The strategically situated lands of Turnberry, favoured with vast views of portentous seas since before recorded time, have beheld a thousand tales. The birth of a legendary leader, Robert the Bruce. Wars against ancient kings of England and the two World Wars of the 20th Century. The favourite new game of golf, played on naturally occurring courses. The first purpose-planned golfing resort in Britain, with an iconic hotel that houses travellers on romantic getaways to its therapeutic shores to this day. Epic links that were built, destroyed and rebuilt again.
Turnberry is known by its talismans-prehistoric islands, medieval ruins, stalwart beacons. They are symbols of the charmed, inexplicable things that can happen there: the impossible chip; the lost dream, found.
Its hauntingly beautiful moors and cliffs stir the emotions, uplift the spirit and call ceaselessly to those who have gone-part of golf’s hallowed ground, but part of a much broader history as well.
“Where could they find such a glorious combination of picturesque grandeur by land and sea? Every mile, there was some hallowed spot, immortalised by the heroism of Bruce or the genius of Burns.” – Station Hotel dedication speech, Turnberry, 17 May 1906
In the mid-twentieth century, when Turnberry was owned by British Transport Hotels (BTH), there was a national concern that the upkeep of this established, luxurious hotel would not be maintained. After a number of disappointing years of low occupancy, BTH placed Turnberry on the market. Over the next few decades, a number of different proprietors made significant investments in guest rooms, conference amenities and spa facilities that raised Turnberry’s profile. In particular, Turnberry’s dedicated centre for health and relaxation was extremely innovative when it was introduced in the 1980s-and put the resort on the modern-day map.
The new millennium brought a new owner: Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide. Starwood’s vision for Turnberry included a variety of improvements. The red-roofed houses by the roadside, originally built as staff accommodation, have been converted into guest lodges offering space and seclusion to large groups. The state-of-the-art Colin Montgomerie Links Golf Academy and the newly-built Kintyre course commenced operations. And the Outdoor Activity Centre-which allows guests to make the most of Turnberry’s 800 acres, and the Ayrshire countryside beyond-has completed Turnberry’s transformation from a largely seasonal, golf-focused resort to a year-round destination with an abundance of activities that appeal to a wide audience.