Walk 7 Maybole to Girvan : 12 miles
The rich history of Maybole, once capital of Carrick, lies just below the surface. In the centre, a tower house built for the Earls of Cassilis, still dominates the High Street, while in what is now a housing estate lie the remains of Maybole Collegiate Church, where masses were said by a college of priests for a branch of the Kennedy family. Maybole also played its part in the bitter debates at the time of the Reformation, when the Abbot of Crossraguel challenged John Knox to a debate at Maybole. Following the side of the busy A77, you reach Crossraguel Abbey, a daughter house of Paisley Abbey, where you will see the impressive gatehouse and a tower house for the last Abbot, and remarkably preserved dovecote, to provide fresh meat and eggs to the monks. You proceed to the pretty village of Kirkoswald, with its associations with Robert Burns ( the thatched cottage of Souter Johnnie is open to the public) and interesting gravestones at the church. The family of Robert the Bruce held powerful interests in this area, based at Turnberry. The route hugs the coast to the seaward of the busy A77 and heads for Girvan harbour and the signature “Stumpy Tower”.
There is some roadside walking in this section and care must be taken near the A77, but the visit to Crossraguel is unmissable. This is followed by beach and coastal walking for stretches, before you reach the suburbs of Girvan and its golf course. Refreshments can be found at Maybole, Kirkoswald, and at Girvan. Trains can be caught at Maybole and Girvan.
Illustrative maps courtesy of David Langworth, Cartographer
Detailed walking instructions can be purchased from www.whithornway.org