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South Ayrshire walks

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

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!

Organisation / Walking Club / Mountain guide
The Monument and Bennan Circuit, Straiton
distance 8.28km Vertical gain +356m Vertical drop -352m Durée 3h25 Moderate Moderate
Starting point Starting point in South Ayrshire

Whilst in the village of Straiton you cannot help but wonder about the monument atop Craigengower (331m / 1086ft). This circular walk takes you up it’s steep slopes to the summit before a more gentle descent towards the Water of Girvan, returning to the start via pleasant riverside and woodland trails.

Organisation / Walking Club / Mountain guide
Prestwick to Troon Sea & Golf Route
distance 12.91km Vertical gain +8m Vertical drop -7m Durée 3h45 Easy Easy
Starting point Starting point in South Ayrshire

This route follows the Ayrshire Coastal Path between Prestwick and Troon, running alongside both Prestwick and Royal Troon Golf courses. The return leg forms a semi-loop by joining the NCN7 cycle track and then the Smuggler’s Trail across Royal Troon Golf Course. Enjoy the stunning views out across the Firth of Clyde!

Organisation / Walking Club / Mountain guide
Ayr Gorge Woodlands Reserve, Failford
distance 5.71km Vertical gain +77m Vertical drop -79m Durée 1h50 Moderate Moderate
Starting point Starting point in South Ayrshire

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.

Walking Troon to Irvine ( Download : )
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.

Walking Dunure to Ayr ( Download : )
Organisation / Walking Club / Mountain guide
Dunure to Ayr
distance 11.24km Vertical gain +77m Vertical drop -81m Durée 3h25 Difficult Difficult
Starting point Starting point in South Ayrshire

This is an incredible walk along one of the most rugged sections of the Ayrshire Coast. You will experience varied terrain including beaches, rocky outcrops, grassy farmland and a disused railway. Prepare yourself for stunning views and a unique sense of remoteness.

Walking Maidens to Dunure ( Download : )
Organisation / Walking Club / Mountain guide
Maidens to Dunure
distance 11.69km Vertical gain +165m Vertical drop -161m Durée 3h50 Moderate Moderate
Starting point Starting point in South Ayrshire

Enjoy the clifftop views of the more rugged sections of coastline around Culzean Castle & Country Park and the fields just south of Dunure. You will even pass directly in front of the incredible 18th century Culzean Castle, as well as the remains of Dunure Castle – which dates back as far as the 1200s!

Walking Girvan to Maidens ( Download : )
Organisation / Walking Club / Mountain guide
Girvan to Maidens
distance 15.98km Vertical gain +10m Vertical drop -11m Durée 4h35 Moderate Moderate
Starting point Starting point in South Ayrshire

This is a well way-marked route, entirely low-level and passes some of the most iconic sights in the area, including Ailsa Craig and Turnberry Lighthouse. Golf fans will love walking right across the middle of Trump Turnberry Golf Course!

Walking Lendalfoot to Girvan ( Download : )
Organisation / Walking Club / Mountain guide
Lendalfoot to Girvan
distance 10.06km Vertical gain +102m Vertical drop -96m Durée 3h10 Moderate Moderate
Starting point Starting point in South Ayrshire

This route involves some beach walking as well as a pleasant inland stretch on farm tracks across some higher ground. Some very interesting geology can be found on the beach at Kennedy’s Pass as you approach Girvan.

Walking Ballantrae to Lendalfoot ( Download : )
Organisation / Walking Club / Mountain guide
Ballantrae to Lendalfoot
distance 8.94km Vertical gain +79m Vertical drop -80m Durée 2h45 Moderate Moderate
Starting point Starting point in South Ayrshire

This route follows the sand, shingle and pebble beach from Ballantrae harbour along to Bennane Hill at which point it heads inland to follow the A77 down to Lendalfoot.

