Walk: A Fairlie good Glen

North Ayrshire | Fairlie | Short walk | ★★★

[Fairlie Glen upper waterfall]

A couple of miles short of the town of Largs, the railway line along the Ayrshire coast plunges into a long tunnel under the steep ground of Fairlie village. Head uphill from the tunnel entrance (there's plenty of parking and a railway station nearby) and you can follow the verdant folds of Fairlie Glen to the local castle: ruined but undergoing extensive restoration at the time of writing. Despite the ugly groundworks and scaffolding, you can see the original owners chose well when selecting a defensive site. To the north are uninterrupted views over the lower slopes of the Whatside Hills, while to the south the burn runs through a series of constricted canyons with dozens of waterfalls, preventing unwanted access from this side. Several picturesque cascades are safely visible for today's explorers without getting onto risky ground, with the most impressive, upper fall reached by a low-risk but muddy scramble up a vegetated crag.

[The final approach to the waterfall is signposted but far from straightforward!]

📌 Walk: A Fairlie good Glen ★★★
▶ 2 km / 1 mile | ▲ 80 metres
Features: Fairlie Glen waterfalls; Fairlie Castle
Start / finish: Fairlie railway station (customer car park and nearby street parking), Fairlie, G.R.: NS 210546 ///awoke.builder.nest

Route: Start - corner of Burnfoot Road - path along north bank of Fairlie Burn via Fairlie Castle to waterfall at G.R. NS 218547 - return by outward route
Terrain: Clear paths and tracks with steady ascent and some mud (boots or wellies recommended). Last section of path to final waterfall is a short but steep and slippery scramble on mud.
Wildlife today: Sheep in fields, grey wagtails nesting on the gorge cliffs.
Weather today: Hazy sunshine, about 10°C, but remnant snow patches from a couple of weeks ago.

[One of the lower waterfalls]

Route map

Route credit: Scotland off the beaten track

More photos

[Paths are muddy in a few places]

[Fairlie Burn]

[Fairlie Castle]

[Glaisdale Burn - crossed further up]

[View back down from the confluence of Fairlie and Glaisdale burns]

[Middle section rapids]

[Waterfall in the middle section]

[View towards the Firth of Clyde]

[Sections of the route are on a good track - probably an old route over the moors to Fairlie Castle]

[Old track]


[Final scrambly section]


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