Ayr Gorge Woodlands reserve is the ‘jewel in the crown’ of the Scottish Wildlife Trust Ayrshire. Follow the path of the River Ayr as it flows through a deep red sandstone gorge. This circular / figure-of-eight route takes you around most of the main trails, giving you the opportunity to explore this beautiful ancient woodland including the popular viewpoint at Peden's Cove.
Calculated time is computed with the distance, the height difference, and an average speed of 2.2 mph. For an intermediate walker, this time includes small breaks.
(D/A) Facing the Failford Inn (KA5 5TF), head right (South West) on B743.
Immediately after crossing a bridge over the Water of Fail, turn left (South) to enter Ayr Gorge Woodlands.
Follow this woodland trail across a footbridge then up a steep staircase.
(1) At the top of the stairs follow the trail along for 100m to a bench. Just before the bench turn right (South West) up some uneven ground (path not shown on map).
Continue straight ahead at a crossroads then turn left (South East) to follow the footpath around the perimeter of the woodlands.
(2) After 450m the path forks. Keep right (South).
(3) Follow this high level path for 400m to another fork where you should turn left (East) to go down the steps to the riverside.
Follow the path along the River Ayr for 800m to another set of steps heading back uphill.
(4) At the top there is an information board about Ayr Gorge Woodlands. Turn right here (North West).
This trail takes you back to the fork at the top of the steps from earlier (3)
Keep left this time (don't go down the steps), and on reaching the next fork (2) turn right (East).
(5) At the end of the path turn right (South West) to walk along to Peden's Cove viewpoint (350m away), then return via the same path to this point.
Follow the River Ayr upstream for 900m to reach the bench from earlier on your left-hand side (1).
Continue past the bench to reach the top of the steps and return to the parking area opposite Failford Inn (D/A)
D/A : km 0 - alt. 60 m - Parking area opposite Failford Inn (KA5 5TF)
1 : km 0.47 - alt. 77 m - Bench
2 : km 0.98 - alt. 75 m - Fork
3 : km 1.39 - alt. 86 m - Fork at top of steps
4 : km 2.23 - alt. 78 m - Information board
5 : km 3.73 - alt. 59 m - Right turn to Peden's Cove
D/A : km 5.71 - alt. 59 m - Parking area opposite Failford Inn (KA5 5TF)
By car: there are a few parking spaces just off B74 opposite the Failford Inn
By bus: there is a bus service to Failford from Cumnock or Ayr
There are lots of steps on this route and the earth footpaths can become muddy after rain.
Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.
Peden’s Cove is hidden inside Ayr Gorge Woodland, a Scottish Wildlife Trust reserve. This beautiful and ancient woodland is formed around an incredible red sandstone canyon, which gives the water of the River Ayr a vibrant red appearance when the sun shines directly onto it! Peden’s Cove, a set of steps carved into the red sandstone cliffs, is reached a mile along the footpath.
Starting in Catrine, follow the course of the River Ayr through woodland to the impressive Ballochmyle Viaduct. It is the highest masonry railway viaduct in Britain and even featured in a scene in the movie Mission: Impossible!
Follow the River Ayr along a pleasant woodland trail to Sorn, passing through Catrine Voes Local Nature Reserve and alongside the historic Catrine Weir. On reaching Sorn, cross the humpbacked ‘Auld Brig’ before passing through part of the village and into the “Spooky Woods”. The return route to Catrine is via Chapel Brae, a pleasant single track road which passes Catrine War Memorial.
This route first crosses Caprington Golf Course and then makes use of paved roads and paths to reach the 95 acre Coodham Estate just outside Symington. Take time to explore the Estate’s many interesting features and paths including the lake, mansion, shrine and graveyard, before starting the walk back to Kilmarnock via the high road past Stafflar Farm.
This is a really pleasant walk on the outskirts of Kilmarnock. After crossing Caprington Golf Course past the historical ruin of Blackskye Tower you will follow a former railway track bed across a field to reach the small hamlet of Earlston. The next stop is Caprington Castle and surrounding woodlands finishing with a wander through the residential part of Caprington.
A peaceful walk following the River Irvine between Kilmarnock and Gatehead, returning via the beautiful Caprington Woods and castle.
Wandering though this delightful woodland, the impressive remains of 16th century Old Auchans House seem to appear out of nowhere. Go late January to see snowdrops galore, late April for wild garlic, and May for a sea of bluebells!
Follow this ancient route between Dundonald and Troon, used in the 18th century to smuggle illegal goods inland! It covers a varied terrain including woodland paths, tarmac roads, grass and sand. You will pass a quiet reservoir, walk through Fullarton Woods then across Royal Troon Golf Course, finishing it off with a stroll along Troon’s sandy Beach.
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The GPS track and description are the property of the author.