A pootle about penicillin

This walk in the Ayrshire countryside takes in the birthplace of the renowned Scotsman, Sir Alexander Fleming (1881-1955) who was a physician and microbiologist, and best known for discovering the world’s first broadly effective antibiotic substance, which he named penicillin.

Starting Point for the Walk:

The Car Park in Ranoldcoup Road, Darvel – OS Reference NS 563 373. About 36 miles from Glasgow, one hour and 10 minutes by car

Getting there: 

Take your favourite route to the M77 towards Ayr.  Once on the M77 continue to Junction 6 signed Galston A77.  After ½ mile turn right onto A77 (Galston) and go under the M77.  At the roundabout take the 1st exit onto Ayr Road signed Galston A77 (A719).  After about a mile turn left onto A719.  Continue through Waterside and Moscow and after about 6 miles (at the Galston roundabout) take the first exit onto A71.  Continue through Newmilns and arrive in Darvel after about 3 miles.  Just past an attractive square on the right, turn right into Ranoldcoup Road.  Continue down Ranoldcoup Road to a car park on the left, opposite Collins Avenue.

The Walk: 

A Pootle around Penicillin – 6.5 miles 10 km) – Undulating with one steep uphill

From Ranoldcoup Road Car Park turn right, and then turn right again onto East Main Street.  Pass the Railway Inn and continue the full length of East Main Street.  At the end of the village cross the busy A71 with care and take the road on the left leading uphill (signposted Irvine Valley Walks).

Continue slowly uphill, past the cemetery and the path to Loudon Hill, until there is a crossroads.  At this point the worst of the hills is over!  Turn left and continue along this road with fields on either side.  Once past Feoch Farm and just before Laigh Braidley Farm there is a road on the right which leads to Lochfield Farm.  Here there is a notice for the birthplace of Sir Alexander Fleming.  Sir Alexander Fleming was the eminent bacteriologist who discovered Penicillin.  There is an option, for those who wish to do so, to take a detour to Lochfield farm to see it up close.

The main route continues gently up to the top of the rise where it zigzags and starts to head steeply downhill to Braidley Bridge which crosses the Glen Water.  This is a particularly picturesque section of the walk.  The road continues uphill for a short distance and then, at the T-junction turn left – the road on the right is a no through road. Continue past Gateside keeping left to cross Mucks Water at Mucks Bridge.

After a short uphill section the road continues at a high level to become Foulpapple Road and then starts to descend.  The village of Darvel soon comes into view, and eventually there are a couple of modern-looking houses on the right.  Turn left here onto Burn Road which is a steep, downhill, narrow road.  It passes the Darvel Telephone Museum (on the right) just before the junction with West Main Street.  At the junction, turn left to return to Ranoldcoup Road and the cars.

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