Author: Nathan Balls
46 eager walkers met at Darvel Church Hall on Saturday morning for the 10 o’clock start of the new walk in the Walkfest schedule. Starting down Randolcoup Road we headed along the waters-lip in the morning sunshine.
A short stretch along the A71 then we headed up the cemetery brae to the start of the walk along the old railway line. Despite the heavy rain from the night before the path was firm and not muddy so the group made good time to our first stop. We were met my Adele who had brought apple, pears and oranges for the walkers as they started the short climb up the road to the path around the southern side of Loudoun Hill.
The Spirit of Scotland statue provided a dramatic backdrop where we stopped for lunch. The next stretch took us back towards the A71 where we crossed carefully to a track heading west previously used by the sand quarry. Safely back on the side road we climbed gradually to Saughall weather station where we walked across a couple of fields before crossing the burn and climbing past the Long Cairn.
This was the highest point of our walk and we started to descend and walk along the forest path next to the River Irvine. The final section took us up over the ‘bankers’ to the Lanfine Gatehouse at Morton Park and up to the Church Hall where a welcome cup of tea and biscuits awaited. Great walk, well led by Morag, Jack and Anne. Met some new faces and had a very pleasant day out.