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This walk is part of River Ayr Way and takes you from A77 Ayr by-pass along to Oswald’s Bridge where you will see the Wallace Burns Cairn. You can either return via the same route (4.5 miles in total) or add an extra section along the banks of the River Ayr (adds 1 mile extra). It is a lovely peaceful, countryside walk – you wouldn’t know you are so close to the Ayr by-pass.
Buggy-friendly walk if follow route option 1 (see below)
Parking available off A77 – follow signs for Mainholm Smallholdings (KA6 5HD)
Route: From the parking area follow the road through Mainholm Smallholdings, a series of pretty farm houses. The road turns into a track for a short distance and leads you along to a signpost directing you to turn right for Oswald’s Bridge. From here you can see the Scottish Agricultural College across the farmland. Enjoy the views down to the River Ayr from the bridge and once across it you will see the Wallace Burns Cairn sitting up on a mound off to the right. Return to Oswald’s Bridge. [If doing the additional walk along the river, look for a narrow set of steps on your left as you come back towards Oswald’s Bridge from the Burns Cairn. Go down the steps – the river should be on your right-hand side. Follow the path along as far as you can (in our case this was until we reached a stile into farmland approx half a mile along) then retrace your steps back to Oswald’s bridge. It is a worthwhile addition if you have the time, otherwise this section of the River Ayr Way will be distinctly lacking any sign of the river]. Cross back over Oswald’s Bridge and retrace your steps back to the start.
WALK REPORT: 21st March 2016
My personal experience of it is this walk is unfortunately somewhat tarnished by the fact that at this point my mum and I in our great wisdom attempted to take the buggy down the optional part along the River Ayr. The result was us carrying a ton weight (complete with an almost-3-year-old) down steps, bumping it over a narrow track and pushing it through thick muddy tractor tracks. We got all the way to the end of the track before we finally admitted defeat in front of a stile (!!) leading off onto a field with grazing lambs. I won’t deny that I was gutted to realise the path ended here and we were going to have to go through all of that again to get back to a road! However…. every cloud has a silver lining and I got some lovely photos of Oswald’s Bridge from the path and satisfied my curiosity as to where it leads.
I plan to return soon to do the next section of the River Ayr Way from here to Annbank, which looks like it will be a really nice walk through some woodland, staying right beside the banks of the river most of the way. There is a car park off the road leading to Oswald’s Bridge specifically for use by people following the trails around Auchincruive which will make an excellent place for me to start from.
To read my other River Ayr Way walk reports click HERE