335 Troon to Irvine

It rains all morning. Hard downpours, interspersed with grey Scottish smirr. I sit in my car and wait until the worst of it clears. Then I unfurl my umbrella and set off to follow the Ayrshire coastal path around the North Bay of Troon.

01 North Bay, Troon, Ruth hiking the coast of Scotland

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334pm Ayr to Troon

Having spent most of the morning finishing off yesterday’s walk, it’s time to turn my attention to today’s trek.

I walk past a newly developed residential area. Modern apartment blocks leer above an old dock, where a lone wooden boat is propped upright on the dry earth. The only remnant of a fleet, maybe? It stands defiant.

30 old dock, Ayr, Ruth's coastal walk in Scotland

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334 am Heads of Ayr

This morning I catch the bus back to the Heads of Ayr holiday park. My mission? To complete the section of yesterday’s walk from the point where the tide defeated me.

01 Heads of Ayr, Ruth walking the Scottish coast

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333 Maidens to Dunure to Ayr

I set off from Maidens in good spirits. I’m looking forward to today’s walk. I should reach Ayr by the end of the afternoon. Even the sight of a holiday park filled with static caravans doesn’t dampen my good mood.

01 Maidenhead Bay, Ruth hiking to Ayr, Scottish Coast

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332 Girvan to Maidens

It’s a dull day and rain is forecast this afternoon. I’m walking from Girvan to Maidens, and hope to be there by lunch time… just in time to avoid getting wet. (I should have known better. My walks never go to plan!)

Before I set off, I take a few photos of Ailsa Craig. Irresistible.

01 Ailsa Craig from Girvan, Ruth Livingstone walking the Ayrshire Coastal Path

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331 Ballantrae to Girvan

Yesterday it rained heavily and solidly. I couldn’t face walking, and went to look around Culzean Castle instead. Today’s forecast promises sunny intervals and no rain (hooray!), so this morning I catch the bus back to Ballantrae and resume my coastal trek.

01 sea front Ballantrae, Ruth walking the Ayrshire Coastal Path, Scotland

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330 Glenapp to Ballantrae

The bus drops me off at the little Glenapp Church. A signpost tells me it’s 11 miles to Stranraer and 36 miles to the Mull of Galloway. But I’ve been there, done that…

01 footpath signs, Glenapp Church, Ruth hiking in Scotland, Ayrshire Coastal Path

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329 Stranraer to Glenapp Church

The tide is high. A ferry leaving from the far side of the loch sends a flurry of waves crashing up onto the concrete walkway. I decide to stay dry, and stick to the road.

01 leaving Stranraer, Ruth's coastal walk, Scotland

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328 Kirkcolm to Stranraer

In Kirkcolm there’s a patch of green parkland where they’ve buried a millennium time capsule. The plaque says, “Dedicated by the Gala Queen, Nicola McClorey and her attendants...” How wonderful to be the gala queen in the year they decide to commemorate your name forever!

01 Kirkcolm garden, Ruth's coastal walk, Galloway, Scotland

I wonder if Nicola (now in her 30s, I assume) still lives locally. Continue reading

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327 Leswalt to Kirkcolm

In Leswalt I pull out my camera. The light is dull, but I want to capture this view because I like the way the memorial pillar in the graveyard echoes the upright tower on the hilltop behind.

01 Leswalt graveyard and monument, Ruth's coastal walk, Scotland

I leave Leswalt along the road, and climb up the hill towards the tower. Yesterday, I felt too tired to take a closer look, but today I’m going to explore the place. Continue reading

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