Walk 5 : Troon to Ayr : 9.5 Miles
The route leaves the grand esplanade at Troon hugging the coast, where you can glimpse several of Scotland’s great golf courses, as the Way follows the Ayrshire Coastal Path. You can choose to stick to the beach, if the tides are favourable, all the way to the industrial hinterland of the harbour at Ayr. At Prestwick, you will see early saltpan houses, where the saltpanners lived above their work, extracting salt from seawater. The remains of a leper house endowed by Robert the Bruce are another trace of the town’s earlier history. Thread your way up the north side of the river Ayr to St Margaret’s Cathedral and then enter the historic heart of Ayr, crossing towards the Auld Kirk of Ayr, which was built to replace the earlier church of St John, commandeered by Cromwell’s Army as part of a new Fort. You can see the remains of the church at St John’s Tower, where, on open days, the views to the Carrick coast are spectacular. The end of the route is at St Leonard’s Church, where you’ll be poised to continue to Alloway, or alternatively, continue along the beach front towards the river Doon.
This section comprises flat coastal and beach walking, with diversion into Prestwick, town centre walk through Ayr, and ending either close to the beach and esplanade at St John’s Tower or at St Leonard’s Church. Refreshments can be purchased at Troon, Prestwick and at plenty of cafes and restaurants in Ayr.
Illustrative maps courtesy of David Langworth, Cartographer
Detailed walking instructions can be purchased from www.whithornway.org