co.uk

Landmark Forest Adventure Park, Carrbridge PH23 3AJ www.landmarkpark.co.uk

Scotland’s Secret Bunker KA16 8QH – Fife

EDINBURGH Castle – (Dun Eideann)

Arthur’s Seat

Camera Obscura, Castlehill, The Royal Mile, Edinburgh EH1 2ND 01312263709 www.camera-obscura.co.uk

Standing Stones of Stenness – the oldest stone circle

 

EATING OUT IN SCOTLAND (working on)

AYRSHIRE, KA1 5QB    www.thewheatsheafsymington.co.uk

KA9 6EY    www.hollybushinn-ayrshire.co.uk

KA7 2ST    www.abbotsfordhotel.co.uk

Isle of Arran, KA27 8AJ     www.croftersmusicbar.com

KA27 8AW   www.thedouglashotel.co.uk

KA27 8EU  www.blackgrousearran@gmail.com

Isle of Gigha www.boathouseongigha.com

GLASGOW, G2 1HE     www.osolemio-glasgow.com

CAIRNGORMS & HIGHLANDS

PH24 3BN Anderson’s Restaurant, Boat of Garten   www.andersonsrestaurant.co.uk

IV3 5JN The Waterfront Bar and Restaurant, Inverness www.thewaterfrontinverness.co.uk

Culloden, Culloden Moor Inverness IV2 5EU 01463 796090 www.facebook.com/cullodenbattlefield

The National Trust for Scotland