Walk: Knockdolian - Ailsa's twin

South Ayrshire | Colmonell | Short walk | ★★★

[Knockdolian seen from the road to the east of Colmonell]

The dome of Knockdolian rises like a collapsing steamed pudding above the gentle braes of South Ayrshire. It's the less celebrated, less dramatic twin of Ailsa Craig (the volcanic plug pointing the way to Ireland in the sea to the northwest), but let that take nothing away from the enjoyable ascent. Short grass - particularly early in the year - and a road around the foot make the ascent of this 265-metre hill swift and fairly straightforward, with superb views up the River Stinchar, and of course out to Paddy's Milestone herself. On the drive to the start, watch out for wandering pheasants which haven't consulted the Green Cross Code.

[Looking inland along the River Stinchar from the summit]

📌 Walk: Knockdolian - Ailsa's twin ★★★
Start / finish at track junction (space only for a couple of cars) on B7044 2 mi west of Colmonell, G.R.: NX 123851 ///pull.major.broth

▶ 3 km / 2 mi | ▲ 230 m | ⌚ Short | Moderate
Features: △ Knockdolian (265 m, sub-2000')
Terrain: Minor road, then track for start of ascent. Then very faint, grassy paths - easier to spot on descent! Fairly steep in places.

Route & map

Start - track junction at G.R.: NX 123849 ///manual.stuff.downcast - gate at G.R.: NX 118850 ///slurred.pebble.slugs - Knockdolian - return by outward route (or similar)

Route credit: Scotland Off the Beaten Track
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On our visit

Wildlife: Sheep, cows, calfs and lots of pheasants. First cuckoo of spring heard.
Weather: Mostly sunny apart from one stubborn cloud, temperature in high teens.

Chronological photo guide

[The first few hundred metres of the route follow the quiet B7044 road]

[Track onto the hill]

[Navigation is easy in clear weather - just follow the ridge!]

[Ailsa Craig peeking out on the ascent]

[View from the ascent path]

[Looking inland along the River Stinchar from the summit]

[View south from the summit]

[View out to sea]

[Zoomed shot of Ailsa Craig from the summit]

[Knockdolian seen from the road to the east of Colmonell]


  1. Looks a great wee hill. Nice guide and pics. Hopefully will do this next week when in the area.


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