Walk 8 : Girvan to Colmonell : 13 miles
The coast from Girvan south as far as Ballantrae ( the route turns inland before this at Lendalfoot) is an area of great interest to geologists and fossil hunters. You can see some of these at the McKechnie Institute at Girvan or try your luck at some of the beaches along the coast. The Way sticks close to the coast, with ever-changing views of Ailsa Craig as you go south. The Craig, or Paddy’s Milestone, is the only source of granite for the top quality curling stones in the world. The route crosses the A77 to run high above the shore, with magnificent panoramic views, above Kennedy’s Pass. At Lendalfoot, you can see the monument to the crew of the Varyag, heroes in Russia for their valiant actions against the odds during the Russo-Japanese War. Turning inland, you ascend steeply to pass Carleton Castle, reputedly haunted and certainly in a dramatic position above a tumbling burn. You can either continue on the tarmac road or go on the track round Knockormal Hill, heading into the picturesque valley of the Stinchar. Several ruined castles dot the valley, several associated with the all-powerful Kennedy family.
This segment of the route has the attraction of both coastal and high level cliff walking, as well as rolling hills inland as you approach Colmonell. Refreshments can be obtained in Girvan and at certain times at Colmonell.
Illustrative maps courtesy of David Langworth, Cartographer
Detailed walking instructions can be purchased from www.whithornway.org