TroonGlasgow, in the South West region of Scotland. It's one of the closest beach resorts to the Glasgow conurbation, so on fine summer weekends it draws crowds, and another major attraction is golf, especially the Royal Troon Golf Club which often hosts the Open. Troon is also a major centre for yachting, and Dundonald Castle stands nearby. Troon is also a transport hub and base for exploring the rest of Ayrshire, including the Clyde islands as it’s close to the ferry ports of Ardrossan (for Arran) and Largs (for Cumbrae).
By plane: The best local airport is Glasgow GLA, with flights within UK, across Europe, and to Canada; places beyond (eg USA and Asia) are better served from Manchester MAN and London Heathrow LHR. To reach GLA, travel via central Glasgow. The other airport, Prestwick PIK, is much closer but only has budget flights to the Med, so few visitors arrive this way.
By train: Trains run from Glasgow Central every 30 minutes daily, taking 40-50 mins, and continue south to Ayr (11-15 mins).
By bus: There are frequent Stagecoach buses from Glasgow, but usually involving a change and taking 90 mins: the X77 changing at Prestwick for the 14, the X76 changing at Kilmarnock for the 10, or the X44 changing at Irvine for the 14.
From Ireland, get off the bus at Ayr and change to local transport.
By car: From Glasgow and east / central Scotland follow M/A77 to Hurlford roundabout just outside Kilmarnock, then follow A71 and A759 into Troon. From England head for Carlisle, then A75 to Dumfries, A76 to Hurlford roundabout then as above.
By boat: Troon is near the ferry ports for Arran and Cumbrae. There used to be a P&O ferry between Troon and Larne in Northern Ireland, but this ended in 2016 – sail via Cairnryan instead.
With your own boat, sail in to Troon Yacht Haven, sheltered and accessible at all tides. Call 01292 315553 to book your berth or check in via www.yachthavens.com/troon
The town is compact and can easily be explored on foot. The 14 bus (every 30 mins) passes through Troon north to Irvine and south via Royal Troon Golf Club and Prestwick Airport to Ayr; change there for buses to the Burns Heritage Centre at Alloway.
- See the beaches, with grand views over the Firth of Clyde, and the harbour. South Beach (ie south of the harbour) is the more sheltered, and has always been the main visitors' beach. Barassie or North Beach is breezy and exposed. Further out, the sand dunes north and south of town are designated SSSIs: Sites of Special Scientific Interest.
phone: +44 1563 851489address: Dundonald KA2 9HDThere’s probably been a fortification here since the Stone Age, but the present structure was built by Robert Stewart around 1371 when he became King Robert II. So it’s over 600 years old and looks it: basically just a masonry shell, and an hour here will be plenty. The castle has the usual hoaky legends of buried gold, secret tunnels and the inevitable ghost: Jules Verne added to these by setting part of his novel “The Underground City” here.
Royal Troon Golf CourseTwo famous 18-hole golf courses, the Old Course and the Portland, and the 9-hole Craigend. The Old Course is used for the PGA Open Championship and is machair ie sandy links near the sea-shore. As a private club, the members have wide discretion over who they do & don’t admit, and until 2016 they didn’t allow women full membership. They risked losing their PGA tour status over this, so they changed the rules and hosted the Open that year.
- Open Links of Ayrshire is a combi-package with Royal Troon, Prestwick Old Course and Trump Turnberry south of Ayr. Reckon £2000 for a couple playing all three, plus accommodation and meals at Turnberry. You can't book this online, call +44 1655 333 991 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- As well as the Royal, there are at least half-a-dozen decent golf courses around town.
- Live at Troon is a music festival in mid-Sept. The next event is probably 11-13 Sept 2020 but tbc.
The Herbaryphone: +44 1292 313489address: Ayr Streetjewellery and fine gifts.
Lady Parphone: +44 1292 318020address: Ayr Streetgolf boutique
Pandora of Troonphone: +44 1292 310888address: Portland Streethome fragrance, jewellery & gifts
Words & Musicphone: +44 1292 312248address: Portland Streetcards, cds & DVDs
The Frame Work Galleryphone: +44 1292 316144address: Portland Streetcontemporary Scottish art
- Fairways Restaurant: in Marine Hotel by golf course, see "Sleep".
Jade Dragonaddress: 9 Templehill KA10 6BQOriental restaurant with a contemporary twist.
- Lochgreen House Hotel: fine dining, see "Sleep".
phone: +44 1292 311797address: 42-46 W Portland St, KA10 6ABIndian food.
- McCallums Oyster Bar beside the fish harbour is a must for seafood fans. 01292 319339
phone: +44 1292 315315address: Harbour Rd KA10 6DJBar and restaurant which looks out towards Arran and Ailsa Craig.
phone: +44 1292 317448address: 149 Templehill KA10 6BQDecent enough for a bar meal and drinks. It has rooms but they're tatty.
Bruce's Welladdress: 91 Portland Street
Cheeky Charliesaddress: 47 Templehill
Dan MacKaysaddress: 69 Portland Street
Harbour Baraddress: Templehill
Lonsdale Baraddress: 15 Portland Street
phone: +44 1292 313343address: Monktonhill Road, Troon KA10 7EN32 bedroom hotel near Royal Troon Golf Course, amidst quiet woodland & gardens. With good restaurant.
phone: +44 1292 314444address: 8 Crosbie Rd KA10 6HE89 room hotel with swimming pool & gym, overlooking golf course. Tired run-down rooms, needs refurbishment. With Fairways Restaurant.
phone: +44 1292 315976address: 31-33 Main Street, Loans KA10 7EX20 contemporary rooms, good restaurant with local Scottish produce.
phone: +44 1292 314747address: Craigend Rd KA10 6HDCountry house style hotel once owned by a member of the Johnnie Walker whisky firm. Generally good reviews, but they often have wedding parties, which get noisy.
phone: +44 1292 312033address: 73 South Beach KA10 6EGFamily run hotel with 32 rooms, gets great reviews for cleanliness and welcome.
- Largs a similar seaside town, with a short ferry crossing to Great Cumbrae.
- Ayr, where the main attraction is the Burns Heritage Centre at Alloway, and a few miles further south is Culzean Castle.
The Isle of Arran can easily be done as a day-trip, by ferry from Ardrossan, but you’d miss the essence of the place, stay longer.
Top destinations further afield are Glasgow and Edinburgh.