The Craigie Loop, Ayrshire – 6.7 miles

On a clear day you will enjoy fantastic views as far as Ben Lomond on this walk! After an initial short section within the residential area of Shortlees in Kilmarnock, the route quickly heads out into the Ayrshire countryside where you remain for approximately 6 miles passing several working farms and through the village of Craigie. The entire walk is along quiet country roads however it is pretty hilly (promise it is all downhill after Craigie!) Some parts of Craigie Road are prone to flooding after heavy rainfall so wear suitable footwear. 

Craigie

viewranger-logo-new-jan-2017 Follow a map of this route on your mobile phone by downloading it HERE

parking-available-icon  Car parking at Matalan, Loreny Industrial Estate, Umberley Road, Kilmarnock (KA1 5LB)

route image  Route: Exit the Matalan car park and turn left along a lane which leads to Caprington Avenue. Turn right along the pavement and on reaching the roundabout turn right onto Loreny Drive. Follow this street until the the A77 underpass where it becomes Craigie Road. Continue uphill, passing Craigiehill Quarry before gently starting downhill to a crossroads. Turn sharp left and along to the village of Craigie. Continue through the village and at the end of Main Street turn right and then first left after Laigh Borland farm onto Treeswoodhead Road. Follow the road downhill past Muggerslandburn and through Easter Hillhouse farm, followed by Inchbean farm near the bottom of the hill. At the end of the road turn left to cross over the A77 via Bridgehouse Bridge, entering the residential area of Shortlees as the road starts to head uphill again. Turn left onto Bridgehousehill Road, first right onto Commonhead Road then first left onto Knockmarloch Drive. At the end of the street turn right onto Loreny Drive then retrace your steps from here to the car park at Matalan. 

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Looking across the fields to the snow-capped Isle of Arran, under the careful watch of these two horses all wrapped up against the cold Spring air

 

WALK REVIEW: 19th & 25th March 2017

I liked this walk so much I did it two weekends in a row; once alone and the following week with my mum. It just so happened to be Mother’s Day weekend and it was a lovely way to spend time together. Living in the area, I had often looked across Shortlees to the gentle sloping hillside beyond and thought ‘I really should have a look at the map to see if there are some good walks out that way I can do from home’. Despite having this thought numerous times over the course of a year, I did nothing about it until one evening someone who came along to one of my group walks asked me if I had done any walking out at Craigie and did I know I could walk there from Shortlees….. That was it, I needed to go exploring!

It is quite amazing what you can find on your doorstep when you venture outside your usual haunts. I found myself out in the quiet Ayrshire countryside within 15 minutes, surrounded by farmland and stunning views across to Isle of Arran and even Ben Lomond! I also secretly enjoy the fact that on a map this route is heart-shaped…. upside down heart…. with a flat bit where the point should be….. You can see it too, right?!

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Craigie Road is quite a hill! On the plus side the view back down into Kilmarnock offers plenty of excuses for rest breaks

After the initial long uphill section, once past the quarry things eased up a lot. We enjoyed admiring the beautiful big properties along the way, the first of which being House of Craigie just before the crossroads. After this point the road changed to a single track and we came into Craigie. It is such a pretty little village, especially at this time of year with the cottage gardens coming into bloom.

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Daffodils in bloom
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The village Inn (photo taken on my first attempt of this walk which was rather a wet morning!). Notice the mobile phone mast in the background!

After leaving Craigie behind, the remainder of the walk was mostly downhill, phew! We passed several cattle farms and lush green fields with curious little lambs. A sure sign that Spring had sprung! 🙂

 

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The single-track road leaving Craigie. I just love the colours in the sky on this photo!
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Continuation of the road further down, as it passes right through the middle of Easter Hillhouse farm. Just after this point the road bends to the left and if you look over the hillside you can see the Kilmarnock South electricity substation. Ok so not the prettiest of sights but as someone living in the area I found it fascinating being able to see where my electricity is coming from 🙂
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