Walk 129 – Ayrshire Coastal Path: Ardrossan to Portencross (6.5 miles)

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Plenty of beach-walking on this one, with options to use earth footpaths instead should you wish. I would say this is one of the sections of the Ayrshire Coastal Path where you are most likely to bump into other walkers along the way!  Being so close to the Isle of Arran, you have the potential for some incredible views across the Firth of Clyde.

  Car parks at Ardrossan Harbour (KA22 8DB – chargeable) and Portencross (KA23 9QA – free). Train services between Ardrossan and West Kilbride which is 3.7km away from Portencross.

route-image  Route: Facing Ardrossan Harbour and with your back to the residences on Mariner’s View, turn right (North East) to walk round the edge of the harbour. At the end of the terraced apartments, continue ahead (West) around a grassy mound with some sculptures on it, circling back on yourself at the other side. Turn left (North) to follow the harbour wall towards the (unpleasant-looking) North Shore Future Development Site. As you approach the perimeter fencing, turn left (West) to follow a trodden earth footpath around the perimeter of the site, admiring the views out to the Firth of Clyde on your left-hand side. As this path runs out, find a suitable place beyond the rocky embankment to drop down onto the beach at Ardrossan North Bay. For this next section stay on the sandy beach all the way to The Waterside restaurant and Caravan Park – 4km. Just beyond The Waterside, Ayrshire Coastal Path marker posts lead you onto a sandy and grassy path to avoid a rocky area of coastline. At Seamill, cross a footbridge over the Kilbride Burn and resume along the beach for 500m, passing behind the Seamill Hydro Hotel. At the southern end of West Kilbride Golf Course, come off the beach onto a high-level footpath which goes around Ardneil Bay (or continue along the beach if you prefer) for 1.8km. As you reach the north end of Ardneil Bay, there is a short walk across the pink sand and pebble beach to reach a kissing gate which leads onto a field. Follow a rough path across the seaward edge of the field to a second kissing gate. Go through the kissing gate – you are now in Portencross car park.

ACP Ardrossan to Portencross

ACPlogo Click HERE to purchase the official Ayrshire Coastal Path Guide Book


A coastal walk with plenty of beaches to walk on, hooray! What a glorious day we had for this one, couldn’t have asked for better.  I had never before seen the Isle of Arran in such clarity from the mainland – it was crystal clear which meant irresistible photo opportunities.

I was walking the entire 100 miles of the Ayrshire Coastal Path for the Mark McCloskey Foundation and today I had my sister and friend Lesley doing the Ardrossan to Portencross section with me!
Ardrossan Harbour was looking fabulous with the ships’ masts reflecting in the still water and Arran standing majestically behind.
The Caledonian MacBrayne ferry making it’s way from Ardrossan to Brodick. You can just make out the silhouette of the Ailsa Craig too.
We took the easy option when there was one and chose the footpath rather than the beach. The sand was dry so it was slowing us down. When you are walking all the way to Wemyss Bay, 23 miles along the coast, time and effort matter! We were walking alongside West Kilbride Golf Club at this point and some golfers stopped to ask us about our t-shirts. I definitely noticed a difference having friends and family with me:  the charity got a lot more recognition than when I was doing it solo.
Drawing the Mark McCloskey Foundation logo in the sand :-) #raisingawareness

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

7 thoughts on “Walk 129 – Ayrshire Coastal Path: Ardrossan to Portencross (6.5 miles)

    1. Hi Ronald. I believe there is a train service from West Kilbride to Ardrossan. West Kilbride is approx 2 miles away from Portencross. Alternatively, you could end the walk 2 miles early at Seamill and take the bus to Ardrossan from there. I found this out using Google maps. Hope that’s useful.


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