Kilmarnock to Gatehead Circular

A peaceful walk following the River Irvine between Kilmarnock and Gatehead, returning via the beautiful Caprington Woods and castle.

Technical sheet
No. 23380047
A East Ayrshire walk posted on 27/06/22 by Gillian's Walks. Update : 28/06/22
Calculated time Calculated time: 2h30[?]
Distance Distance : 8.53km
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 33m
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 32m
Highest point Highest point : 46m
Lowest point Lowest point : 18m
Easy Difficulty : Easy
Back to starting point Back to starting point : Yes
Walking Walking
Location Location : East Ayrshire
Starting point Starting point : N 55.586276° / W 4.508746°
Download : -
Caprington Castle Field-edge Path


(D/A) Facing the Clubhouse in Caprington Golf Club car park, follow a lane on your right-hand side which leads North East along a fence line and into a residential area.

Turn right (South East) onto Todrig Drive then left (North East) onto Inchgotrick Road.

(1) Just as Inchgotrick Road starts to bend to the right 280m along, there is a lane on your left-hand side. Cut through the lane to reach Cunninghame Drive.

Cross over Cunninghame Drive onto Scargie Road and follow this as far as you can. At the end of the street pick up another lane, this time leading onto Darnley Drive.

Turn right (North East) on Darnley Drive then take the first road on your left – Maxholm Road.

(2) At the very end of Maxholm Road look out for an earth footpath leading into the trees ahead.

(3) This footpath runs parallel to the A71 for 500m before bending to the left and following close to the River Irvine for 1km.

When you arrive at a large bridge, cross over the River Irvine and immediately pick up an earth path on the left (West) which heads along the side of the river (river should be on your left).

(4) The path ends quite abruptly at a stile approx 500m along – cross this and continue to follow the course of the river close to the edge of a field. Where the path narrows too much on the riverbank, you can use one of the many available metal gates to enter the field. Note that the field sometimes has livestock in it.

You will soon reach a fence which you need to cross (used to be a stile but the foothold is broken) and there is then a stone plank to cross a small burn – cross with care then after another stile continue along the field edge. The river should be close to your left-hand side this whole time.

(5) Go through a kissing gate to the left of some high metal fencing. The vegetation along the path here can become overgrown in summer months.

You will arrive onto another field – stick to the edge of it, keeping the river close to your left-hand side, to head towards a red sandstone bridge visible ahead.

(6) At the bridge, a set of steps takes you up onto the pavement beside the A759.

Turn left (South) to cross the bridge and then take first road on your left (signposted Earlston, Caprington).

Follow this road uphill for 1.4km, passing Old Rome Cottages and several farms.

(7) Shortly after walking beneath an old stone bridge you will arrive at a crossroads. Take the middle road - straight ahead (East) - which leads towards the former gatehouses for Caprington Castle.

Pass through the gated entrance and continue straight ahead. Caprington castle will soon come into view at the bottom of the hill.

(8) At the closest point to the castle, turn right (South East) to cross Todrigs Burn and continue along the castle driveway. Note the walled garden on your right-hand side as you walk along.

(9) After approx 700m, at the end of the field, you will reach a fork in the path - turn right (East) down a wide gravel track (often muddy!).

Keep right (South) at another fork soon after.

Follow the track for just over 1km to arrive back at Caprington Golf Club car park (D/A)

Waypoints :
D/A : km 0 - alt. 35m - Caprington Golf Club, Ayr Rd, Kilmarnock KA1 4UW
1 : km 0.4 - alt. 34m - Lane between Inchgotrick Rd and Cunninghame Drive
2 : km 1.16 - alt. 24m - Earth footpath leading into trees
3 : km 2.14 - alt. 24m - Bridge over River Irvine
4 : km 2.7 - alt. 22m - Path ends abruptly at stile
5 : km 4.09 - alt. 19m - Kissing gate at high metal fencing
6 : km 4.85 - alt. 18m - Steps onto red sandstone bridge on A759
7 : km 6.32 - alt. 29m - Crossroads
8 : km 6.69 - alt. 31m - Caprington Castle
9 : km 7.36 - alt. 27m - Fork at end of field
D/A : km 8.53 - alt. 35m - Caprington Golf Club, Ayr Rd, Kilmarnock KA1 4UW

Useful Information

For more information, a walk review and option for extending the walk, visit Gillian's Walks

PLEASE AVOID USING THE CAR PARK AT CAPRINGTON GOLF CLUB if it is busy at the time. Priority should be given to golfers. There is plenty of on-street parking available in nearby Shortlees or Caprington residential areas, a short walk from the start of the route. It is also easily accessible by public transport with bus stops on the Ayr Road.

This route involves some muddy trails and field edge “paths” as well as 3 stile crossings. There is also some pavement walking in a residential area. It is overall a fairly level walk however there is one lengthy section uphill on a single track road.

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

  • Caprington Golf Club
  • River Irvine
  • Caprington Castle & Estate
  • Dewaldens Garden Centre & Cafe - near by
  • The Espresso Kart & Coffee Bar - near by

Opinions and comments


Global average : 4.67/5
Number of opinions : 1
Description quality : 5/5
Routemap quality : 5/5
Walk interest : 4/5

on Thu 11 Aug 2022 12:32:07 CEST

Global average : 4.67 / 5

Date of walk : 08/08/22
Description quality : Very good
Easiness to follow the route : Very good
Walk interest : Good

Very nice walk , one style a wee bit dodgy & path a bit muddy in places otherwise pleasant walk.

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