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Starts from the bottom of Fairyhill Road at the flood gates onto River Irvine. [If flood gates are closed, start the walk at the bottom of Holmes Rd instead. You can drive there, or walk the 1.2km / 0.7 miles there from Fairyhill Rd by following Barbadoes Pl, Matthew Smith Ave, Blackwood Ave, Holmes Rd]. Before crossing the bridge you will see a track heading off to the right along the river which you should follow. until you come to a ‘No Access Dangerous Path’ signpost (the path beyond this continues along the river but has been subject to erosion caused by high rainfall so is not currently safe). Take the track on your right which goes past a Scottish Water building and onto a country road. At the end of the road turn left and then first right to remain on a country road. Eventually you will emerge at a small roundabout where you should turn right to carefully cross over A759/Dundonald Rd and continue ahead as the road crosses high above the railway line. Turn immediately right down a quiet track which runs alongside the railway. After a while this emerges onto Dundonald Road. Turn right then first left into Gargieston estate. In the estate take the second street on your left – Glen Farrar Way – and then turn right onto Glen Orrin Avenue. After this street bends to the right turn left to reach Glen Afton Court. At the end of the street turn left onto South Gargieston Drive and at the end of the street turn right onto Holmes Road and after passing beneath the A71 turn left to reach the river and retrace your steps back to Fairyhill Road.
A late afternoon stroll around part of Kilmarnock taking in River Irvine, a strange collection of road signs, and the beautiful B-Listed Mount House. Ideal for the lighter nights after work now that the clocks have changed. But go with a friend and try to ignore the not-so-pretty parts of the walk…!
I enjoyed the walk but it wasn’t one of my favourites in terms of scenery mainly thanks to a few abandoned (and quite ugly!) buildings and some wasteland. For example the road passed site of the former Kilmarnock Abattoir. Even the section along the river wasn’t particularly pretty: the trees lining it had plastic bags and rags hanging from them which I guessed got stuck there with the recent heavy rainfall. It got me to thinking again about litter picking and why nobody seemed to be doing anything to clear it up now that the river had returned to normal or lower than normal water levels? It was only about ankle-deep so with the right equipment it wouldn’t be too difficult to have a clean up.