Walk 85 – Eglinton Country Park, Irvine – 1.6 miles

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! 

Print  Dog-friendly walk

Eglinton loop

viewranger-logo-new-jan-2017  Download the route to your mobile phone HERE  (Viewranger app required)

parking-available-icon  Car parking within Elinton Country Park

route-image  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. 

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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!

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We had the kids with us so spent quite a bit of time at the large play park before starting the walk. It is great for age 3+ and is actually an all-abilities play park. There is a smaller one for younger children just next to it. Plenty of picnic benches in this area too!

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!

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The headless statues! This can be found right in the middle of a huge rectangular grassy area surrounded by hedges. All around the statue there is a beautiful wildflower garden which was in full bloom when we were there.
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Just love this bridge!
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The castle ruins are so interesting. One full wall remains, as well as a tower. The rest is all broken down almost to ground level but you can still make out the shapes of each of the rooms which would once have made up the building. The kids had a ball playing hide and seek here!
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Eglinton Loch. We only saw it from the very edge but I believe there is a path which goes right around it. I will return one day to walk it! The day we were here there was a man fishing here.
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The bridge leading back from the loch towards the castle ruins. The route we followed turns left after crossing. Just next to the bridge there is also a small ford which was too deep when we went but I imagine when the river is low you can cross there too!

The above photos show the tree-lined track back from the bridge to the car park. Some lovely flowers in bloom this time of year!

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