is a town located in South Ayrshire
on the south west coast of Scotland
, approximately to the south-west of Glasgow
. It adjoins the larger town of Ayr
, the centre of which is approximately south.
Prestwick Airport is continually growing and serves many European destinations as well as Transatlantic and International cargo flights. The town is renowned for being the home of Open golf. The world's first Open golf Championship was played at the Prestwick Old Course in 1860 and the first twelve Open Championships were played there until 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 on the southern half of the town.
Prestwick's name comes from Old English
, priest's farm
. Preost meaning Priest and wic meaning farm. The town was originally an outlying farm of a religious
house. Incidentally, to the north of Prestwick is the small town of Monkton
Prestwick has been at the centre of Scotland's aviation industry since the 1930s. Though a period of sharp decline through the 1980s and 1990s saw Prestwick Airport
lose its status as Scotland's transatlantic
gateway, it is once again a rapidly growing international airport that caters to a number of low-cost airlines
, including Ryanair
and Wizz Air
. It is also a principal hub for air freight, with Polar Air Cargo
operating a fleet of Boeing 747
cargo aircraft from its Prestwick base. In addition, BAE Systems
, Goodrich Corporation
, Spirit AeroSystems
and GE Aircraft Engines
have maintenance/manufacturing facilities adjacent to the airfield. Ryanair and Polar Air Cargo also have maintenance facilities at Prestwick.
Prestwick is also home to a Royal Navy Air Station, more popularly known as HMS Gannet, where Sea King search and rescue helicopters are stationed. Although the US Air Force no longer has a base at the airport, Prestwick continues to handle a large number of US military flights. It was at this airport that Elvis Presley set foot in the UK for the only time, when his US Army transport aircraft stopped for refuelling en route from Germany in 1960. In July 2005, Prestwick airport served as the main transport hub for visiting world leaders attending the G8 conference in Gleneagles.
As well as the airport, Prestwick is home to one of the cornerstones of the UK air traffic control system, with both the Scottish Air Traffic Control Centre, (controlling 70% of UK airspace), and Prestwick Oceanic Area Control Centre, (Shanwick Oceanic Control - responsible for air traffic over the eastern half of the North Atlantic), located jointly at the NATS owned 'Scottish and Oceanic Area Control Centre'.
Prestwick is located on the Ayrshire Coast Line
between Glasgow Central
and Ayr. The town is served by two trains per hour that call at both Prestwick Town
and Prestwick Airport stations. Glasgow is approximately 50 minutes from Prestwick by rail. The line continues notionally farther south to Stranraer
on the Wigtownshire
coast, but a change at Ayr is usually required.
Prestwick lies on the A79 road
which runs directly through the town, but is normally reached via the main A77
trunk road between Glasgow and Stranraer, or the A78
Ayrshire coastal route to Largs
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
- Glenburn Primary
- Kingcase Primary
- St. Ninian's Primary - denominational Primary
- Heathfield Primary - Officially in Ayr, on border of Prestwick and Ayr.
Prestwick Academy is the catchment secondary school for all the schools above. St. Ninians pupils can go to Queen Margaret Academy or Prestwick Academy. The primary schools in the outlying villages of Monkton and Symington also 'feed' the secondary school, along with Heathfield primary.
From Robert the Bruce
to James VI, King of Scots
, numerous Kings have traversed the coastal walks in and around Prestwick and Troon
. Bruce is reputed to have been cured of leprosy
by the waters of the well at St Ninians church. The well exists today behind the present St Ninians Church.
Prestwick is twinned with