Irvine to Ardrossan

This walk is part of the trek Ayrshire Coastal Path.

Beginning with an easy inland section along the NCN7 cycle track between Irvine and Stevenston, this walk then returns to the coast for the second half. Expect beautiful sandy beaches, wide concrete promenades and pavements. On the coastal section the Isle of Arran will accompany you to the west on a clear day! When passing, delve into local history by taking some time to read the plaques along the walls of the former Ardrossan bathing pool and boating ponds.

Technical sheet
No. 22581720
A North Ayshire walk posted on 01/06/22 by Gillian's Walks. Update : 04/06/22
Calculated time Calculated time: 4h15[?]
Distance Distance : 14.93km
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 8m
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 11m
Highest point Highest point : 13m
Lowest point Lowest point : 0m
Easy Difficulty : Easy
Back to starting point Back to starting point : No
Walking Walking
Location Location : North Ayshire
Starting point Starting point : N 55.616832° / W 4.673785°
Ending point Ending point : N 55.640651° / W 4.817289°
Download : -
Cycle Path along the Garnock Stevenston Beach Ardrossan Bathing Pool and Boating Pond

Description

(D/A) From the Low Green in Irvine, the Ayrshire Coastal Path way markers lead walkers North along the cycle path with the River Irvine always to the left-hand side.

(1) You will walk beneath the Marress Road bridge, then past the Robert Burns statue on Irvine Meadow, meeting up with the railway line after 1km.

At this point the cycle path turns right (North), away from the river and runs parallel to the railway line.

(2) After 350m cross over a minor road and pick up the cycle path at the other side.

(3) Continue to follow the cycle path for 1km to emerge beside Bartonholm Recycling Centre.

(4) Turn right (East) then immediately left (North) along the roadside pavement, past Garnock Floods Nature Reserve.

(5) After crossing the River Garnock, turn right (East) to cross the B779 and enter an area of trees.

The path passes beneath the Kilwinning Bypass and follows the course of the River Garnock upstream.

(6) After 1km there is a fork in the path next to a bridge - keep left (do not cross the river).

Cross over the B779/Nethermains Road after 240m to pick up the continuation of the cycle path at the other side.

(7) You will come out of the trees onto Longford Avenue. Cross the road and continue West onto Byrehill Road, later becoming Dubbs Road, following the Ayrshire Coastal Path and NCN73 signage. These are quiet minor roads and you are on them for approx 3km.

(8) Shortly after passing Greenacres Caravan Park, cross the B752 and continue straight ahead (South West) into Ardeer Park.

Follow the Ayrshire Coastal Path signage South then West around the edge of the park, emerging onto Moorpark Road East.

(9) At the crossroads turn left (South East) onto Station Road in Stevenston.

After the level crossing Station Road becomes Shore Road.

(10) As you approach a grassy area, Shore Road splits into two - keep right (South West) to head towards a fenced-off play area.

After passing the play area, turn right (West) to walk through a car park.

(11) At the end of the car park turn left (South West) and cross the footbridge onto Stevenston Beach.

(12) Turn right (West) and walk along the sandy beach for 800m to a ramp at the northern end. This takes you onto a wide promenade.

(13) At the end of the wide promenade turn left (South West) onto Seaview Road. Follow the path closest to the bay for 400m to Saltcoats Harbour.

Turn right (North West) to walk around the edge of the water on a surfaced path, a large car park on your right-hand side.

(14) Just around the point you will pass a stone tower overlooking the former Ardrossan bathing pools.

Walk around a kids play area and past the former bathing pools to reach the edge of Ardrossan South Beach.

Follow the promenade for 1.4km to merge onto B780/Arran Place.

(15) Turn left (West). After a bend in the road, Arran Place becomes Princess Street.

Continue North West along Princes Street for 350m, through a level crossing and a pedestrian crossing.

(A) After the pedestrian crossing there is a fork in the road - keep left (West) to go onto Dockers Gardens, taking the first right (North West) to reach Ardrossan Harbour.

