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Three Green Knights Trail at Auchincruive near Ayr 2.5km. Start from Oswald's Bridge car park. The bridge was built in 1826 as an estate bridge possibly built upon an earlier one. Turning immediately left along the south bank of the river, look out for heron and dippers feeding. Over the stile following the fence line and into Pheasant Nook, the path which winds its way through attractive mixed woodland consisting mainly of Beech, Oak, Scots Pine and Japanese Larch. A steep climb takes you to the top of the Three Green knights' field, apparently called after three green mounds still visible in the field. At this point take the opportunity to stop, regain your breath and admire one of the most attractive views in the area. Westward across the river, the hanging gardens, Oswald Hall, Mount Charles, the Carrick Hills, and on a clear day the distant hills of Arran can be seen. For those with little time to undertake the longer walks this attractive short excursion offers a tempting alternative in this area.
Farm Trail at Auchincruive near Ayr 4km. Following the public road enter the farm track. From Mount Charles there is a magnificent panoramic view inland over Oswald Hall to the Ayrshire hills and seaward over the coastal towns to the Firth of Clyde, Heads of Ayr, Bute and the Cumbraes, the Carrick Hills and the Mull of Kintyre. Looking back you can see the Scottish Agricultural College at Auchincruive. In a prominent position on a gentle hill is Oswald's Temple or Tea House which was designed by Robert Adam for Richard Oswald in 1778. Continuing from this vantage point you find yourself on the old coach road to Ayr. On a clear day Arran and the Mull of Kintyre are visible. Look out for the old milestone (Ayr 3.5 miles, Auchincruive 1 mile). A number of wildlife habitats have been created along the route including a new hedge, flower-rich grassland area and tree and shrub planting. The trail descends through the woods and fields to a point overlooking the River Ayr and the main cropping part of Auchincruive Farm. The remainder of the walk takes you through mixed woodland which provides a variety of habitat for a number of birds. This area is also the haunt of roe deer, foxes and badgers.
Oswald's Trail at Auchincruive near Ayr 4.25km. Walk up the river to Oswald Hall, which was built in 1767 to a design by Robert Adam. Oswald was chief negotiator during the American War of Independence where he earned the name "Richard the Peacemaker". With the river ahead the route passes the hanging garden which forms a lovely landscape feature and was built by unemployed miners in 1830. Upstream where the gardens are now situated is the site of Millholm, an ancient hamlet. Part of the bank was washed away in 1966 exposing an old mill lade. The riverside path entres Brocklehill Wood, continues along the farm track passing Nellie's Gate. The journey is completed by following the estate road back via the arboretum and skirting the sports field.
Waggonway Trail at Auchincruive near Ayr 4.75km. From the car park cross Oswald's Bridge. It may be rewarding to spend a moment at the bridge as views along the river can include sights of dippers, herons and duck. From the gate on the left the route follows the edge of the field to the top corner of the Tree Green Knights' field with its panoramic view. Passing through Pheasant Nook Wood the path eventually follows the route of the old waggonway which was constructed in the 19th century. It served pits along the route and transported coal in wagons pulled initially by horses and later locomotives to Ayr harbour. The remains of the support pillars spanning the river can still be seen. The route now lies through Craighall Wood, eventually reaching "Wallace's Seat", a promontory overlooking the river. This was once the haunt of William Wallace of "Braveheart" fame who reputedly sate here contemplating the battles with the English. He also took refuge in the nearby Leglen Wood after the burning of the Barns of Ayr. There is a monument to Wallace in the wood beside Oswald's Bridge. Leaving the woods follow the track over Loudon Law and enjoy the pleasant pastoral views and ambience of the rural setting.
Auchincruive is just on the outskirts of Prestwick and Ayr. It is a farming area with rolling hills and lush green fields. William Wallace once hid in the woods here and Oswald House has links to Robert Burns who was born just 5 miles away. Click on the map and on the About Auchincruive link and History link below-right to learn more.