Please park in the free car park at the beach by Ayr India, turning in right from Seafield Road. There are toilets close by but they accept cards only.
To get there
If you have one, set your SatNav for Seafield Road, Ayr.
Otherwise, take your favourite route to the M77/A77 towards Ayr and follow this to the Monkton Roundabout at Prestwick, turning left towards Ayr. At the roundabout with the A70 (with Dobbies Garden Centre on your left) turn right towards Ayr along Holmston Road. Take the first left along Hillfoot Road. Go straight across the A713 on to Belmont Road which becomes Ewenfield Road. At Monument Road turn right. Ignore Chapelpark Road directly opposite and Corsehill Park (1st left) and take the second left into Corsehill Road. This becomes Racecourse View, crosses the A719 at the Chestnuts Hotel, and continues into Seafield Road. Turn right at Ayr India and park (free). This is the route you will take back to Dobbies for our meal.
If you miss the left hand turn along Holmston Road, continue along the A70 and follow the signs to the “SEAFRONT”. At the junction with the A719 turn left and follow it south to the traffic lights with Seafield Road on the right and Racecourse View on the left. Turn right into Seafield Road.
We begin our walk by returning to Seafield Road, crossing the A719 and immediately entering what was the Old Racecourse and is now playing fields at the corner of the A719 (Doonfoot Road) and Racecourse View. We take the red blaes path straight to the far corner and turn right following the rectangular shape of the park. At the southern end, the perimeter curves round to enter Belleise Park and, although there is a path across the golf course, out of courtesy we will continue until we meet a wide public track coming in from the left. This takes us past various golfing huts etc to a burnt-out hotel (on the right) where we turn sharp left. The path continues to be well-marked and trodden and leads directly to the B7024 which we cross carefully into Rozelle Park.
On entering Rozelle Park we take the second path on the left around a delightful duck pond. At the far end, just as it curves right to go back round the other side of the pond, there is a poppy enticing us into a number of paths which contain sculptures illustrating scenes from the 1st and 2nd War. We’ll meander here, allowing time to find the sculptures from the illustrated sheet (provided) and to take photos.
Following the path back to the duck pond, we continue around the duck pond to the main path and turn left towards the café, Art Gallery and toilets if required. We then continue straight on to the end of the park and turn left through a little woodland. At the end we turn right following the Slaphouse Burn, crossing the B road and following the same path to the A79. Here we turn right along the pavement and then take the cycle track along a disused railway towards the Burns Heritage Centre. This is on the left-hand side of the track and there is a cut-off leading to it. There is a shop, toilets, and a café if you prefer to eat at the Centre. The Centre is free. To eat a packed lunch, go straight through the Centre and the café, through the double glass doors and turn right at the play park towards ‘The Monument’. Go through a gate, across a church car park and turn left following the signs to the Monument. Find an attractive and, if necessary, dry place to eat. There are several alcoves and niches to explore.
After lunch, we’ll wander down to the Auld Brig and then come back along the small road alongside the River Doon to the Brig o’ Doon House Hotel. We turn right and cross the road to the Auld Kirk.
Unfortunately, the famous Tam o’ Shanter signs along the Poet’s Path towards Burns’ birthplace are being renovated but for the sake of completeness we’ll do a little loop around the ‘Wee, sleekit, cowrin, tim’rous beastie’ (marked on the map in red). At the end, we leave the path, come back down towards the Auld Kirk but cross the road and turn into Shanter Way. At the end there is a path that continues either along the River Doon (steep steps down and back up again) or along the top (no steps). We join up and follow the path round to what is now the Ayr Coastal Path and turn left. There is a pathway beside this busy road. At the A719, (opposite the Secret Garden) a path continues along the River Doon and emerges on the beach. Here we turn right and follow the beach back to the cars.
In the car park at the beginning you’ll be given a wee pack containing:
- Images of carvings from the First and Second World War to be found in Rozelle Park entitled ‘The Remembrance Trail’
- Images from around the Burns Heritage Centre and the Poet’s Path entitled ‘The Burns Heritage Centre”
- Extracts from ‘Tam o’ Shanter’ with images from the Poet’s Path, sadly removed for refurbishing.
After trying various restaurants in Ayr which seemed prohibitively expensive, we are booked for something to eat in Dobbies which is at least very good value even if the ambience is lacking. You’ll be asked to sign the menu in the carpark and I’ll phone in choices and numbers. At least it’s on the way home!