South West (Scotland)
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The only airport in the region is Glasgow Prestwick International Airport (PIK), which is primarily a destination for a number of low-cost airlines. It can be reached directly from many European cities including Brussels, Dublin, Frankfurt, London, Milan, Oslo, Paris, Rome and Stockholm. The airport has its own railway station, with direct links to Glasgow Central Station (a 45 minute journey) and to Ayr (7 minutes). See below for further information. Ryanair passengers can get a discount by showing their flight paperwork to the ticket inspector on the train.
Like most of the central belt, the South West is well served by Strathclyde Passenger Transport, with train stations in most towns. There tend to be two trains per hour on most routes, but be sure to check ahead, especially on holidays and Sundays, when there may be scheduled engineering work. Most places here can be reached via Glasgow Central station, with a journey down to Ayr taking about 55 minutes and costing around £7 return. Glasgow to Stranraer typically takes 2 hours and 15 minutes, costing £16. From England, trains tend to head straight into Glasgow Central, but there are routes leading to Kilmarnock from where am Cass smaller destinations can be reached.
Tickets should be purchased at stations where available, as they may be more expensive if bought on board. Day return tickets generally cost very little more than a single ticket and so you should buy a return ticket if there is any chance that you will be travelling back on the same day. Purchasing a "Daytripper" ticket from any station (£15 for a family of four) allows virtually unlimited travel across the Strathclyde network of trains, buses and the Glasgow subway for one day. Bicycles are accommodated freely on most train journeys, but space is not guaranteed.
As it is near Northern Ireland, there are a number of ferry routes into the south west of Scotland. There are typically at least two sailings a day and a single passenger ticket costs from around £25 to £40, depending on the time of year. Taking a car on the ferry costs from £70, again depending on the time of year and ticket type.
The ferry operators regularly have special offers and online discounts so check all of the websites before you book.