Walk 29 – River Ayr Way (Annbank to Failford) – 7.5 miles

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A beautiful 7.5 mile linear walk along the banks of the River Ayr, taking in Peden’s Cove in the Ayr Gorge Woodland as well as Highland Mary’s Monument in Failford. 

  Parking available in Annbank – I found a little parking area (fits 3 cars) at the top of Mill Road, otherwise there is plenty of on-street parking close to the start of the walk. Local bus service stops on B744 close to the start of the walk.

route image  Route: The walk starts at the bottom of Dunlop Avenue, Annbank where you will see a tall gate leading into a woodland area.  Follow the path downhill in the direction of the river. Very quickly you will find yourself in a beautiful woodland. On reaching the river the landscape opens up and after crossing over a minor road the impressive Enterkine Viaduct will come into view. Shortly before arriving in Stair you will come to a gate where the path leads away from the river on a de-tour across some farmland.  From here it is a short distance to the B730 at Stair and normally from here you turn right on the road however at time of writing there is a diversion in place so instead turn left heading uphill and look out for a way marker on the right.  This leads to a very pleasant walk along high ground on a wide track in the open countryside. Follow the track down to a large farmhouse, crossing the style into the field just before reaching it. At the other side of the field you will find another style which takes you back to path along the river. The track will lead you left across some farmland and at the highest point you will enter Ayr Gorge Woodland. The route from here is clearly marked out for you and there are information boards in several places which tell you all about it’s history and wildlife. You will come to a fork with one direction indicating that the path ends in 300m – an optional extra along to Peden’s Cove.  Re-joining the main path will lead you all the way onto B743 just next to Failford Inn.  From here you have the option to visit Highland Mary’s Monument which is clearly signposted– a very short walk up some steps will take you there, with lovely views down into the village.

River Ayr Way - Annbank to Failford

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WALK REPORT: 31st March 2016

Diversions, a beautiful red sandstone gorge, an impressive railway viaduct, quaint little villages, a lesson in Ayrshire history, and the muddiest field-crossing I’ve experienced to date! This is a beautiful walk along the banks of the River Ayr, taking in Peden’s Cove in the Ayr Gorge Woodland as well as Highland Mary’s Monument in Failford.

The highlight of this walk for me was definitely Ayr Gorge Woodland and I am so grateful to have taken on this walking challenge allowing me to discover places like this so close to home that I never knew existed. I look forward to taking my husband and kids there soon to do some more exploring! Special mention to a friend, Michelle Stokes, for recommending this walk to me 🙂

I was really lucky with the weather this day which made for some excellent photo opportunities!

Approaching Enterkine Viaduct
Enterkine Viaduct – the closer I got to this enormous structure the more in awe of it I was!
Detour across farmland near Stair is host to the boggiest path I have experienced so far on the 29 walks I have completed! I finally established that the easiest route across was through the middle! Grateful for my gaiters….. It is however a tiny section of the 7 mile walk and in no way should put you off, just be prepared for it 😉
Track which forms part of the diversion put in place to avoid the section of the river path currently closed due to landslide
Red sandstone is a feature found inside Ayr Gorge woodland and this photo is an example of how visible it is beneath the river in some places.
It is well worth the walk along to visit Peden’s Cove – such a beautiful spot! It is also possible to do a shorter walk starting in Failford which comes along to Peden’s Cove and back again.
Another view from Peden’s Cove

To read my other River Ayr Way walk reports click HERE

Use this website often? I invite you to support my work through Patreon or by making a one-off donation.

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