The friendly Ayrshire town of Prestwick enjoys a wonderful location on Scotland’s scenic West Coast, and from golf to Robbie Burns there is something to appeal to all tastes. The town is the oldest Royal Burgh in Scotland, and has been in existence for some 1000 years. It is close to Prestwick International Airport, which was used by both the British and US Air Forces during WWII and was the only place in Britain ever visited by Elvis Presley.
Scotland’s best loved poet, Robbie Burns was born just up the road in Alloway, and spent much of his life in this part of Ayrshire. Robert Burns is not the only notable historic figure to have ties to the town, and King Robert the Bruce is said to have drank healing waters from the town’s well to cure a skin ailment. Robert’s Well can still be seen today and you’ll find it next to St. Ninian’s Church.
There are plenty of activities to keep sports fans busy, and golf is surely one of the most important. The town hosted the first Open Golf Championship which was played on the Old Course back in 1860, and visitors can still enjoy a round there today, or at the other two excellent courses, St. Cuthberts and St. Nicholas.
The beach is a long sweep of sand and shingle that is sheltered enough for families with young children, and it is also adjacent to the popular seaside resort of Ayr and close to Troon. The Atlantic Ocean is warmer than you might expect thanks to the nearby Gulf Stream or North Atlantic Current, so swimming is pleasant in the warmer months, while sailing in the scenic bay is highly popular.
You’ll find good shopping opportunities in the town, and a variety of restaurants offer everything from traditional Scottish to Indian cuisine. There is no shortage of after dark entertainment and friendly pubs are the perfect places to chat with locals and enjoy a dram of Scotch whisky or a pint of ale in a welcoming atmosphere.
The best time to visit Prestwick is between May and August which is summer in the region, although local school vacations and an influx of tourists can make it busier. If you don’t mind slightly cooler weather, the region is beautiful in spring, from March till May, and from September to November when fall foliage is spectacular and weather mild. The Scottish Air show takes place in early September, and is a favorite time for aviation fans to visit. Winter, from November till February can be chilly and snow is possible.
The low season from November till February is the cheapest time to visit, and although Christmas and New Year are highlights of the festive season, many businesses are closed due to the seasonal nature of this seaside town. The May till August period is popular with travelers of all ages, and a high demand for accommodations means that flights are more expensive. It’s worth looking for bargains in the shoulder season months of March and April and October and November, though cheap flights can be found at almost any time.
The town is not overly large and it’s easy to simply walk from place to place. There are excellent local bus services which cover the town, as well as outlying parts of South Ayrshire. You’ll also find regular bus services to Glasgow if you feel like shopping or sightseeing in the city. Taxis are readily available, and they charge very reasonable rates for local trips.