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Peden’s Cove is hidden inside Ayr Gorge Woodland, a Scottish Wildlife Trust reserve. This beautiful and ancient woodland is formed around an incredible red sandstone canyon, which gives the water of the River Ayr a vibrant red appearance when the sun shines directly onto it! Peden’s Cove, a set of steps carved into the red sandstone cliffs, is reached a mile along the footpath (total walk distance 2 miles return). This is a fantastic walk for the whole family; not to be missed if you are in the Ayrshire area!
Car parking available just off B74 opposite Failford Inn (KA5 5TF) / Bus services to Failford from Cumnock and Ayr
Route: Facing the Failford Inn (KA5 5TF), head right (South West) on B743. Immediately after crossing a bridge over the Water of Fail, turn left (South) to enter Ayr Gorge Woodlands. Follow this woodland trail across a footbridge then up a steep staircase. At the top of the stairs keep left at any forks in the path (not shown on map). The River Ayr is on your left-hand side and the path follows the course of the river for 870m to a fork. Keep left. 360m along you will reach Peden’s Cove viewpoint. Retrace your steps to return to the Failford Inn
WALK REVIEW: 21st May 2016
When I completed the Annbank to Failford section of the River Ayr Way, I vowed to bring my family back to Ayr Gorge Woodland reserve. I couldn’t believe that such a lovely place existed so close to home and I had never heard of it before! The river is lined by red sandstone cliffs forming a canyon and if you go early evening as we did when the sun is shining directly into River Ayr, the water actually appears red thanks to the sandstone beneath it.
Throughout the woods the beautiful smell of wild garlic followed us. This is the first year I have noticed that it actually flowers, lovely white blossoms lining the floor making it look like a dusting of snow.
It is a short enough walk to take small kids on. My two enjoyed throwing stones into the river from the path! Can anyone see the rainbow just where the stone hits the water??
When you reach the red sandstone steps of Peden’s Cove, take some time to read the information board which explains it’s fascinating history. What a peaceful spot!