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A walk for the more adventurous! Quiet country roads quickly lead into the woodland of Craufurdland Estate. You will pass the fishing loch and the Laird’s Table cafe/restaurant, as well as cross a ford (using the footbridge!). The return leg of the walk is via a public right of way across fields. Expect a fair amount of mud in the woods most times of the year as well as 5 stiles to cross as you move along the field boundaries. There is another option for this walk which misses out the field crossing and instead follows the Grassyards Road to Bringan Ford. It is slightly longer but easier. Click HERE for details.
Car parking available next to the Tesco store, Glasgow Rd, Kilmarnock (KA3 1UT). Rather than using the supermarket car park, use the area beside the row of shops/takeaways, close to the Glasgow Road/B7038. Closest train station is in Kilmarnock, 1.5 miles away. Local bus service from Kilmarnock down centre and buses to/from Glasgow stop on Glasgow Road, at the start of the walking route.
Route: From the car park next to the Tesco supermarket, head across the grass verge and onto the pavement of Glasgow Road/B7038. Turn left (North East) and walk along the pavement for 450m until you see a single track road on your right, signposted “Borland” (street name on the map is Meikle Road). Cross the Glasgow Road onto Borland. You’ll cross the Fenwick Water then the road will start to go uphill. Near the top of the hill there is a crossroads – continue ahead (East) past the brown access information sign. The road takes you onto the A77 flyover. 140m beyond the flyover, turn left (North East), signposted “Borland Lane walking and bike trails”. This takes you into Craufurdland woods. At the end of the long, tree-lined track turn right (South East). This woodland trail brings you out onto the main road in the Estate. Turn left (North East) and walk along the road, passing the fishing loch and the Laird’s Table cafe, and continuing to leave the Craufurdland Estate via the gated entrance. Turn right (South East) on Waterslap and follow the road 380m to a cottage. Beyond the cottage there is a bridge over the Craufurdland Water and immediately after crossing a bridge look for a ‘Footpath’ sign on your right, where there is a gap in the stone wall, leading onto a narrow woodland trail. Go through the woods. The trail will emerge onto a field at a stile. Cross the stile. There is no visible path beyond this point – just stick to the perimeter of the field, keeping the fence on your right-hand side. This will lead you to another stile. Cross it and the field beyond, then repeat again once more. When you arrive into the fourth field, cut straight across it in a south west direction (rather than following the perimeter fencing), and the same on reaching the final field. You will arrive at a final stile leading onto Wardlaw Road. Cross the stile then turn right (West) to reach a ford. Cross the ford via the footbridge then continue along the road for 800m, walking beneath the A77 flyover on the way. Turn right (North) at the end of the road junction. This takes you back to the crossroads you were at earlier, at the bottom of “Borland”. Turn left (South West) and retrace your steps back to the car park.
WALK REPORT: 17th April 2016
I wanted to go a quick walk this morning before a kiddies birthday party late afternoon and I was super happy when Nathan asked to come with me! I chose to check out this walk into Craufurdland Estate for a few reasons: I’d never been out that way before, I was taking a walking group there in a few days and wanted to be sure of the route, it’s muddiness and so on, and I knew it was close enough to home and short enough that Nathan would manage it.
He couldn’t come along without his beloved meerkat teddy of course! Meerkat started off being carried as normal but when it started to drizzle he could be found inside Nathan’s jacket with only his little head peeking out the top of the zip. Later, Nathan felt that maybe meerkat was cold and so he took his woolly hat off and snuggled him up inside his “sleeping bag”, again with it’s head peeking out. He cuddled him close to his body with one arm whilst holding my hand with the other. He made sure to hold meerkat up and show him the view out over the A77 when we crossed the bridge, and we had to take turns helping him over the various stiles we came to. It was so sweet watching him “look after” his teddy in the same way that I was looking after him.
The drawback to having a 4 year old with you is lack of speed: we averaged 1.5 mph on this walk and so it took almost 4 hours to walk 4.5 miles…. but who’s counting??! We both enjoyed ourselves and that’s the main thing. We also made it home in time for the party = bonus!
A highlight for Nathan was seeing a ford for the first time! We were very fortunate to also witness a car driving through it, which helped answer many of the questions he was putting forward…“Do cars sometimes drown when they try to cross the Ford?… Why can cars not drown?…” Other questions asked today included “Why do Christmas trees die when you chop them down?… Why do dandelions close when you pick them?… Why is it dark in the forest?…….”
Overall I really enjoyed the walk and will definitely return to Craufurdland another day to explore the area more.