West Kilbride to Troon. 18 Miles.

Sunlight on the Ayrshire Coast


Today’s walk was a long one – much longer than I had planned however. I parked the van on the beach at Troon making sure it wasnt going to sink into the sand and I would be able to drive away again. That happened to me on a beach on an earlier walk and I didnt want to repeat the experience.  I caught the first train back up the line to West Kilbride Station and headed down through the lovely park that led down to the main coastal road. The walk along the road that ran along past Seamill towards Ardrossan reminded me of when I was a young lad and came down here for my holidays. Everything had shrunk in size. When I was a young lad Seamill was a magical place seemingly filled with exquisit rock pools and what I remembered to be a beautiful sandy beach. It wasnt any of those things now – just a sad scrap of sand next to a car park.  The world is certainly more magical when your too young to know any better.

Ayrshire Coastal Path guide book.

Ayrshire Coastal Path guide book.

I headed in Ardrossan and on towards Saltcoats. I was sure when I was a lad there was sand on the beach but there disnt seem to be any here now. Something to do with the Council’s health and safety policy perhaps? Perhaps sand was deemed to get into people’s eyes and it had been removed for our own good.

I had intended to walk towards Irvine and cross the footbridge that went over the mouth of the river Garnock. I had read in David Cotton’s blog that the footbridge had been built to connect the new museum called the Big Idea. However on double checking I found that the museum was closed due to funding issues and the bridge was kept open permanently to allow shipping to travel up the river Garnock. I was extremely pissed off with that news as not only would I have to detour inland towards Stevenson adding about 5 miles or so to my journey, it would also mean missing out on a great beach walk along the coast. I couldnt do anything about it and therfore followed the Sustrans cycle signs inland. The journey was not a memorable one – as  the route ran behind old industrial estates where I had to navigate an underpass where three of four Yoofs were quaffing Scotland’s other National drink. No – not Irn Bru but Buckfast. That had me slightly on my guard as I passed them, but they were fine and said hello as I passed.

Eventually the route turns back towards Irvine and eventually I reached the harbour area which had been given a make over. It did look quaint with its street lamps – it reminded me of Sheidaig for some reason but obviously a modern attempt at making a place look older. When I enquired about the bridge being closed they said that it might open again as there were moves afoot to create a golf course complex on the other side of the bridge. Now where have I heard that before?

I had a coffee in a little coffee shop then headed out into heavy rain for the final walk along Barrassie beach towards Troon. I caught absolutely soaked through – my jeans and feet were sodden and I collapsed into the campervan and was really exhausted at the end of this walk.

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