Glengavel Reservoir to Darvel

This walk begins at the tranquil and picturesque Glengavel Reservoir, and goes via Bankend Rig Windfarm to end near Randoldcoup Bridge in Darvel. It is a challenging walk mainly due to the distance covered but as the landscape is so varied there is lots to keep you entertained.

Technical sheet No. 25917384

A South Lanarkshire walk posted on 23/08/22 by Gillian's Walks. Update : 02/11/22
Calculated time Calculated time: 4h50[?]
Distance Distance : 15.48 km
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 154 m
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 305 m
Highest point Highest point : 330 m
Lowest point Lowest point : 94 m
Moderate Difficulty : Moderate
Back to starting point Back to starting point : No
Walking Walking
Location Location : South Lanarkshire
Starting point Starting point : N 55.58983° / W 4.122877°
Ending point Ending point : N 55.609687° / W 4.281874°
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Download : PDF / Print - GPX track
The Long Cairn, Darvel Bankend Rig Windfarm Glengavel Reservoir


(D) From the parking area at Glengavel Reservoir, walk along the road with the water on your left-hand side.

(1) When you reach the fence-line turn left (South East) towards the boathouse and go through a gate in the fence down by the water's edge.

Follow a grassy footpath along the edge of the reservoir, through a large metal gate and alongside a dry stone wall.

(2) On reaching the edge of the forest, veer left to go through another large metal gate and follow the tree-line south east for 400m to reach a clearing in the trees.

Turn right (South) across some boardwalk and follow a grassy path uphill to the remains of two wooden huts.

(3) Just before the huts, look out for a footpath heading steeply uphill on your right (can be overgrown with fern in summer months).

Once up the initial steep section, follow a faint trail through the heather. You'll soon reach a point where it is difficult to get past the trees on your right, and you'll find it easier to go into the forest and turn left along one of the rows of trees.

(4) When you come out the trees carry on straight ahead (S) for approx 200m to a clearing. Turn right (W) and walk through the clearing for almost 1km, heading for the wide turbine directly ahead. There is no path here so take care on the tussocky heather.

(5) You are now in Bankend Rig Windfarm. With the turbine to your left, follow the track right (NW). The track heads downhill towards a quarry.

(6) Turn left (West) when you reach the quarry, keeping right at a fork a little further along.

(7) Approx 2km along this track you will reach a small pond on your right-hand side (makes a good lunch stop!). Ignore a path off to the left here, keeping right (West) to emerge out of the forest onto open moorland.

(8) Continue along this track for 2km, passing a sheep fold, to reach a fork. Turn left (North West) and pass through the farmyard at Burnhead Cottage.

(9) Follow the track beyond the house for 700m to a fork. Turn left (South West) - signposted "Long Cairn Walk", passing between two properties at Saughall.

(10) Follow the grassy track along the field edge to a gate. Pass through the gate and continue ahead (South West), downhill towards the Tulloch burn. There is a ford here and a footbridge to the right.

(11) Cross the bridge then follow the track uphill, enjoying fine views of the Long Cairn at the top.

Continue along the farm track for approx 1km, passing Loanhead and Loanfoot farms en route.

(12) At the road-end turn right (North) downhill to Bransfield Farm.

(13) At a crossroads next to the farm, turn left (South West) towards Bransfield Bridge.

(14) Just before you reach the bridge, look out for a wooden gate off the road to your right, leading into some woodland. Go through this gate and follow the path alongside the Gower Water/Logans Burn (depending on what map layer you are looking at!).

(15) When you reach the road, turn left (South West) to cross the bridge.

Follow the road downhill for 1.4km, passing High Greenbank Farm along the way.

(16) At a crossroads turn right (North) to cross Randoldcoup Bridge. Walk along Randoldcoup Road for 400m to reach West Main Street, Darvel (A)

Waypoints :
D : km 0 - alt. 255 m - Glengavel Reservoir
1 : km 0.32 - alt. 263 m - Left turn when reach fence-line
2 : km 1.25 - alt. 268 m - Clearing
3 : km 1.42 - alt. 283 m - Wooden hut
4 : km 1.69 - alt. 304 m - Clearing
5 : km 2.33 - alt. 330 m - Wind turbine
6 : km 4.13 - alt. 275 m - Quarry
7 : km 6.22 - alt. 267 m - Pond
8 : km 8.53 - alt. 245 m - Left at fork towards Burnhead Cottage
9 : km 10.01 - alt. 220 m - Left turn - "Long Cairn Walk"
10 : km 10.73 - alt. 213 m - Footbridge
11 : km 10.89 - alt. 209 m - Viewpoint: Long Cairn
12 : km 12.17 - alt. 157 m - Right turn at road-end
13 : km 12.87 - alt. 132 m - Crossroads at Bransfield Farm
14 : km 12.96 - alt. 131 m - Wooden gate on right - access to woodland path
15 : km 13.6 - alt. 115 m - Bridge
16 : km 15.05 - alt. 100 m - Crossroads at Randoldcoup Bridge
A : km 15.47 - alt. 104 m - West Main Street, Darvel

Useful Information


  • Small parking area at Glengavel Reservoir as well as a lay-by on the B743 near the entrance to the reservoir. Public car park on Randoldcoup Road in Darvel close to end of walk.
  • No public transport to start point.

A mix of pathless sections, grassy tracks, foresty tracks, windfarm tracks, surfaced roads, farmyards. Steep uphill pathless section near the start then predominantly downhill for the remainder of the walk.

Livestock possible on this route, as it passes through several farmyards and across several fields.

None at start. A selection of shops and cafes in Darvel at the end of the walk.

For more information and a walk review, visit 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

  • Glengavel Reservoir fishery
  • Dirt Bike trails near by
  • Views of Loudoun Hill and Whitelee Windfarm
  • Bankend Rig Windfarm
  • Long Cairn Walk, Darvel (Irvine Valley Trails Network)
  • Avon Water
  • Buzzards
  • Farm animals

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The GPS track and description are the property of the author.