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Entirely inland, this route is very peaceful and offers easy walking! Initially across hilly moorland the path then winds it’s way down to the village of Ballantrae following farm tracks and quiet country roads. Almost entirely high-level, the views on a clear day are simply stunning. Look out for pheasants, rabbits, butterflies, lizards and plenty of cattle! You may even catch sight of the P&O ferry on a sailing between Stranraer and Belfast. Do the walk in early Spring to see the yellow flowering gorse bush at it’s finest.
Small parking area across the road from Glenapp Kirk, just off A77 and also at The Vennel, Ballantrae (KA26 0NH) (free public toilets available here). There are also bus services between Ballantrae and Glenapp Kirk.
Route: The walk begins across the A77 from Glenapp Kirk. From the Ayrshire Coastal Path information board, follow a gravel track gently uphill in a South West direction. After 800m keep right (West) at a fork to move onto a steeper track which leads up onto open moorland with fantastic views across the coast. After 3km ignore a track off to the left. For the next 1km ignore a road on your left, a track on your right and then a track on your left – stay on the minor road heading North East. You will arrive at a junction with some Ayrshire Coastal Path finger posts offering a choice of onward routes. To stay on this inland route, turn right (North East) to follow the “scenic route” as indicated by the marker post. Continue in a North East direction along quiet country roads, passing several farms as you go. At a road junction 3.5km along, turn left (West) onto a quiet surfaced road heading downhill. You will reach another road junction after 2km at Currarie Cottage – turn right (North East). Continue on this road for 3.5km, passing several farms and the entrance to Glenapp Castle Hotel. When you emerge onto A77 just outside Ballantrae, turn left (North West). Follow the roadside pavement next to A77 across the River Stinchar and onto Main Street, Ballantrae. After 500m, at the church, turn left (West) onto The Vennel. A short way along The Vennel there is a car park on the right where this section ends.
WALK REVIEW: 8th April 2017
I have only fond memories of this section of the Ayrshire Coastal Path and it is a walk which I will return to one day. Navigation was simple, the views tremendous, and to top it all off I hardly met a soul! I was very fortunate to stumble upon a glorious cloud-free day, albeit a little hazy in the distance which meant that Ailsa Craig was only just visible. I was blown away by the sheer volume of pheasants in this area! Initially every time one heard me coming and flapped off I would jump but I became used to them very quickly. I didn’t manage to capture any in photos, they were just too fast for me. On the very first section of this walk a lizard scuttered across the dry gravel path in front of me. It reminded me of my adventures hiking in France 🙂