The River Ayr Way is a long-distance path in Ayrshire, Scotland. The route, which is 66 km long, follows the course of the River Ayr from its source at Glenbuck Loch to the sea at Ayr, where the trail links with the Ayrshire Coastal Path. The path was developed as part of the Coalfield Access Project, a funding package of £2.5m that was used to improve public access to the countryside in the former mining districts of Ayrshire. The route was officially opened in 2006 by broadcaster Fred Macaulay, and is now designated as one of Scotland's Great Trails by Scottish Natural Heritage. As of 2018 about 137,000 people were using the path each year, of whom about 41,000 walked the entire route.
An ultramarathon is held annually along the entire length of the route, running "downhill" from source to sea. A relay race is also run, allowing teams of two or three persons split the route into three sections. The three sections are:
|River Ayr Way|
The River Ayr Way west of Catrine
|Length||66 km (41 mi)|
|Designation||Scotland's Great Trails|
|Elevation gain/loss||470 metres (1,540 ft) gain|
|Lowest point||Sea level|
The Auchincruive Waggonway or Whitletts Waggonway was a mineral railway or 'Bogey line' that transported mainly coal, eventually running from the north side of Ayr harbour at Newton to Blackhouse, Whitletts, Dalmilling, Gibbsyard, Auchincruive Holm, Annbank and Enterkine. Apart from carrying coal to the harbour, lime kilns, quarries and a salt works were also served.Ballochmyle Viaduct
The Ballochmyle Viaduct is the highest extant railway viaduct in Britain. It is 169 feet (52 m) high, and carries the railway over the River Ayr near Mauchline and Catrine in East Ayrshire, Scotland. It carries the former Glasgow and South Western Railway line between Glasgow and Carlisle.Designed by the John Miller, the viaduct was built in the 1840s for the Glasgow, Paisley, Kilmarnock and Ayr Railway Company. Work commenced on its construction during March 1846; it was built under contract by Ross & Mitchell and William McCandlish was the resident engineer. It is built of local red sandstone and stronger stone sourced from Dundee was used for the arch rings. On completion on 2 March 1848, the viaduct had the largest masonry arch in the world and remains amongst the largest ever been constructed.
The viaduct was listed in April 1971 and became a Category A listed structure in January 1989. It was designated a "Historic Civil Engineering Landmark" by the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) in 2014. Network Rail undertook strengthening work on the viaduct in the 2010s. The Ballochmyle Viaduct is used for passenger and freight traffic through to the present day.Glenbuck
Glenbuck (Scottish Gaelic: Gleann Buic) is a small, remote village in East Ayrshire. Historically part of Ayrshire, it nestles in the hills 3 miles east of Muirkirk, East Ayrshire, Scotland.Haugh, East Ayrshire
Haugh or The Haugh is a small village or hamlet in East Ayrshire, Parish of Mauchline, Scotland. The habitation is situated about two and a half miles downstream from Catrine, on the north bank of the River Ayr. The River Ayr Way runs through the village.Kingencleugh Castle
The remains of the old castle of Kingencleugh or Kingenclough lies close to east of the town of Mauchline, East Ayrshire, in the old Barony of Mauchline off the A76. The castle is Category B listed.List of long-distance footpaths in the United Kingdom
There are hundreds of long-distance footpaths in the United Kingdom designated in publications from public authorities, guidebooks and OS maps. They are mainly used for hiking and walking, but some may also be used, in whole or in part, for mountain biking and horse riding. Most are in rural landscapes, in varying terrain, some passing through National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. There is no formal definition of a long-distance path, though the British Long Distance Walkers Association defines one as a route "20 miles [32 km] or more in length and mainly off-road." They usually follow existing rights of way, often over private land, joined together and sometimes waymarked to make a named route. Generally, the surface is not specially prepared, with rough ground, uneven surfaces and stiles, which can cause accessibility issues for people with disabilities. Exceptions to this can be converted railways, canal towpaths and some popular fell walking routes where stone-pitching and slabs have been laid to prevent erosion. Many long-distance footpaths are arranged around a particular theme such as one specific range of hills or a historical or geographical connection.Long-distance footpaths in Scotland
This page lists long-distance footpaths in Scotland. Scottish Natural Heritage have defined such paths as meaning a route that is at least 32 kilometres (20 mi) long and primarily off-road, or on quieter roads and tracks. This definition is consistent with that of the British Long Distance Walkers Association.River Ayr
The River Ayr (pronounced like air, Uisge Àir in Gaelic) is a river in Ayrshire, Scotland. At 65 km (40 mi) it is the longest river in the county.
The river was held as sacred by pre-Christian cultures. The remains of several prehistoric sacrificial horse burials have been found along its banks, mainly concentrated around the town of Ayr.Scotland's Great Trails
Scotland's Great Trails are long-distance "people-powered" trails in Scotland, analogous to the National Trails of England and Wales or the Grande Randonnée paths of France. The designated routes are primarily intended for walkers, but may have sections suitable for cyclists and horse-riders; one of the trails, the Great Glen Canoe Trail, is designed for canoeists and kayakers. The trails range in length from 40 to 340 km, and are intended to be tackled over several days, either as a combination of day trips or as an end-to-end expedition.In order to be classified as one of Scotland’s Great Trails, a route must fulfil certain criteria. Each of the routes must be at least 40 km in length, and clearly waymarked with a dedicated symbol. It is expected that visitor services will be present along the way, and that the route has an online presence to help visitors in planning their journey. Trails are required to run largely off-road, with less than 20% of the route being on tarmac. Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) is the custodian of the brand, maintaining the official list and providing some of the finance and publicity, but responsibility for creating and maintaining each route lies with the local authority(ies) through which a route passes. There are 29 routes, offering 3000 km of trails in total. Additionally, the northernmost 10 kilometres (6 mi) of the Pennine Way between the Anglo-Scottish border and Kirk Yetholm lie within Scotland, but are designated as one of the National Trails of England.
The route of each of the Great Trails is marked with coloured diamonds on Ordnance Survey Explorer (1:25000) and Landranger (1:50000) maps; the SGT logo of a thistle within a hexagon is also used to highlight the routes at the 1:25000 scale.Wallace's Cave, Auchinleck
Wallace's Cave in the Lugar Gorge at Auchinleck in the Parish of Auchinleck is an 18th-century grotto contemporary with Dr Johnson's Summerhouse, also located on the Auchinleck Estate. It shows superior workmanship in its construction, possibly being the enlargement of a pre-existing cave. The cave or grotto lies downstream of the confluence of the Dippol Burn with the River Lugar and is reached via a once well formed path, however access is now hazardous due to the condition of the cliff edge path and the vertical drop into the River Lugar.Wallace's Heel Well
Wallace's Heel Well or Wallace's Heel is located beside the River Ayr (NS35502122) near the old Holmston lime kiln, Ayr, Scotland. It is a petrosomatoglyph said to represent the imprint of a heel and is associated with the story of an escape from English soldiers made by the Scottish hero William Wallace.
(England and Wales)
|Scotland's Great Trails|