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This is a lovely short walk for people of all ages, although there are some hilly parts to keep you on your toes! Loads of points of interest along the way to keep the kids amused including the Dean castle itself, the park’s resident stone lions, a fantastic play park, an animal farm and a large pond with ducks and geese.
Buggy-friendly walk (some steep up and downhill sections)
Dog-friendly walk (Note: in some areas of the park dogs must be kept on a lead – please respect local signage)
Small parking area at bottom of Assloss Road entering from Glasgow Road (B7038)
Route: Walk up Assloss Road towards Glasgow Road and go through the gate on the left about halfway up. Follow the path along to a fork where you keep right . At a crossroads take the second exit down towards the Dean Castle. (On the left at the bottom of the hill you can visit the stone lions.) Continue straight ahead, turning left at the end of the footpath to skirt around the side of the castle to reach a bridge. Cross the bridge and continue straight to reach the new animal farm and play area. Follow the path left at the end of the play area to go around the pond and up to a riverside footpath via the boardwalk. Turn right here and this path will lead you back to Assloss Road.
WALK REVIEW: 1st January 2016 (photos updated Jan 2018)
Dean Castle Country Park is in my opinion Kilmarnock’s biggest asset. I have many fond memories of the park from my childhood and it is still one of our favourite places to go for a family walk.
It’s New Year’s Day! Its freezing cold, but its dry! What better day to do my first walk of the year and of the challenge than today?! We set off around lunchtime, picnic at the ready. Hats, gloves, scarves & my trusty ear muffs were required as well as wellies/winter boots.
Near the start of the walk we passed some saplings planted in place of trees which have been felled. The boys were intrigued by the big green tubes and so began a long conversation around the subject of tree felling, replanting etc. A few of them had tinsel around them, people had decorated them for Christmas.
From up here you get really nice views down onto the country park, the walled garden and the river. The river and waterfalls were both pretty impressive today due to lots of recent rainfall. River = cue request from Nathan to throw stones in. Request granted and now with completely soaking and muddy gloves we headed to the picnic bench to have lunch. Much to the amusement of the passers-by who probably thought we were crazy!
Thomas was complaining by now of sore feet. Actually, if I am honest he had been complaining about them since we left the car but I had been ignoring him assuming he was exaggerating…. By now though he was convincing me of his discomfort with lots of whimpering – either his wellies were getting too small or his feet were really cold, I am still not sure which but one thing is for sure, he wont be wearing these ones again on a frosty day!
We decided to give the play park, duck pond and animal farm a miss today I ended up carrying Thomas all the way back to the car. My arms were aching by the time we got there, he is getting too heavy for that malarkey! Maybe next time I’ll listen to him… 😮
Happy New Year everyone!