This section of the Ayrshire Coastal Path involves a mixture of easy terrain including farm tracks, sand or shingle beaches, pavements and (in times of high tide) two field crossings. It is very well way-marked, entirely low-level and passes some of the most iconic sights in the area, including Ailsa Craig and Turnberry Lighthouse. Golf fans will love walking right through the middle of Trump Turnberry Golf Course!
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Car park at southern end of Ainislie Park, Girvan
Route: Head north along Girvan Promenade. Just after the boating pond turn right through the harbour car park. Continue along the harbour, reaching a flight of stairs just past the Lifeboat Station. These take you up onto Knockcushan Street. Turn left here and left again onto Bridge Street. Take the first left off Bridge Street onto a minor road and on reaching Newton Kennedy Bridge cross it, continuing straight ahead at the crossroads onto Newton Place towards the shipyard and Coastguard Station. You will reach some landscaped ground on your right. Follow the footpath around the perimeter of it to Girvan Golf Course car park. Pass through the car park onto the street. Turn left and first right along a residential street to reach a minor road. Turn left here and continue along this road, which skirts the perimeter of the golf course, until you reach a crossroads. Turn left and follow the well-waymarked route towards and then through Girvan Mains Farm. The next section is along a good farm track running parallel to the coast. Shortly after passing the Girvan Waste Water Treatment Plant, a wooden post directs walkers down onto the beach along a grass verge. After passing in front of the cottages at Curragh, you can either continue along the beach if the tide allows, or walk along the edge of the field as directed by signage at a kissing gate. The field leads to a second kissing gate and back down onto the stony beach. The large blue building that is the alginate factory FMC Biopolymer is visible ahead. Ideally stay on the beach to pass in front of it if the tide and depth of Dipple Burn allow. If the burn is not passable you will need to follow the unattractive (but well signposted) inland diversion which runs along the A77 on a wide grass verge then around the edge of a field, crossing some stiles along the way, and eventually back down onto the beach. Continue along the sandy beach for approx 1.4 miles at which point look out for an obvious set of wooden steps built into the sand dunes. Follow the footpath as it bends left through the grass and leads you back onto the beach at the edge of Turnberry Golf Course (all this to enable you to safely cross Milton Burn). With Turnberry Lighthouse visible ahead, enjoy some easy walking along the whole length of this sandy beach, heading inland at the far end on reaching a rocky outcrop. Follow the ACP way markers across Turnberry Golf Course and out onto the A719. Turn left here to walk along the pavement into Maidens, turning left onto Harbour Road where the walk ends at the small harbour car park.
WALK REVIEW: 10TH APRIL 2017
I did this walk as part of my Ayrshire Coastal Path charity fundraiser for the Mark McCloskey Foundation. This was day 2 and I was walking from Girvan to Ayr, some 25 miles. This section of coastline wasn’t one I was very familiar with so I really enjoyed discovering it: The Lifeboats in Girvan Harbour, the fields of Ayrshire tatties, the white sand of Turnberry Bay, the rugged coastline around Turnberry Lighthhouse, and walking through Trump Turnberry Golf Course. Isle of Arran also made an appearance and it was really strange seeing it from the south! Although not a cold day, it was blustery and I needed my winter hat for most of the way! The joys of coastal walking 😉
I found navigation to be pretty easy on this walk thanks the the ACP way-markers. There was one point in Girvan around about Newton Kennedy Bridge which was a little confusing as the signs seemed to be pointing in opposing directions. I was using the route description from Walkhighlands as a backup and a few times I found that the information didn’t quite match what I was seeing. The bridge in Girvan was one of those times and so I was grateful to have mapped out the route in advance on Viewranger to be able to just follow the directional arrow on my mobile phone using their app 🙂