Saturday, 10TH AUGUST 2019: Coasting

This walk from Prestwick to Barassie takes us along the seashore with views of the Clyde coast and reminds us that in years gone by, such an outing as this would have been a welcome opportunity for families from Glasgow to take the sea air!

We will meet in Prestwick, walk to Barassie and take the train back.  Trains are frequent and the journey time is only 12 minutes.  Remember your rail cards!

The walk will start on the seafront and follows the Ayrshire Coastal Path.  Hopefully, the sun will be at our back.  If it is windy, a south westerly will assist our momentum!

The walk is flat and approximately 9 miles with opportunities along the way for an ice-cream or a cuppa.

Starting Point:
The starting point is at OS Reference NS 345 263 which is the Links Road Car Park, Prestwick opposite the 2nd flight of steps to the dune path. This is adjacent to the old swimming pool (now a play area).

Getting there: 35 miles/50 minutes
Take your favourite route out of Glasgow to join the M8 and then the M77 (Kilmarnock/Prestwick Airport). Continue onto A77 at Fenwick. At the Dutch House Roundabout, take 3rd exit onto A78 (Irvine/Prestwick) and at the next roundabout (Monktonhead) take 2nd exit onto A79 (Prestwick Airport). Continue on the A79 (passing two more roundabouts) and at the Shawfarm Roundabout take the 3rd exit continuing on A79 (Ayr/Prestwick). At the traffic lights in Prestwick turn right towards the seafront (Station Road). Pass Prestwick Town Station (on the right), go under the bridge and at the bottom of the road (observing the toilets on the right) go right towards the parking area. Parking & toilets are free.

The Walk: Prestwick to Barassie – 8.3 miles (other routes [2.7 miles to 10.5 miles] also available)
This walk mainly follows the Ayrshire Coastal Path (ACP) along or near the dunes/shoreline.

Starting from the car park, climb the second set of steps and turn left to join the path that leads to the dunes. The sea will be on the left and the golf course on the right. At a junction of paths with directional arrows to left and right (both for the ACP) continue onwards through the dunes on the path that bears and climbs slightly right. The practice area of the golf course will now be on the right. The sandy path takes a loop around the headland returning with the Pow Burn on the left. Depending on the state of the tides there is the option to paddle across the Pow Burn close to where it joins the sea. To do this descend through the dunes to the seashore and turn right. NOTE: Walkers choosing to do this do so entirely at their own risk!

If you want to keep your feet dry continue on the loop emerging onto the golf practice area and bearing left onto an obvious grass path. At the gravel path turn left [1] (now the ACP) and cross the Pow Burn. Close to the entrance to the Holiday Park go through a kissing gate and turn left. The tarmac drive leads into a grass path. Go through a gate and onto another sandy path with another golf course on the right. This path emerges onto the seashore where those undertaking a paddle should be waiting. Continue along the seashore until the southern outskirts of Troon. Join the promenade for the walk into Troon – part of it is sheltered from a westerly breeze. Toilets 20p. (End the route at Troon Station for a 4.8 mile walk). Continue round South Bay and at Port Ronnald climb the grass bank for excellent views over the Firth of Clyde and Glennon Brothers Group (timber processing). Follow Port Ranald Drive and North Shore Road round North Bay. After entering an extensive grass area return to the seashore and turn right. At the Barassie Burn turn right and at the cycle path turn left and follow it to its end opposite Hillhouse Road. Continue up the road, under the bridge [2] and turn right into Barassie Station. Return to Prestwick Town by train from Platform 2.

Options:

[1] For a 2.7 mile walk, turn right at this point (also the ACP) and follow this back into and across the dunes (passing the directional signs previously encountered) and at the seashore turn left. Join the promenade and return to the car park.

[2] For a 10.5 mile walk, ignore the station and continue under the second bridge and into Adam’s Gate. Cross B746 (Kilmarnock Road) at the lights and turn right. As the street path rises take the downward path on the left. It soon turns left to parallel the railway. Continue past Marr College to the junction with A759 (Dundonald Road) and turn right. Take the first left into Harling Drive and continue to Troon Station. Return to Prestwick Town by train.

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