Walk 19 – Kilmarnock South – 4 miles

An urban walk guiding you to parts of Kilmarnock you may never have seen before! And with a visit to Howard Park, the little one will be happy too. Mostly on pavements, however there are two short sections which are earth tracks and can sometimes be muddy. 

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Looking back along the River Irvine from Victoria Terrace towards the Judo Club. I took this photo on my more recent visit to this walk in Jan 2017, hence the wintry look! I always find it a shame that this isn’t tidied up a bit, because it is definitely a very scenic spot. Lots of rubbish and debris seems to lie around all the time but considering the flats on Victoria Terrace look down onto it and a nice footpath has been made along it, it would make sense to keep it looking good. 

buggy friendly image  Buggy friendly – there are some steps down onto Queen’s Drive but they are very wide so fine for bumping down. Also, when you reach the houses at Victoria Crescent, stay on New Mill Road to avoid the steps up onto the bridge at Wellbeck Street.

parking available icon  Parking available at Bellfield shops (KA1 3RB)

viewranger image  Click HERE to view or follow a map of my route

route image  Route: 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. 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. 

 

WALK REVIEW: 9th March 2016 (updated 28th Jan 2017)

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…..

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Train line seen from the top of Queen’s Drive. Ayrshire Athletics Arena racetrack to the left. 
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It turns out that the path beside the slip road take you along this pot-holed farm track, under the railway and past the grounds of the Ayrshire Athletics Arena. Thomas found it hilarious going through the puddles in the buggy!
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It was along this road that we found these baby apples – hundreds of them just lying on the side of the road! Of course a million questions ensued about why they were there, who put them there, could we eat them, why not, etc – toddlers are such curious creatures!
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The riverside footpath along behind the houses on Victoria Terrace. 
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The lovely tarmac footpath behind the Victoria Terrace flats then becomes rather muddy on it’s journey towards the stairs to Wellbeck Street. This is the part to avoid with a buggy – alternative directions in route description. 
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On the way to Howard Park we passed the building of the former St Andrew’s Glencairn Church, and for the first time in my life (despite having passed it thousands of times!) I noticed this plaque outside explaining that it contains the grave of Johnnie Walker! The surprises this town holds!
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A small section of the play park in Howard Park
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The tranquil Howard Park
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East Ayrshire Council offices on Greenholm Street. Don’t they always have the most lovely buildings! 
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The beautiful Riccarton Church. I have always admired this building, sitting up high, so grand with it’s impressive steeple visible from all around the South side of Kilmarnock. I have since learned that it is a “B” listed building and that the hill it is built on is called the Moot Hill, or “The Hill of Judgement” – the place where villagers used to gather to see justice being served….. There’s a thought to leave you with! 

 

 

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