This route traverses contrasting terrain as it follows an old way between Maybole and the old fishing harbour of Dunure. As the most direct path it is probable that fresh fish as well as smuggled goods were carried along this path to reach Maybole. Bus services are provided back to Ayr using the 361 route. You are advised to pick up a timetable leaflet or contact Traveline Scotland to obtain up to date times.
Start: Maybole railway station, Culzean Road, Maybole KA19 7DE South Ayrshire
End: Dunure Harbour, KA7 4LN
Distance: 7 miles (11.5 km)
Leave the station platform by way of the railway footbridge then turn right and then left up Gardenrose Path, which is named after the farm whose lands are now built over. In the earlier times this was simply called 'the Near Path'. After a mile, with the town left behind, the Ladycross, now a road junction, is reached. A wayside cross dedicated to the Virgin Mary may once have existed here. A short detour 600 yards (550m) to your right will take you to the memorial of Covenanter Cargill. The junction was also the site of a tollhouse on the former turnpike road, which is now crossed as you continue uphill.
The steady climb into open countryside is up the Preaching Brae where the courageous Covenanter Cargill is reputed to have held his services. After about 1½ miles (2.4 km) from Ladycross, where the road turns sharp right, continue straight ahead on the waymarked route keeping the fence to your right. Watch out for an attractive but overgrown linn where the gap for the path narrows.
From here the fence is followed over boggy ground until another stile leads into the forest. The going improves with the forest track and not long after Snipe Bog is glimpsed on the right, the road emerges from the trees at the summit of the walk to reveal a seascape which is Ayrshires Pride.
Turning right at the cattle grid, look ahead and spot the refurbished Dunduff Castle
which, for centuries, was no more than a couple of storeys high before finally being completed as a private dwelling some 20 years ago.
Use the shortcut of the new fence path to reach Fisherton school and the A719 coast road. Cross with care and descend the final mile (1600m) to Dunure harbour passing some 'modern' housing with commanding views of the Firth of Clyde. Refreshments are available in the village. The 361 bus service operates from Dunure back to Ayr.