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The walk takes in Piersland, Dean and Kay parks so would be a good one to take the kids along on, spending some time at the playparks and duck ponds. Expect roadside pavements and woodland paths.
Buggy Friendly walk (some hills)
Parking available at Council Headquarters, London Road (KA3 7BU), also on the local bus route. Kilmarnock train station is 1 mile away.
Route: Walk left along London Road and cross over to Piersland Park (gifted to the townspeople of Kilmarnock by the Johnnie Walker company). Cross Culzean Crescent and go under the railway bridge and take the first left onto Mackenzie Drive. Turn right at Willowbank School, passing Kilmarnock Cemetery on your right and St Joseph’s Academy on your left. Turn left onto South Dean Road and then right down Dean Road, crossing the Kilmarnock Water on the Dean Bridge. Take the track immediately on the right after crossing the bridge and follow the Kilmarnock Water into the Dean Castle Country Park. The track goes gently uphill to a bridge, where you will see a lovely waterfall. Cross the bridge then take the path immediately on the right. Follow this riverside footpath past some animal enclosures and after a steep ascent you will soon emerge at a minor road (Assloss Road). Cross over and continue along the footpath at the other side. This path eventually ends further down Assloss Road at a crossroads. Continue straight ahead to go slightly uphill and through a large barrier. Here you join another river – this time Fenwick Water. At the pond you have the option to turn left to visit the play park and animal farm, or continue ahead to by-pass them. On reaching a stone bridge, continue straight ahead towards the castle. Keep left at the fork to walk around to the front of the castle and continue past the deer enclosure to the car park. Walk through the car park and turn left onto Dean Road. Turn right onto South Dean Road and then left onto Strawberrybank Road. Halfway down, cross over and enter Kay Park. Continue on the main path past the pond and play area and after the cycle track turn left to reach Kay Park Crescent. Turn right along this pleasant residential street then left onto Kay Park Terrace. Turn right onto Grassyards Road and after passing under the railway bridge turn left onto Culzean Crescent. You will soon see Piersland Park again on your right. From here retrace your steps back to the car park on London Road.
WALK REPORT: 30th March 2016
After seeing some walks I had posted to my Facebook page, a family friend – Helen – got in touch suggesting I show her some new routes. Helen & some friends meet in Kilmarnock every Wednesday evening no matter the weather, and enjoy a walk and a blether! My mum and Helen have been friends for over 40 years so I was delighted when Helen contacted me because I had not seen her in a long time and was looking forward to catching up. We decided that I would join them this week and they would show me one of their usual routes and I’d return the favour another time. My mum came along too 🙂
We had a time limit of approx 1.5 hours for the walk and I was pleasantly surprised when I realised we had managed over 4.5 miles in that time! I am sure we could have added to that but I was responsible for a lot of the chatting going on (well, I was meeting some lovely new people afterall!) and we had a pit-stop worrying about some kids playing alone in the river at Dean Park… well until a ‘responsible adult’ turned up and proceeded to wade through the (pretty fast-flowing and deep) river herself to meet them. The things you see!
We went down to have a look at the Walled Garden at the Dean – a first for me! There wasn’t much to see tonight but it looks like they are starting to re-build it after vandals set fire to the area. Look forward to returning in the summer!