About 8 miles north of Ayr is the popular seaside resort of Troon with it's award winning sandy beach, a marina, harbour and five golf courses, including the Royal Troon golf course which will host the 145th Open in 2016.
Troon is well known for its premium golf courses that draw golf enthusiasts from far and wide. The beautiful Marina of Troon features many types of boats and yachts; boat rental facilities are available all round the year, which comes handy to explore the wide and post card pretty beaches of the North Sands and South Sands that are well complemented by a relaxed seaside resort and promenades.
Troon is also the Seacat ferry port to Larne in Northern Ireland.
Immediately north of Ayr, and well served by buses and trains from Ayr, is Prestwick, home of another fine Ayrshire golf course and also an international airport. If you need to stay in Prestwick try the Parkstone Hotel, Esplanade, Tel 01292 477286, which also serves good bar meals.
North of Prestwick the A77 turns northeast towards Glasgow, bypassing the distinctly uninspiring industrial town of Kilmarnock. It is also home to a little-known attraction Dean Castle and Country Park (follow signs from A77). Set in parkland with a Rare Breeds Farm, this 14th-century Keep with 15th-century Palace houses a collection of European arms and armour, early musical instruments and items relating to Burns. Info: Apr-Oct daily with hourly tours from 1215 to 1615 weekdays and 1215-1515 weekends. Free. There is also a tearoom, (1000-1700 summer, 1100-1500 winter).
Local Sights & Activities for Troon
One of the must-see attractions in Troon is the historic Dundonald Castle, built in 1371, which was used by the early Stewart kings as a Royal residence. Perched on a hill above the village, the castle offers the best views of Ayrshire. Tel : +44 (0)1563 851489.
The Bachelor's Club is another place of interest nearby. Located in Tarbolton about seven miles from Troon, the Scottish poet Robert Burns formed a debating club in this 17th century historic building.