A delightful short walk taking in some of Kilmaurs’ best bits, including Morton Park and the war memorial, St Maurs-Glencairn Parish Church, the remains of “Penny Bridge” and the impressive toolbooth known as the Jougs. It is actually much more of a countryside trail than its name suggests, including several field crossings. Wellies sometimes advisable!
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Car Park just off Fenwick Rd, Kilmaurs behind the Weston Tavern (KA3 2RG)
Route: From the car park head towards the back of Weston Tavern where there is a narrow lane, known locally as ‘Midge Lane‘. Turn left to follow the lane to a bridge over Carmel Water and into Morton Park. Turn left then head up the steps to pass the war memorial, continuing ahead on a high path to reach the running track and Mill Avenue beyond. (Steps can be avoided by continuing ahead to skirt around the edge of Morton Park instead). Turn right on Mill Avenue. At Kilmarnock Rd, cross when safe, turn left then immediately right to pass in front of St Maurs-Glencairn Parish Church. The path ends at a field which often has cattle in it. The continuation of the route requires you to pass through the gate and cross the field by following the line of hedges down the middle. You will reach the famous ‘Penny Bridge‘ at the other side. From here the route heads diagonally to the right uphill across the field. Head for the corner of the row of trees/hedges and follow the field edge to a set of gates. Pass through the kissing gate and continue to follow the hedgerow to a kissing gate (sometimes overgrown). The grassy path from here leads to an underpass where it can be very muddy another (possibly overgrown) kissing gate awaits. Going through the underpass you will emerge onto Crosshouse Rd. Turn right and follow the pavement back into Kilmaurs. Turn right on Sunnyside. At the end of the street turn left. Cross over when safe to reach Weston Tavern. The car park is at the rear.
WALK REVIEW: 24TH JUNE 2018
Town Trail: the name suggested to me that it was a fairly urban tour of the village, maybe some historical landmarks and some plaques to read. Not particularly my cup of tea… and having been in Kilmaurs countless times in my life I was pretty sure I had seen all there was to see. So when I set off and immediately found myself in an area of open parkland with a small burn and lovely stone bridges, I was completely taken aback. How had I not known about this?! I came to realise that I was in Morton Park. The steps to the war memorial, perched on higher ground, afforded very pleasant views of the surrounding village, including the old Glencairn Church from an angle I’d never seen before. Wow!
After a bimble around the St Maurs/Glencairn churchyard, I was again surprised to realise that the next section of the trail was through a kissing gate and onto a grassy field with cows in it. At first unsure of how the cattle would react to our appearance, my friend & I considered calling it a day and heading back the way we had come. A moment of bravery overcame us and off we trotted, cautiously over to the next gate. Onwards…. a reeeealllly old bridge! (later I realised it is the remains of the infamous Penny Bridge, which I had heard mentioned many times by the locals). After passing through several fields, we emerged at an underpass and out onto Crosshouse Rd, next to some beautifully painted gates belonging to the Kilmaurs Primary ‘Jubilee Wood’. I am told that after a bout of sustained rainfall, this underpass becomes extremely muddy (requiring wellies). You have been warned!
From here it was a very simple walk along the (narrow) roadside pavement back into Kilmaurs. Overall, a really pleasant short walk. Varied, interesting and full of surprises!
Other walks nearby: