Cornish Hill Walk

AS Walking

Where: Cornish Hill, Ayrshire
When: July 23rd 2012
Who: I Parker
Why: good weather so a day out
Weather: Sunny Spells
Height: 1,532 ft
Distance: ?

The 1,532 feet Cornish Hill is situated 21 miles southeast of Ayr next to the B741 road that runs between the Villages of Straiton and Newton Stewart. The Stinchar Bridge is about 1,000 ft above sea level, so the actual hike up Cornish Hill from there is about 500 ft.

The Stinchar Bridge, and large Car Park, just in to the left here, are situated 7 miles south of the scenic village of Straiton, next to the B741 road, as seen below.

That is the start of the Cornish Hill trail leading into the forest at the T sign.

The forest road to the left here leads to Loch Braden, Loch Riecawr and Loch Doon, named the Carrick Forest Drive.

The Hill Walking Map Link below is to Shalloch-on-Minnoch, you will see Cornish Hill on that map just north of Shalloch on Minnoch.

There is also a walking trail here that follows a trail down through woodland to the Stinchar Falls

Road Map . Hill Walking Map

Stinchar Bridge image

There is a large car park across the road from the start of the Cornish Hill trail, as seen below, that can hold about 30 cars. The bridge as seen below, leads into the woodland part of the walk. There are a few seating areas here for picnics.

Cornich Hill Trail image

The woodland walk is about 1 mile long, passing a Memorial Cairn and seating areas.

Cornish Hill Memorial Cairn image

When you clear the trees, the man made path continues all the way to the top of the hill, and down to Cornish Loch. Think this is the only hill in Ayrshire with a man made path all the way to the top. This reminded me of hiking up the man made path on Ben Lomond, although Ben Lomond was many times higher.

Cornish Hill image

You pass a false summit as seen in the image above, before reaching the main summit as seen below. The first thing that attracts your eye from the summit is the 2,520 ft Shalloch-on-Minnoch to the southeast, and the 2,766 ft Merrick in the distance behind that.

Cornish Hill summit image

The image below is of Cornish Loch. The man made path runs down to the loch where there is a boating hut. The rocky hill over to the right of the loch is the 1,768 ft Craigmasheenie. The hills in the distance are Carlin's Cairn and Corserine.

Large Image.

Cornish Loch image

The image below is northeast to the 1,666 ft Shiel Hill. There is no path up that hill, only deep heather and a few sheep trails to follow. Shiel Hill has about ten false summits, a bit like climbing a step pyramid.

If you fancy extending your walk to that hill, you have to cross a narrow burn at the loch via stepping stones, may be difficult if there has been a lot of rain.

Shiel Hill from Cornish Hill image

Below is an image of Trig Point on Shiel Hill. This reference point for surveyors is situated on rock sticking out the top of the hill, the best Trig Point location I have seen in Ayrshire.

Some people use this route to do 6 hills here in a loop. Cornish Hill, Shiel Hill, Craigmasheenie, Shalloch-on-Minnoch, Caerloch Dhu and Cairnadloch Hill.

Shiel Hill Trig Point image

The view below is from Cornish Hill summit looking at the trail back down to the Stinchar Bridge.

Cornish Hill Cairn image

The view below is looking at the trail as it winds its way down into the woodland.

Cornish Hill Trail image

This was a pleasant hike with good views. If you are thinking about taking up hill walking, you should consider making this your first hill in Ayrshire. Many of the more popular Munros in the highlands, mountains over 3,000 ft, have similar paths to the top such as Ben Lomond and Ben Nevis, although they are many times higher. You would have to go up and down this one about eight times to do the same distance.

Extending the walk to Shiel Hill would give you a taste of how difficult hills with no trails can be, as that hill is covered in thick heather with a few narrow sheep trails, so is as tough going as you will find in most places.

Doing the loop from here round Shalloch-on-Minnoch is a good hard days hiking for anyone, averaging 6 hours.

From the large LayBy just south of the Stinchar Bridge to Shalloch-on-Minnoch and back averages 3 and a half hours, one the the easiest routes there are to 2,500ft, following a faint trail. Avoid the Shalloch-on-Minnoch hike in cloud though, unless you know how to use a hiking map and compass, 2,500ft in cloud can be dangerous.

Photo Tour of the easy Route to Shalloch-on-Minnoch.

Cornish Hill Map image