Straiton Village and River
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Route 1 - Kildoon Circuit (5 miles)
This route gives a good return for effort. It’s climax is the top of a hill which, with its monument, is a landmark seen from miles around.

Route south out of the Green and turn right into the High Street passing the Town Hall part of which was originally the town house of Blairquhan lairds. After ¼ mile bear left down the curiously named Coral Glen. The name is in fact a corruption of Quarry Glen which is historically correct if less attractive. Note the remains and motto at ‘the Wee Spout in the Glen’ – the last reminder of Maybole’s former public wells. At the foot of the hill branch up Allan’s Hill to pass Our Lady & St Cuthbert’s Church before emerging into a rural landscape with Kildoon Hill in full view. Less than ½ mile from the railway bridge a sign indicates the line of the old coach road which is our path. At the top of the rise the path can be left to reach the summit of Kildoon with its ancient fort and monument to Sir Charles Fergusson. Return to the path and continue past the lochan to descend to the footbridge turning left over the stile. (Routes 2 and 3 turn right at the next junction after Lower Burncrooks). The Kildoon route continues straight ahead to Spring Garden Farm then to the bridge where a left turn leads under Kildoon. A local story tells of a young rider killing himself by riding along the hillcrest to tumble down this steep side. Continue north to rejoin the outward route and return to Maybole.

Route 2 - Drummochreen Cairn (9.5 miles)
Start as detailed in Route 1 until note for 'Routes 2 and 3' is reached.

After turning right pass a hillside called Sunny Brae then enter disappointingly unthreatening Ghaist Glen to reach the end of the public road at Lochspouts. Continue straight ahead past Craigdow road-end onto a grass track where the Green Well keeps the going soft. As the path improves again watch out for Drummochreen Cairn on your right. The cairn is a reminder of Carrick’s bloody past when clan feuding was commonplace. (Route 3 continues straight ahead at this point). Route 2 turns left onto a grass track and waymarkers are followed in a more-or-less straight line for about 1.5 miles to the trig point at the top of Craigfin Hill. Still generally heading east drop from the top of the hill to reach an old road and turn left. This leads to Spring Garden Bridge where the route continues under Kildoon Hill to return to Maybole.

Route 3 - Maybole to Kirkoswald (13 miles)
Start as Route 1 until note for Route 2 is reached then follow instructions up to note for Route 3.

Shortly after continuing past the Cairn a view into the valley of the Water of Girvan is revealed. A right turn and a ½ mile route leads to the ruin of High Newlands and the public road. This was also the site of the Black Cock Inn which prospered when the line of our route was main route from Maybole. A right turn onto this quiet road starts the leg of our journey which leads to Kirkoswald. (By turning left Dailly can be reached but this currently means using some busier roads.) Over 1 mile along the road turn right at the junction signposted Kirkoswald but at the next junction ignore this instruction and branch left. Watch for a waymarker on the right at the start of a grass lane and turn down it to reach Kirkoswald passing its 1777 church which may have benefited from some ideas of Robert Adam who was working on Culzean Castle at the time. If time permits visit the Burns’ sites in the village before turning right to head back to Maybole. At the end of the pavement turn right then left to cross a little ford on the side road which passes secluded Blanefield House. For about 2 miles enjoy the peace of this road compared with the main road a few hundred yards to the north. Just as joining the main road seems inevitable a footpath leads off to the right and climbs over a shoulder to give a fine view of Crossraguel Abbey with Maybole in the background. At the Abbey the quieter options run out and the last stretch back to Maybole uses the pavement along the main road. The ruined Baltersan Castle provides a passing distraction from the trunk road traffic.

Route 4 - Maybole to Dunure (7 miles)
This route traverses contrasting terrains as it follows an old way between Maybole and Dunure. As the most direct path it is probable that fresh haddock and whiting were carried along this path to reach Maybole tables in the heyday of Dunure’s line-fishing past. It is not too fanciful to imagine that smuggled goods shared the journey.

Leave the Green and cross the railway footbridge then continue up Gardenrose Path – named after a farm whose lands are now built over. In earlier times this was simply called ‘the Near Path’. After a mile, with the town left behind, the Ladycross is reached where a wayside cross dedicated to the Virgin Mary may once have existed. The junction was also the site of a tollhouse on the former turnpike road which is crossed to continue uphill. The steady climb into open countryside is up the Preaching Brae where the courageous Covenanter Cargill is reputed to have held his services. (A short detour of 600 yards to your right at Ladycross will take you to his memorial.) After about 1.5 miles from Ladycross continue straight ahead where the road turns sharp right and continue on the waymarked route keeping the fence to your right. Watch out for an attractive but overgrown linn where the gap for the path narrows. From here the fence is followed over boggy ground until another stile leads into the forest. The going improves with the forest track and, not long after Snipe Bog is glimpsed on the right, the road emerges from the trees at the summit of the route revealing a seascape which is Ayrshire’s pride. Turning right at the cattle grid look ahead and spot refurbished Dunduff Castle which, for centuries, was no more than a couple of storeys high before finally being completed as a private dwelling some 20 years ago. Use the shortcut of the new fenced path to reach Fisherton School and the A719 coast road. Cross with care and descend the final mile to Dunure harbour passing some ‘modern’ housing with commanding views.

The routes 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 routes as there are no opportunities to purchase refreshments along the way.

Ordnance Survey maps are ideal companions for all routes and provide a great deal of additional information to help identify landmarks en route. The two most useful are Explorer 326 for all routes or Landranger 70 for Maybole to Dunure and Landranger 76 for Maybole to Kirkoswald.

Straiton Village Paths
Maybole is a historic burgh south of Ayr on the busy A77. Just a minute away and you are in rolling hills and farmland. There are farm, field and woodland walks, river side strolls and hill top views. Nearby cycle paths take visitors north to Ayr or south into the Galloway Forest on cycle route 7.
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