Walk 178 – Ayr Gorge Woodlands Reserve, Failford

Ayr Gorge Woodlands reserve is the ‘jewel in the crown’ of the Scottish Wildlife Trust Ayrshire. Here you will find two route options giving you the opportunity to explore this beautiful area. Some stairs and uneven ground. Earth footpaths throughout. This trail can be muddy at times. 

Print  Dog-friendly walks (please note longer walk has some steep embankments next to footpath)

parking available icon  Small parking area opposite Failford Inn (KA5 5TF)

 

Ayr Gorge Woodland Circular – 1.5 miles

The easier of the two walks around the reserve, with an optional short de-tour to Peden’s Cove Viewpoint. One set of stairs and a few uphill/downhill sections. 

Ayr Gorge Woodland Circular

Viewranger logo - new - Aug 17 Download a route map HERE

route image  RouteFrom the parking area walk along the B743 towards the bridge, crossing the road at an appropriate point. Immediately after the bridge you will see the entrance to Ayr Gorge Woodlands on your left. Once inside, on reaching the information board head up the stairs. Turn right just before the bench up uneven ground, straight ahead at the crossroads then turn left to follow the footpath around the perimeter of the woodlands. On reaching two huge trees the path forks (see photos). Turn left to reach the riverside trail where you have a choice: turn left to return to the start or turn right to add in an optional de-tour to visit the spectacular Peden’s Cove Viewpoint. This will add approx 0.3 miles to your route. 

 

Ayr Gorge Figure of 8 Walk – 3 miles

A longer and more challenging walk around the reserve forming a figure of 8, linked by a connecting path in the middle. Optional de-tour to Peden’s Cove Viewpoint is still possible. Lots of stairs and uphill/downhill sections. Some narrow paths with steep embankments. 

Ayr Gorge Figure 8 Walk

Viewranger logo - new - Aug 17 Download a route map HERE

route image  RouteFrom the parking area walk along the B743 towards the bridge, crossing the road at an appropriate point. Immediately after the bridge you will see the entrance to Ayr Gorge Woodlands on your left. Once inside, on reaching the information board head up the stairs. Turn right just before the bench up uneven ground, straight ahead at the crossroads then turn left to follow the footpath around the perimeter of the woodlands. On reaching two huge trees the path forks (see photos). Continue straight ahead here and follow this high level path until reaching a fork. Turn left and go down the stairs to the riverside. Continue on the path until reaching another set of stairs heading back up. At the top there is an information board about Ayr Gorge Woodlands. Turn right here to follow the path until it arrives back at the fork. Continue straight on this time, and on reaching the two huge trees turn right. This path takes you back down to the riverside trail where you have a choice: turn left to return to the start or turn right to add in an optional de-tour to visit the spectacular Peden’s Cove Viewpoint. This will add approx 0.3 miles to your route. 

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The two huge trees which mark the point at which the path splits: left for the circular walk and right for the figure of 8.  The dogs give some idea of scale, but no photo can do justice to the size of these amazing beasts!
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The River Ayr as it flows through this magnificent red sandstone gorge. If you time it right, the sunshine penetrating the water makes it glow red!
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There are LOTS of stairs along the woodland trails, particularly on the longer route. The shorter circular walk only has one set. Personally I love them, they give the walk a quirky feel and will be popular with kids! 
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Reflections in the River Ayr. This was taken on the longer route which is definitely the one to do to experience the beauty of the gorge to the utmost. 
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