Walk 50 – Fenwick via Suspension Bridge – 6 miles

December 2017 – IMPORTANT NOTE: work is being carried out in one of the fields off Grassyards Road which this route crosses. Part of the field has been dug away completely, leaving lots of mud and very uneven ground. It is passable with care but is very muddy and involves walking around the dug-up area.

This circular walk takes you from Kilmarnock through the beautiful (and usually muddy) Craufurdland Estate and into Fenwick via a suspension bridge.  You will then return to Kilmarnock via a public right of way across farmland to Bringan Ford. Several stiles to cross. 

Fenwick via Suspension Bridge

viewranger image  Click HERE to view or follow a map of the route

parking available icon Parking available next to the Tesco store on Glasgow Road (KA3 1UT)

route image  Route: From the parking area turn left on Glasgow Road. Cross over when safe to turn right onto a minor road signposted ‘Borland‘. After crossing the Fenwick Water you will come to a crossroads where you should continue straight along a road marked ‘Private’ (access for Craufurdland Castle). This takes you over A77 and into the Craufurdland Estate woodlands. Follow ‘footpath’ and ‘Fenwick’ signs. The main track through the Estate can be very muddy but you will find some faint footpaths beneath the trees to the right of the track which you may prefer to follow. Where the track bends right, cross over it and turn left, picking up a woodland trail running along the edge of the trees, eventually reaching a suspension bridge. Cross with care then turn right to follow a grassy footpath towards Dalmusternock Farmhouse B&B. Turn left at the B&B to emerge at B7038. Turn right and continue along the pavement towards Fenwick. Shortly after arriving in the village, turn right onto Waterslap. This minor road takes you past the vehicular entrance to Craufurdland Estate then downhill past a small cottage (with noisy dogs in kennels out back). Immediately after the cottage you will cross a bridge over Craufurdland Water and on your right look out for a wooden ‘footpath’ way marker pointing along a narrow track through woodland. After a short walk you will arrive at a stile onto some farmland. Cross this and follow the perimeter of the field to the next stile. You will cross 3 stiles and go through a gate before arriving at a final stile which leads you onto Wardlaw Road. Turn right and cross the footbridge at Bringan Ford. Follow the road under A77 and turn right at the fork onto Meikle Road. You will soon recognise that you are back at the ‘private road’ sign. Retrace your steps to Glasgow Road and turn left to return to the parking area. 

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The footpath through Craufurdland woods en route to Fenwick

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WALK REPORT: 10th May 2016

I have been a little behind in writing up my walks since being on holiday in France and so had lost count as to where I was in my 100 walk challenge. For this reason I wasn’t actually aware at the time that this was walk #50! A huge milestone and it means I have completed more than half in the first 5 months of the year 🙂

Since doing a couple of walks in this area recently, I had been wondering if it was possible to walk out to the woodland burial grounds near Fenwick, part of Craufurdland Estate. My Gran is buried there and so far I had always driven out. Today proved that you can, however we didn’t go as far as that due to it getting dark. Another walk for another day! My mum accompanied me tonight and it was a pleasure to take her on her first trip to Craufurdland woods.

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This footbridge can be found in Craufurdland Estate. It is wobbly! I was a little anxious crossing it: how old is it?  Is it still safe or is it going to give way when I am halfway across? There isn’t really anything to hold onto either. It is definitely fun though and I can see myself bringing the kids here another day 🙂

What I really enjoy about walks like this is stumbling across unexpected things which you have passed in the car very closeby thousands of times but never actually seen. Like this lovely 17th century farmhouse! It sits just off the B7038 between Kilmarnock and Fenwick and I have never even noticed the sign for Dalmusternock Farmhouse B&B at the edge of the road. Perhaps I am not the most observant!  Tonight a friendly little dog came out to greet us and followed us part of the way up the drive.

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In typical Gillian & mum style, instead of trusting the map and turning left after the farmhouse to loop onto the B road, we decided to turn right onto a farm track to see where it lead. We hoped it would take us into Fenwick without having to walk along the main road, it certainly started off in the right direction. We did not expect what we would find! A dark smelly tunnel awaited us, only normally used by cattle judging by the stench. It was so dark I had to use the torch on my phone to avoid walking in the manure. It led us underneath the B7038 and the A77 then started to loop round in the opposite direction from where we wanted to go! We had the choice of going back through the tunnel or continuing further and see where we ended up…. I am sure you can guess what we chose! A footbridge eventually took us back across the A77 and onto the B road just outside the farmhouse: back where we had been half a mile ago! Never a dull moment on my walks!

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My mum loves a bluebell so it was a treat to come across a cluster of them lining the narrow footpath at a later stage. This is perhaps my favourite section of the walk, high above Craufurdland Water winding it’s way along towards Bringan Ford.

The last section before returning to minor roads is a series of fields to cross. It is an official right of way complete with way markers, however you would be forgiven for thinking you had taken a wrong turn because there is nothing in the way of a path.  The last time I walked this route the fields were grassy and walking was easy apart from the stiles to cross. That is therefore what I had promised my mum tonight. I had not anticipated the farmer having ploughed his fields since then! It made the walk a little more difficult because he had only left a very narrow stretch of grass at the sides for us to walk on without disturbing his crops. Additionally the grass was pretty long which meant wading through it: sore on the legs after a while. You get a glimpse of Craufurdland Castle in the distance from here but sadly we missed it tonight as we were too busy with our heads down making our a way across the field avoiding the nettles, and pressing on to get back before dark. A shame since seeing the castle was the whole reason for mum wanting to try out this route ha! Oops, not a very good guide am I 😮 Another day!

Definitely a highlight of the walk was the amazing sunset. If I am honest I was starting to get slightly worried as we progressed: I knew it was still quite a way back to a place with street lights and it was becoming progressively darker with each step we took. It was 10pm by the time we arrived at the end of the walk, but all worth it! A huge plus side of walking at dusk is gorgeous photo opportunities like these….

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Liked the sound of this one? Here are some suggestions for you in the same area: 

Craufurdland Woodland Trail

Craufurdland Countryside Walk (via Grassyards Road)

Craufurdland Countryside Walk (via Field Path)

Bringan Ford 

Dean Castle Country Park via Borland

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