Walk 76 – Irvine to Kilmarnock via Cycle Track – 7 miles

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This easy 7 mile linear walk starts in Milgarholm Park, Irvine and ends on Munro Avenue, Kilmarnock near the recycling centre. Since it is a cycle track it is great for buggies.  The path is surfaced the whole way and mostly level with only a couple of short hills. The walk can be extended by starting/finishing in Irvine town centre or Kilmarnock town centre.

buggy friendly image  Buggy friendly walk

Print  Dog-friendly walk (some sections emerge onto busy roads so care is needed)

Small car park at Milgarholm Park, just off A71, Irvine and on-street parking available on Munro Avenue, Kilmarnock. Irvine Train Station is 1.6km from Milgarholm Park and Kilmarnock Train Station is 1.3km from Munro Avenue so extending the route to both stations adds on 3km. There are bus services between Irvine and Kilmarnock and the walk can be accessed from the bus route. Closest bus stop to start point is Riverside Hotel on Annick Road 800m away from Milgarholm Park. Closest bus stop to end point is Annanhill Avenue, Kilmarnock 500m away from Munro Avenue.

route image  Route: Start from the small parking area at the entrance to Milgarholm Park, just off A71 in Irvine. From the far end (furthest from main road) of the car park turn left (East) onto a footpath. This very soon leads onto another footpath where you again turn left (East). At a crossroads before you reach the bridge over the Annick Water, turn right (South). This leads down to the riverside and onto the NCN73 cycle track. Turn left (North East) on the NCN73. The river should be on your right-hand side. The route takes you across B7081/Annick Road via a pedestrian crossing, then past a hotel, sticking close to the river’s edge for approx 2km. As you approach Greenwood Academy there are several paths tempting you left or right but continue straight on (East) to stay on the NCN73 route to cross the Annick Water and walk through Annick Park. At the East end of Annick Park, cross Station Brae in Dreghorn, picking up the continuation of the cycle path ahead. The path crosses the Annick Water again via a footbridge, then zigzags through beautiful open countryside for 500m. When you reach a minor road, turn left (North). 140m along the road keep right at a fork to reach Towerlands Road. Cross over Towerlands Road then turn right (East) along the side of the road and round the outside of the roundabout on the cycle path. 1km along from the roundabout you will reach the village of Springside. Cross the Overtoun Road to reach the next stage of the cycle path on the other side. From this point simply follow the cycle path for 5.5km until you emerge onto Munro Avenue, Kilmarnock, next to the Recycling Centre.

Irvine to Kilmarnock old railway.png

WALK REPORT: 12th July 2016

This is a route I cycled a few times years ago and has been on my 100 Walk Challenge list since the beginning. To be honest I tend to avoid cycle tracks for walks, mainly because I find them quite boring after a while: tarmac as far as the eye can see, tree-lined therefore not much of a view, fine to whizz along on a bike but less fun on two feet…. This one is surprisingly scenic, particularly the first half.  We chose a sunny summer evening to do it which did help a lot! We being my friend LJ and myself – our weekly ‘after work’ walk has become tradition now as you may have noticed.

We decided to leave a car at each end, walk Irvine to Kilmarnock then pick up the car left in Irvine. It worked well however you could also do the walk in reverse if you prefer. Our starting point of choice was at Milgarholm Park which is just off A71 after Warrix Interchange (if coming from the Kilmarnock side). I had walked around this area previously and knew that it was a lovely spot. Technically the whole route is more like 10 miles if you follow the cycle track from it’s true start point at Irvine harbour. Time was against us in as much as we were starting off around 7pm so we opted for this shorter version.

Irvine10
These cast-iron way markers are the Millennium Mileposts commissioned by Sustrans. There are over 1000 of them all over the UK along the National Cycle Network. This is the one just outside Knockentiber.
Irvine7
Surfaced paths all the way make for easy walking
Irvine8
Looking over the Annick Water. In summer the path is lined with brightly coloured flowers such as the rosebay willowherb shown in this photo.

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