Promoted in the 16th century to become a Scottish burgh of barony, Prestwick is nowadays a small, workaday town. Situated on the Ayrshire coast around 30 miles south of Glasgow, its population has swelled only modestly since the Middle Ages, and the town is now home to around 15,000 inhabitants. Locals make their living from manufacturing, retail and tourism, with fewer and fewer employed in the ship-building and engineering that once made The Firth of Clyde world famous. Scotland's national poet, Robert Burns, was born 3 miles down the road and one hundred years later, in 1860, Prestwick hosted the inaugural British Open Golf Championship. Many visitors pass through Prestwick en-route to Scotland's beautiful west coast, and the sailing town of Largs.


Ignoring for a moment the obvious cosmopolitan allure of nearby Glasgow, Prestwick's attractions are limited. Having said that, the Golf Club is one of the most distinguished in Scotland, and temporary membership is available if you want a testing day on the Links. Ayrshire as a whole boats 44 clubs so there's plenty to attract golfers to the region.

For a relaxing day out, head for Culzean Castle and Country Park, 15 miles south of Prestwick. This 18th century residence of the Earl of Cassillis has beautiful landscaped gardens and a lake, which provide the perfect backdrop for a summer picnic.

Not far up the Ayrshire coastline lies the pretty town of Largs, where it's possible to charter a yacht. The Clyde is a stunning sailing destination, with the Isle of Arran and numerous delightful stretches of coastline to explore.


There isn't a huge range of shops in Prestwick, with most retailers concentrated along Main Street in the town centre. If you're looking for a shop-until-you-drop experience, head on up to Glasgow.

Nightlife and Eating Out

Prestwick's nightlife is limited to a dozen pubs and restaurants, including Chinese and Indian takeaways. If you like real ale, don't miss Scotland's answer to the Oktoberfest – the Ayrshire Real Ale Festival takes place every October in Troon, a few miles up the coast from Prestwick.

Tourist Information

2 Skye RoadPrestwickKA9 2TATel. 01292 678100Email


Prestwick International Airport lies 32 miles from Glasgow city centre, about 40 minutes by car. The airport is only a mile from Prestwick itself. Frequent bus and train services connect the airport with Glasgow – expect a journey time of just 45 minutes by rail . You'll find a range of shopping and eating facilities at the airport.

From within the British Isles, Ryanair operates daily flights to Prestwick from London Stansted, Shannon and Dublin. Aer Arran has a service from Donegal. Tour operators offer flights to Prestwick from 11 holiday destinations and there are scheduled flights from a further 25 European cities.

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