When the days are sunny and the winds are calm (ish), what’s a better way to get outside than exploring the quaint seaside of Scotland. Exploring a coastal town can be a full day out on its own rather than just going to the beach. Recently, Keep Scotland Beautiful has announced the winners of their beach awards, naming 52 beaches that are well-kept and deserving of an excellence award. Luckily, five of those beaches are less than an hour away, so let’s have a look at the five coastal towns with award-winning beaches near Glasgow.
Located 26 miles away from Glasgow right across from the Isle of Arran, Irvine is one of the coastal towns with considerable historical importance. Irvine is home to the main site of the Scottish Maritime Museum, with plenty of nautical exhibits on display. What is more, the 400 hectare Eglinton Country Park offers a huge green space to explore with plenty of golfing opportunities if you get bored of the beach. Irvine Beach is a long, beautiful golden sand stretch offering generous views of Arran and Ailsa Craig, especially from Irvine Beach Park. To end your day, head to The Potting Shed at Si! that serves an abundant menu with anything from homemade pancakes to pizza and tapas.
A neighbouring town to Barassie and Irvine, Troon is another one of the many coastal towns near Glasgow that received an award of excellence for its beach. The curved sandy beach is located in a bay, with a bustling esplanade where visitors can grab ice creams and snacks. Yacht lovers can also check out Troon Yacht Haven, and the beach is often used by kite surfers and windsurfers. What is more, dogs are banned from this beach between May and September, so best to choose another beach during summertime if you own furry friends. For lunch or dinner, check out Scott’s Troon that is located right on the pier within Troon Yacht Haven, offering stunning views over the water.
Located really close to the next town on the list, Troon, Barassie Beach is a sandy stretch offering beautiful views over Isle of Arran and the Firth of Clyde. Located north of Troon, the beach is popular among watersports enthusiasts, yet still is pet-friendly. So, if you still want to explore Troon but want to bring your dog, this beach is the one to go for. Visitors can find a golf course nearby, along with a supermarket, some bars and restaurants within the area.
So we all know Glasgow Prestwick Airport by now, but what if we told you Prestwick actually got an award for its beach? Located 34 miles from Glasgow, the seaside town boasts a gorgeous beach with views over the Isle of Arran and is Scotland’s oldest baronial burgh. Clearly, there is a lot more to Prestwick than its airport: a few golf courses, Prestwick Swimming Pool and plenty of bars, pubs and cafes. Prestwick Beach boasts white sand, offering stunning views during sunsets. Prestwick Golf Club, where the Open Championship was first held, is also just a stone’s throw away from the beach. After you’re done with the beach, check out The Vine, an all-day café and restaurant, where you can find quirky decor, as well as a wholesome menu for any meal during the day.
Evidently, South Ayrshire beaches are worth every award out there, as we’re just listing neighbouring coastal towns at this point. 37 miles away from Glasgow lies Ayr, a beloved seaside resort for local holidaymakers. As the biggest town on the list so far, the resort offers a fabulous, well-kept beach, plenty of places to stay overnight, restaurants and bars, as well as, unsurprisingly, three golf courses. Plus, our very own Robert Burns was born in Alloway on the outskirts of Ayr, and visitors can check out the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum. Wander around the quaint streets of the town, hang out on the beach, maybe even check out one of the treasure trails. And to unwind, check out The Tree House, a modern restaurant offering a diverse menu for every meal.