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This walk starts in Dunsmuir Park housing estate in Kilmarnock and is mainly along quiet country roads, with one section across grassy farmland. It takes in the villages of Kilmaurs and Knockentiber before returning to Dunsmuir Park via part of the #73 National Cycle Route.
Roadside parking available on residential streets just off John Walker Drive, Kilmarnock (KA3 1NE). Local bus service stops on Western Rd or Hill Street, a short walk from the start point. Kilmarnock bus and train stations are approx 1 mile away.
Route: Start by walking along John Walker Drive looking out for a large play park on your left. Turn into it and go through an open gate onto a quiet country road. Walk left and follow the road along until just before it crosses the railway track where you will see a way marker directing you turn right towards Kilmaurs. The road goes uphill towards a farm where it ends and continues across grassy farmland accessed via a kissing gate. Cross the farmland keeping to the right and you will emerge onto A735 Kilmarnock Road. Turn left and continue into Kilmaurs. On reaching the main street in the village, cross over onto Sunnyside and walk past Kilmaurs Primary School. Turn right after the railway bridge then left onto Irvine Road. Follow Irvine Road along until you are leaving Kilmaurs and once you are past all the houses take the minor road on your left. This crosses over a burn and then under the National Cycle Route #73 and eventually veers left onto Kilmaurs Road, Knockentiber. Turn left here and cross over. On your right there will be 2 roads – take the smaller one on the left. This road crosses underneath the National Cycle Route #73 at one point. Look out for a narrow earth path leading off the road and up onto the cycle route. Follow the cycle route along a short distance until you reach a farm track on your left at a gate. Taking this track will lead you to a farm where you turn right. From here you rejoin the minor road you started on, coming out back at the play park.
WALK REPORT: 26th April 2016
Last week while doing the Dunsmuir Park and Knockentiber Loop with my friend Lynsey, we noticed a way-marker for Kilmaurs and I have been keen to try out the route ever since. Tonight was the night!
Before setting off I calculated a loop we could do at approx 7 miles, although I wasn’t entirely sure where the ‘Kilmaurs’ sign was going to lead us exactly in the village, because according to my maps the road didn’t exist at all…..
We certainly didn’t expect to be crossing farmland! When we reached the end of the road at the farm we saw a track leading into a field and were both very unsure. But after checking around there didn’t appear to be any other way to go past so we decided to give it a bash knowing we could always turn back if it didn’t seem right.
When we got to the other side of the field and there was a kissing gate I knew we had gone the right way. Apart from the fact that there is little in the way of a path, the other reason I believe this isn’t a commonly used track is that there were very jaggy bushes growing into the kissing gate, which made for an uncomfortable passing through it! For me anyway…. Lynsey decided to climb over the metal gate instead (I do have a photo but that wouldn’t be nice!)
This definitely felt like a much longer walk than the one we did together the week before. I guess partly because it was…. 3.5 miles longer to be exact! But also because it was so bitterly cold!! Despite having full length thermals on top and bottom plus a t shirt, a fleece and a hoodie, it took me a couple of hours to heat up after I got home. My sister would tell me we obviously weren’t walking fast enough, but at an average speed of 3.3 mph (according to my tracker), I’d say we had a pretty good pace going!