Prestwick is a town in South Ayrshire
South Ayrshire
South Ayrshire is one of 32 council areas of Scotland, covering the southern part of Ayrshire. It borders onto East Ayrshire, North Ayrshire and Dumfries and Galloway....

 on the south-west coast of Scotland
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

, about 30 miles (48 km) south-west of Glasgow
Glasgow is the largest city in Scotland and third most populous in the United Kingdom. The city is situated on the River Clyde in the country's west central lowlands...

. It adjoins the larger town of Ayr
Ayr is a town and port situated on the Firth of Clyde in south-west Scotland. With a population of around 46,000, Ayr is the largest settlement in Ayrshire, of which it is the county town, and has held royal burgh status since 1205...

, the centre of which is about 2 miles (3 km) south. It had a population of 14,934 as of the 2001 census.

The town is served by Glasgow Prestwick Airport, which serves many European destinations as well as transatlantic and other international cargo flights.

The town was the first home of the Open Golf Championship
The Open Championship
The Open Championship, or simply The Open , is the oldest of the four major championships in professional golf. It is the only "major" held outside the USA and is administered by The R&A, which is the governing body of golf outside the USA and Mexico...

, which was played on the Prestwick Old Course
Prestwick Golf Club
Prestwick Golf Club is located in the town of Prestwick, South Ayrshire, Scotland. It is approximately southwest of Scotland's largest city, Glasgow. Prestwick is a classic links golf course, being built on the rolling sandy land that "links" the beach and the land further inland...

 from 1860 to 1872.


Prestwick lies on the south-west coast of Scotland, approximately 30 miles (48 km) to the south west of Glasgow
Glasgow is the largest city in Scotland and third most populous in the United Kingdom. The city is situated on the River Clyde in the country's west central lowlands...

. It adjoins the larger town of Ayr, the centre of which is approximately 2 miles (3 km) south. To the north of Prestwick is the small village of Monkton
Monkton, Ayrshire
Monkton is a small village in the Parish of Monkton and Prestwick in South Ayrshire, Scotland.The nearest town is Prestwick and the settlement borders upon Glasgow Prestwick Airport.- History :The village was originally known as Prestwick Monachorum....



Prestwick's name comes from the Old English for, priest's farm: preost meaning "priest" and wic meaning "farm". The town was originally an outlying farm of a religious house.

From Robert the Bruce to James VI, King of Scots, numerous Kings have traversed the coastal walks in and around Prestwick and Troon
Troon is a town in South Ayrshire. It is situated on the west coast of Scotland, about eight miles north of Ayr and three miles northwest of Glasgow Prestwick International Airport. Lying across the Firth of Clyde, the Isle of Arran can be seen. Troon is also a port with freight and ferry services...

. Bruce is reputed to have been cured of leprosy
Leprosy or Hansen's disease is a chronic disease caused by the bacteria Mycobacterium leprae and Mycobacterium lepromatosis. Named after physician Gerhard Armauer Hansen, leprosy is primarily a granulomatous disease of the peripheral nerves and mucosa of the upper respiratory tract; skin lesions...

 by the waters of the well at St Ninians church. The well still exists behind the church.

Although it has been a Burgh of Barony for over a thousand years, it was a village until after the railway arrived in the 1840s and the middle class from Glasgow started to build large houses along the coast.

On 28 August 1944 a United States Army Air Force, Douglas C-54 Skymaster 42-72171 on approach into Glasgow Prestwick Airport in bad weather crashed into a residential area of Prestwick, killing all 20 passengers and crew and five people on the ground.


Glasgow Prestwick International Airport
Glasgow Prestwick International Airport
Glasgow Prestwick Airport is an international airport serving the Greater Glasgow urban area, situated northeast of the town of Prestwick in South Ayrshire and 32 miles from the city centre of Glasgow....

