Walk: Ayr Gorge(ous)

South Ayrshire | Failford | Short walk | ★★

[Peden's Cove, from where covenanter Alexander Peden preached to his congregation across the river]

Ayr Gorge Woodlands Wildlife Reserve (AGWWR is a bit less of a mouthful) is well off the beaten track in deepest Ayrshire. Jaw-droppingly dramatic scenery this is not, but it's an attractive little den which springs a few surprises, such as in the photo above. Areas of woodland are at a bit of a premium in Ayrshire, but the steep slopes around here have helped preserve a reasonably undisturbed landscape. Wildlife includes red squirrels, badger, otter, roe deer and several bird species. Start or finish with a meal or pint at the Failford Inn, at the heart of a village so tiny that we originally wrote in 2015 how surprised we were that the pub could stay afloat. A few months later, the place indeed went out of business, but we're happy to report that it re-opened in late 2016 - hopefully for good!

[Excellent shady paths along the River Ayr]

📌 Walk: Ayr Gorge(ous) ★★
Start / finish at car park on B743, Failford village centre, G.R.: NS 459261 ///minus.walking.thousands

▶ 5 km / 3 mi | ▲ 220 m | ⌚ Short | Moderate
Features: Ayr Gorge WWR; Peden's Cove
Terrain: Excellent dirt paths, fair amount of ascent / descent on steps.

Route & map

Failford - Peden's Cove - southern end of reserve - Failford. General path network map here.

Route credit: Scotland Off the Beaten Track
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On our visit

Wildlife: Spotted woodpecker in the higher part of the reserve. Dippers, grey wagtail and mallard ducks in or around the river.
Weather: Cloudy but dry, sun peeking through at times. Well above freezing.

[Looks like a Cornish pasty, but actually one of several fungus species lurking in the shady gorge]


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