Girvan Trails

The coastal town of Girvan has great views over to Arran and Ailsa Craig. The trails head into the neighbouring hills with views of the surrounding area. Fields and farms, prehistoric sites and rural history combine with one of Scotland’s impressive beaches. After a walk stop off in Girvan for a stroll along the beach front.

  • Dow Hill Trail 3.5 km / 2.25 miles
  • Byne Hill Trail 6.5 km / 4 miles
  • Laggan Trail 7 km / 4.5 miles
  • Girvan to Barr Hill Trail 10 km / 6 miles
  • Pinmore Trail 17 km / 11 miles

South Ayrshire Council developed, promotes and maintains the paths network centred on Girvan.

Facilities

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Car park off A77 just past the Shallochpark roundabout at the south of Girvan, KA26 0HW

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Refreshments at the kiosk in the car park, Girvan KA26 0HW, The Quay Zone at the harbour, Knockcushan St, Girvan KA26 9AG and the centre of Girvan

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Picnic benches along the shore at the car park Girvan, KA26 0HW

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Public toilets at the car park Girvan, KA26 0HW

Walking routes

Dow Hill (foreground), Byne Hill, Grey Hill Girvan viewed from Doune Hill

Dow Hill (foreground), Byne Hill, Grey Hill viewed from Doune Hill, Girvan

Dow Hill Trail 3.5 km / 2.25 miles

The little energy required to tackle this local favourite is just one reason to complete a trail which brings rich rewards. En route a good track climbs over the Ayr to Stranraer railway line and goes past a deep ravine locally known as “Sundown Valley”. At the head of the ravine is a delightful spot where two burns meet. The Dow Hill (pronounced doo) at 518ft is the site of an ancient fort and a good viewpoint. From the top  there are breathtaking views of the Byne Hill, Ailsa Craig, the Isle of Arran, the Firth of Clyde, and the town of Girvan. The trail is completed by descending South West to the railway line and along the footpath adjacent to the main road.

After a rest from this short excursion the local town is well worth a visit. Girvan is a traditional Clyde Coast tourist and fishing town. Its harbour is a centre of attraction for visitors with sea angling trips to Ailsa Craig. There are many interesting buildings including a townhouse tower built in 1789 known as “Stumpy Tower”. Another imposing building is the McKechnie Institute, built in Scots Baronial style in 1888. It is now used as a local art and exhibition centre.

More information on Girvan Trails leaflet.

Trails around Byne Hill

There are some stunning views from the summits of the Byne Hill, including views of the Firth of Clyde, Ailsa Craig, and Arran. On a clear day the Antrim Hills of Northern Ireland can be seen on the horizon. Inland, in the distance, are the Galloway Hills, including the Merrick. The region is steeped in history, and there are some clues, regarding this, to be found on the hills. Below the ridge of the Byne Hill is a monumental obelisk situated in a prominent position above Ardmillan House. This was erected in memory of Major A.C.B. Craufuird who served in H.M. Forces in India. He also took part in the landing at, and capture of, the Cape of Good Hope in 1795.

Due to landownership issues, we cannot promote a specific route to the summit of Byne Hill. However, the right of responsible access, under the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003, applies in this area as it does throughout Scotland.

Trails to Byne Hill start at the Shallochpark car park, just south of Girvan. You can walk south along the recently formed footway at the side of the A77 and across the Myoch Bridge. Beyond the bridge you may cross the road, and access routes leading to the summit of the hill, over which general access rights are exercisable.

More information on Girvan Trails leaflet and Walkhighlands.

Laggan Trail 7 km / 4.5 miles

The first part of the route follows the old right of way to Barr. Fine views are aorded of the Byne Hill and of the high road between the Carrick shore and the Assel and Stinchar Valleys. A mile further on is Laggan Loch, an almost perfectly circular Loch. Legend has it that the outline of a ploughman complete with yoke can be seen on the surface of the Loch. He was reputed to have been lost in mud at the bottom. Crossing the drystone dyke the route continues on the track before branching right near the whaleback summit of Laggan Hill. This is an area which is still predominantly farmed for hill cattle and sheep.

The dominant feature is Ailsa Craig. A volcanic plug thrusting over a thousand feet from the Firth of Clyde and silhouetted against the sky. The remains of a ruined castle can be seen on the island, which is now a bird sanctuary and one of the largest colonies of gannets in the British Isles. To complete the trail back, turn right at the A714 and follow the footpath back to the town.

More information on Girvan Trails leaflet.

Girvan to Barr Hill Trail 10 km / 6 miles

The trail follows the initial route of the Dow Hill and Laggan Trails. Past the loch the trail separates and drops down to Tormitchell via the ruins of Barbae Farm and the Water of Assel Valley. A track leads to Dupin and then by footpath uphill over Auchensoul Hill (1029ft), which gives fineviews over Barr and the beautiful Stinchar Valley. The path emerges on the Old Dailly to Barr road known locally as “The Screws” before entering Barr via the old Stinchar Bridge built in 1787. The conservation village of Barr is well worth a visit with its attractive rows of unspoilt 18th and 19th century vernacular buildings. The area has a considerable covenanting history and in the old churchyard there are two martyrs’ stones.

Further trails can be explored a mile east of the village in Changue Forest, where a car park with an information board is sited detailing the network of trails.

More information on Girvan Trails leaflet.

Pinmore Trail 17 km / 11 miles

The distance involved makes this a challenging walk, but with plenty of points of interest it is certainly worth the effort. Follow the good track between Sundown Valley and Dow Hill. This hill and moorland route branches of to Dalfask Farm and Pinmore. The route passes close to Dinvin Motte, reputed to be the finest prehistoric fort in Ayrshire and one of the best preserved mottes in Scotland. It is situated on a dominating ridge just north of Pinmore, and consists of a central mound defended by two well defined circular ramparts and ditches. Just below Dinvin is the 496 metres long Pinmore railway tunnel on the Girvan Stranraer line, built in 1877. The route now lies from Pinmore down the quiet valley of the Water of Lendal. On a rough moorland path the route skirts the Grey Hills, a wildlife reserve managed by the Scottish Wildlife Trust. Special features are patches of herb-rich turf situated on outcrops of Serpentinite rock, only to be found in four other places in the British Isles. From the path you look down on Loch Lochton where there is a fine display of both white and yellow water lilies. There are magnificent views over the surrounding countryside on your return.

More information on Girvan Trails leaflet.