Things To Do

Local Activities
  • Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park : clydemuirshiel.co.uk
    Scotland’s largest regional park with ranger organised activities for all ages. The regional park begins at the bottom of the drive, with various walking routes across the moor. See website for details.
  • Castle Semple Centre – in the village at Castle Semple Loch. Parking on-site. Seasonal bike hire available, circular walk/ride along the loch shore and cycle track. Access to Parkhill Woods for trail walks. Small cafe in the centre.
  • Muirshiel Centre – leave Lochwinnoch heading towards Kilmacolm and follow the signs to Muirshiel Centre. It is a small wooden information centre and from there there are various walks and trails around the local Muirshiel area. Walk along the boardwalk and up Windy Hill. Follow the mine track and then on to Mistylaw. Find the hidden Queenside Loch.
  • Locherwood – community woodland with various tracks. Great for dog walking. Follow the road through the village and on towards Kilmacolm. There is a small car park on the left approx 3 miles.
  • Lochwinnoch RSBP Reserve : www.rspb.org.uk
    A great example of wetlands in Scotland, Lochwinnoch is an ideal day out for all the family. It’s the perfect spot to watch whooper swans, wigeons and a wide variety of ducks during the winter. In spring, look out for the elaborate displays of great crested grebes. Various organised activities for all ages.
  • Sustrans Cycle Track : Lochwinnoch Loop Line : www.sustrans.org.uk
    From West Auchenhean turn right towards the main road. After the cattery on the left there is a stone bridge. the entrance to the cycle track is on the right at this bridge. This 14-mile footpath and cycleway forms part of the Lochs and Glens Cycle Route.  A nice trip is to cycle to Bridge of Weir and to Amaretto for lunch and a drink.
  • Kelburn Castle & Country Park : www.kelburnestate.com
    Secret Forest, play areas, cafe, gardens, horse riding
  • Bike Hire : www.cyclerepairman.co.uk
    RT Cycles, Kilbirnie and Castle Semple Loch

Scotland’s ‘Right to Roam’
In Scotland you will not come across ‘NO TRESPASSING’ signs. Residents and visitors to Scotland have the right to access most land and inland water including mountains, moorland, woods and forests, grassland, fields, rivers and lochs, coastal areas, most parks and open spaces, golf courses (to cross them), day and night, providing you do so responsibly. You can also undertake pastimes, family and social activities, horse riding, walking, cycling, climbing and wild camping, regardless of the landowners wishes. Everyone has the Right to Roam.

This right does have limitations and responsibilities. You do not have the right of access to school playing fields, building sites, gardens close to houses, fields with crops. You must also access land responsibly – closing gates, not walking too close to homes, being mindful of lambing sheep, leaving no trace. Note that ‘lambing’ also covers the period after the lambs are born. If you walk through a field of sheep with young lambs they are likely to scatter. Whilst some ewes will reunite with their lambs, many will just be abandoned. Spring 2020 saw 17 lambs abandoned in a nearby field in a single weekend after an irresponsible hillwalker thought that walking through the sheep quietly and without a dog would cause no harm. Not all the lambs survived. Give sheep with lambs a wide berth.

With this in mind, West Auchenhean lies adjacent to Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park, 280 km2 of moorland, woodland, hills and rivers. Just cross the road at the bottom of the drive and begin your roaming.

Parkhill Woods
Park at Castle Se,ple Centre and walk  along the loch side until it joins with the cycle track.  Cross the cycle track and enjoy one of the many routes around Parkhill Woods.    Return via the loch side or via the cycle track.

Locherwood
On the road from Lochwinnoch - Kilmacolm there is a small car park on the left before the sign for Barnbrock Farm.  There are many paths through and around the woods and forest.

Fishery Track – Easy – 1km
A nice and easy dog walk along a gravel track up to the site of the old Maich Fishery. The dam failed a few years ago and the fishery no longer exists.

Begin by walking down the drive, across and up the hill towards East Auchenhean Cottage. The track is on the left across from the cottage (50m). Continue through the gate, along the track and up to the gates at the farm shed. The track is fenced off from the field but is not 100% dog proof. Take care during lambing season (March-June). and keep dogs under control.

You can either turn here and come back the same route (approx 40 mins walk), or continue on the circular route below, approx 2 1/2 hours).

Ladyland Circlar Walk – Moderate – 6km
This walk can begin via the fishery walk above, or through the Ladyland Estate.
At the bottom of the drive turn left and down for 300m to the entrance of Ladyland Estate on the right. Go through the gates, up the driveway and follow the road off to the right and around the converted stable blocks. Go through the gate and keep following the track. Eventually you will reach a number of sheep pens and Cockston Farm, an old farmhouse which has been partly renovated but lies empty. The track turns to the left up to and past the farmhouse. From there it continues up the hill, across a burn and eventually down to a bridge across the Maich River.

From the bridge you can turn left and walk across Muirshiel to Mistylaw and Hill O Stake, or turn right and follow the grassy trail. It can be difficult to see the trail, but keep high, and walk towards the sheds in the distance. It eventually crosses a stone wall and links up with the fishery route above.

The walk is moderate in difficulty, wet underfoot at times, and across moorland with roaming sheep and deer. During lambing season the sheep tend to be lower down in the fields, but if you see sheep/lambs please do not walk through them. Dogs should be under control.

Day Trips

If you want to venture further afield there are many drip ideas depending on what sort of things you enjoy

  • Family
    • Kelburn Castle & Country Park (Largs) – the secret forest, play areas, trails and walks,horse riding and events schedule.
    • Portencross beach – large sandy beach, can be busy on a sunny weekend but mid-week the beach could be yours. great for dogs and families. head to Largs, turn left at the foot of the brae and head past Fairly and Hunterston, At the West Kilbride left sign there is a Portencross right sign. Head to the end of this road to the visitor car park.
  • Hillwalking
    • There are many longer walks locally in Clyde Muirshiel, but for something more challenging or further afield look at ‘Walks in Loch Lomond & Trossachs
    • Ben A’an – Ben A’an is one of the most popular smaller hills. Often known as the mountain in miniature, its position makes it a truly wonderful viewpoint for Loch Lomond.
  • History
    • Newark Castle (Port Glasgow) – a well-preserved castle on the south shore of the River Clyde.
    • Inveraray Jail (Inveraray) – Step through the door of Inveraray Jail and step back in time to a 19th century prison. Experience what real life was like for real men, women and children – some as young as 7 – who were tried and locked up here.
    • Stirling Castle – Stirling Castle is one of Scotland’s grandest castles due to its imposing position and impressive architecture. The Scenery will take your breath away.
  • Sights
    • Falkirk Wheel – The Falkirk Wheel is a rotating boat lift, connecting the Forth and Clyde Canal with the Union Canal.approx 23 miles from Glasgow. It is a fantastic day out with a difference and accessible to everyone! With boat trips, a cafe, gift shop, children’s activity zone, water play park & mini-canal, waterwalkerz, canoeing, bike hire and woodland walks; there really is something for everyone!
    • Kelpies – Helix Park is The The Helix Park is The Home of the Kelpies – the largest equine sculptures in the world. Located between Falkirk and Grangemouth.
  • Towns/Cities
    • Glasgow – 20 mins by train, 30 min by car. Shopping, restaurants, museums
    • Stirling – 40 mins by car, Stirling Castle well worth a visit
    • Edinburgh – an hour by car, 50 mins from Glasgow by train,
    • Largs – 20 mins by car. beachfront walk, restaurants, the famous restored art deco Nardini’s Ice Cream shop
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