Route: Ayrshire Coastal Path (United Kingdom)

Submitted by Alasdair77 on Thu, 11/05/2020 - 08:12am
United Kingdom
105 mi
Vertical Gain
5,912 ft

The Ayrshire Coastal Path (ACP) from Glenapp to Skelmorlie runs 105 miles along one of the finest panoramic coastlines in the British Isles. Crowned with a superb backdrop of the ever-changing profile of the mountains of Arran across the Firth of Clyde, this coastline is steeped in history and teeming with wildlife.

The Ayrshire Coastal Path is essentially a practical ‘route’ rather than a formal laid-out path. Consequently – and especially in the south – it is primarily a route for well-equipped agile walkers, since many stretches along cliff-tops, up gullies, and over rough rocky shores are not suitable for cyclists, horses, or slip-on shoes.

From south to north over the sea, the ancient county of Ayrshire is 55 miles long, but its curved coastline measures 86 miles (134 km). Add in several must-see historic detours, to Burns Cottage, Dundonald Castle, Kilwinning Abbey and Knockhill and the Ayrshire Coastal Path runs for 100 miles (Please note - route was mapped at 103miles and finish distance waste 107miles. With neap tides it is estimated route will be circa 105miles) 

Since it has very few steep hill climbs, it is less daunting than some other Long Distance Routes. And happily, the topography of the broad bights of Ayr and Irvine Bays, with their low-lying hinterland, provides an almost uninterrupted beach walk from Girvan to Largs – almost two-thirds of the entire route.

However, in the sections from Glenapp to Girvan, Dunure to Ayr, and north of Largs, the going can be rough but spectacular, over hill and cliff-top tracks, and rocky shores.

South of Glenapp it connects with the Mull of Galloway Trail which takes walkers to Stranraer and the Southern Upland Way, and onwards to Scotland’s most southerly point. North of Skelmorlie, the Clyde Coastal Path takes over, leading walkers onwards to the West Highland Way and our Scottish mountain wilderness.

The ACP management committee have set a code of conduct for FKT attempts and have requested you make contact prior to any attempt -