This section of the Ayrshire Coastal Path begins at Troon Marina and ends at Low Green in Irvine. It is basically a long stretch of golden beach sandwiched between two busy coastal towns. Enjoy having a nosey at the shorefront houses in Barassie as you pass, and look out for the stone dragon atop the sand dunes of Irvine Beach! On a clear day the Isle of Arran can be seen across the Firth of Clyde.
Click HERE to purchase the official Ayrshire Coastal Path Guide Book
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Start: Car park at Troon Marina (KA10 6DJ)
End: Car park at Low Green, Irvine (KA12 8RJ)
Route: Exit Troon Marina, turning left on Harbour Road. Cross straight over a small roundabout then almost immediately look out for a grassy footpath on your left which takes you away from the main road for a short distance. Emerging onto North Shore Road, use the pavement until a concrete footpath forks off to the left, running parallel to the B746/North Shore Road all the way into Barassie. Where the footpath ends continue along the grass and down onto the sandy beach when you can go no further. The next 2.5 miles is an easy walk along Irvine Beach (to escape the wind you may want to opt for the footpath behind the sand dunes, but the view is hidden from there). Keep an eye out for the stone dragon perched on top of the sand dunes. Here head inland using one of the embankment paths (some are steeper than others) and pass through Irvine Beach Park and out onto Beach Drive. Cross over towards the River Irvine and turn right on Harbour Street. Further along this becomes Montgomery Street. You will reach an underpass, before which point you should turn left onto Cochrane Street. Cross over onto Harbour Road so that when you come to Victoria Roundabout you can easily turn right to go under the railway bridge. At a suitable point cross over towards Fullarton Parish Church and turn right towards the busy Marress Roundabout. Follow the pavement round to the left and cross the two carriageways of the A737/Marress Road (if you prefer to use the underpass continue a little further along the pavement). On Waterside Road turn left along the River Irvine to a footbridge leading to Low Green.
WALK REVIEW: 15TH APRIL 2017
I completed this walk on a blustery April morning, not ideal on such an exposed section of beach! I had the pleasure of the company of my mum and friend Helen who had walked with me all the way from Ayr, 9 miles further south. They did so well to walk the full 16 miles especially with a strong headwind making the going all the more difficult. Actually, to be more accurate it was more of a sidewind; a free facial exfoliation on the left cheek was received! About halfway along Irvine Beach we decided to seek shelter behind the sand dunes where we knew there was another path which ran parallel to the coast. It wasn’t as straightforward as we had expected, with very deep soft sand in places and some steep uphill and downhill parts. We were glad of the break from the relentless 30mph winds though. It was the first time I had seen the quad bike tracks too! Often I hear them when visiting Irvine Beach Park or the Stone Dragon with my kids but I hadn’t ever been able to see where the noise was coming from.
One thing I noticed about this stretch of coast was the lack of seabirds compared to more southerly sections. I was walking the whole Ayrshire Coastal Path (100 miles) for the Mark McCloskey Foundation and had already covered the first 60 miles from Glenapp in the south. Around Irvine there were plenty of Seagulls but not a lot else. Perhaps it was the wind keeping them away…… but on reflection I couldn’t recall ever seeing many varieties of birds on my countless walks along the beach between Barassie and Irvine throughout my lifetime.
Irvine Beach is the closest to my hometown therefore it is a place I come to a lot for walks! Here are some of my favourites……