Walk 130 – Ayrshire Coastal Path: Portencross to Largs (7 miles)

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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. 

  Car parks at Portencross (KA23 9QA) and Largs Marina (KA30 8EZ). No public transport to Portencross – closest train station is West Kilbride 2.3 miles away. Largs train station is 1.5 miles from end of walk, so travelling by train makes the walk 11 miles in total. A shorter option is to stop in Fairlie and take the train back to West Kilbride from there – walk distance 7.5 miles. Then come back and do Fairlie to Largs another time!

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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!

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!!

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 🙂

Isle of Arran seen from Portencross on a particularly clear day <3
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.
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.
Quirky red sandstone & concrete footpath between Fairlie and Largs
Go to: next section Largs to Skelmorlie (via Knock Hill)
Go to: previous section Ardrossan to Portencross
Go to: full Ayrshire Coastal Path review

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