Scotland's first source-to-sea path network is now open! This much-anticipated route has been under construction for two years as part of East Ayrshire Council's Coalfield Access Project which is a £2.
5m project to develop long distance path networks in East Ayrshire.
The River Ayr Way is a 66 km (44 mile) route which runs from from the river's source at Glenbuck to the sea at Ayr and passes through some of Ayrshire's most stunning scenery and sites of interest including:
- The stunning Sorn Castle, which dates from the 14th century and was the ancient seat of the Campbells of Loudoun.
- Catrine Voes, which is a scheduled ancient monument and East Ayrshires first local nature reserve
- Ballochmyle Viaduct, which when completed in 1848, was the world's largest masonry span arch. Carved into the sandstone nearby are Cup and Ring markings, dating between the Neolithic and early Bronze Age. The site is now one of the top 10 most important 'Cup and Ring' sites in Britain.
- Ayr Gorge at Failford is a beautiful Scottish Wildlife Trust woodland reserve with associations with many famous Scots including Robert Burns, Highland Mary, and Alexander Peden.
The River Ayr Way has inspired Robert Burns and helped William Wallace hide from English troops. It has created a village and powered an industrial revolution.
The route was officially opened by radio presenter Fred Macaulay who set off 100 walkers all of whom were aiming to complete the route in its entirety over two days. Everyone had a fantastic (if tiring) time and all who participated in the opening weekend agreed that the River Ayr Way is set to be a huge asset for Ayrshire.
An information pack on the River Ayr Way is now available for £3.99. These packs are available thorough Ayr Tourist Information Centre, Dean Castle Country Park, East Ayrshire libraries or by sending a cheque made payable to East Ayrshire Council to The Gatehouse, Dean Castle Country Park, Dean Road, Kilmarnock, KA3 1XB. Packs will become more widely available in the New Year.
Please note the River Ayr Way has suffered some flood damage due to the recent adverse weather conditions. Please contact 01563 554753 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
Other routes in development include:
- The Scottish Coal Cycle Route: a 66 km route between Dalmellington and Coalburn which will be in place by early 2007.
- The Lugar Water: this links Ochiltree and Drongan to the River Ayr Way as well as providing walks around the beautiful Auchinleck Estate.
- The Doon Valley Network: this route links Dalmellington, Patna, Waterside an Rankinston as well as providing links to important sites such as Loch Doon and the Galloway Forest. Some path construction is still taking place on this route. Most sections are complete and way marked. A comprehensive information pack is available. Contact the Outdoor Access Unit on 01563 554753 for further details