, formerly Prestwick International Airport, was an important transatlantic gateway from the 1930s through World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

. The US Air Force had a base at the airport, and Elvis Presley
Elvis Presley
Elvis Aaron Presley was one of the most popular American singers of the 20th century. A cultural icon, he is widely known by the single name Elvis. He is often referred to as the "King of Rock and Roll" or simply "the King"....

 set foot in the UK for the only time there in 1960, when his US Army transport aircraft stopped for refuelling en route from Germany. Though a period of sharp decline in the 1980s and 1990s saw it lose its status as Scotland's primary transatlantic airport, Prestwick continues to handle many US military flights. In July 2005, the airport was the main transport hub for world leaders attending the G8
The Group of Eight is a forum, created by France in 1975, for the governments of seven major economies: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. In 1997, the group added Russia, thus becoming the G8...

 conference in Gleneagles
Gleneagles may refer to the following:*Gleneagles, Scotland**The July 2005 G8 Summit held at Gleneagles, Scotland*Gleneagles Agreement*Gleneagles Hotel, Auchterarder*Gleneagles Hotel, Torquay, the inspiration for Fawlty Towers....


The airport now caters to a number of low-cost airlines
Low-cost carrier
A low-cost carrier or low-cost airline is an airline that generally has lower fares and fewer comforts...

, including Ryanair
Ryanair is an Irish low-cost airline. Its head office is at Dublin Airport and its primary operational bases at Dublin Airport and London Stansted Airport....

 and Wizz Air
Wizz Air
Wizz Air Hungary Légiközlekedési Kft. is a Hungarian low-cost airline with headquarters in the Airport Business Park C2 in Vecsés, close to Budapest Ferihegy International Airport, Hungary. The airline typically uses secondary airports serving many cities across Europe.- History :The airline was...

. In addition, BAE Systems
BAE Systems
BAE Systems plc is a British multinational defence, security and aerospace company headquartered in London, United Kingdom, that has global interests, particularly in North America through its subsidiary BAE Systems Inc. BAE is among the world's largest military contractors; in 2009 it was the...

, Goodrich Corporation
Goodrich Corporation
The Goodrich Corporation , formerly the B.F. Goodrich Company, is an American aerospace manufacturing company based in Charlotte, North Carolina. Founded in Akron, Ohio in 1870 as Goodrich, Tew & Co. by Dr. Benjamin Franklin Goodrich. The company name was changed to the "B.F...

, Spirit AeroSystems
Spirit AeroSystems
Spirit AeroSystems, Inc. , based in Wichita, Kansas, is the world's largest first-tier aerostructures manufacturer. The company builds several important pieces of Boeing aircraft, including the fuselage of the 737, portions of the 787 fuselage, and the cockpit of nearly all of its airliners...

 and GE Aircraft Engines have maintenance/manufacturing facilities adjacent to the airfield. Ryanair also has maintenance facilities at Prestwick. These facilities have been vastly improved over the years.

Prestwick also has a Royal Navy Air Station
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

, also known as HMS Gannet
HMS Gannet SAR Flight
HMS Gannet SAR Flight is a Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm squadron based at RNAS Prestwick in Scotland. It operates three Sea King Mk5 helicopters in the military and civilian Search and Rescue role across Scotland, Northern England and Northern Ireland...

, where Sea King
Westland Sea King
The Westland WS-61 Sea King is a British licence-built version of the American Sikorsky S-61 helicopter of the same name, built by Westland Helicopters. The aircraft differs considerably from the American version, with Rolls-Royce Gnome engines , British made anti-submarine warfare systems and a...

 search and rescue helicopters are stationed. Prestwick is also a major air traffic control
Air traffic control
Air traffic control is a service provided by ground-based controllers who direct aircraft on the ground and in the air. The primary purpose of ATC systems worldwide is to separate aircraft to prevent collisions, to organize and expedite the flow of traffic, and to provide information and other...

 centre, with both the Scottish Air Traffic Control Centre (controlling 70% of UK airspace) and Prestwick Oceanic Area Control Centre (Shanwick Oceanic Control
Shanwick Oceanic Control
Shanwick is the Air Traffic Control name given to the area of International Airspace which lies above the northeast part of the North Atlantic...

