Walks at Maybole

The walks link three Carrick communities – Maybole, Kirkoswald and Dunure. Any of them can be the starting point for a walk but the routes are all described leaving from Maybole. All walks are described from a start point at Maybole’s Town Green – opposite Maybole Station. Over time the Green’s uses have changed from common grazing to archery, bowling, football and school playground until it assumed its current recreational role in Victorian times. Ordnance Survey maps are ideal companions for all walks and provide a great deal of additional information to help identify landmarks en route. The two most useful are Explorer 326 for all walks or Landranger 70 for Maybole to Dunure and Landranger 76 for Maybole to Kirkoswald.


From feuding 16th Century landowners to a succession of industries linked to its agricultural hinterland Maybole, the capital of Carrick, has always been a lively community. The bustle today, however, is not from the former weaving industry or the later boot and shoe factories but from a seemingly endless stream of traffic through its High Street. Take time to walk round its compact historic core and you’ll be able to picture town life in past days. There is a range of shops and bar meals are available.


Without doubt Dunure is the most picturesque of Ayrshire’s former fishing communities with its 200 year old harbour overlooked by original cottages which, in turn, are watched by the perilously cliff-edged 13th century Dunure Castle and its beehive doocote. There is a general store and bar meals are available.


In 634AD the Northumbrian Oswald is said to have won a battle in the vicinity of the village. In gratitude he built a church and a community was born. But later events mark today’s Kirkoswald as more than a passing place on the way to Girvan and Stranraer. Sent to live with his maternal uncle in Kirkoswald poet Robert Burns learned much from an inspiring local teacher and met the people who were to inspire his epic Tam o’ Shanter. There are two shops and bar meals are available.


The walks are over a mixture of terrains including public roads, farm tracks, new footpaths and open hillside. After periods of rain soft ground may be experienced and stout boots are recommended, especially on the longer routes. It is also advisable to take food and drink on all walks as there are no opportunities to purchase refreshments along the way.