AGM Walk Along The Ayrshire Coastal Path

On September 20, 2013 during the IAT AGM, a small group of walkers departed Balloch, Scotland and traveled to Maidens on the southwest coast to walk a 6-mile (10-km) section of the Ayrshire Coastal Path (ACP).

In addition to strolling sandy beaches and clifftop paths, the Jimmy Begg led group walked the grounds of Culzean Castle and finished at Dunure Castle ruins.

 

 

But prior to starting the trek, the group stopped at the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum in nearby Alloway to visit the bard's 250-year old thatched roof cottage.

Earl Raymond, Annie Wentzell, Sarah Ransome, Jay Marrison, Jimmy Begg, Paul Wylezol & Mark Owen 

 

Once on the trail, the group headed north on a long sandy kelp-washed beach

 

before entering the 600-acre Culzean Estate, with its many tree and plant species.

 

The clifftop castle is the former home of the Marquess of Ailsa, but is now owned by the National Trust for Scotland.  It lies within the Culzean Castle Country Park and is featured on the reverse side of five pound notes issued by the Royal Bank of Scotland.

(L-R) Jay Marrison (North York Moors National Park), Annie Wentzell (IATNL), Jimmy Begg (ACP), Earl Raymond (IAT Maine), Harry Peters (ACP), Sarah Ransome (North York Moors National Park), Mark Owen (South West Coast Path National Trail) and Paul Wylezol (IATNL) at Culzean Castle

 

The trail descends the castle cliff behind the old gas making plant, a completely restored original manufacturing facility which supplied gas for lighting the castle in the early 19th century. 

 

From there the group walked the seashore for approximately 2 miles (3 kms),

 

until they reached a narrow path descending from a hillside pasture, where an ACP Farming and Outdoor Access sign reminds walkers to roam responsibly and respect  farmers' safety, privacy and livelihoods. 

(L-R) Ayr Rotarians and ACP guides Harry Peters and Jimmy Begg at a Farming and Outdoor Access sign

 

After passing over and through a bridge and gate

IAT Maine hiking stalwart and octogenarian Earl Raymond inspecting a new ACP bridge

 

 Wannabe octogenarians Annie Wentzell, Sarah Ransome and Jay Marrison leaning on a kissing gate

 

the path reaches a World War Two coastal watchtower.

Mark Owen keeps a lookout for Cotton Joe Norman after his completion of IAT Ireland 

 

Soon the group descends the final grassy slope to the castle ruins and dovecot (a beehive-shaped home for edible pigeons) of Dunure

 

near the quaint little fishing villlage

 

and thirst-quenching inn of the same name. 

 

Thanks Jimmy and Harry for a great walk along the Ayrshire Coastal Path!  We hope to return the favour some day!!