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Eglinton really is a unique Country Park in Ayrshire – unlike any other I have visited. It is spread over a vast area and has so many quirky parts, full of surprises. This short route is ideal with the kids and takes in the all-abilities play park, courtyard and cafe, headless statue (!), castle ruins and Eglinton Loch. Take a picnic on a nice day!
Car parking within Elinton Country Park
Route: Exit the car park and turn left, crossing the road to walk along a lane towards a small play park. Continue past the play park then turn left to a larger play park. We spent some time here before leaving via the same gate and turning right then walking straight across the path towards the courtyard area where the cafe is. From here retrace your steps back out until you are back at the crossroads in front of the large play park. Turn right and follow the footpath, turning right at the end and through a gate. You will reach a crossroads with a bridge on your left – continue straight on here. You will come to a large rectangular grassy area with hedges all around it and a statue in the middle – walk through it to the other side then continue through the gardens until you reach a track. Turn right onto the track. After a short walk you will arrive at another crossroads with a lovely white bridge. Cut through the trees directly in front and you will emerge onto a long grassy lawn with the castle ruins clearly visible in the distance. Head towards them. We spent some time here before moving across to the main footpath and down to the river. Cross the bridge and turn right. You will pass a ford then the path heads off to the left uphill. You will reach the edge of Eglinton Loch after a short walk and you can follow the track right to have a better look. From the edge of the loch retrace your steps slightly and pick up a track heading left. The track turns to boardwalk before emerging back onto the main footpath. Turn left and follow it back down to the ford. Cross the bridge once again. At the crossroads take the path to the left which quickly bends right then winds its way through the trees, past a small car park and out onto a road. Turn left and follow the road back to the main car park.
WALK REPORT: 21st August 2016
It is hard to believe that my first visit to Eglinton was only a couple of months ago, during the school summer holidays. I live no more than 15 minutes away by car and have done so most of my life yet had never ventured there! It is pretty unique in it’s features, different to any other country parks I have been to around Ayrshire. I knew I would be back soon with my husband to show him around and today was the day!
The route we took is described above (minus the race back from the castle ruins to the courtyard area with our youngest for the toilet…. why do they always wait until you are at the furthest possible point from a loo before declaring “I need a pooooooooo”?!). Looking at the map there are lots of other parts of the Country Park to discover, I just went the same way I had done with my friend during my first visit. I would like to go back and walk around the entire loch, and I noticed way markers pointing out the New Town Trail which definitely looks interesting for a longer walk in the area!
The courtyard area is lovely. There are plenty of picnic benches as well as a cafe and toilet facilities. Take a coin for the wishing well and look out for the stone dog water bowl outside the loos!