Thursday, 12th March 9 walkers joined Fiona for a pleasant 4 mile circular walk around the River Ayr. The weather, although blustery, stayed dry. We finished with a light lunch at the UWS cafe and and all enjoyed the sociable chat.
Thursday, 5th March
Seven of us joined Tricia on this 7 mile ‘mystery walk’ around Ayr to admire the Crocus display in Corsehill Park before following the course of the Slaphouse Burn once through Rozelle Park and the WW1 memorial garden. A stroll along part of the cycle track took us to the Burns Centre for refreshments. We followed the River Doon at Cambusdoon then retraced our steps via Belleisle Park to our starting point. It was a pleasure to see all the spring flowers coming in to bloom on a rare dry day.
Thursday, 27th February
Thanks to Gordon Phillips who led eight of us on a very interesting walk along the now unused RAF Heathfield airfield to St Quivox Churchyard and return via St Cuthberts Golf Course. It was a 5/6 mile walk and though a bit muddy underfoot in parts the day stayed dry. Gordon shared very interesting pieces of local knowledge and history. To some of us this was an unknown part of Ayrshire that proved to be an excellent and very enjoyable winter walk Lots of Daffodils, snowdrops and wild violet in gardens and hedgerow added to the pleasure of the outing.
Thursday, February 6th. 2020
Fiona led this walk which was an amble around the periphery of Troon, featuring Fullarton Woods, the Golf Course and, of course, the beach.
The weather was absolutely perfect, the snowdrops were in full display, and we were surprised to find one of the rhododendrons in flower.
We finished off with a very pleasant lunch in the recently refurbished Troon Golf Club cafe.
Thursday 23rd January, 2020 – Craigengillan Estate
Although the day was overcast the rain stayed off allowing 11 of us to enjoy a circular walk of approximately six miles around this beautiful estate in East Ayrshire.
We were fortunate in having Gordon Phillips with us. Gordon is a member of the tree group who have visited this estate on a few occasions. Gordon is very knowledgeable about the trees planted on the estate and the ways in which the estate is worked.
Just this week the tree group gifted the estate with a young Sorbus tree, aka Mountain Ash, and a plaque will be placed later on.
Thursday, January 9th, 2020 Largs to Fairlie and back.
The weather forecast of dry, sunny weather held true for the walk from Largs to Fairlie. 8 of us set out to walk from Largs Ferry Terminal along the promenade toward Fairlie. We stopped at the Pencil Monument to read of Largs Viking history. The promenade leads onto a paved path that led us through hedgerow where we could see signs of Daffodils coming through. A short part of this walk follows the main road before cutting down into the village of Fairlie. This very pretty village has the loveliest of views across the Firth of Clyde of Arran and the Cumbraes. We had lunch in a parking/picnic area at the end of the village before setting off back to Largs where we enjoyed coffee in the Green Shutters Cafe. The round trip is approximately 6 miles.
October 17th, 2019 -
Thank you to Douglas Brown for leading this walk. Details as follows:
The walk was around South Glasgow from Muirend to Queen's Park taking in Cathcart, Mount Florida, Crosshill, Battlefield, Langside and Queen's Park.
The Battle of Langside,
FOUR Hampden Parks
The first black player to play, and captain, an international football team (in 1861)
Stan Laurel (not again!) and his mum
Alexander "Greek" Thomson's finest building - Holmwood House
The Snuff Mill Bridge
Simon Bolivar (who he)
The homeless team which won the Scottish League Championship
A most unusual pillar box
The cinema which once featured "BIG" "FRANTIC" "SHAG"
September 19th - Fairlie to Largs
Leader - Sheena McDonald
Sheena, Douglas, Gordon and Marion did the walk. It's a lovely and easy walk, it is a keeper, it will be offered again.
We had coffee outdoors, in beautiful sunshine, at the Green Shutter Cafe just outside Largs then walked back to Fairlie. Sheena gave us a lift back to Irvine.
Thanks to Sheena for leading a perfect outing.
The Lollipop Walk, Maybole
September 5th -
This walk was hastily rearranged because of the Dunure Road closure.
So, a hardy band of five reprised the Lollypop Walk at Maybole,
Douglas had super shiny boots on, and managed to keep them that way despite the amount of mud there was around.
A word of warning - because of the Maybole By-pass road works, it isn't possible now to climb up the hill towards Dunure. The road was officially closed for us, but we just happened to find a way through. However on our return we met some workmen making sure that the way was closed for other walkers.
Prestwick to Troon - 22nd August, 2019
Eight walkers took a short, coastal route from Prestwick railway station to a Troon café (4.2 miles).
The weather was blustery but fair, allowing the group to watch and admire the skills of many kite surfers - even soaring high above the waves!