Walking Ayrshire Coastal Path ( Download : )
Organisation / Walking Club / Mountain guide
Ayrshire Coastal Path
distance 153.08km Vertical gain +866m Vertical drop -918m Durée 12 days Moderate Moderate
Starting point Starting point in South Ayrshire

One of Scotland’s Great Trails, the Ayrshire Coastal Path runs 100 miles between Glenapp in the South and Skelmorlie in the North. It is a perfect mix of inland and on-beach sections which keeps things varied and interesting. With either Ailsa Craig or Isle of Arran as your companion for the vast majority of the way, there is always some stunning scenery to gaze out at (if you get the weather!) From golden sandy beaches to rugged rocky shorelines, Ayrshire has it all!

Walking Glenapp to Ballantrae ( Download : )
Organisation / Walking Club / Mountain guide
Glenapp to Ballantrae
distance 15.08km Vertical gain +156m Vertical drop -207m Durée 4h45 Moderate Moderate
Starting point Starting point in South Ayrshire

Entirely inland, this route is very peaceful and offers easy walking. Initially across hilly moorland the path then winds its way down to the village of Ballantrae following farm tracks and quiet country roads. The views on a clear day are simply stunning.

Walking Cornish Hill Trail ( Download : )
Organisation / Walking Club / Mountain guide
Cornish Hill Trail
distance 5.56km Vertical gain +107m Vertical drop -104m Durée 1h55 Moderate Moderate
Starting point Starting point in South Ayrshire

A brilliant and fairly easy circular walk from the Stinchar Bridge to the top of Cornish Hill, returning via the secluded and peaceful Cornish Loch. Fantastic views on a clear day!

Walking Ayrshire Smuggler's Trail ( Download : )
Organisation / Walking Club / Mountain guide
Ayrshire Smuggler's Trail
distance 10.42km Vertical gain +68m Vertical drop -107m Durée 3h10 Easy Easy
Starting point Starting point in South Ayrshire

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.

Walking Peden's Cove, Failford ( Download : )
Organisation / Walking Club / Mountain guide
Peden's Cove, Failford
distance 3.11km Vertical gain +45m Vertical drop -40m Durée 1h00 Easy Easy
Starting point Starting point in South Ayrshire

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.

Walking Kirstie's Trail, Barr ( Download : )
Organisation / Walking Club / Mountain guide
Kirstie's Trail, Barr
distance 9.58km Vertical gain +139m Vertical drop -139m Durée 3h10 Easy Easy
Starting point Starting point in South Ayrshire

Beautifully scenic forestry tracks take you along to Kirstie’s Cairn, a memorial to young local farmer Christopher McTaggart who lost his life there in a blizzard in 1913.

Walking Fairy Knowe Trail, Barr ( Download : )
Organisation / Walking Club / Mountain guide
Fairy Knowe Trail, Barr
distance 7.57km Vertical gain +162m Vertical drop -158m Durée 2h40 Moderate Moderate
Starting point Starting point in South Ayrshire

A stunning circular route through the idylic South Ayrshire countryside, the Fairy Knowe Trail is most definitely one of Scotland’s hidden gems. The walk follows a variety of forest tracks, mossy tree corridors, and hillside footpaths to reach a viewpoint known as the Fairy Knowe. After a short but steep descent, the track returns to the start following the course of the Water of Gregg.

Organisation / Walking Club / Mountain guide
Blue Bonnet Trails Circular, Ayr
distance 11.6km Vertical gain +19m Vertical drop -20m Durée 3h20 Easy Easy
Starting point Starting point in South Ayrshire

The fully way-marked Blue Bonnet Trails follow the journey taken from Ayr Town Centre to Alloway by Tam o’ Shanter as recounted in one of the most famous poems ever written by Robert Burns. The route described below combines the 2 Blue Bonnet Trails and forms a loop. The walk passes many points of interest along the way including Burns Cottage and Alloway's famous Auld Kirk and it also passes through both Belleisle and Rozelle Parks.

Walking Ballast Bank, Troon ( Download : )
Organisation / Walking Club / Mountain guide
Ballast Bank, Troon
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.