TERRAIN: Mostly earth woodland trails, some boggy and uneven. No steps or stiles. No steep hills.
View Full Route Description
From the parking area walk along the main driveway in the Estate, heading away from the Laird’s Table and main entrance. When you reach the crossroads turn left, signposted “Castle View Trail“. Follow the trail through the trees. When you reach a single track road, cross straight over then pick up a narrow footpath on the left, again signposted “Castle View Trail”. You’ll pass the gated entrance to Craufurdland Castle then onto a grassy (sometimes muddy) path between two fence lines. Here you see the castle again across the grass to your left. The footpath continues into the woodland. At the end of the path when you reach a fence line, turn right to stay in the woods (left takes you out onto a wide gravel road). The trail goes uphill and there is a field on your left-hand side. Follow the quirky woodland path through the trees and over a few wooden planks which help you over the boggiest sections. As you start to approach another field, turn left and follow the trail along to a gate. Often the ground around the gate is extremely boggy. Go through the gate and turn right. You’ll pass a wooden bench and information board and enter an area of forestry. You can stay on this wide track all the way to the end, however it is often very muddy and I prefer to turn right here, heading into the trees and up towards the field at the top where you will find a narrower earth path which is more interesting in my opinion, and also offers another opportunity to see Craufurdland Castle. When you find that path, turn left and follow it along until you emerge onto a wide track. Turn right – this leads to the main driveway and the crossroads you came to near the start of the walk. Turn left to return to the Laird’s Table.
Despite being extremely beautiful, Craufurdland woods is one of those places that many people in Kilmarnock have never visited. I myself only walked through it for the first time at the age of 34. I have since enjoyed many hours exploring the multitude of footpaths around the woods and was delighted when they developed the Castle View Trail which offers walkers a glimpse into the history of this Estate and access to areas which were previously “out of bounds” to the general public.
A really varied, well-signposted little walk.
I won’t say much more, I’ll just leave you with some photos from my experience walking the trail. Enjoy!