Parking available at base of hill just past Dykehead Farm (KA17 0LU)
Click HERE to view or follow a map of our route
Route: From the car park you will see a blue signpost to your left pointing across some farmland towards Loudoun Hill. Cross the stile into the field and head straight across to the fence at the other side – look out for another stile marked by a tall wooden post with the remains of a white plastic sign on top. From here again head straight across the field to the fence and boundary wall – from what I could see there are no set places to cross these so it’s just a free-for-all. You will join a narrow earth path which leads around the base of the hill a short distance and you should look out for a less obvious grassy path leading up the steep slope of Loudoun Hill between the trees. It then flattens out for the final walk up to the summit, marked by a large cairn. Return same way.
9th April 2016
After a short but steep climb up you will rewarded with beautiful views down into the Irvine Valley and on a clear day right across to Whitelee Windfarm and Isle of Arran.
I climbed Loudoun Hill a few weeks ago when I walked in from Darvel via the old railway . Since then I vowed to bring the kids, mainly to suss out how able they were and also whether they enjoyed it or not. I figured that if they could manage this hill’s steep slope without complaining then I was onto a winner! I knew it was a short walk in terms of distance (less than a mile to the top and back) so a perfect first hill walk for my 4 and 2 year olds 🙂
“Boys…. Do you fancy walking up a hill with mummy today?” You would have thought I’d told them it was Christmas Eve! “Yeah yeah yeah! Can we go now?!” I was relieved at their initial reaction. Off we went. I honestly wasn’t sure how it would go: my youngest was used to my walking antics and had confidently and happily climbed up the short steep hill to Greenan Castle with me recently so I felt pretty sure he was ready for more of the same. My eldest can walk for miles but generally gets bored pretty quickly and is a bit of a scaredy cat so I had visions of him wanting to hold my hand and whimpering in fear for most of the way.
I couldn’t have been more wrong! Nathan shot off like Spiderman up the hill absolutely in his element and it was Thomas who wanted my hand. In fairness he was only wearing wellies which I believe set him back a little: we had rushed out to buy them both hiking boots that morning but we only managed to find Nathan’s size. Overall I was delighted with how they both did and was super happy at how much Nathan was enjoying the experience. “Mummy look at the views!“, “Mummy I love this!”, “Mummy look how fast I can climb up!” Near the top we met a group of people coming back down and they commented on how well the kids were doing: “Look at the size of these kids coming up“, one said, “If they can do it then I really need to get a grip!”. Nathan even fell a few times on the way down and (very unlike him) didn’t cry. I long for the day when we can go on hiking trips as a family and this ‘test’ run and first ever hill walk with the kids couldn’t have gone smoother.