Walk 134 – Jacob’s Ladder, Newmilns – 4 miles

The upper section of Jacob’s Ladder (yes there is more!)

Jacob’s Ladder is a steep stone staircase set within a narrow alleyway between Kilnholm Street and Loudoun Crescent in Newmilns. It provides walkers with a shortcut to access the multitude of pleasant backroads on the hillside above the village. This route is one short example of the many loops which can be enjoyed after climbing the ladder! 

 Parking available in Loudoun Rd car park, Newmilns. Bus services from Kilmarnock stop on A71/Kilnholm Street at the walk start point.

route-image  Route: From the car park turn right onto A71 and use the pedestrian crossing to reach the other side. Continue straight ahead up a long set of steps, known locally as ‘Jacob’s Ladder‘. At the top turn right onto Loudoun Crescent and continue straight at the crossroads to move onto Huggin Craig Road.  This becomes Borebrae Crescent where it bends left: stay on this minor road as it winds it’s way uphill through some trees and then out onto open hillside high above the village of Newmilns. After a long straight section look out for a gate on the right which leads to an earth track through a row of trees and emerges at a minor road. Turn right here and then take the first road on your right to walk past Loudoun Mains Country Cottages & Country Club and several farms. At a fork turn right onto Dalwhatswood Road and follow this downhill as it leads onto High Street followed by Main Street/A71. Cross over carefully and turn right to follow Main Street along the River Irvine back to the parking area. 

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WALK REPORT: 12th May 2017

I was delighted to take part in the Irvine Valley Walking Festival for the second year running and this was the first of two walks I completed during that weekend. Having done a fair bit of walking around the Irvine Valley I had never heard of this ‘Jacob’s Ladder’ before and was therefore intrigued enough to pick it out as one of the walks I would do. The turnout was incredible, far more than I had imagined. People of all ages came along, the youngest participant being age 3!!


The ladder, it turned out, was a (very) long stone staircase squished in between a line of trees on a steep incline. It came at the start of the walk so was a good warm up for the old legs and lungs! It was comical being part of such a large crowd of people all plodding up at the same time :-) At the top a gap in the trees allowed us to make the most of our vantage point high above the village, the view giving us an excuse to catch our breath!

View down to Newmilns from the top of Jacob’s Ladder

Before long we were heading out of the residential part of Newmilns and onto quiet minor roads. We passed through a beautiful wooded area: an earth track leading through a narrow column of trees providing a link between two roads. A sea of blue awaited us; the path lined with bluebells this time of year.

On the hillside behind Newmilns you can find a maze of quiet roads such as this one, providing countless opportunities for walking routes.
Bluebell season

We remained on quiet roads for the rest of the walk, passing Loudoun Mains (which has a swimming pool offering private lessons) and several farms before beginning a steady descent back to civilisation! It was great to see so many people supporting the local walking festival and I was looking forward to heading out again with them in 15hrs time for another route that would be a first for me: ‘Up the Bankers, Roon the Mast’!

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2 thoughts on “Walk 134 – Jacob’s Ladder, Newmilns – 4 miles

  1. Really enjoy your walks. Did the Fenwick Snowdrop one earlier in week. It was great. Quite boggy for short distance between Craufordland loch & suspension bridge. Did walk 134 today & did it anti-clockwise but road is closed even to pedestrians just outside of Newmilns. Bit sad after getting up the steps.

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