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A great short walk to do with the kids to visit the stone dragon at Irvine Beach Park. It can be found perched high on the sand dunes overlooking the sea, and is said to be guarding the coastline from future Viking invasions :-) The view from the top of the hill is one of my favourites in Ayrshire! Take a picnic if the weather permits. Extend the walk by visiting the Beach Park, or taking a walk along Irvine Beach whilst you are there.
Car parking available at Irvine Beach Park South, just off Marine Drive (KA12 8LR) – note the surface is very uneven with some potholes
Route: From the car park walk towards the sand dunes and follow the stony footpath along to the base of a steep hill. You can reach the stone dragon either by continuing straight uphill or you can follow the footpath along to the right a little and climb the grassy embankment. Return via the same route or descend the hill and spend some time on the sandy beach by following any of the pathways through the sand dunes.
WALK REPORT: 30th May 2016
My kids love climbing on the stone dragon at Irvine so we go there often. Mummy loves the view so I am more than happy to visit it too :-) It is really handy from the car park, not too far for them to walk but far enough to stretch their legs and burn off some energy. The climb up to the dragon is pretty steep if you take the direct route but you can opt for a more gentle way up by skirting around the side first. I normally let the kids decide. Today was a straight up kind of day!
We were blessed with beautiful weather – a scorching hot sunny day. I had packed a picnic and all their beach toys so that we could spend the whole afternoon here. To be honest we didn’t spend long at the dragon: we have been known to have our picnic there but today there was a lot of litter lying around it and broken glass so we sat on the grassy embankment instead. It’s such a shame that people don’t take care of the town’s attractions. I had to position myself carefully to get a litter-free photo!
After our picnic we spent some time on the beach playing. To access it from the dragon you need to make your way across and down the sand dunes which is pretty steep and unsteady underfoot (the path being made purely of deep sand). Fun though! I recently read about the importance of sand dunes in Scotland and their history and was surprised to learn about the threat they are under due to erosion. This article from February this year about the effects of storm damage in Irvine makes for interesting reading.
Despite the beautiful day, the beach wasn’t busy which is another reason I enjoy coming here. We saw the usual dog walkers and some people on horses. We watched two horses splash around in the water for a while, probably in an attempt to cool down. Lovely sight!