The Ayr River Walk starts off at the Auld
Brig in Ayr town centre, as seen below. The
walk follows the path on the north side of
the River Ayr, heading east under the road
and railway bridges to Ayr College.
The path continues past Ayr College into
Craigie Estate, where you can explore around
Craigie House and gardens.
The image below is from the Auld Brig
looking east along the River Ayr
Just before the pedestrian bridge, you
will see Ayr Auld Kirk across the river.
This site originally contained a monastery
named Greyfriars from the 1400s and is
supposedly near the site of the monastery of
the Blackfriars from the 1200s. The Auld Kirk
was built in 1654 during the reign of Oliver
Cromwell. The English Parliamentarian leader
Cromwell had Charles 1st (Stewart) beheaded
in 1649 and ruled Britain as Lord Protector
until 1658. During that time, he funded one
fifth of the cost of this church, and had a
large fort built on the south side of the
harbour. Little of that fort now remains. The
Auld Kirk is still used to this day.
A short distance past the pedestrian
bridge, the path leads under the railway and
road bridges, as seen below.
After passing under the bridges, the path
runs past Ayr College, as seen below.
Just past Ayr College is the Dam Park
athletics stadium, home to the Ayr Seaforth
athletics club. Brian Whittle, the 400 meter
runner from Troon, has been the clubs most
successful athlete so far.
Just past Dam Park is the University of
the West of Scotland, that opened in 2011, as
seen below. This is the start of Craigie
Estate, now mostly taken over by the
Just past the university is Craigie House.
There are high hedges that prevent a viewing
from the riverside path, so you have to
follow a path through the garden to the
Craigie House was built around 1730 as a
replacement residence for Sir Thomas Wallace
of Newton Castle. The estate was bought by
William Campbell in 1782, it remained in that
family until Ayr Town Council purchased it in
1940 for £12,500.
Craigie House is now used as offices for
the university, not sure if you can view any
of the inside, but you can walk around the
outside and through the gardens.
Opposite Craigie House is Craigie Bridge,
as seen below.
You can continue the walk north on either
side of this bridge. The estate side path
runs alongside the river, then alongside
Dalmilling Golf Course until it reaches the
A77 Road. You then cross to the south side at
the road bridge.
Alternatively, you can cross Craigie
Bridge, then follow the path east alongside
that side of the river.
The view below is from next to the A77
Road Bridge, looking at the path as it runs
through Dalmilling Golf Course.
The view below shows the path as it goes
under the A77 Road Bridge. The signs here
state it is one and a half miles back to Ayr,
or 2 miles north to Auchincruive Estate.
There are stepping stones just on the east
side of this bridge that are a popular test
when the river is low.
River Ayr froze at the stepping stones in
the winter of 2010, causing traffic jams as
drivers stopped to view something that few,
if any, people had saw before.
View a movie of the frozen river at:
www.youtube.com . Pictures
The path continues past the stepping
stones for about two miles into Auchincruive
Estate. The path from the stepping stones to
Auchincruive can be a bit muddy and overgrown
in places, so best wear walking boots and
trousers for that part, should you want to
extend the walk to there.
The present day house on Auchencruive
Estate (the Robert Adam designed mansion,
Oswald Hall) dates from the 1700s with the
estate holding a number of lodges, a tea
house and a clock tower. Richard Oswald (a
merchant from London and a commissioner in
Paris for peace negotiations with the
Americans) bought the estate in 1764.
Following his death in 1784, the estate
was run by his widow Mary Ramsay till her
death in 1788. Auchincruive then passed to
their son Richard Alexander Oswald, a
government contractor during the American
More recently, Auchincruive was gifted to
the Secretary of State by John Hannah of
Girvan Mains. It became the home of the
Scottish Agricultural College with the Hannah
Research Institute being named in his honour.
The estate is also available for use as a
venue for outdoor events such as the Ayr
Agricultural Show, which it has held on a few
occasions. Oswald Hall can be booked for
conferences or musical events. The grounds
around the house and along River Ayr can be
used by the public for scenic walks.