Walk 187 – Lainshaw Woods & the Annick Water, Stewarton – 4.6 miles

A scenic and varied circular walk which follows the Annick Water on it’s journey through Stewarton, as well as taking in some residential areas and quiet roads. You will experience the town’s popular Lainshaw Woods, beautifully maintained by a dedicated volunteer group – Stewarton Woodlands Action Trust.

  Dog friendly walk 

Download the route map to your smartphone HERE

Car parking available on David Dale Avenue (on-street) or a short walk away at Stewarton Sports Centre (KA3 3DN)

Route: The walk starts at the entrance to Lainshaw Woods at the end of David Dale Avenue (behind Lainshaw Primary School). Keeping left, follow the footpath alongside the Annick Water to the Fisherman’s Steps. Turn left at the top of the stairs to reach a viewpoint and continue along the footpath through the woods. You will emerge onto a minor road. Turn right along the road a short distance until reaching a red bin with a footpath on the left leading to a residential area. Stick to the edge of the housing estate, with a field on your left until you reach Dalry Rd. Turn right here along the pavement until just before Stewarton war memorial. Turn left onto Ravenscraig Rd. This becomes Lamberton Rd and emerges at the A735. Take care crossing over and continue straight ahead onto Clark’s Wynd. Cross the footbridge then turn right onto a path through Cunningham Watt Park. On reaching High Street turn left to pass The Millhouse. Take the first road on the right – signposted ‘River Walk’ – cross the Annick Water then turn right to follow the course of the river. You will emerge onto Cutstraw Rd. Turn right here to reach B778/Holm Street. Cross over and continue straight ahead (looks like a driveway). Follow this path to reach the A735. Turn right here then left onto David Dale Avenue.


My adventure to Stewarton this morning came about through my involvement with the Kilmaurs Walking Festival and our desire to include walks in the neighbouring towns and villages on this year’s program. One of the team had suggested contacting the Stewarton Woodlands Action Trust (SWAT) with a view to leading a walk along their woodland paths at Lainshaw.

I had been meaning to get out to Stewarton for months now to explore the area more – I still didn’t have a single route from there on my website despite many people telling me what a great walk Lainshaw is! So when Susan Williamson – SWAT Chairperson – offered us a walk round of her proposed 2 hour route I was delighted and jumped at the chance!

I was hugely impressed with what I saw and the work that SWAT has done over the past 10+ years to maintain the beauty and safety of the woods. When we started the walk a group of 5-6 volunteers were beginning their morning’s work which included emptying dog poo bins, doing a litter pick, and other small maintenance jobs. As we progressed along our route we saw another volunteer out clearing a drainage ditch to keep the path dry and we heard stories of the group’s recent chainshaw training which has allowed them to prevent a dangerous trees from falling/remove fallen trees blocking the pathways. If the number of people out for a walk today is anything to go by, Lainshaw is clearly much-loved by the local people. And it is easy to see why…..

Entrance to Lainshaw Woods off David Dale Avenue. Note the SWAT logos on either side!

Our ramble took us through Lainshaw Woods and across a residential area before we entered Cunningham Watt Park and followed the River Annick back to the start. We really got an impression of the number of new houses in Stewarton – areas which once were fields now unrecognisable. On the plus side, footpaths had been developed, linking the residents to the woodland trails, which makes them easily accessible to much of the town. Great to see this happening! Although I understand it took a bit of campaigning for this to be the case….

Cunningham Watt Park is a pleasant tree-lined path running alongside a bambling burn, with small picnic areas and benches dotted along it. Litter did seem to be a bit of a challenge, as with a lot of places these days. However seeing past that it looked a nice place to come a wander and again, it was well linked to adjoining residences. Having said that, I did remark on the difference I felt walking here compared to in Lainshaw Woods in terms of how well-loved and maintained each felt. Lainshaw very much more so than here. Credit to SWAT again for that.

One of the bridges across the burn in Cunningham Watt Park

From here we headed along the River Annick to return to the start. This was more of a grassy footpath than what we had experienced so far and possibly muddy on a wetter day. We were fortunate that the ground was solid today thanks to a hard frost last night and this made it easy to walk across. I understand there are plans to possibly upgrade the path over the coming years. In the meantime SWAT continue to strim the long grass over the summer to keep the path from becoming overgrown. Great view of the railway viaduct (which we were soon to walk beneath)! Had I waited 30 seconds longer before taking this photo, a train would have been visible on top of it! Too late… 😉

Other walks close by you might enjoy:

Published by gillianswalks

Just a normal girl who loves the great Scottish outdoors!

14 thoughts on “Walk 187 – Lainshaw Woods & the Annick Water, Stewarton – 4.6 miles

  1. A great description of a lovely walk (some bits better than others, as Gillian pointed out!) and it’s so good to have the details “out there” so that others can come to Stewarton and see it at it’s best. There are opportunities too for walking into thevtown and enjoying coffee/lunch at one of our many cafes and bars.


  2. Another (dry) weekend, another walk! As someone who grew up in Stewarton, and lived there till the age of 20, I was delighted to see this one on your blog! My mum (a member of a walking club) came along with the kids and I. I’d taken them on previous strolls through Cunningham Watt Park and under the viaduct, but never to this extent. The Lainshaw Woods section was a lovely surprise, leading out to new houses (and yes, I did comment on how it was all fields when I was a boy!). Great walk, thanks Gillian!


    1. Haha “When I was a boy…..” 🙂 This is great to read, so nice that you were able to go back and enjoy the area and see all the work that has been done! Thanks for your comment. Hope you manage out out this weekend too!


  3. We did the Lainshaw woods section this morning before it got too hot. Was just lovely, and what get wee information boards the whole way along. My girls and dog enjoyed jumping in and out of the river (till we realised the sewage works ran into it!). Will defo come back and walk this one again as a quick trip from Southside Glasgow for a lovely, dog friendly walk!


  4. Eek about the sewage works! Baths all round once home haha! At least it hasn’t put you off coming back and as you say pretty close for you. The info boards are new – Stewarton Woodland Action Trust got funding to install them. I haven’t managed back since they’ve been installed so I’ll need to pop over!


  5. Hi, is there parking available at the start of this walk? Sounds like a perfect one for me and my 2 girls. Thanks


    1. Hi Claire. Yes you can park at Stewarton Sports Centre just off Kilwinning Road, and it is a short walk from there to the start of the woodland path. Or sometimes you can park on the street on David Dale Avenue which is where the entrance to the woods is. Enjoy!


  6. Just did this walk today and loved it. We managed to get the viaduct with a train going over it 😉 Love your walks 🙂


  7. Just in after this lovely walk. Directions spot on. Have only just discovered this site. It is excellent very well laid out and linked to maps etc. I’ll be sure to do many other walks. Thank you so much for all your hard work.

    Liked by 1 person

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