Walk 233 – Blair Estate, Dalry – 2.5 miles

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A woman walks along a footpath lined by a beech hedgerow, catching a glimpse of a mansion house through a gap in the trees
Such a peaceful place to enjoy a stroll. This short, easy circular walk is suitable for all levels and since it begins at Dalry train station it can be enjoyed without the need for a car. Especially lovely in January when hundreds of snowdrops appear all around the 220 acre Estate. Note that walking dogs in the Estate is discouraged.

TERRAIN: Mixture of surfaced single track road and gravel tracks. No steps, stiles or gates. This is a flat walk and buggy-friendly.

GETTING THERE: The walk begins and ends at Dalry train station. If driving, you can park on Blair Road or extend the walk by using one of the town centre car parks.

Route map showing the Blair Estate walk in Dalry

WALK REPORT – 30th January 2024

“The Blair Estate in Dalry is a great place to see snowdrops”, someone told me recently. Say no more! I was there that week to find out for myself before they all disappeared for another year. A place I’d never set foot before as well, so two reasons to be excited!

We parked in the residential area just off Blair Rd and headed into the Estate, noting the ‘No Dogs’ signage at the entrance, just as a local chap walking ahead of us marched on in with his dog….

There were indeed hundreds of snowdrops to be seen, dotted all around the Estate. A beautiful sight!

It turned out to be a day when dogs would feature heavily! I’ll tell you about one of our encounters here, and for the other you’ll have to read my review of the Doggartland/Velvet Path walk!

Neither my mum nor I can really be described as dog lovers; we aren’t afraid of them and don’t wish them any harm, we just aren’t inclined to stop and clap them when out a walk. So when we were passing Garden Cottage and a Golden Retriever-type dog (we also aren’t up on breeds!) came out the gates and sauntered right up to us, tail wagging, we surprised ourselves when we stopped to say hello and give her a clap. Where did you come from, eh? Who are you with? Do you live here? She was friendly and calm, seemed to be enjoying the attention. Setting off again, we expected her to maybe watch us for a minute then head back to the cottage, but instead she started walking with us. She walked with us for the full 2 mile loop of the Estate! My husband, who has been desperate for us to get a dog for years, would have been in his glory!

We stopped frequently to take photos, of the Estate and of the snowdrops. Each time she would stop too, waiting for us or coming right up to me as though to see what I was doing and tell me to hurry up. As a result she features in many of my photos from the day 🙂

A golden retriever dog running towards the camera as it was being used to take a photo of some snowdrops in the grass

We checked her collar: Zara. I noticed a small device attached to her collar – some sort of GPS tracker I assumed. She must do this often. I suppose if she lives on the Estate it is basically her back yard so she will know it well and maybe just likes to walk around with people? Then I heard a faint beeping noise and realised it was coming from her collar. I think someone is looking for you Zara. We had almost completed the full loop by this point so we decided if she didn’t head off home by herself when we got to the end of our walk we’d walk back along to Garden Cottage with her.

Just then a vehicle appeared about 200m ahead of us and stopped on the road. A man got out and stood beside the car. That must be her human. Who’s that Zara? She looked at him, but instead of running up to him as I’d expected, she continued to walk alongside mum and I. The man confirmed she belonged to him and that he had been looking for her. He apologised for her having gatecrashed our walk. I gave her a clap on the head, Bye Zara, maybe see you another time!

So the Blair Estate – do visit it soon, either to see the snowdrops or to say hello to Zara! Or simply to enjoy a stroll on these tranquil trails…

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