Walk 8 -Dean Castle Country Park via Borland – 2.3 miles

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bridge leading to Dean Castle, woodland either side
Looking towards the back of Dean Castle

A beautiful walk into Dean Castle Country Park taking in both Fenwick Water and Craufurdland Water with options to extend to visit the castle, animal park, and kids play park.

buggy friendly image  Buggy-friendly walk

  Car parking available next to the Tesco store, Glasgow Rd, Kilmarnock (KA3 1UT). Rather than using the supermarket car park, use the area beside the row of shops/takeaways, close to the Glasgow Road/B7038. Closest train station is in Kilmarnock, 1.5 miles away. Local bus service from Kilmarnock town centre and buses to/from Glasgow stop on Glasgow Road, at the start of the walking route.

route image  Route: Cross over the car park and grass verge to reach Glasgow Road. Turn left onto Glasgow Road and continue for 500m until you see a country road on your right-hand side signposted ‘Borland’. Carefully cross Glasgow Road onto the Borland road. After 300m you will reach a crossroads – keep right. After a further 260m keep right again, at which point the road becomes Assloss Road. Enjoy the open countryside for the next 600m after which you will reach a crossroads opposite the Riding Stables. You are now in Dean Castle Country Park. Turn into the road on your left and then turn almost immediately right onto a woodland trail heading into the trees. Follow the trail through the trees. Initially you will be up quite high and will be able to see the Craufurdland Water appear far below you on your left. The path starts to descend fairly steeply and then hugs the river (still on your left) as it winds its way past the animal enclosures. After 1km on this trail, you will arrive at a surfaced road where there is a crossroads. Turn left onto the road and across a bridge. You will begin to see your first signs of Dean Castle ahead. Continue on this surfaced road to pass along the side wall of the castle and then turn right to arrive at the front of Dean Castle. Explore the grounds if desired, then retrace your steps to the bridge. Cross the bridge and on arriving back at the crossroads, turn left to follow the footpath along the Fenwick Water. This by-passes the play area, Rural Life Centre and duck ponds which are all well worth a visit if you have kids with you: the paths across to these amenities are obvious from the riverside footpath, which you should re-join when ready to continue the walk. After a gentle uphill slope, the path leads to Assloss Road at a gate. Go through the gate, turn left and left again to cross a road bridge above the Fenwick Water. Walk up the hill ahead for 170m, then turn right onto a residential street called Forest Grove. At the end of Forest Grove walk past a row of garages and you will pick up a lane leading to Glasgow Road. Cross over carefully and retrace your steps to go across the car park and return to the start point at the Tesco supermarket.

Dean Castle via Borland

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WALK REPORT: 13th January 2016

A child-free day and a lovely crisp morning so I put on my hiking boots and set off on a one of my favourite walks through Dean Castle Country Park. It was so nice to walk at my normal pace and with no buggies to worry about. On a cold day like today you don’t want to be hanging around! What I particularly loved was how cheery everyone I passed was – each and every person took the time to smile and wish me a good morning. It took me back to my hillwalking days as a child. Why is it that people greet each other so freely when out in the countryside but the same people would walk past each other on the street??

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