Pinwherry, Ayrshire KA26 0QR
The distance involved makes this a challenging walk, however it is most rewarding and full of interest in one of Carrick’s prettiest valleys.
Start: Pinwherry, Ayrshire KA26 0QR
End: Ballantrae, Ayrshire KA26 0NA
Distance: 11 miles (17.75 km)
This walk can be started from either Pinwherry or Ballantrae or for a shorter walk Colmonell. Access to these villages is via the 358, 359, 360 and 362 bus services. The majority of services call at the bus stop on Vicarton Street by the station approach, but the 359 starts by the bus shelter in the turning area. You are advised to pick up a timetable leaflet or contact Traveline Scotland to obtain up to date times.
The walk is described from the Pinwherry end.
If leaving the 358/360/362 bus service proceed into and through Pinwherry and cross over the Duisk River at the right angled bend. - Just past Pinwherry Home Farm to your left (alighting point for the 359 service) turn right on to a track that goes under the railway line. - You start climbing here passing by Pinwherry Wood to your right. - From this stretch of the walk you can get some of the finest views of the Stinchar (pronounced Stin-cher) Valley, looking down to Knockdolian, otherwise known as false Ailsa, for its similarity to Ailsa Craig when viewed from the sea. - The track skirts the shoulder of Pinwherry Hill to the south and after crossing the first of two burns the track becomes an untarred road. It is in fact the old coach road. - You reach Dangart Wood on your left and eventually Dalreoch Farm where the road becomes more substantial. - You pass by a number of woods and eventually arrive at Colmonell Bridge. - For a detour and refreshment leave the walk, turn right and cross over the bridge and on reaching Colmonell turn left. The hotel is on your left.
Returning to the walk, beyond Colmonell Bridge are the ruins of Craigneil Castle . - The walk continues through a mixture of both oak and birch woodland and open countryside. - Prior to entering the hamlet of Heronsford in the beautiful Tig Valley, you pass the remains of St Cuthbert’s church to the right. - After leaving the village turn right onto the track that takes you to a campsite giving access to the path for Garphar Wood. - After 1½ miles (2½ km) you reach Laggan Dairy.
Turn right here and after 1600 yards (1475m) you join the main A77 Stranraer road. Turn right, crossing over the Stinchar and enter the village of Ballantrae. Bus services 358 and 360 operate back to Girvan.