Walks starting in Straiton village from peaceful waymarked trails beside the river to energetic blasts straight up the hill, to wild walking in the remote glens of the Galloway forest.
- The Monument and Bennan Circuit 7 km / 4.5 miles
- Lady Hunter Blair’s Walk 4 km / 2.5 miles
- Straiton Village Ramble 2 km / 1.25 miles
- The Hill Wood Walk 5 km / 3.25 miles
- The Church Walk 2km / 1.25 miles
South Ayrshire Council developed, promotes and maintains the paths network centred on Straiton.
The monument on Graigengower from Straiton village Photo: CLIVE DRUMMOND
The Monument and Bennan Circuit 7 km / 4.5 miles
A steep climb to the summit of Craigengower (the Hill of Goats in Gaelic) and the obelisk. This is a monument to Lieutenant-Colonel James Hunter Blair of the Scots Fusilier Guards who died in 1854 at the Battle of Inkerman fought during the Crimean War. Panoramic views all the way to Argyll from the top. Return via Bennan Wood with optional short climb to viewpoint on Bennan Hill.
One of the many waterfalls in Lambdoughty Glen on Lady Hunter Blair’s Walk Photo: CLIVE DRUMMOND
Lady Hunter Blair’s Walk 4 km / 2.5 miles
Update 12-Feb-2018 Footbridge at the bottom of the valley is temporarily closed as the bridge has collapsed.
Lovely series of waterfalls in a wooded valley. One of the favourite walks of the wife of the former laird of Blairquhan Castle, this easily achievable circular walk up Lambdoughty Glen features waterfalls, a variety of labelled native and non-native trees, and carved sculptures of local woodland wildlife, with the opportunity to admire some of the architecture of the village of Straiton. This walk can easily be combined with others such as Church Walk for those keen to walk further.
Straiton Trails car park at the village
On the Hill Wood walk looking towards Straiton village Photo: GILLIAN CRAIG / GILLIAN’S WALKS
The Church Walk where it enters Blairquhan Castle estate
The Church Walk 2km / 1.25 miles
This gentle, sheltered stroll heads north from Straiton on well maintained paths and quiet lanes, crossing a historic bridge onto an idyllic woodland walk along the east bank of the river, passing mill lades and languid pools, across a final field to return to the car park.
More information on Straiton Trails leaflet.
About the area
Historical records for Straiton have been traced back to at least the 13th century, but many of the buildings you see today, and the way the village is now laid out, date from the late 18th century. Thomas Kennedy, Earl of Cassilis, was largely responsible for Straiton’s design and development as a model village, with stone cottages either side of a wide main street leading up to a war memorial at the southern end. Straiton’s more recent architectural accolades include an architectural design award by the Association for the Protection of Rural Scotland for Fowler’s Croft Development, which this walk leads past.
The cascading waterfalls and crystal clear burn rushing down through Lambdoughty Glen are only one of the attractions of the path through this steep-sided gorge. Beneath the dappled shade along the banks of the burn, primroses and bluebells flourish. A rich variety of birds have made this their home, each making the most of different layers of the woodland, from the canopy to shrubs below. Wooden sculptures along the walk depict
some of the other wildlife which thrive here, including otter, fox and owls. If you’re lucky, you may catch a glimpse of roe deer camouflaged between the trees.
Church Walk takes its name from the days when the residents of Blairquhan Castle and Dower House used to walk to church via the lade built to maintain a steady water flow to the mill.
Four different families have lived at Blairquhan Castle or on its land. The McWhirters built the first tower house around 1346. The Kennedys then inherited the estate through marriage and built the rest of the castle around 1573. The Whiteford family took over in the early 17th century, and prompted by a banking crash, sold to Sir David Hunter Blair in 1798.
Due to fires and neglect, the old house had become ruinous, so in 1820 Sir David commissioned a new Tudor style castle, incorporating some of the surviving mouldings and sculpted masonry from the original building.