Knockdolian Hill Walk

AS Walking

Where: Knockdolian Hill by Ballantrae & Colmonell in South Ayrshire
Height: 870 feet
When: May 22nd 2012
Who: I Parker
Why: good weather so a day out to take some photos
Weather: Sunny with hazy cloud
Distance: ? miles

Knockdolian Hill is situated between the villages of Colmonell and Ballantrae, about 10 miles south of Girvan, 30 miles south of Ayr.

This is another impressive hill when driving down the A77 road as it sits itself, so looks higher than its 870 feet. The B734 road from 1 mile north of Ballantrae leading to Colmonell passes right past the northwest side of the hill.

The image below is from Colmonell Main Street showing the Boars Head Hotel and Knockdolian Hill 2 miles southwest.

Road Map

Boars Head in Colmonell image

From the south side of Colmonell you get a good view of Knockdolian Hill north side. There is a walking route marked from a few hundred yards down this road that leads over some hills towards Knockdolian Hill.

Nnockdolian Hill from Colmonell image

The walking route probably takes you out at a white cottage by the Colmonell to Ballantrae road as seen below. I got dropped off here and picked up at Ballantrae so did not take the walking route out from Colmonell.

I think the most interesting route from here would be straight over to the hill, then round and up the north side, left in the image below, as there is an old fort on that side. I was only hiking up one hill this day so decided to go straight up the steepest part of the northwest side as seen below.

Knockdolian Hill northwest side image

Going up the northwest side was a good challenging hike with some steep routes. The lamb here was looking down from a rock as if it had not seen anyone going up here before.

Close to the top image

Below is a view northwest towards Ailsa Craig from close to the top. The white cottage at the trees is where I started the hike from. There are two car parking spaces across the road from the cottage but not sure if the residents would be happy for hikers to leave their cars there for a couple of hours. These are the only car parking spaces anywhere close to the hill.

View west image

Below is a view south towards Ballantrae from the top of Knockdolian Hill. You can see the large Ireland ferries from here traveling in an out of Cairnryan about 10 miles south of Ballantrae.

Knockdolian Hill Summit image

Below is a view northeast up the Stinchar Valley with Knockdolian House and Estate in the trees bottom left and Colmonell right in the middle of the valley.

Stinchar Valley image

Below is a view down from the steep east side looking southeast. There is a narrow road down there leading to Ballantrae south side. If walking to Ballantrae, head down the south side then make your way across to this road mid way between the hill and Ballantrae. There is a picturesque river walk that leads off this road. The east side would be the steepest hike up but there is thick woodland all along the bottom of the east side.

Knockdolian Hill east side image

Below is a view back from the narrow road to Ballantrae south side. It is from here you will see the sign to the River Stinchar Walk. The sign is not too large and the path is narrow so is easy to miss.

Knockdolian Hill from the southeast image

The River Stinchar Walk is a great way to enter Ballantrae. There is a path up to the road just before Ballantrae or you can carry on right to Ballantrae bridges. The riverside walk ends a few hundred yards south of the new bridge.

River Stinchar Walk image

Below is Ballantrae Old Bridge from the River Stinchar stepping stones. This is the top salmon and trout river in Ayrshire with good beats including some on Knockdolian Estate.

Ballantrae Old Bridge image

Below is a view northwest over Ballantrae Old Bridge built in 1770, looking at Ardstinchar Castle. This bridge was closed to traffic in 1964 after a new bridge was built on the west side of the old bridge.

Ballantrae Old Bridge from the south image

Below is a view of the War Memorial and Ardstinchar Castle at the Old Bridge on the south side of Ballantrae.

Ballantrae Ardstinchar Castle image

Below is a view northwest from the Old Bridge looking up the Main Street. Ballantrae is mainly this one street that turns north at the cemetery and church as seen in the distance below. There are some really nice looking B&Bs along this street here on the right.

Ballantrae Main Street image

Below is a view from where the road turns north towards Girvan with the Kings Arms Hotel on the left. The hotel has a beer garden and is popular for snacks and meals. A few hundred yards past the hotel is the Craigiemains Garden Centre with a large kids play area and cafe.

Kings Arms Hotel Ballantrae image

Below is the Kings Arms Hotel in Ballantrae beer garden where I stopped off for a well deserved drink and lunch.

Kings Arms Hotel Ballantrae beer garden image

Heading home over Bennane Head about two miles north of Ballantrae. This is where the car park for Sawney Bean's Cave is situated.

Bennane Head image

Knockdolian Hill was a good hike with the best views you will get of the Stinchar Valley. Will go back some day for the hike up the north side past the Old Fort. The hill next to the sea in the photo above is Lendalfoot Hill, aslo a good hike in this area.