Walking & Cycling

Maybole to Kirkoswald

Maybole railway station, Culzean Road, Maybole KA19 7DE South Ayrshire

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This walk is a challenging one in terms of length but offers the chance of tackling the Carrick Hills and viewing some of Carrick’s historical buildings and monuments.

Start: Maybole railway station, Culzean Road, Maybole KA19 7DE South Ayrshire

End:  Maybole railway station, Culzean Road, Maybole KA19 7DE South Ayrshire

Distance: 13 miles (21 km)

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Leave the station, turn right and then cross over the road and turn left along Greenside. - Do not turn off but follow this road past the fire station training tower. - On reaching Whitehall, the A77, cross over and turn right then follow signs to Dailly bearing left down the curiously named Coral Glen. - Note the remains and motto at ‘the Wee Spout in the Glen’ the last reminder of Maybole’s former public wells.

At the foot of the hill branch up Allan’s Hill to pass Our Lady and St. Cuthbert’s church before emerging into rural landscape with Kildoon Hill in full view. - Less than ½ mile (800m) from the railway bridge a sign indicates the line of the old coach road, which is our path. - At the top of the rise the path can be left to reach the summit of Kildoon with its ancient fort and monument to Sir Charles Fergusson.  Return to the path and continue past the lochan to descend to the footbridge turning left over the stile.

Turn right at the next junction after Lower Burncrooks. - After turning right you pass a hillside called Sunny Brae then enter disappointingly unthreatening Ghaist Glen to reach the end of the public road at Lochspouts. - Continue straight ahead past Craigdow road end onto a grass track where the Green Well keeps the going soft. - As the path improves again watch out for Drummochreen Cairn on your right. - The cairn is a reminder of Carrick’s bloody past when clan feuding was commonplace.

Continue straight ahead at this point. - Shortly after continuing past the cairn a view into the valley of the Water of Girvan is revealed. - A right turn and a ½ mile (800m) walk leads to the ruin of High Newlands and the public road. - This was also the site of the Black Cock Inn, which prospered when the line of our walk was a main route from Maybole. - A right turn onto this quiet road starts the leg of the journey that leads to Kirkoswald.

Over the next 1¼ mile (2100m) the road drops down between the Carrick Hills until Hollowshean Lodge is reached. - Turn right at the junction signposted Kirkoswald but at the next junction ignore this instruction and branch left. - Just over ½ mile (1000m) further, on at the base of Corriestone Wood, watch for a waymark on the right. - This is the start of a grass lane which you turn down to reach Kirkoswald village.  - On the way you pass the 1777 church, which may have benefited from some ideas of Robert Adam who was working on Culzean Castle at the time.  A couple of shops, Peggy’s Tearooms and Soutar Johnnie’s all offer refreshment if needed before turning right to head back to Maybole.

At the end of the pavement turn right then left to cross a little ford on the side road, which passes secluded Blanefield House. - For about 2 miles (3km) enjoy the peace of this road compared with the main road a few hundred yards to the north. - Just as joining the main road seems inevitable, a footpath leads off to the right and climbs over a shoulder to give a fine view of Crossraguel Abbey with Maybole in the background. - At the abbey the quieter option runs out and the last stretch back to Maybole uses the pavement along the main A77 road although some respite can be offered as far as Baltersan Tower House by taking the old road first to the east and later to the west of the trunk road.

After passing Carrick Academy a path 40 yards (35m) beyond to the left through a small wooded area takes you into Whitefaulds Avenue. - Turn right here and at the top of the hill right again and over the railway bridge. - Maybole station is on your left.