Walk 54 – Glengavel Reservoir to Darvel – 10 miles

This walk begins at the tranquil and picturesque Glengavel Reservoir,  and goes via Bankend Rig Windfarm to end near Randoldcoup Bridge in Darvel. It is a challenging walk mainly due to the distance covered but as the landscape is so varied there is lots to keep you entertained. The terrain ranges from no path at all to quiet country roads. You will be rewarded with views across to Loudoun Hill, Whitelee Windfarm and Isle of Arran on a clear day. You will also cross over the humble beginnings of the Avon Water which runs into the River Clyde when it eventually reaches Hamilton! 

Print  Dog-friendly walk

Glengavel Reservoir to Darvel

viewranger-logo-new-jan-2017  Download the route to your mobile phone HERE  (Viewranger app required)

parking available icon  Car parking available at Glengavel Reservoir however I believe this is for Upper Avon Angling Association permit holders only so a better option may be to park in Darvel at the end point and arrange to be dropped off at Glengavel Reservoir to begin the walk.

route image  Route: Walk along the banks of the reservoir past the boathouse and High Plewland Farm, on a wide grassy footpath leading towards a forest. Take care crossing the burn then continue along the edge of the forest until a clearing on your right at some old wooden huts. Follow Spoutloch Burn uphill then after scrambling at a steep section just before a small waterfall, veer off to the left towards the obvious wind turbine. On reaching the turbine you are now in Bankend Rig Windfarm. With the turbine behind you, follow the track downhill to the right and turn right again at the fork. Continue straight past a second turbine and after crossing Spoutloch Burn turn right. continue straight past several more turbines and downhill towards the quarry. Here turn left and continue along this track which will eventually emerge out of the forest onto more open countryside. Keep left at a fork to arrive at Burnhead Cottage. Pass through the grounds of the cottage and at Burnhead Bungalow take the road on the left, following the way markers for Irvine Valley Paths Network. This track leads to a footbridge across Tulloch burn. Continue along the track, turn right at a fork then left onto Bransfield Bridge across Logans Burn. At the bridge turn right into some woodland and follow the path alongside the Gower Water, turning left when you reach the road. Follow the road downhill until it reaches Randoldcoup Bridge where you turn right to reach West Main Street, Darvel. 




WALK REPORT: 15th May 2016

I did this walk with my sister as part of the Irvine Valley Walking Festival 2016. I purposely chose this one because it was one of the longer and more strenuous walks on the calendar and I was also keen to explore this part of the Irvine Valley, having only walked as far as Loudoun Hill to date.

We were a group of around 12 people of mixed ages and abilities with several walk guides showing us the way. They were very informative about the local area and what to expect on the walk, as well as being able to suggest other walks for me to do in the Irvine Valley. I thoroughly enjoyed this walk although found the section through the windfarm a little less interesting than the rest. That said, I loved the variety of different terrains and landscapes and would definitely return to any of the other sections of the walk to explore more. I look forward to attending more of these annual Walking Festivals in the years to come and I would definitely recommend it to anyone interested in walks in the Irvine Valley.

Glengavel Reservoir
Footpath at the reservoir, heading towards the forest
As you leave the reservoir behind to head into the forest you will see these abandoned little wooden huts
Track through Bankend Rig Windfarm. The trees in the background were seemingly burned down in a forest fire years ago.
Quarry used to create the roads through the wind farm
The humble beginnings of the Avon Water, which flows into River Clyde after it’s long and winding journey from here to Hamilton 🙂
Footbridge across Tulloch Burn. The burn actually runs across the path, creating a Ford, as you can see on the left of the photo.
The gentle walk down into Darvel at the end of the day. Just love how lush and green the countryside here  can be.


5 thoughts on “Walk 54 – Glengavel Reservoir to Darvel – 10 miles

  1. Gave up on this one. The section by the reservoir was lovely but as soon as you turn up into the woods the track turns into a dodgy scramble up a very steep bank above the waterfall. The track disappears and going is tough through the forest. When you emerge from the forest the route to the first wind turbine is impeded by dead, felled trees and is almost impassable. Be aware that the forest has been cleared back from the extent shown on the OS map and walking through areas where tree felling has gone on is really difficult

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Colin, sorry to hear about the troubles you had on this one. I haven’t been back since 2016 so that is a shame if the path is now impassable. I will go and check it out once we are allowed to travel again and make updates to the route description where needed. Thanks for flagging!


      1. We did this last January and had the same problem as Colin with the dead felled trees. It took us 30 minutes to navigate through them to the wind turbines
        We returned today 24/03/2021, prior to going we google earthed the terrain and found there is a fire break through the trees at the top on the right hand side of the steep bank which made the going easy access to the wind turbines.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thanks Jim for this info. I need to make a point of going back out to this area and adjusting my route description accordingly. Your advice about the fire break in the trees has been noted and will be most helpful, thanks.


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