Parking available at former site of Howard Park Hotel on Glasgow Road, KA3 1UT
Click HERE to view or follow a map of my route.
Route: Turn left onto Glasgow Road from the car park and walk along looking out for a minor road on the right signposted ‘Borland’. Follow it downhill, crossing a pretty bridge over the Fenwick Water. Ignore the private road but take the next on your left (staying on Meikle Road). 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 (I am not sure if this area has a name!) to Grassyards Road where you turn right. Enjoy the views across farmland towards New Farm Loch and the south side of Kilmarnock from this elevated position! Continue down to just beyond Grassyards Interchange and take the first right into the housing estate (known locally as “The Courts” – you will understand why as you work your way around the perimeter). Turn right on South Dean Road and immediately right again onto Dean Road, crossing the bridge and then following the path into Dean Castle Country Park alongside the Kilmarnock Water. Cross the bridge at the top of the hill (pictured above) and turn right – signposted ‘Large Animals’. 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.
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 around behind “The Courts” – I would be tempted next time to continue down Grassyards Road instead, however it did give me the opportunity to see where Silverwood Primary School is for the first time ever! 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.
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!