Peden's Cove, Failford

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.

Technical sheet
No. 21806619
A South Ayrshire walk posted on 10/05/22 by Gillian's Walks. Update : 10/05/22
Calculated time Calculated time: 1h00[?]
Distance Distance : 1.93mi
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 148ft
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 131ft
Highest point Highest point : 262ft
Lowest point Lowest point : 184ft
Easy Difficulty : Easy
Back to starting point Back to starting point : Yes
Walking Walking
Location Location : South Ayrshire
Starting point Starting point : N 55.504681° / W 4.440356°
Download : -
Reflections in the River Ayr Peden's Cove


(D/A) Facing the Failford Inn (KA5 5TF), head right (South West) on B743.

(1) Immediately after crossing a bridge over the Water of Fail, turn left (South) to enter Ayr Gorge Woodlands.

(2) Follow this woodland trail across a footbridge then up a steep staircase. At the top of the stairs keep left at any forks in the path (not shown on map).

(3) The River Ayr is on your left-hand side and the path follows the course of the river for 870m to a fork. Keep left.

(4) 360m along you will reach Peden's Cove viewpoint.

Retrace your steps to return to the Failford Inn (D/A)

Waypoints :
D/A : mi 0 - alt. 187ft - Failford Inn
1 : mi 0.06 - alt. 190ft - Ayr Gorge Woodlands entrance
2 : mi 0.16 - alt. 236ft - Staircase
3 : mi 0.74 - alt. 197ft - Fork - keep left
4 : mi 0.97 - alt. 240ft - Peden's Cove Viewpoint
D/A : mi 1.93 - alt. 187ft - Failford Inn

Useful Information

For more information and a walk review visit Gillian's Walks

By car: there are a few parking spaces just off B74 opposite the Failford Inn
By bus: there is a bus service to Failford from Cumnock or Ayr

There is a large set steps on this route and the earth footpaths can become muddy after rain

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

  • Failford Inn - serves bar meals. Check opening times via their Facebook page.
  • Peden's Cove - it is said that the steps were cut into the sandstone by covenanters so that Alexander Peden could preach to his congregation gathered on the opposite bank. There is an information board at the viewpoint which asks that we don't walk onto the sandstone steps, in order to preserve them.
  • Ayr Gorge Woodlands - a wildlife reserve cared for by the Scottish Wildlife Trust. The River Ayr is lined by red sandstone cliffs forming a canyon and in the right light when the sun is shining directly into the river, the water actually appears red thanks to the sandstone beneath it.

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