Walk 224 – Ardrossan High Road – 6.5 miles

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Single track road leading downhill with a view of the Ardrossan coastline

A circular countryside walk starting at the beach north of Ardrossan and then heading up onto the Ardrossan High Road towards West Kilbride. The return section takes you across pleasant farmland. On a clear day you will be rewarded with stunning views across the Firth of Clyde to the Isle of Arran.

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TERRAIN: Sandy beach, roadside pavements, country roads and farm tracks which are sometimes boggy. A couple of fairly steep hills. Several gates.

Parking at North Shore, Ardrossan. If travelling by public transport, it is approx 1 mile walk (or short bus journey) from Ardrossan South Beach Train Station to where the route joins Dalry Rd* so I suggest starting the walk there.

black icon of a figure walking, a zig zag line with arrow on one end and a location pin on the other end Route: From the car park go down onto the beach and turn left (SE) to walk along the sand as far as you can. Normally you can stay on the beach until reaching an industrial wasteland area just outside Ardrossan where you run out of sand (approx 2 miles along). Here make your way up onto the pavement on North Crescent Road. [Note if there is a very high tide use the cycle path on A78 instead of the beach]. Turn right and walk along North Crescent Road until you reach Caledonia Road. Turn left here. At the end of Caledonia Road use the pedestrian crossing to go straight on at the crossroads, onto Dalry Road*. Dalry Rd is approx 1 mile long and ends at the A78 roundabout. When you approach the roundabout make sure you are at the right hand side of Dalry Road. Use the pedestrian crossing to cross over both carriages of the A78 and onto the B780. Take the first road on your left (signposted West Kilbride 3 miles). This is the Ardrossan High Road. Walk along this road for approx 2 miles, turning left when you reach Meadowhead farm. Walk right through the farmyard and go through the gate at the other side leading onto farm tracks. Follow these as they zig zag along, emerging onto a surfaced road at Glenhead. Turn left and follow the road down to the A78. The parking area is directly across the road – take care crossing.

WALK REVIEW: 8th January 2023

Friends who live in Ardrossan suggested taking me along a route I’d never tried before, which of course I was well up for. I want to add more Ayrshire walks to my website this year and that area is as yet undiscovered by me with the exception of the beaches.

There was an exceptionally high tide on the day we walked this route which meant that we couldn’t walk on the beach. Instead we used the recently widened pavement/cycle path along the A78. The wind was strong and was blowing spray from the water onto our faces which was…. refreshing….. The route is very exposed on a wild day, both down here on the coast and also on the Ardrossan High Road.

High tide preventing access to the beach
The prevailing wind direction being beautifully demonstrated by this tree! There are several wind farms near by which I am told you can walk to from here so I will be sure to check that out another day.

As you might expect with starting at sea level and walking along a “High Road”, there are a fair few hills on this route. Having done barely any exercise over the festive season it was a shock to the system when my friends set off at an astounding pace of 3 miles per hour – about double what had become my normal pace wandering around the local woods with my kids. They had a good solution for making the uphill sections feel less of a struggle: playing name games. One example was saying any girls names you could think of which are also the name of a tree/plant. It did work to be fair…. However I suggested that another solution would be to walk slower when going uphill :-D

Gorgeous view from Ardrossan High Road, even though not the clearest of days

On reaching the farmland section we had a conversation about how varied this walk is. As you start to tire of walking along the beach you are whisked off into a residential area. When your enthusiasm for that is beginning to wane you find yourself on a quiet country road. And just as you are wondering how much longer that goes on, hey presto you are crossing farm tracks. Ideal really!

Start of the farm track section at Meadowhead

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