Dean Castle Country Park via Borland

A beautiful countryside walk into the popular Dean Castle Country Park, taking in both Fenwick Water and Craufurdland Water. There are options to extend to visit the castle, Rural Life Centre, duck ponds and kids play area.

Technical sheet
No. 21606585
A East Ayrshire walk posted on 04/05/22 by Gillian's Walks. Update : 04/05/22
Calculated time Calculated time: 1h20[?]
Distance Distance : 4.37km
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 26m
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 26m
Highest point Highest point : 86m
Lowest point Lowest point : 54m
Easy Difficulty : Easy
Back to starting point Back to starting point : Yes
Walking Walking
Location Location : East Ayrshire
Starting point Starting point : N 55.630401° / W 4.48384°
Download : -
Children's play area Dean Castle


(D/A) Start at Tesco supermarket, Glasgow Road, Kilmarnock (KA3 1UT)

From the front door of Tesco, walk as though you are going around the back of the store (East) and go past the front of the small row of shops / takeaways. Cross over the car park and grass verge to reach Glasgow Road, just along from the roundabout.

(1) Turn left (North East) onto Glasgow Road and continue for 500m until you see a country road on your right-hand side signposted ‘Borland’ (shown on the map as Meikle Road). Carefully cross Glasgow Road onto Meikle Road.

After 300m you will reach a crossroads - turn right to continue on Meikle Road. After a further 260m keep right again, at which point the road becomes Assloss Road. Enjoy the open countryside for the next 600m after which you will reach a crossroads opposite the Riding Stables. You are now in Dean Castle Country Park.

(2) Turn into the road on your left (South East) and then turn almost immediately right (South) onto a woodland trail heading into the trees.

Follow the trail through the trees. Initially you will be up quite high and will be able to see the Craufurdland Water appear far below you on your left. The path starts to descend fairly steeply and then hugs the river (still on your left) as it winds its way past the animal enclosures. After 1km on this trail, you will arrive at a surfaced road where there is a crossroads.

(3) Turn left onto the road and across a bridge. You will begin to see your first signs of Dean Castle ahead. Continue on this surfaced road to pass along the side wall of the castle and then turn right to arrive at the front of Dean Castle. Explore the grounds if desired, then retrace your steps to the bridge (3)

Cross the bridge and on arriving back at the crossroads, turn left (North) to follow the footpath along the Fenwick Water. This by-passes the play area, Rural Life Centre and duck ponds which are all well worth a visit if you have kids with you: the paths across to these amenities are obvious from the riverside footpath, which you should re-join when ready to continue the walk.

After a gentle uphill slope, the path leads to Assloss Road at a gate. Go through the gate, turn left and left again to cross a road bridge above the Fenwick Water.

(4) Walk up the hill ahead (North West) for 170m, then turn right (North East) onto a residential street called Forest Grove.

At the end of Forest Grove walk past a row of garages and you will pick up a lane leading to Glasgow Road. Cross over carefully and retrace your steps to go across the car park and return to the start point at the Tesco supermarket (D/A)

Waypoints :
D/A : km 0 - alt. 80m - Tesco supermarket, Glasgow Road
1 : km 0.62 - alt. 86m - Borland - country road
2 : km 1.82 - alt. 78m - Start of woodland trail
3 : km 3.2 - alt. 59m - Bridge
4 : km 3.82 - alt. 75m - Right turn onto Forest Grove
D/A : km 4.37 - alt. 80m - Tesco supermarket, Glasgow Road

Useful Information

By car - parking at Tesco, Glasgow Rd.
By bus - regular bus service from Kilmarnock and Glasgow with a stop on Glasgow Road opposite the Tesco store.

Mixture of surfaced roads, paths and woodland trails - the latter can be muddy at times. A few steep uphill/downhill sections. No steps.


  • Tesco supermarket at start/end of walk (customer toilets)
  • Rural Life Centre within Dean Castle Country Park (information, toilets) - next to children's play area/duck ponds
  • Dean Castle Visitor Centre (cafe, toilets, information) - a short walk further along the main drive South West from the castle

More information at Gillian's Walks

Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.

During the walk or to do/see around

  • Dean Castle - dating from the 1300s, this was the stronghold for the Boyd family for over 400 years. Due to restoration work, the castle is closed at the time of writing. More information about the castle can be read here.
  • Farm animals - sheep, cows, donkeys, goats, horses
  • Children's play area
  • Duck pond (ducks and geese)
  • Riverside trails - Fenwick Water and Craufurdland Water
  • Picnic areas

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