Walk 42 – Burn Anne Walk, Galston – 5.3 miles

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A well-known local walk, following Burn Anne through woodland before heading out into more open space and uphill through a new tree plantation, returning via quiet country roads. On a clear day you will be rewarded with views down into the villages below and across to Isle of Arran and Ben Lomond. 

Print  Dog-friendly walk (some short sections along single-track country roads)

  Parking available across from Barr Castle, Barr Street, Galston. Local bus service stops outside Galston Parish Church, a short walk from the start point.

route image  Route: Starting from the Barr Castle car park, turn right onto Barr Street. At the end of the street turn left onto Cemetery Road, passing Galston cemetery and the Grants Foods offices along the way. Continue along this quiet road until it ends at the B7037/Clockston Road. Cross the road and turn right, looking out for a metal gate on your left taking you into Burnhouse Brae Wood. Immediately there is a wooden gate and then a fork – keep left and follow the track through this hilly section of woodland, eventually emerging at a minor road.  Turn right to cross Burn Anne and go thorough the gate on your left into Cessnock Woods. At a fork in the path keep right and you will be led down to a wooden boardwalk followed by a large footbridge. Cross the footbridge, turn right and continue uphill until the path ends at another minor road. Turn right and after a short distance you will see an obvious Irvine Valley Paths Network sign directing you through a kissing gate on your left. This next section of the walk takes you onto more difficult terrain which can be boggy and exposed in poor weather. At this initial fork, go right to head uphill and onto a small footpath which skirts the edge of a field. Go through two sets of metal gates and continue along this woodland footpath to a kissing gate. There is now another field-edge path lined with a mixture of native tree saplings, much of which still have plastic tubing around the base. You will reach a fork in the path at a carved wooden marker post which is in a state of disrepair. Keep left to walk steadily uphill through a mixture of trees and gorse bushes on the open hillside – make sure you stop to take in the stunning panoramic views behind you!  After passing a series of tree stumps and a wildlife information board (a good spot for lunch!), the path soon begins to level out and you will then reach a minor road accessed via a kissing gate. Turn right and follow the road downhill past several cottages. Take the first road on your right and continue gently downhill. Just after where this road bends to the right, look out for a sign on the left directing you back into the woodland at a kissing gate. This path meets back up with wooden footbridge you used to cross the burn earlier. This time you don’t have to cross, just continue straight until you come out onto a road. Here instead of crossing over into the woods again, turn right on the road then left and first left again onto Clockston Road.  This meets up with B7037 where you crossed it earlier and from here retrace your steps back to the car park. 

Burn Anne, Galston

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WALK REPORT: 24th April 2016

A morning spent with my mum and sis! It had been a while since the 3 of us bonded over a hike! Actually, some of this walk reminded me of our hillwalking days, particularly the uphill section where we sat on tree trunks to have our picnic lunch. I heard all my mum’s holiday stories for a second time as she told them to my sister and then we generally set the world to rights!

For me the most prominent thing about this walk was how run down the latter section was. It makes no sense to me: clearly a lot of work has gone into regenerating the area with new tree saplings being carefully planted, wooden way markers being carved to indicate places of interest along the route, and picnic benches being placed in very tranquil areas. HOWEVER much as we would have liked to eat our picnic at one of them, they were not safe to sit at…. some of the saplings had been blown over or snapped by strong winds and their plastic surrounds left to litter the landscape, and one of the signs is so weathered that you can’t even read what is written on it. The whole place just seemed like a bit of a once-loved-now-forgotten wilderness. All that said, it made things interesting! And the views made up for it!

Whitelee Windfarm in the distance
The tip of Ben Lomond can be seen on a clear day!

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4 thoughts on “Walk 42 – Burn Anne Walk, Galston – 5.3 miles

  1. I’ve been in touch with someone at East Ayrshire Leisure Trust about that closed bridge a few times over the past year (that’s how long it’s been closed!). It seems that they commissioned am independent survey of the Irvine Valley Trails about a year ago (ahead of a funding application) and they were advised the bridge was very unsafe and advice was given to close it immediately. It is now up to the landowner to have it repaired. Although I’m not sure who the landowner is. It’s a real shame but at least it’s at the top of the woods and we can still enjoy a lovely walk there (or risk the bridge as you did!)

    Thanks for permission to use your post on my Facebook! And enjoy Walkfest if you decide to go along. Do introduce yourself if we end up on the same walk!


  2. Hi Gillian. I’m not on Facebook, but I’ll look into the Walkfest, thanks for the heads up. It was a great walk thanks, by all means feel free to use my post on Facebook, for what it’s worth!!
    I did your Big Wood walk a couple of Saturday’s back and thoroughly enjoyed it. My dad’s family is from Newmilns, so it was nice seeing his old stomping grounds from when he was a boy. We risked the “closed bridge”, which my mum told me has been “closed” by the local farmer to deter walkers from continuing up past his farm. How much truth there is in that, I’ve no idea!


  3. Thanks so much for taking the time to comment again. The Irvine Valley is one of my favourite places for walks, full of surprises! Did you know about Valley Walkfest? It takes place in May and a huge programme of free walks. They are on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Valleywalkfest-1956537591332484/ or you can pick up programmes in loads of places through the valley, Kilmarnock etc.

    Burn Anne, known locally as Burnawn! I actually did the first little bit of it recently again, the woodland section. Immediately I decided it had to be my next led walk ! So 6th May I’ll be taking a group there. Your post is great marketing for me for that event, if you don’t mind me using it on my Facebook page?

    If you liked this walk then you definitely should go back to the Valley this week and try the Big Wood, starting from the lay by just past ‘Loudoun Gowf Club’ – again, a very indestinct place from which you’d never think there would be a decent walk but wow, hands down THE best spot I know for bluebells. They are in full bloom right now. Walk 56 on my website!


  4. This is a walk I had seen on your blog, but had no real plans to do. “There can’t be any good walks starting in Galston”, was pretty much my mindset. Well, this was clearly a classic case of never judging a book by it’s cover! The forest section was an absolute delight – swathes of bluebells and a chorus of birdsong – an absolute treat. I commented to the kids that I could happily be in that kind of environment every day for the rest of my life. They looked at me like I was nuts! Then the view you get around halfway along the walk was incredible. Looking down to Galston, Loudoun Academy and beyond and over to Whitelee wind farm. I’d never seen the Irvine valley from that angle. My mum and I spent a good ten minutes attempting to identify every village and building! A fantastic walk, Gillian! I only wish I’d done it sooner. If anyone fancies a bluebell spotting walk, this ticks all the boxes!!


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