One of the best ways to explore Ayrshire & Arran is on foot, making use of the splendid network of paths and trails. Walk the Ayrshire land which Scotland’s National Bard; Robert Burns called home or discover the Isle of Arran, often referred to as ‘Scotland in Miniature due to its highland and lowland areas with mountain ridges, golden beaches and a fascinating history packed into one small space.
Get out an explore Ayrshire & Arran on foot
From the tranquil woods of Ayrshire to the highest peak on the stunning Isle of Arran, there are many opportunities to get out and explore this wonderful region and breathe the fresh sea air.
With one of our selected routes you’ll experience the beauty of the region with your own eyes. Below is just a small selection of the many trails you can follow.
Find out more about walking routes, printable maps and GPS waypoints in Ayrshire & Arran.
King’s Cave Forest Distance: 3km; duration: 2.5 hours This circular trail on the Isle of Arran offer excellent views over Machrie and the northern mountains of the island. Coastal parts of the walk give the opportunity to see over to Kintyre on a clear day before reaching the King’s Cave.
Burns’ Trail Distance: 6km; duration: 2 hours Explore Alloway, the birth place of Robert Burns, and the surrounding woodland and parks on this circular route. Following paved paths, allow extra time to investigate all the Burns connections along the route.
Castle Hill and Douglas Park Distance: 5.5km; duration: 1.5 - 2 hours A delightful walk through peaceful parkland with a bracing ascent to a rocky viewpoint. Near the viewpoint are the remains of an Iron Age hill fort whilst a 5,000 year old chambered cairn can be visited en route.
Kildonan Castle Distance: 0.8km; duration: 30 minutes This is a very short circular walk crossing a beautiful sandy beach before ascending to view the ruins of Kildonan Castle.
Dinmurchie Trail Distance: 5km; duration: 2 hours Enjoy this peaceful walk trailing through a combination of forest and open hill. Follow the way-marked paththough the countryside around the picturesque village of Barr. The walk will take you by riverside, forest and on to open countryside offering spectacular views of South Ayrshire.
Glen Rosa Circuit Distance: 8.5km; duration: 2.5 - 3 hours Following beaten earth tracks, this circular walk through scenic Glen Rosa gives excellent views of the craggy peaks of the Goatfell range.
Cock of Arran Distance: 13km; duration: 3.5 - 4 hours This straight walk offers a fascinating inight for geologsits as well as those just looking to enjoy the fine coastal scenery and fascinating rock formations.
Devil’s Punchbowl Distance: 5.25km; duration: 2.5 - 3 hours A straightforward but strenuous linear walk climbing into the secluded corrie of The Devil's Punchbowl below the dramatic peak of Cioch na h-Oighe.
Greta Falls Distance: 6.4km; duration: 3 hours This is a beautiful walk up the hills behind Largs in Ayrshire, which requires a fair bit of climbing but with rewarding views over the region and the islands. The return is by the same route but the views are particularly rewarding.
Glenashdale Falls Distance: 4.5km; 1.5 - 2 hours This circuit through a wooded glen reveals Glenashdale Falls - the most dramatic waterfall on Arran - as well as an Iron Age fort.
Goatfell Distance: 9km; 3.5 hours The highest point on the Isle of Arran, Goatfell is a tough climb rising steeply to the east of Glen Rosa. A ridge walk between the Goatfell’s peaks is possible and mountaineers who venture the challenging landscape are rewarded with spectacular views of the island and, on a clear day, across to Ben Lomond, Jura and the coast of Ireland.
The Sannox Horsehoe Distance: 15km; duration: 9 - 12 hours This very challenging route makes a circuit of the mountains surrounding Glen Sannox. Ascending via a scramble up Cioch na h-Oighe, then descend loose ground to the Saddle before an extremely steep climb up to the dramatic peak of Cir Mhor. The route then crosses the granite tors of Caisteal Abhail before further scrambling leads down to the Witches' Step, which is bypassed before the final section of ridge and return across the moor.
Cir Mhor and Beinn Tarsuinn Distance: 17.25km; 7.5 - 9 hours This route, following rough boulder mountain paths, ascends the two Corbetts on the west side of Glen Rosa, bypassing the A Chir ridge and culminating with the ascent of Cir Mhor - a fine peak which must rank amongst the most impressive Scottish mountains.
Loch na Davie Circuit, Lochranza Distance: 16.5km; duration: 5 - 5.5 hours This surprisingly rough and wild circuit leads through glens and over passes in the north of Arran to reach the remote Loch na Davie, reputedly the source of the purest water in Scotland.
Holy Island Distance: 6.75km; duration: 3 - 3.5 hours Holy Isle is around 3km long and 1km wide, dominated by the rocky Marilyn of Mullach Mor. This fairly strenuous walk leads up to the summit, returning via the easy shoreline path. The island is now owned by the Samye Ling Buddhist Community who have established the Centre for World Peace and Health on the north of the island.
Other captivating walks in Ayrshire & Arran
River Ayr Way Take a stroll along Scotland’s first source to sea path network, covering about 71km following the source of the River Ayr at Glenbuck Loch to the sea at Ayr. The route passes through one of the most interesting river valleys in Southern Scotland and unlike many other long distance routes it can be walked over a weekend or a long weekend making it an ideal short break activity for visitors to Ayrshire.
Ayrshire Coastal Path The Ayrshire Coastal Path runs 100 miles, from Glenapp to Skelmorlie, along one of the finest panoramic coastlines in the British Isles. Crowned with a superb backdrop of the ever-changing profile of the mountains of Arran across the Firth of Clyde. There are lots of fascinating things to see along the route including a vast selevtion of wildlife including beautiful flora, 135 species of bird, deer and foxes.
Cairn Table Walk Climb to the summit of the Cairn Table and enjoy superb views over Ayrshire with the potential of the Isle of Arran, Ben Lomond and the Galloway Hills all being visible on a clear day. At the top of the hill you’ll see a large cairn built in 1920 as a memorial to the local men and women who were killed or served in the Great War. Further east are the remains of two prehistoric cairns.