Troon is a small seaside town 31 miles from Glasgow, in the South West region of Scotland. It's one of the closest beach resorts to the Glasgow conurbation, so on fine summer weekends it draws crowds, and another major attraction is golf, especially the Royal Troon Golf Club which often hosts the Open. Troon is also a major centre for yachting, and Dundonald Castle stands nearby. Troon is also a transport hub and base for exploring the rest of Ayrshire, including the Clyde islands as it’s close to the ferry ports of Ardrossan (for Arran) and Largs (for Cumbrae).
Reaching Troon by public transport usually involves travelling via Glasgow.
By plane: The best local airport is Glasgow GLA, with flights within UK, across Europe, and to Canada; places beyond (eg USA and Asia) are better served from Manchester MAN and London Heathrow LHR. To reach GLA, travel via central Glasgow. The other airport, Prestwick PIK, is much closer but only has budget flights to the Med, so few visitors arrive this way.
By train: Trains run from Glasgow Central every 30 minutes daily, taking 40-50 mins, and continue south to Ayr (11-15 mins).
By bus: There are frequent Stagecoach buses from Glasgow, but usually involving a change and taking 90 mins: the X77 changing at Prestwick for the 14, the X76 changing at Kilmarnock for the 10, or the X44 changing at Irvine for the 14.
From Ireland, get off the bus at Ayr and change to local transport.
By car: From Glasgow and east / central Scotland follow M/A77 to Hurlford roundabout just outside Kilmarnock, then follow A71 and A759 into Troon. From England head for Carlisle, then A75 to Dumfries, A76 to Hurlford roundabout then as above.
By boat: Troon is near the ferry ports for Arran and Cumbrae. There used to be a P&O ferry between Troon and Larne in Northern Ireland, but this ended in 2016 – sail via Cairnryan instead.
With your own boat, sail in to Troon Yacht Haven, sheltered and accessible at all tides. Call 01292 315553 to book your berth or check in via www.yachthavens.com/troon
The town is compact and can easily be explored on foot. The 14 bus (every 30 mins) passes through Troon north to Irvine and south via Royal Troon Golf Club and Prestwick Airport to Ayr; change there for buses to the Burns Heritage Centre at Alloway.
- See the beaches, with grand views over the Firth of Clyde, and the harbour. South Beach (ie south of the harbour) is the more sheltered, and has always been the main visitors' beach. Barassie or North Beach is breezy and exposed. Further out, the sand dunes north and south of town are designated SSSIs: Sites of Special Scientific Interest.
- 1 Dundonald Castle, Dundonald KA2 9HD (4 miles NE of Troon; take hourly bus for Kilmarnock and get off at Dundonald village.), ☏ . every day 10 am -5 pm. There’s probably been a fortification here since the Stone Age, but the present structure was built by Robert Stewart around 1371 when he became King Robert II. So it’s over 600 years old and looks it: basically just a masonry shell, and an hour here will be plenty. The castle has the usual hoaky legends of buried gold, secret tunnels and the inevitable ghost: Jules Verne added to these by setting part of his novel “The Underground City” here. Adults £4.50, children £2.70.
- 1 Royal Troon Golf Course. Two famous 18-hole golf courses, the Old Course and the Portland, and the 9-hole Craigend. The Old Course is used for the PGA Open Championship and is machair ie sandy links near the sea-shore. As a private club, the members have wide discretion over who they do & don’t admit, and until 2016 they didn’t allow women full membership. They risked losing their PGA tour status over this, so they changed the rules and hosted the Open that year.
- Open Links of Ayrshire is a combi-package with Royal Troon, Prestwick Old Course and Trump Turnberry south of Ayr. Reckon £2000 for a couple playing all three, plus accommodation and meals at Turnberry. You can't book this online, call +44 1655 333 991 or email email@example.com.
- As well as the Royal, there are at least half-a-dozen decent golf courses around town.
- Live at Troon [dead link] is a music festival in mid-Sept. The next event is probably 11-13 Sept 2020 but tbc.
- The Herbary, Ayr Street, ☏ . jewellery and fine gifts.
- Lady Par, Ayr Street, ☏ . golf boutique
- Pandora of Troon, Portland Street, ☏ . home fragrance, jewellery & gifts
- Words & Music, Portland Street, ☏ . cards, cds & DVDs
- The Frame Work Gallery, Portland Street, ☏ . contemporary Scottish art
- Fairways Restaurant: in Marine Hotel by golf course, see "Sleep".
- Jade Dragon, 9 Templehill KA10 6BQ, ☏ . Su M W Th 16:00-22:00, F Sa 12:00-14:00 & 16:00-22:00. Oriental restaurant with a contemporary twist.
- Lochgreen House Hotel: fine dining, see "Sleep".
- 1 Maharani Indian Restaurant, 42-46 W Portland St, KA10 6AB, ☏ . Daily 16:30-00:00, plus F 12:00-14:00. Indian food.
- McCallums Oyster Bar beside the fish harbour is a must for seafood fans. 01292 319339
- Scotts, Harbour Rd KA10 6DJ, ☏ . Daily 18:30-00:00. Bar and restaurant which looks out towards Arran and Ailsa Craig.
- Anchorage Hotel, 149 Templehill KA10 6BQ (near harbour), ☏ . Decent enough for a bar meal and drinks. It has rooms but they're tatty.
- Bruce's Well, 91 Portland Street. Daily 12:00-00:00.
- Cheeky Charlies, 47 Templehill. M-W 10:30-01:00, Th-Su 12:00-02:30.
- Dan MacKays, 69 Portland Street. Daily 10:00-00:30.
- Harbour Bar, Templehill. M-Sa 11:00-01:00, Su 12:00-01:00.
- Lonsdale Bar, 15 Portland Street. M-Sa 11:00-00:00, Su 12:00-23:00.
- 1 Lochgreen House Hotel, Monktonhill Road, Troon KA10 7EN (B749 a mile south of town), ☏ . 32 bedroom hotel near Royal Troon Golf Course, amidst quiet woodland & gardens. With good restaurant. B&B double from £200.
- 2 Marine Hotel, 8 Crosbie Rd KA10 6HE, ☏ . 89 room hotel with swimming pool & gym, overlooking golf course. Tired run-down rooms, needs refurbishment. With Fairways Restaurant. B&B double from £120.
- 3 Old Loans Inn, 31-33 Main Street, Loans KA10 7EX (A mile east of Troon along B746), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 20 contemporary rooms, good restaurant with local Scottish produce. B&B double £90.
- 4 Piersland House Hotel, Craigend Rd KA10 6HD (Opposite Royal Troon Golf Club), ☏ . Country house style hotel once owned by a member of the Johnnie Walker whisky firm. Generally good reviews, but they often have wedding parties, which get noisy. B&B double £140.
- 5 South Beach Hotel, 73 South Beach KA10 6EG, ☏ . Family run hotel with 32 rooms, gets great reviews for cleanliness and welcome. B&B double £130.
Day-trips from Troon include
- Largs a similar seaside town, with a short ferry crossing to Great Cumbrae.
- Ayr, where the main attraction is the Burns Heritage Centre at Alloway, and a few miles further south is Culzean Castle.