This is a really pleasant walk in Kilmarnock. It starts by crossing Caprington Golf Course on a grassy footpath to reach the village of Earlston and then follows a minor road along to pass Caprington Castle. From here you enter some woodland and visit the Walled Garden before following the River Irvine along an earth footpath to the edge of Caprington housing estate. The final stretch is on pavements beside the Ayr Road.
Small parking bay off B7038/Ayr Road across from Sprockets Cycles (KA1 5LF)
Click HERE to view or follow a map of the route
Route: Cross the B7038/Ayr Road and pass through a lane between Dewaldens Garden Centre and some houses to reach Caprington Golf Course. Cross the golf course using the grassy footpath straight ahead and continue in this direction, passing some ruins then eventually reaching a gate onto some farmland. Cross through the gate into the field and follow the track which bends to the left before straightening up and emerging out onto a minor road at the small village of Earlston. Turn right here and continue until you reach a crossroads. There are two roads on the right, take the first one to enter Caprington Woods through a gated entrance. In front of the castle you will be at another crossroads where you turn right along a tree-lined track. After a short walk you will come to an indistinct footpath on your right heading slightly uphill towards some stone ruins. This is the Walled Garden. Follow the footpath around the outskirts of the gardens then at the other side loop back down onto the main track, turning right to continue all the way along to a bridge crossing the River Irvine. You are not going to cross the bridge on this occasion; instead look for a narrow (often very muddy) path heading off to the right alongside the river. Follow this along until you emerge out onto Maxholm Road. Continue straight – Maxholm Road becomes Fleming Street then you come to a roundabout where the street crosses through the barriers and onto a pavement beside the A71 slip road. Turn right here to follow the pavement round the roundabout and onto Campbell Street then B7038/Ayr Road. After approx 1 mile you will arrive back at the parking bay at Caprington Golf Course.
WALK REVIEW: 1st June & 26th August 2016, updated 29th January 2017
In order to publish this route I ended up having to do it twice and almost 3 months passed between each trip. The first time I was with my mum and friend LJ and there were a couple of concerns I had with that route, namely a busy B road with no pavement which wasn’t enjoyable and us getting lost on a minor road inside Caprington Estate which suddenly ended at a large house despite the map showing it as a through-road. The owner came out and showed us through his garden onto what looked like an overgrown field and pointed out where to cross into the woods. Neither of these sections were ideal when it came to publishing a walk other people might like to try so I wanted to return another day to find a way of avoiding them.
“Do you fancy going a wee walk?” asked my husband one child-free afternoon 12 weeks later. “I would love to” was my reply and I immediately thought about my unfinished Caprington Castle walk which was within walking distance from our home. Turns out we do not go by the same definition of ‘a short walk’: my husband was thinking of a 20 minute stroll, not the 4 mile walk complete with Viewranger tracking and photography that he got! Oops…..
The walk across the golf course is really interesting, and it isn’t long before you feel as though you are far from the town out in the open countryside. The path is wide and grassy and you pass some old ruins along the way.