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 or add an extra section along the banks of the River Ayr for a half mile. 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)
Download the route to your mobile phone HERE (Viewranger app required)
Parking available off A77 – follow signs for Mainholm Smallholdings (KA6 5HD)
- Option 1: A77 Ayr By-pass to Oswald’s Bridge & back 4.5 miles
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. Pay it a visit before returning to the car via the same route.
- Option 2: Above route plus extra section down the River Ayr 5.6 miles
Follow directions as above but when you reach Oswald’s Bridge cross it and immediately at the end of the bridge on the right you will see a narrow set of steps leading down the side of the river. Follow it along as far as you can; in our case this was until we reached a stile into farmland (approx half a mile) at which point we retraced our steps back to the 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 a river 😉
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 style (!!) 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, 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