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This short circular walk around the Caaf Water is packed with unexpected ‘fairy’ surprises hidden within a tranquil wooded glen. The gorge is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest because of the unique and interesting rocks it contains. Perfect for families and for anyone who likes waterfalls! The paths can be muddy at times and there are several sets of stairs.
Dog-friendly walk (Note: some steep drops)
Car parking at Lynn Bridge, Dalry (KA24 4JT). Dalry has a train station which is located 0.8 miles from the start of the walk. Local bus services stop on Kilwinning Road, a short walk from the car park.
Route: At the time of my visit there was a one-way system in place due to COVID-19 so these directions take that into consideration. Leave the car park and turn right onto the main road. Cross over Lynn Bridge and just past the traffic lights there is a gate on your right which leads into Lynn Glen. Follow the woodland footpath to pass a series of waterfalls, wood carvings and fairy doors to eventually emerge at a cluster of cottages. Continue ahead and look out for a gate on your right signposted for the picnic area. Passing through here leads back to the car park.
WALK REPORT: 11TH AUGUST 2020
Lynn Glen had been on my list for a loooooooong time because I love a waterfall! I was saving it for a day when the kids were with me, mainly because it is approximately a half hour drive from home and less than 1.5 miles in length plus from what I had heard I thought it was one they’d appreciate. The perfect day finally came and so off we went. Thomas insisted on wearing his brand-new-never-before-worn school bag for the occasion. I agreed: anything to make the experience more enjoyable (ie to prevent a moan-fest). I did cringe at one point when I noticed that the underside of it was covered in mud, but I managed to keep my mouth shut and smile. It would wash….
I had been a little worried about the parking situation because I had heard that the car park fills up quickly and we weren’t particularly early in the day (around 11am). So I was pleasantly surprised to find a few spaces still available. Plan B had been to park in Dalry somewhere and extend the walk. In the car park there was a large information board welcoming us to “The Fairy Glen”. There was also some temporary signage indicating a one-way system to help with physical distancing owing to the covid-19 pandemic. We followed the arrow back out onto the main road and fairly easily found the start of the walk.
Straight away we entered pleasant woodland and it wasn’t long before the boys spotted the first fairy doors. I have to say that the items hidden around this glen were particularly impressive; I have been around a few fairy trails in my days and expected more of the same but the sheer volume of quirky surprises was brilliant here and kept the kids constantly on the lookout for what might come next. They are age 7 and 8, and are boys, so it was never a given!
But I was not here for the fairies and the wood carvings or any of that. I was here because I had been told that there were waterfalls at Lynn Glen! And it wasn’t long before we heard the first (and biggest) one. From the main path we got a glimpse of Lynn Spout through the trees and it was pretty impressive! We noticed a trail off to the right which we assumed would take us down for a closer look. It was a bit of a scramble and very muddy but it was well worth it. The photo below was taken from the bottom of that scramble.
After clambering back up the path we continued around the loop, passing several smaller waterfalls and crossing the Troll Bridge! There was an information panel just beyond the bridge referring to Peden’s Point and this caught my attention because one of my favourite walks is along the River Ayr near Failford, which takes you along to a beautiful viewpoint called Peden’s Cove – one of Ayrshire’s hidden gems, and another place from where the famous fugitive Covenanter Alexander Peden is rumoured to have secretly preached back in the 1600s.
Just beyond the Troll Bridge there was a good area for throwing stones in so we spent some time there. Next on the list of surprises was a wishing tree (we hadn’t brought a ribbon to attach but Thomas, unaware of the need for one, made a wish anyway) and then the story of the fairies and the sleeping witch! We didn’t manage to find all 9 of them but we gave it our best shot!
It was lunchtime as we finished the walk so we made use of the picnic area beside the car park. There were 3 picnic benches (well spread out) and ours had a wooden game of noughts and crosses built in to it! They really have thought of everything here….
Although this walk is less than 1.5 miles in length, we spent a good 2 hours exploring and enjoying all the glen had to offer.
Other walks you might enjoy nearby:
- Ayrshire Coastal Path – Portencross to Largs (7 miles)
- Ayrshire Coastal Path – Ardrossan to Portencross (6.5 miles)
- Southannan Waterfall, Fairlie (1 mile)
- Irvine & Kilwinning New Town Trail (12 miles)
- Eglinton Country Park (1.6 miles)
- Eglinton Country Park (2.7 miles)