 - responsible for air traffic over the eastern half of the North Atlantic) located at the NATS
National Air Traffic Services
NATS Ltd. is the main air navigation service provider in the United Kingdom. It provides en-route air traffic control services to flights within the UK Flight Information Regions and the Shanwick Oceanic Control Area, and provides air traffic control services to fifteen UK airports and Gibraltar...

 owned 'Scottish and Oceanic Area Control Centre'.

Prestwick is on the Ayrshire Coast Line
Ayrshire Coast Line
The Ayrshire Coast Line is one of the lines within the Strathclyde suburban rail network in Scotland. It has 26 stations and connects the Ayrshire coast to Glasgow...

 between Glasgow Central and Ayr. Two trains per hour call at both Prestwick Town
Prestwick Town railway station
Prestwick Town railway station is a railway station serving the town of Prestwick, South Ayrshire, Scotland. The station is managed by First ScotRail and is on the Ayrshire Coast Line....

 and Prestwick Airport stations. Glasgow is approximately 50 minutes from Prestwick by rail. The line continues south to the port of Stranraer
Stranraer is a town in the southwest of Scotland. It lies in the west of Dumfries and Galloway and in the county of Wigtownshire.Stranraer lies on the shores of Loch Ryan on the northern side of the isthmus joining the Rhins of Galloway to the mainland...

 on the Wigtownshire
Wigtownshire or the County of Wigtown is a registration county in the Southern Uplands of south west Scotland. Until 1975, the county was one of the administrative counties used for local government purposes, and is now administered as part of the council area of Dumfries and Galloway...

 coast, but a change of trains at Ayr is usually required.

The bus routes that run through Prestwick are usually ran by Stagecoach Western including an express service to and from Glasgow known as the "X77".

The A79 road
A79 road
The A79 road is a major road in Scotland, United Kingdom. It runs through Prestwick and Ayr, it is about long, making it the second shortest 2 digit road in the UK.The A79 has also given its name to a song by the Prestwick band 'The KKP'....

 runs directly through the town, and is normally reached from the A77
A77 road
The A77 road is a major road in Scotland. It runs in a southwesternly direction from the city of Glasgow, past the towns of Giffnock, Newton Mearns, Kilmarnock, Prestwick, Ayr, Maybole, Girvan and Stranraer to the town of Portpatrick on the Irish Sea...

 trunk road between Glasgow and Stranraer, or from the A78
A78 road
The A78 is an A road in Scotland. It connects Greenock and Prestwick on a route which follows the northern section of the Ayrshire coast.-Route:...

 Ayrshire coastal route to Largs
Largs is a town on the Firth of Clyde in North Ayrshire, Scotland, about from Glasgow. The original name means "the slopes" in Scottish Gaelic....

 and Greenock
Greenock is a town and administrative centre in the Inverclyde council area in United Kingdom, and a former burgh within the historic county of Renfrewshire, located in the west central Lowlands of Scotland...



The remains of the old parish church are located near Prestwick railway station. Thought to have originally been built in the 12th century, the small church building is now a ruin, and is surrounded by an ancient graveyard. Andrew Strath
Andrew Strath
Andrew Strath was a professional golfer. He was born in St Andrews, Scotland, which is known as the "Home of Golf".Like most professionals of his era Strath did not make his living from tournaments. He began his working life as an apprentice to a clubmaker and sometimes partnered Old Tom Morris in...

, "Keeper of the Green" at Prestwick Golf Club
Prestwick Golf Club
Prestwick Golf Club is located in the town of Prestwick, South Ayrshire, Scotland. It is approximately southwest of Scotland's largest city, Glasgow. Prestwick is a classic links golf course, being built on the rolling sandy land that "links" the beach and the land further inland...

 in the 1860s, is buried in the cemetery.

Prestwick has a 1 miles (1.6 km) long esplanade
An esplanade is a long, open, level area, usually next to a river or large body of water, where people may walk. The original meaning of esplanade was a large, open, level area outside fortress or city walls to provide clear fields of fire for the fortress' guns...

 alongside Prestwick Bay, part of the Firth of Clyde
Firth of Clyde
The Firth of Clyde forms a large area of coastal water, sheltered from the Atlantic Ocean by the Kintyre peninsula which encloses the outer firth in Argyll and Ayrshire, Scotland. The Kilbrannan Sound is a large arm of the Firth of Clyde, separating the Kintyre Peninsula from the Isle of Arran.At...

. It has two children's playgrounds. At the north end Kid'zplay, an indoor activity centre, can be found next to the large play-area that was formerly a large open air swimming pool. Parallel to the esplanade is a line of large houses overlooking Arran.

The Prestwick Old Course hosted the first Open Golf Championship
The Open Championship
The Open Championship, or simply The Open , is the oldest of the four major championships in professional golf. It is the only "major" held outside the USA and is administered by The R&A, which is the governing body of golf outside the USA and Mexico...

 in 1860. The first twelve Open Championships were played there, from 1860 to 1872. (the Championship was not played in 1871). The town also hosts two other golf courses, St. Nicholas and St. Cuthberts. St. Nicholas is a traditional links course south of the town.

The Shaw Monument
Shaw Monument
The Shaw Monument is an 18th century folly standing about 1 mile East of Prestwick, overlooking Prestwick Airport in South Ayrshire, Scotland.-History:...

 stands on the high ground overlooking Prestwick Airport.


Prestwick census locality has a population of 14,934; the civil parish
Civil parish
In England, a civil parish is a territorial designation and, where they are found, the lowest tier of local government below districts and counties...

 of Monkton and Prestwick has a population of 14,261.


Prestwick is geographically split into two main areas by the Main Street running parallel to the railway line. Most people live on the east side of Main Street. Here there is a mixture of council and private housing. The main neighbourhoods on the east of the Main Street are Shawfarm, Marchburn, Glenburn, Powmill, Kingcase, Moorfield and East Road/Kings Meadow. On the west side of the Main Street is a mixture of privately owned, rented and hotel/B & B accommodation.



Prestwick has four schools, three primary and one secondary, one of which is a denominational school, serving Prestwick and north of Prestwick. The schools are:
  • Prestwick Academy
    Prestwick Academy
    Prestwick Academy is a state secondary school serving the area of Prestwick, South Ayrshire in Scotland. The school is non-denominational and has a capacity of 1400. Its motto is Per Vias Rectas, Latin for By Straight Paths.- History :...

  • Glenburn Primary
  • Kingcase Primary
  • St. Ninian's Primary: denominational (Catholic) Primary
  • Heathfield Primary: Officially in Ayr, on border of Prestwick and Ayr

Prestwick Academy is a secondary school fed by all these primary schools. St. Ninian's pupils can go on to Queen Margaret Academy
Queen Margaret Academy
Queen Margaret Academy is a Roman Catholic secondary school in the south of Ayr in southwest Scotland. Queen Margaret is state-run by South Ayrshire Council and takes children aged 11 to 18 from the whole of South Ayrshire and parts of East Ayrshire.The original St Margaret's school was founded in...

 or Prestwick Academy. The primary schools in the outlying villages of Monkton and Symington also 'feed' the secondary school.

Town twinning

Prestwick is twinned with:
  • Lichtenfels, Bavaria
    Lichtenfels, Bavaria
    Lichtenfels is a town in Bavaria, Germany, capital of the district of Lichtenfels. It is situated on the upper course of the river Main , approx. 15 km southeast of Coburg, and 30 km northeast of Bamberg, in an area called Gottesgarten am Obermain .Lichtenfels became as of middle of the 19...

  • Vandalia, Ohio
    Vandalia, Ohio
    Vandalia is a city in Montgomery County, Ohio, United States, and a suburb of Dayton. Its population was 15,246 during the 2010 census. The James M. Cox Dayton International Airport is located in the city...

  • Ariccia
    Ariccia is a town and comune in the Province of Rome, central Italy. It is in the Alban Hills of the Lazio region and could be considered an extension of Rome's southeastern suburbs...

    , Italy

External links

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