Walk 131 – Ayrshire Coastal Path: Largs to Skelmorlie via Knock Hill (10.5 miles)

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Beginning at Largs Marina this route takes you the length of the promenade before heading inland and uphill across boggy ground towards Knock Hill. From the trig point on a clear day your efforts will be rewarded with beautiful views across the Firth of Clyde towards the isles of Cumbrae, Bute and Arran, as well as the Argyll hills and Cowal Peninsular. Descending towards Skelmorlie Castle and Wemyss Bay, with one very short exception the remainder of the walk is along quiet minor roads and pavements. 

  Car parks at Largs Marina (KA30 8EZ) and a few spaces at Wemyss Bay Train Station (PA18 6AR). There is also on-street parking on A78/Shore Road at Wemyss Bay. Train and bus services between Wemyss Bay and Largs.

Purchase the official Ayrshire Coastal Path Guide Book

ACP Largs to Wemyss Bay


There are two options for this final section of the Ayrshire Coastal Path: the low route and the high route. Despite the fact it is several miles longer and I had already walked 13 miles by the time I arrived in Largs, naturally I chose the high route! From what I had read it sounded more interesting and over the course of my 4 days on the Ayrshire Coastal Path I had experienced some amazing scenery along the higher paths. Plus I had never been up Knock Hill before 😉

My mum came along too, she wanted to do the last leg of my charity walk with me so had joined me in Portencross earlier in the afternoon. I don’t know why, but it wasn’t until I reached the final way marker that it really hit home I had just walked 100 miles! It wasn’t something I had given any thought to before embarking on the walk for the Mark McCloskey Foundation, but to have rocked up at Wemyss Bay with only myself to celebrate with would have been a real shame so I am truly grateful to my mum for walking all that way with me.  She was there for parts of the final two days and it gave me a great morale boost. As it was, my dad and family friend Archie came to collect us in Wemyss Bay and even walked the last mile with us. It was then off to Ardrossan for a well earned chippie!!

I have mixed feelings about this Largs to Wemyss Bay walk. I want to say it’s a great walk and I think it is, but I’m finding it hard to muster up the enthusiasm it deserves. I am confident that is only because I was so exhausted by the point of starting it that I couldn’t properly appreciate it. Largs just seemed enormous, a never ending promenade….(although it is worth mentioning that there are more toilet options in Largs than on the entire rest of the Ayrshire Coastal Path put together!!) and when we reached the A78 towards the end of the walk we both could have quit there and then when we realised that the uphill bits weren’t over yet! Now that I have been to the top of Knock Hill, I would consider trying the low route next time for a gentler, less boggy experience.

On a more positive note, the views along this walk were stunning and apart from the long walk through Largs, I found that things stayed interesting thanks to constant changes in terrain. I liked that it involved a bit of hillwalking too and I am wondering whether Knock Hill might be an option with the kids one day if I can find somewhere closeby to leave the car….

Caledonian MacBrayne ferries on their sailings to and from the Isle of Cumbrae (Millport) from Largs
Largs seen from the hillside behind Brisbane Mains Farm
Boggy trail towards Knock Hill
From the summit of Knock Hill the views were spectacular, definitely worth the short de-tour from the main track
Looking back towards Knock Hill – seemed so far away now!
Pleasant minor road with Skelmorlie Castle visible amongst the trees and the Argyll hills standing behind. A downhill section for once!
Perfect end to my Ayrshire Coastal Path journey! It was like the universe was sending me a message of approval and congratulations 🙂

Go to: previous section Portencross to Largs
Go to: full Ayrshire Coastal Path review

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