Hiking and biking through Ayrshire, taking in our rolling farm and woodland hills and our characterful villages and towns, is arguably one of the finest ways to experience our ever-present history and culture, and our warm and friendly welcome. Brooding castles, stately houses, craggy cliffs and sandy beaches dot the landscape and traditional rights-of-way dating back centuries criss-cross our countryside. Many walks and cycling trails are sensitively managed and well signposted - for example, the Ayrshire Coastal Path and National Cycle Route 7 - and suit hikers and bikers of all ages and capabilities. Here, we describe just a few, but there are many more for you to discover.
Hiking opportunities from Maybole include:
Kildoon Circuit - 5 miles
Drummochreen Cairn – 9.5 miles
Maybole to Kirkoswald – 13 miles
Maybole to Dunure - 7 miles
The National Cycle Network passes through Maybole, across the Carrick Hills to the coastline at Doonfoot. It passes along the beach front at Ayr and Prestwick, along the golf courses of Troon to the harbour of Irvine. It then travels to Kilwinning and inland to Kilbirnie on its way to Glasgow.
A link route 73 provides access from Kilmarnock and the ferry port of Ardrossan. The local routes of South Ayrshire include Robert Burns country, visiting Alloway, Burns Cottage, the Auld Brig O'Doon and out into the countryside where Burns farmed. You can see migrating birds resting near Dalrymple where you can also marvel at the majestic railway viaduct. Travel through stunning countryside to Maybole or down to Straiton and beyond. Local routes link across from Maybole to the coast where you can visit Girvan, the cliffs at Lendalfoot or take a diversion to Turnberry or Culzean Castle.
Cycling opportunities nearby include:
Carrick is a welcoming wood, with facilities to help you enjoy its unique atmosphere - to picnic in the open air, relax beside its tranquil lochs and view its remote hills. The forest is home to the scarce black grouse, roe deer and badger, and woodland bird species. The wild and remote moor land beyond the forest are the haunt of golden eagles, red deer and feral goats. Carrick is part of the Galloway Forest Park and Straiton is the nearest village.
Glen Trool is Galloway's jewel in the crown, with its wild beauty and fascinating history. It is home to south Scotland's highest mountain - the magnificent Merrick. Climb the Merrick; stand on top of Galloway and enjoy views of lonely hill lochs like Enoch and Neldricken or gaze down along ridges with names like Rig of the Gloon. Walk beside Loch Trool where battles were lost and won. Walk or cycle the Glen Trool trails and find out more about this wild and fascinating corner of Galloway. Glen Trool is part of Galloway Forest Park and Glen Trool is the nearest village.
The following websites offer a wealth of information on hiking and biking including detailed maps and route descriptions:
(with thanks to www.ayrshirepaths.org.uk and www.cycle-scotland.com)