Coffee, home-baked scones and chat were most welcome after a 'refreshing' walk.
Thanks to all who came along - Fiona.
The day was hot and bright as we walked out from Brodick. The walk winds it way uphill and along the top of the low ridge south of Brodick. The views, as the climb continues, become more superb. In particular the Holy Isle, that alone was worth the climb.
Our descent took us down through the Fairy Glen, as magical as its name. We welcomed the shade of forest and bracken on either side of the path.
All along this beautiful walk we were surrounded by flowers, cultivated and wild and purple heather. Cool forests and bushes provided welcome shelter.
All in all a walk well worth experiencing.
GLASGOW MURALS. - 23rd April, 2019.
On 23rd April, Gordon Roberts guided us around a selection of murals in Glasgow City Centre. They were fascintating.
Here are pictures of a couple of the murals. There are loads more!
April 11th. The team went for a beautiful walk on the hill above Maybole. The weather was glorious and the views were spectacular.
MARCH 28TH, 2019- AYR - MAYBOLE ROAD TO HORIZON HOTEL VIA MILLENIUM BRIDGE OVER RIVER DOON.
CRAIGENGILLAN ESTATE 6 miles, led by Marion.
Alice, Elizabeth, Douglas, Gordon and Marion completed the walk in 2 3/4 hours. It was a tad chilly but dry. Thanks to Gordon and Douglas we were educated on bird calls. And, as they had gone with the U3A tree group on a tour of the estate with Mark Gibson were able to give us lots of information on the running and upkeep of the estate.
CRAUFURDLAND/FENWICK CIRCULAR: 6 miles, Thursday 7th February 2019,
Led by Patricia.
A gang of seven walkers met at a car park near the Tesco at the north end of Kilmarnock. The weather forecast was at best fair.
We set off walking past the edge of Dean Park, and the stables. We continued onward to cross the A77 and then over to the Wardknowe Plantation. This bit of the walk was the muddy bit! (But we've done plenty worse in the past!)
Once we got past the mud, we stopped for a short refreshment break, and then continued over a footbridge, crossing Fenwick Water, past Dalmusternock Farm, and on to Fenwick. By this time, the sun had come out, and the sky was blue and we had to take off some of our cold weather gear.
From Fenwick we followed the Snowdrop Trail to the Craufurdland Estate, past the fishing loch.
From there it was back to Tesco by following the muddy path again, and then via a slightly different route back to the Glasgow Road and Tesco.
We were happy to have had a lovely walk, the weather had been great, and we had great company.
Five of us then had lunch at Auchen's in Dundonald where we were made very welcome.
On Thursday, December 6th, 2018 the walking group visited the Glasgow Necropolis to see the 3500 mausoleums and gravestones of some of the city’s wealthiest families over the last 150 years. Gordon gave us a great tour of the Necropolis.
A wee footnote - we saw Gregor Fisher (Rab C Nesbit) at the Concert Hall door.
8th November, 2018 - Newmilns and Lanfine Estate.
Led by Muriel & Tim.
A small and select group of walkers met up in Newmilns today. In total, there were five of us, plus the dog.
We walked up the side of the River Irvine for a couple of miles, and then back through the Lanfine Estate. The piggies were out in force - AND THERE WAS A BABY PIGGIE! The estate was looking good today with lovely autumn leaves and waterfalls.
We were, yet again, really lucky with the weather. It rained before, and it is raining now, but for us when we were walking the sun was shining!
Our intended trip to the cafe didn't happen, (it was closed again), so we went to the newly reopened Riverside Inn. (just three days ago.) The landlady was very chatty, and let us have a cup of tea/coffee to warm us up. Unfortunately, she isn't doing food until next week, but I think she deserves our support!
30th August 2018 - The Arran Triangular Walk
Led by Douglas & Gordon
Last Thursday, five of us had a super day on Arran.
We started our walk in Brodick and followed the Fairy Trail up over the hill to a car park by the Lamlash Road where we had a short break and enjoyed the view of the hills above Brodick. We then headed up a forest track which presented stunning views over Brodick Bay. The last leg of our triangular shaped route took us back along Glen Cloy towards Brodick. Many brambles were consumed along the way.
Here’s to the next walk over the Carrick Hills in a fortnight’s time.
16th August 2018 - Three Parks in Kilmarnock
Led by Patricia
On an overcast morning, six trusty walkers arrived by car and bus for a 5 mile walk to explore three Kilmarnock Parks with some history thrown in.
On arrival, the early party made its way to Kilmarnock Town centre via Howard Park to meet the others at Kilmarnock Cross near the site of John Wilson's printing works where Burns' first editions were printed.
The weather stayed dry for our stroll through the Kay Park where extensive views of Old and New Killie could be seen.
