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

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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.

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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