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!
Download the route to your mobile phone HERE (Viewranger app required)
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: 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.
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.