Waypoints :
D : km 0 - alt. 5m - Low Green play park, Irvine
1 : km 0.5 - alt. 8m - Robert Burns statue on Irvine Meadow
2 : km 1.49 - alt. 9m - Minor road
3 : km 2.6 - alt. 6m - Bartonholm Recycling Centre
4 : km 3.01 - alt. 5m - Garnock Floods Nature Reserve
5 : km 3.3 - alt. 5m - Right turn to enter trees
6 : km 4.16 - alt. 7m - Bridge
7 : km 4.73 - alt. 6m - Start of Byrehill Road
8 : km 7.65 - alt. 12m - Ardeer Park entrance
9 : km 8.89 - alt. 6m - Crossroads
10 : km 9.35 - alt. 6m - Fork on Shore Road
11 : km 9.86 - alt. 1m - Footbridge
12 : km 10.73 - alt. 3m - Ramp onto promenade
13 : km 12 - alt. 0m - Saltcoats Harbour
14 : km 12.7 - alt. 0m - Stone tower
15 : km 14.5 - alt. 5m - Princess Street
A : km 14.93 - alt. 2m - Ardrossan Harbour

Useful Information

For more information and a route review visit Gillian's Walks

Transport

  • Car park at Low Green play area, Irvine (small, free) and Ardrossan Harbour (chargeable)
  • Bus service between Irvine and Ardrossan
  • Train service between Irvine and Ardrossan (change at Kilwinning)

Amenities
Cafes, shops and restaurants in Irvine, Stevenston, Saltcoats and Ardrossan

Terrain
Roadside pavement, cycle path, sandy beach, promenade, two level crossings

You can purchase the official Ayrshire Coastal Path guidebook from their website.

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

  • Irvine Harbour
  • Scottish Maritime Museum
  • River Irvine
  • Robert Burns statue
  • Garnock Floods Nature Reserve
  • River Garnock
  • Ardeer Park
  • Stevenston Beach
  • Saltcoats Harbour
  • Views to the Isle of Arran
  • Ardrossan former bathing pool and boating pond
  • Ardrossan South Beach
  • Ardrossan Harbour
  • Kids play areas next to the route at the Low Green in Irvine, and also in Stevenston and Ardrossan

Other walks in the area

Organisation / Walking Club / Mountain guide
Irvine to Kilmarnock via Cycle Track
distance 11.53km Vertical gain +48m Vertical drop -4m Durée 3h25 Easy Easy
Starting point Starting point in North Ayshire

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Starting point Starting point in North Ayshire

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Organisation / Walking Club / Mountain guide
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distance 19.48km Vertical gain +17m Vertical drop -17m Durée 5h35 Easy Easy
Starting point Starting point in North Ayshire

An entirely flat 12 mile circular walk makes for easy walking and feels surprisingly rural, often accompanied by either the Lugton Water, Annick Water or the River Irvine. Sights to look forward to include Eglinton Castle, the Cairnmount Hill standing stones, Sourlie Woods and Garnock Floods Wildlife Reserves, Robert Burns statue, plenty of bridges, and if you do it in summer, apple trees and wild flowers galore!

Organisation / Walking Club / Mountain guide
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Starting point Starting point in South Ayrshire

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Organisation / Walking Club / Mountain guide
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distance 4.01km Vertical gain +63m Vertical drop -61m Durée 1h20 Moderate Moderate
Starting point Starting point in South Ayrshire

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Organisation / Walking Club / Mountain guide
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distance 3.8km Vertical gain +2m Vertical drop -2m Durée 1h05 Easy Easy
Starting point Starting point in South Ayrshire

You will begin by walking along a stone footpath built into the side of the Ballast Bank, followed by a stroll along the promenade towards Troon South Beach where there is an excellent play park for the kids to enjoy. On the return, try the path across the top of the Ballast Bank instead – you will be treated to spectacular views across the Firth of Clyde on a clear day.

Organisation / Walking Club / Mountain guide
Troon to Irvine
distance 10.95km Vertical gain +5m Vertical drop -5m Durée 3h10 Easy Easy
Starting point Starting point in South Ayrshire

This section of the Ayrshire Coastal Path is basically a long stretch of golden beach sandwiched between two busy coastal towns. Enjoy having a nosey at the shorefront houses in Barassie as you pass, and look out for the stone dragon atop the sand dunes of Irvine Beach! On a clear day the Isle of Arran can be seen across the Firth of Clyde.

Organisation / Walking Club / Mountain guide
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distance 10.27km Vertical gain +4m Vertical drop -3m Durée 2h55 Easy Easy
Starting point Starting point in North Ayshire

Plenty of beach-walking on this one, with options to use earth footpaths instead should you wish. With Portencross being the closest point on the mainland to the Isle of Arran, you have the potential for some incredible views across the Firth of Clyde.

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