Ayrshire Coastal Path: Portencross to Largs (7 miles)

Portencross: Arguably one of the best places from which to view the Isle of Arran! The Isle of Cumbrae quickly takes it’s place as you progress towards Largs via the industrial grounds of Hunterston and the pretty town of Fairlie. Much of this walk is along cycle tracks, pavements and minor roads. 

ACP Portencross to Largs

viewranger-logo-new-jan-2017  Download the route to your mobile phone HERE (Viewranger app required)

parking-available-icon  Start: Portencross car park (KA23 9QA)

End: Car park at Largs Yacht Haven (KA30 8EZ)

route-image  Route:  From the car park at Portencross follow the ACP signage onto a minor road, by-passing Portencross Castle, and then on to a loose gravel footpath which emerges on the grounds of Hunterston Power Station. Continue along Power Station Road for 2 miles, picking up a short woodland track at the end of it which leads to a pavement along the busy A78/Irvine Road. Turn left here and follow the NCN757 cycle path to the outskirts of Fairlie. After passing Southanan Sands take the first road on the left towards a small parking and picnic area. From here the footpath runs alongside a dry stone wall and becomes gradually more uneven as you progress along the shorefront. After passing close to a row of cottages use the steps to drop down onto the rocky beach. On reaching Jetty Road come off the beach and turn left along the residential Bay Street. At the end of the street turn right towards Fairlie Parish Church then left onto the A78/Main Road. Continue along the pavement and just beyond the large Kelburn Castle & Country Park sign follow the cycle track. Shortly after crossing the Kel Burn turn left through a tunnel to pass beneath the railway. The cycle track (lined with different types of anchors!) continues along the side of Largs Yacht Haven, which is where the walk ends. 

Ardrossan1
Isle of Arran seen from Portencross on a particularly clear day ❤

 

WALK REVIEW: 23RD APRIL 2017

Today we were blessed with beautiful weather and a crystal clear view across to the Isle of Arran. I remember standing in the car park at Portencross taking it all in, completely mesmerized by my surroundings. My mum was with me today for the final 17 miles of my adventure along the Ayrshire Coastal Path. I was hiking the whole 100 miles to raise funds for the Mark McCloskey Foundation and today would see me complete it! I had already walked 6.5 miles from Ardrossan by the time I met up with my mum in Portencross and I was in good spirits, excited to find out what lay ahead!

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My favourite section of this walk was between Portencross and Hunterston: a wide gravel track with high cliffs to the right and views across to the island of Little Cumbrae on the left.
Portencross5
I wasn’t sure what to expect from the 2 miles of road through the grounds of Hunterston Power Station. To be honest I was intrigued as to what it looked like, having passed the entrance in the car countless times en route to Largs. Although certainly possessing an industrial air, I was pleasantly surprised. I had imagined it to be a really ugly area, very built up and noisy. Not sure why I expected noise, I knew it was no longer in operation! In fact I found it to be very peaceful, clean and on the whole very enjoyable.  We met a few other walkers there too and I got the impression it is a route well-used by locals.

What I enjoyed less was the track alongside the A78 between Hunterston and Fairlie. Too much traffic noise, no coastal view. Good thing it is a short(ish) section. We met a man who had walked from Ardrossan like me, and he admitted this was his least favourite part of the whole 14 miles…. says a lot considering we had all just walked through the grounds of a decommissioned power station!!

Portencross3
Quirky red sandstone & concrete footpath between Fairlie and Largs

If you like boats you will love the cycle track between Kelburn and Largs Yacht Haven: it is lined with different types of anchors each with a plaque explaining it’s history! Like a mini outdoor museum 🙂

 

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