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A pleasant woodland walk taking in some of the highlights of Eglinton Country Park before looping around Eglinton Loch and returning to the start via a track along the outer perimeter of the park.
The easiest way to travel to Eglinton Country Park is by car. There is plenty of free parking onsite. If using public transport the closest train station is in Kilwinning, 2 miles away. From there it is possible to cycle (approx 10 mins) or walk (approx 40 mins) or take a bus to Irvine Road/A737. From the bus stop the start point is approx half a mile /15 minutes away on foot. Eglinton Country Park is accessible by bike with good cycle parking onsite. It is located close to the National Cycle Network routes 7 and 73.
Route: Starting from the rectangular wooden archway with “Visitor Centre” written on it, with your back to it turn right to head along the main road a short distance. Turn right towards a small play park. Continue past the small and then a larger play area, following the footpath until you reach a fork where you turn right to go through some gates. Continue straight on at the crossroads, heading past a row of boulders across the footpath to pass a large rectangular grassy area with hedges all around it and a statue in the middle. Continue straight to enter a tree-lined passageway leading to the ruins of Eglinton Castle. The path goes uphill and then downhill to a footbridge across the Lugton Water. Turn right after crossing the bridge and the track leads slightly uphill. You will catch a glimpse of Eglinton Loch on your right – it is worth taking a moment to leave the path and have a proper look at it as this is the only point you see the Loch on the entire loop around it (not buggy friendly). Return to the track and continue through this peaceful part of the Park. After crossing the Lugton Water once more turn right. Further along, continue straight ahead at a crossroads and then a little later keep right at a fork. This takes you into a gravel path through some trees and eventually over a small footbridge. After crossing, turn right and follow this track around the perimeter of Eglinton Park, eventually leading you back to the car park.
WALK REPORT: 11th October 2016
My friend Lynsey and I had been in the habit of meeting once per week in the Summer evenings to complete a 7 mile walk in or close to the Kilmarnock area. We had skipped a few weeks for various reasons and suddenly found ourselves in early Autumn with the darker nights well and truly on their way! Despite starting this walk earlier than we normally would and being back at the car by 6:45pm after a much shorter 2.7 mile walk, we had to rely on the torches on our mobile phones at a few points to see our way through the trees….. We were going to have to re-think our strategy for future walks!
I had been planning to name this walk “Eglinton Loch Loop” since the path circles around the perimeter of the loch; this being the whole reason I had wanted to try it in the first place. However I was a little disappointed to find out that you don’t see the loch at all for the entire walk unless you take a de-tour (see route description for info)! It is well worth the short additional walk as it is a beautiful and peaceful place. Any time I have been here there have been people fishing.
The walk starts through the more familiar parts of Eglinton Country Park: the play park, picnic areas, castle ruins and footbridges. You then venture into quieter areas of woodland and open countryside.
After this point there were some unexpected path closures due to work taking place by Scottish Water. This also meant that everything suddenly became a lot less scenic and a lot more like a building site! It was a short section though so not too much harm done 🙂
After passing through the gate pictured above the path turns right and you enter more woodland. This was where we needed our torches! Technically it was still daylight, but in the shade of the trees it was pitch black. I was glad I hadn’t decided to come a walk by myself!