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A fantastic walk combining some of my favourite short walks in Kilmarnock: down the River Irvine from New Farm to Crookedholm, the loop past Riccarton Mill Cottages then through the Bellfield Estate. Perfect if you are looking for a longer walk to do with a buggy in tow.
Parking available off Queen’s Drive retail park. Local bus service stops on Queen’s Drive. Kilmarnock bus and train stations are approx 1 mile away.
Route: From the retail park turn left on Queen’s Drive. Cross over when you have the opportunity and continue along to the traffic lights. Turn right onto New Mill Road. Turn left at Nursery Avenue and right onto Mackinlay Place. Turn left onto Samson Avenue and this will lead to London Road. Cross over and walk straight up Alloway Avenue past Piersland Park then cross under the railway bridge onto Macphail Drive. The road curves round to the right and uphill past some shops. Continue straight at the mini roundabout onto Milton Road. Cross the footbridge over A77 and continue along Milton Road, passing the old Crookedholm schoolhouse. Look out for a footpath on your right which takes you along the River Irvine and into Crookedholm. Cross Main Road and turn left then follow it along until the roundabout where you turn right onto Riccarton Road. Continue straight until just after the railway bridge where you will come to a minor road on your right. Follow the road along and downhill to Riccarton Mill Cottages then looping round to follow the River Irvine then a burn back out onto Riccarton Road. Turn right towards Bellfield Interchange. Take care crossing over 2 exits of the roundabout onto A735/Queen’s Drive. Find a safe place to cross over onto Hurlford Road (there is a pedestrian crossing a little further down Queen’s Drive if the road is particularly busy). After passing under A71, cross over towards the entrance to Bellfield Estate on your left. Walk through Bellfield woods and turn right onto Whatriggs Road. Continue downhill past some shops and beyond, keeping left at a fork and onto Witchknowe Road. Take the first right onto Witchknowe Avenue then right again onto Turnberry Drive. At the end of the street cross Hurlford Road and turn to follow New Street towards Riccarton Church, where you should turn right onto Old Street. The road passes under A71 and immediately after take the minor road on your right (looks like a dead end). At the end of the road turn left onto the footpath and this will lead you onto Little Bellsland Road, coming out behind the Asda store. From here continue straight ahead to return to Queen’s Drive.
WALK REPORT: 11th May 2016
What better is there to do when your car is in for a service on a sunny midweek morning?! Perfect excuse for a big walk! I was excited to do this one because it encompasses some of my favourite discoveries in the Kilmarnock area. Plus I knew it was completely buggy friendly so I could cover a good distance in the 2 hours I had to spare before I was needed for the nursery pick up.
Memories from this walk include one incident which has come back to haunt me several times since then…. It was when we stopped for a snack on a quiet bench overlooking the River Irvine and I decided to throw the little man’s banana peel behind me into the bushes. No biggie – it’s biodegradable. Instantly I knew I had made a mistake when I realised he had witnessed the event and I began explaining the dos and don’ts of throwing things away. I thought I had made everything crystal clear until a few days later when he announced to me in the car that he had thrown his empty plastic water bottle out the window because he was finished with it!!! Cue a second attempt at an explanation…
I love the section off Riccarton Road. I still remember the day I discovered the Mill Cottages and it is one of my favourite short walks now. It only adds a mile on but makes the stroll down Riccarton Road so much more enjoyable!