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 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.
Download the route to your mobile phone HERE (Viewranger app required)
Start: car park at Largs Marina (KA30 8EZ)
End: car park at Wemyss Bay Train Station or on-street parking close by (PA18 6AR)
Route: Head north from the Marina to pass Largs’ famous Pencil Monument , following the coast round to the ferry terminal and onwards to the small pond at the far end of the Promenade. Turn right here along the Noddsdale Water and on reaching the A78 turn right then first left onto Barr Crescent. This residential street becomes Noddleburn Road. Where it starts to bend away from the burn look out for a footpath to the left and follow it along the edge of the burn. Emerging at Glen Avenue, continue straight ahead to reach Brisbane Glen Road where you turn left. After a short walk take the way-marked track to Brisbane Mains Farm on the left. The route passes through the farmyard and gently climbs uphill on a farm track. The track become less defined and boggier the further you go but there are way markers to guide you in the right direction. Once on the hillside you have the option to go to the top of Knock Hill or continue along past it: look out for a way maker which points both left and straight ahead, left being the hill option. From the summit return via the same route to this way marker to continue on the track down to a gate and follow the field boundary fence downhill. You will pass through a small woodland area with some tricky uneven ground, to emerge onto Routenburn Road. Turn right and continue along this pleasant minor road until it ends at the busy A78. Turn right here and then first right to leave the A78 almost immediately onto another minor road leading uphill and behind Skelmorlie Castle. Continuing uphill, the road passes Skelmorlie Mains Caravan Park and Skelmorlie Golf Club before beginning to head back downhill and into Skelmorlie itself. Follow the ACP way markers down Skelmorlie Castle Road, turning right where indicated onto Station Road. At the bottom of the hill there is an information board marking the end of the Ayrshire Coastal Path. Turn right on the A78/Shore Road to reach Wemyss Bay Train Station.
WALK REVIEW: 23RD APRIL 2017
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….