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A countryside walk along minor roads, residential pavements and woodland footpaths. You will cross Bringan Ford en route as well as part of Kilmarnock’s flagship park: the Dean Castle Country Park.
Parking available off Glasgow Road beside Tesco store (KA3 1UT)
Route: From the front door of Tesco, walk as though you are going around the back of the store and go past the front of the small row of shops / takeaways. Cross over the car park and grass verge to reach Glasgow Road. Turn left onto Glasgow Road and continue for 500m until you see a country road on your right-hand side signposted ‘Borland’. Carefully cross Glasgow Road onto the Borland road. After 300m you will reach a crossroads – keep right. After a further 260m turn left. You will pass Assloss Farm and then go underneath the A77 to join up with the Craufurdland Water which you follow along until you reach Bringan Ford: use the footbridge to cross. The road then continues past a cluster of houses to Grassyards Road where you turn right. Continue down to just beyond Grassyards Interchange and take the first right onto Kennedy Drive. Follow this residential street for approximately 1 mile (there is an optional path on the right about halfway along entering the Dean Castle Country Park at an earlier point if you wish to shorten the walk or try out some of the other trails). Turn right on South Dean Road and immediately right again onto Dean Road, crossing the bridge and then following the path on the right immediately after the bridge to follow the Kilmarnock Water into Dean Castle Country Park. Cross the bridge at the top of the hill and turn sharp right. Continue on this track past the animal enclosures and alongside the Craufurdland Water then up a steep slope bringing you out across from the riding centre. Turn right on Assloss Road and follow it along until you join up with the road you started on ‘Borland‘. Retrace your steps back to the car park.
WALK REPORT: 7th April 2016
This is a loop my mum walks regularly and had recommended to me, albeit she tends to do a slightly longer version to & from home. I have memories cycling parts of it years ago but am not sure whether I had ever walked it before today. I particularly enjoyed the first part which takes you along quiet country roads past the Fenwick Water and Craufurdland Water (over a Ford – definitely the highlight of the walk and where it gets it’s name from!), a cluster of cottages and out onto Grassyards Road.
I was less keen on the next section along Kennedy Drive, it went on for too long for my liking. However it did give me the opportunity to see where Silverwood Primary School is for the first time ever! [Update Feb 2018: There is now a new footpath off Kennedy Drive entering the Dean Castle Country Park earlier which may tempt you and which I can recommend trying out] The last section, through the Dean Castle Country Park, is a favourite stomping ground of mine and so is a place I feel completely at home in. There are many trails within the park to explore.
Mum and I have already decided we will be returning to the start of this walk soon to take the ‘Private’ road along to Craufurdland Castle, somewhere neither of us has ever visited despite living close by all our lives! I understand they hold many events in the estate grounds such as muddy trials 10k and 5k races and a kids outdoor nursery school among other things. Definitely worth checking out!