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From Bellfield shops car park turn left to walk uphill. Just after St Ninian’s church turn left to follow the path down through tree-lined Bellfield Estate. At the bottom of the hill cross B7072/Hurlford Road and pick up the footpath again at the other side to continue straight on towards the houses. Walking along Carron Avenue you will come to a walkway on your right leading to a bridge across the railway tracks. Cross this and descend the steps onto A735/Queen’s Drive. Cross over using the pedestrian crossing and turn right towards Bellfield Interchange. At the roundabout follow the footpath down to the left alongside the slip road to A77. This part requires some care as it can be busy with traffic. Towards the bottom of the slip road there is a track off to the left. Join this and turn right. The track goes under a bridge and then becomes New Mill Road and passes Cluarankwai Judo Club. When you reach Victoria Terrace take the footpath along the river (behind the houses) then up some steps onto Wellbeck Street (for buggy friendly walk stay on New Mill Road until reaching Wellbeck Street and turn left to the pedestrian crossing). Cross at the pedestrian crossing, turn right then left down Lawson Street. At the corner of Lawson Street you can take some time to visit the former St Andrew’s Glencairn Church grounds on your right. From the church, cross the road onto East Netherton Street. Turn left and use the pedestrian crossing to cross High Glencairn Street onto West Netherton Street, passing Aldi*. Follow the road past Kilmarnock Removals and the Tesco store, crossing a small footbridge into Howard Park. The swing park is to your right if you are stopping here for a visit, otherwise turn left and follow the path along the Kilmarnock Water and out onto West Shaw Street. There is a pedestrian crossing to your right – cross at it and then turn left. Here you have a choice to walk down either Fairyhill Road or Burnside Street – Fairyhill Road is the more scenic of the two and far quieter in terms of traffic, however if there has been any recent heavy rainfall the flood gates at the bottom will be closed and you will not be able to cross the river. Unfortunately you won’t know if that is the case until you reach the end of the street! If you know the gates are closed or don’t want to risk it then cross the bridge on West Shaw Street and walk down Burnside Street instead, which runs parallel. Turn left and follow Holmquarry Road. Cross Low Glencairn Street at the traffic lights and turn right then left along Old Street. Continue past Riccarton Church and at the end of the path turn left onto Hurlford Road and find a safe place to cross over. Follow the path through the grounds of the play park. Turn left then right onto Turnberry Drive then first left along Witchknowe Avenue. Cross Witchknowe Road and turn left then follow the pavement to the right onto Whatriggs Road. Continue up Whatriggs Road to Bellfield Shops where the walk started.
I have a bit of a problem… an obsession perhaps…. I can’t pass a track without wanting to know where it leads! I regularly drive down the slip road from the Bellfield Interchange onto the A77 heading North. One day recently I spotted a path heading off to the left and ever since I have been desperate to know where it leads. I could never get a good look because I was always driving and therefore concentrating on the merge, but it seemed to go underneath a bridge and off into the countryside. I was intrigued!
So today I took Thomas in his buggy and headed there to see where it would take us. Ok so it wasn’t the most beautiful walk I have ever been on, being a little more urban than I would prefer, but I very much enjoyed it nonetheless…..