Loudoun Hill Circular

At just 361m elevation, the volcanic plug of Loudoun Hill near Darvel, is where Robert the Bruce had his first major military victory. Despite being small, it’s steep slopes certainly pack a punch and on a clear day the views from the top make it a must-do in the area. A favourite with children and adults alike!

Technical sheet
No. 22870608
A East Ayrshire walk posted on 10/06/22 by Gillian's Walks. Update : 14/06/22
Calculated time Calculated time: 1h05[?]
Distance Distance : 1.93mi
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 233ft
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 249ft
Highest point Highest point : 925ft
Lowest point Lowest point : 663ft
Difficult Difficulty : Difficult
Back to starting point Back to starting point : Yes
Walking Walking
Location Location : East Ayrshire
Starting point Starting point : N 55.614187° / W 4.203849°
Download : -
Summit View Loudoun Hill

Description

(D/A) Exit Loudoun Hill car park via a wooden gate, signposted Spirit of Scotland.

Follow the path downhill past the Spirit of Scotland Monument. From the monument follow the path which goes downhill to a stile and a footbridge over the River Irvine.

Cross the stile and bridge then continue along the path as it leads you uphill and onto a flat area.

(1) Cross over a farm track and follow the remains of a dry stone wall as it heads uphill (North West) and around the base of Loudoun Hill.

It will lead you into some trees, then past a stone ruin.

(2) After passing the ruin, choose a point at which to start your climb to the top of the hill. There are no distinct paths unfortunately!

From the summit head West across the flat top, to pick up a steep path down the other side of Loudoun Hill, leading to a stone boundary wall.

(3) Follow the wall right (North East) along the base of the hill a short distance, looking out for a stile on your left-hand side which will allow you to safely cross the wall.

Cross the field North (if in crop stick to the field edge) towards a second stile on the fence opposite.

Follow the fence-line North to a third stile, emerging onto a minor road. Turn left (West) and follow the road downhill for 500m.

(4) At this point you will come to a gate on your left with a track heading South East across the field.

Follow this track as it heads around the base of Loudoun Hill and meets up with the flat grassy area you were at earlier, close to point (1)

Turn right to rejoin the path back to the Spirit of Scotland Monument and retrace your steps back to the Loudoun Hill car park (D/A)

Waypoints :
D/A : mi 0 - alt. 709ft - Loudoun Hill car park, just off A71
1 : mi 0.29 - alt. 755ft - Remains of dry stone wall - begin ascent
2 : mi 0.41 - alt. 902ft - Stone ruin
3 : mi 0.72 - alt. 856ft - Stile over boundary wall
4 : mi 1.21 - alt. 725ft - Gate into field
D/A : mi 1.93 - alt. 712ft - Loudoun Hill car park, just off A71

Useful Information

Visit Gillian's Walks for more information and a walk review, plus shorter route options for Loudoun Hill.

Transport
There is no public transport to the walk start point. The car park is signposted off A71 "Spirit of Scotland / Loudoun Hill"

Terrain
There are no distinct paths on Loudoun Hill and it can be very muddy. It is also extremely steep, with crags on the south side. Several stiles.

Livestock
Sheep are often present on the land around the base of the hill.

For a longer route option try the walk along the disused railway line from Darvel.

Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.

During the walk or to do/see around

  • Loudoun Hill - the highest point in the area at 361m. It is a volcanic plug and it's craggy south face is often used by rock climbers.
  • Battle of Loudoun Hill - It is reputed that in 1307 Robert the Bruce led an army against the English in a battle which took place beneath Loudoun Hill. This was Bruce's his first major military victory.
  • Spirit of Scotland monument - a 5m tall person-shaped sculpture at the foot of Loudoun Hill which bears words referring to William Wallace
  • Valley Walkfest is a walking festival in the Irvine Valley which takes place annually at the start of May

Other walks in the area

Organisation / Walking Club / Mountain guide
Dismantled Railway Walk, Darvel
distance 6.92mi Vertical gain +495ft Vertical drop -482ft Durée 3h35 Easy Easy
Starting point Starting point in East Ayrshire

A linear walk from the village of Darvel along a fantastic disused railway track to the Spirit of Scotland Monument beneath Loudoun Hill.

Organisation / Walking Club / Mountain guide
Catrine to Sorn Loop
distance 4.71mi Vertical gain +299ft Vertical drop -299ft Durée 2h25 Easy Easy
Starting point Starting point in East Ayrshire

Follow the River Ayr along a pleasant woodland trail to Sorn, passing through Catrine Voes Local Nature Reserve and alongside the historic Catrine Weir. On reaching Sorn, cross the humpbacked ‘Auld Brig’ before passing through part of the village and into the “Spooky Woods”. The return route to Catrine is via Chapel Brae, a pleasant single track road which passes Catrine War Memorial.

Organisation / Walking Club / Mountain guide
Dean Castle Country Park via Borland
distance 2.71mi Vertical gain +85ft Vertical drop -85ft Durée 1h20 Easy Easy
Starting point Starting point in East Ayrshire

A beautiful countryside walk into the popular Dean Castle Country Park, taking in both Fenwick Water and Craufurdland Water. There are options to extend to visit the castle, Rural Life Centre, duck ponds and kids play area.

Organisation / Walking Club / Mountain guide
Ayr Gorge Woodlands Reserve, Failford
distance 3.55mi Vertical gain +253ft Vertical drop -259ft Durée 1h50 Moderate Moderate
Starting point Starting point in South Ayrshire

Ayr Gorge Woodlands reserve is the ‘jewel in the crown’ of the Scottish Wildlife Trust Ayrshire. Follow the path of the River Ayr as it flows through a deep red sandstone gorge. This circular / figure-of-eight route takes you around most of the main trails, giving you the opportunity to explore this beautiful ancient woodland including the popular viewpoint at Peden's Cove.

Organisation / Walking Club / Mountain guide
Peden's Cove, Failford
distance 1.93mi Vertical gain +148ft Vertical drop -131ft Durée 1h00 Easy Easy
Starting point Starting point in South Ayrshire

Peden’s Cove is hidden inside Ayr Gorge Woodland, a Scottish Wildlife Trust reserve. This beautiful and ancient woodland is formed around an incredible red sandstone canyon, which gives the water of the River Ayr a vibrant red appearance when the sun shines directly onto it! Peden’s Cove, a set of steps carved into the red sandstone cliffs, is reached a mile along the footpath.

Organisation / Walking Club / Mountain guide
Duncarnock Fort (The Craigie) from Neilston
distance 4.84mi Vertical gain +276ft Vertical drop -285ft Durée 2h30 Easy Easy
Starting point Starting point in East Renfrewshire

Duncarnock Fort (known locally as The Craigie) is a craggy hill (204 m / 669 ft) which stands invitingly on the banks of Glanderston Dam. Pausing on the summit of what was formerly an iron age fort, take a moment to wonder about it’s history and all that may have happened here many years ago! On a clear day, just as Mary Queen of Scots is rumoured to have done, you will enjoy panoramic views over greater Glasgow extending to the Campsies in the north.

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The GPS track and description are the property of the author.