We followed the route of Kilmarnock Water towards the Dean Park, where Tricia provided a potted history of the Boyd and De Walden families who were once the owners of Dean Castle before the latter gifted the property and lands to the town in the 1970s. Walkers admired the varied tree species and the bonny Fenwick and Craufurdland waters on our meander through the park. We then made our way back via a different route for lunch at Wetherspoon's and were delighted to discover it was 'Curry Day!'
7th June 2018- Dailly to Barony Hill
Led by Douglas
Eight of us set off in absolutely glorious weather on the 8+ mile walk from Dailly. There was no Ringo, so we were like the leader, dugless. Conditions were perfect, very dry underfoot, and clear enough overhead to see the fantastic views. Ferns had sprouted up very quickly, and there was little sign of May's carpets of bluebells.
After conquering Barony Hill, we took lunch by the burn beside the fascinating Lannielane Quarry and its limekilns.
The "glen in the sky" was its usual atmospheric and Tolkienesque self, and at the end of it we paused to admire the stunning view down towards Dailly, Girvan and Ailsa Craig.
The final part of the walk was alongside the River Girvan, past the two Dalquharren Castles back to our starting point.
Many thanks to all the walkers for making it such an enjoyable day.
Here's to the next one!
26th April 2018- Horizon Hotel Circular to Alloway and Doonfoot.
Led by Marion
The weather was very unsettled and extremely windy, so instead of walking along the promenade towards Greenan and Doonfoot as planned, the group elected to walk a little inland until the Millennium Bridge. They then followed the River Doon upstream to Doonfoot Stores, noting that the swans did not appear to be on their nest. (Perhaps they have made a new one!) From there it is only a short distance to the Balgarth Pines where the group stopped for coffee and scones. They also got on with the business of planning the next few walks.
From there, the group made their way up the cycle path to Alloway; they walked past Burns' Cottage, then into Belleisle Park andfinally back to the Horizon Hotel.
The weather stayed dry until literally the last 100 yards, and then the rain started lashing down, and everyone got soaked (by this stage anoraks etc had been stowed away in rucksacks!). 7.6 miles.
5th April 2018 - Cornish Hill
Seven walkers (and Ringo the dog) drove all the way to Stinchar Bridge to do the Cornish Hill walk. The weather for the preceding few days had been very wet and miserable, but on the day of our walk the sun came out. Also, there was just enough snow left from the 'Beast from the East - Mark III' to make the hills look incredibly pretty without making it difficult underfoot.
The walk may have been short in quantity, but it certainly made up for it in quality!
After the walk, we all went for a well earned hot drink and cake at the Buck Cafe in Straiton.
8th February 2018 - Irvine Paths
Led by Alice
Six walkers (and a dog) met at Ayrshire Central Hospital, Irvine, for a walk along some Irvine Paths. Alice led the group through the southerly end of the campus, (near where the old Maternity Block was up until 2006), towards the A78 pedestrian bridge. They carried on along some quiet paths, until they got to the Standing Stones at Sourlie Hill which is just near the edge of Eglinton Park. This is where the group stopped for their first refreshment break. The group were a little disappointed to find that the stones had only been there since 1987. They had been placed there after the restoration of the hill after opencast mining. The stones had been found during the mining process.
Most of the rest of the walk was through the park, much of it alongside the Lugton Water. The group stopped at the Tournament Cafe for another coffee, and then returned to their starting point.
The overall distance was 6.5 miles.
23rd November 2017 - Barr
Led by Douglas
This eight mile walk included Fairy Knowe, Kirsty's Cairn, the Devil's Trail and more.
2nd November 2018 - Maidens and Culzean
The walk originally planned for this day was to have been around Dailly and Barony Hill. However, it transpired that the ground was just TOO soggy there so, at short notice, a walk was suggested starting at Maidens and exploring the Culzean Estate .
The weather was absolutely perfect and we all had a lovely time exploring ice houses, the Gas House, the Monkey House and the Cat Gates.
21st September - Howling Hounds and Murder around Maybole
Led by Douglas & Gordon_
Five hardy walkers appeared in order to participate in this walk. Three days previously, the walk had been checked out and found to be extremely wet underfoot, to the extent that Douglas and Gordon had to build a bridge in order to cross a large, rather deep patch of water. As it had rained heavily over the following couple of days, it was decided to change the route. The howling dogs were still passed (twice!), and the murder stone (commemorating a dastardly deed from 1599) was reached following a trek along a particularly wet path.
The group then returned to Maybole along a slightly different route, pausing for lunch at a disused quarry, which provided well shaped rocks as seats.
Altogether almost nine miles were covered, and the group thoroughly enjoyed the day.
It was agreed that the full walk would be attempted when the ground was less "damp".
Click on a picture below to see it full-size with more details.