Where: Pinbreck Hill Hike by Barr Village
When: June 2014
Who: I Parker
Why: good weather so a day out to get some
I had hiked the hills on the south side of
the Nick of the Balloch mountain pass two
years back, so decide to hike the two hills
on the north side of the Nick of the Balloch,
the 1,639ft Pinbreck and 1,594ft Eldrick.
I took the B7045 road from Ayr to Straiton
village, as seen below, then continued south
towards the Nick of the Balloch on the B7045
following signs for Glentrool and Newton
Stewart, past the hill with the monument as
Road Map .
About ten miles south of Straiton, you
will see a sign for the village of Barr.
About 1 mile up that hill road, you come to
the Nick of the Balloch, as seen below.
I had intended to drive down to the bottom
of the Nick of the Balloch, about 1 third of
a mile, and park at the Witches Bridge, where
there is room for about 5 cars.
After looking at the passing places up
here, I realized I could park well in off the
road, and still leave space for cars to pass,
so decide to hike from here, where it is a
few hundred feet less to hike, and not as
The image below shows the easy route from
the top of the Nick of the Balloch, following
a faint trail.
Note I parked the car well in so to allow
plenty of space for cars to pass. There are
also a few grass verge places you could
carefully park at.
The image below shows the trail to the top
of Pinbreck Hill. The trail leads up to that
little mound, then you follow a fence to the
top. This is a nice steady hike. Note the
stepper Witches Bridge route over to the
The image below is from the top of
Pinbreck Hill looking southwest. Straight
over that way takes you down the steep side
to the Witches Bridge. The village of Barr is
straight over the hill covered in trees.
I had though about going straight down to
the witches Bridge, then walk up the Nick of
the Balloch to the car, but Eldrick hill is
about 2 miles east, one of the few hills in
Ayrshire I had not hiked.
The image below is from Pinbreck Hill
looking east to the 1,594ft Eldrick Hill,
with the 2,520ft Shalloch-on-Minnoch in the
distance behind. About 2 miles from here, so
should be easy going, I thought.
The image below is from the crossing over
to Eldrick Hill. After about half of a mile,
I had to cross a sheep fence. From then on it
was over a mile through deep heather, with no
trail of any kind.
The image below shows the steep west side
of Eldrick Hill. Was surprised at how quick I
got to the top. After hiking through the deep
heather to get to here, the hike up seemed a
The Image below is from the top of Eldrick
Hill looking back at Pinbreck Hill and the
car park. You get great views of the Merrick
Range from up here.
I decide to take the route back shown by
the lines, to a sub peck of Pinbreck Hill to
get photos down over the Nick of the Balloch.
The route was as tough as the direct route I
took over to here, even snapped a hiking pole
after stepping into a hidden ditch.
The image below is from the sub peak of
Pinbreck Hill, looking down to the Witches
Bridge car park. This shows the rout up from
the Witches Bridge car park is a fair bit
The image below is from heading down from
the sub peak to the car park, next to where
the delivery truck is passing. That is
Rowantree Hill on the other side of the road.
There are a number of hills over there that
are good hiking.
The view below is of Cloncaird Castle that
you pass between Straiton Village and Ayr,
situated about 2 miles north of Straiton,
with views like this from the roadside.
The map below shows Pinbreck and Eldrick
Hills, also the other hills on the south side
of the Nick of the Balloch.