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Sandy Irvine Beach is wild, beautiful and seems to go on and on forever! In fact it stretches 3 miles along to Barassie therefore this walk can be up to 6 miles in length should you complete the entire return route. Lined with high sand dunes and the Isle of Arran visible to the west, the beach here is popular with locals out for some fresh air and exercise.
Parking at Beach Drive Car Park (KA12 8PP). Start point is 1 mile from Irvine Train Station. Local bus service stops close by.
Route: The walk begins at the car park for Irvine Beach Park, Beach Drive (KA12 8FA). Head South West out of the car park towards a tall white tower building and the entrance to the Beach Park. Pass a picnic area and the Coastguard building on your right-hand side and follow a sandy path onto the beach. Walk South along the golden sands of Irvine Beach for approximately 3 miles until you reach a small burn flowing out over the sand just as you arrive into Barassie. You can cross this burn by way of a small footbridge slightly upstream and there is a path leading off the beach to the bridge and onwards to a grassy embankment. Continue along this grassy embankment as far as you’d like. You are now separated from the beach by a row of vegetation. The residences of Barassie will be on your left and the Firth of Clyde on your right. There are several benches along the embankment which provide a pleasant place to stop, admire the views and enjoy a snack. Return to Irvine Beach Park car park via the same route.
WALK REVIEW: 7th January 2016
If you are a fan of wild sandy beaches you will love this walk. From the car park some steps lead directly down onto the beach. Straight away I was welcomed with the stunning rugged coastline view which I know this beach so well for. It’s a bit of a favourite of mine, an old haunt. Before I had the kids I used to walk here often, even took up jogging along it at one point. When I was training for the West Highland Way a few years back this was my stomping ground. Its just so beautiful, untouched, and best of all – not busy!
I loved that today I had the place pretty much to myself apart from the odd dog walker. This was thanks to the brisk wind and the fact that it had been a particularly rainy morning so most people had opted to stay away! Armed with my woolly hat, gloves and full waterproofs I was quite happy. Even more so that I could walk at a good pace since I had no kiddies with me 🙂 My first child-free walk of 2016!
Features to look out for along the way are the natural sand dunes which align the beach, the stone dragon which sits up on the hillside (excellent for kids and also one of my favourite vantage points in Ayrshire), Ailsa Craig and the Isle of Arran.