Bard Country

Start at OS Reference NS328 206 which is the car park adjacent to Ayr India on the seafront in Ayr.


Getting there: 40 miles/60 minutes
Take your favourite route out of Glasgow to join the M8 going west. Exit the M8 at Junction 22 onto the M77 south towards Prestwick Airport. The M77 becomes the A77 just before Kilmarnock. Follow the signs for Ayr. At the Monkton Roundabout take the slip lane towards Stranraer/Ayr. Avoid Ayr town centre! Continue on the A77 and follow signs for Alloway/Stranraer. After the Bankfield Roundabout continue on the A77 and follow signs for Alloway/Doonfoot/Heads of Ayr. Follow signs for ‘A719 Coastal Route’ and Burns National Heritage Park and turn right into Doonholm Road. Cross the small roundabout and continue on past the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum. At the end of the road turn right and at the mini roundabout turn left into Greenfield Avenue. At next roundabout turn right into Doonfoot Road and continue until traffic lights. Turn left into Seafield Road, go over a small roundabout and at the seafront turn right past Ayr India and into the car park. Parking is free but watch the speed bumps! Toilets are 30p.

The walk: 9 miles (Shorter options of about 6.5 miles are possible)
Follow the promenade south towards the River Doon and then turn left before the bridge. At the roundabout turn left and cross the road at the traffic island bearing right and then left into Greenfield Avenue and after 150m turn left into Belleisle Park. Follow the driveway towards the main house. Bear right at an obvious split in the driveway and after 50m turn left by the wall. Turn right through a gate in the wall into the garden and exit the garden to the left. Pass the greenhouse and continue on past the house (on the left) and follow a clear path across the golf course. At the Monument Road turn right and after 50m turn left into RoZelle Park. After 25m turn left onto the bridleway and follow the Poppy Trail. Just before a large poppy sculpture turn left and enter the Remembrance Woodland. Return to the Poppy Trail and take the path to the east of the pond and at the main drive turn left towards the McLaurin Galleries. Continue on the main path through the estate and at the bridleway turned left. At a T-junction of paths/bridleway turn left. Follow the path (crossing  Laughlanglen Road) until it exits the woodland (with the Slaphouse Burn on your left) at the Maypole Road. Turn right and after 250m turn right again to join the old railway line, now a cycle path. Exit the cycle path at Robert Burns Birthplace Museum.

From the museum turn left along Murdoch’s Lone and turn left onto the High Maybole Road (B7024). Just before the hotel turn left and enter the Burns Monument and Memorial Gardens. Exit the gardens via a stepped path down to the Old Brig of Doon. Cross it and at the end of a short muddy section turn right and carefully cross the B7024 into Long Hill Avenue. Keep to the pathway on the left until the bridge. Cross the road and takes a few steps down to rejoin the old railway line/cycle path and continue left until it ends at the Dunure Road (A719). Cross this busy road carefully. Take the path opposite and bear right and after a short distance turn left onto a straight minor road towards the coast. Where the road turns right* bear slightly left down a track to the beach and turn right along the shore. After passing Greenham Castle take a path through the dunes to the car park. Head towards the exit and turn left along a grassy area through another car park until you reach the River Doon. Cross the bridge and continue on the promenade (northwards) to return to the cars.

*Depending on the tides, it may be necessary to follow the road round to the right. Continue down the road for about 800 m and turn left towards the car park and then bear right along the grassy area.

Keep your eyes open:

For golf balls; Remembrance Woodland and sculpture Trail; the McLaurin Galleries; Robert Burns Birthplace Museum; the Auld Kirk; Burns Monument and Gardens; Brig O’ Doon; Greenan Castle; birdlife.

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