Walk this way to Kilmaurs festival
Dig out your sturdy boots, pack your waterproofs and get ready for Kilmaurs Walking Festival, which runs from Friday, September 1 to Sunday, September 3.
Friday’s highlights will include the family friendly Endeavour Walk, which features a trip around the town trail with a quiz and activities to keep you entertained along the way. Participants can then enjoy a sausage sizzle, ensuring they are fueled up and ready to take on the evening’s bat walks around Morton Park, which will leave at 8.30pm and 9.15pm.
The bat walks are your chance to join the Countryside Rangers and learn more about these incredible flying mammals. There will be a limited number of bat detectors to help you identify which species are flying overhead. Don’t forget to bring a torch too! With a maximum of 40 people per walk, early registration is essential. Visit eastayrshireleisure.com for details.
Saturday, September 2 kicks off with a walk from Dean Castle Country Park to Craufurdland Castle, where participants will have the opportunity to enjoy a tour of the castle from Simon Houison Craufurd. This 4-mile walk is on defined paths to the estate, and transport will be shared from Kilmaurs to the start of the walk.
Also on Saturday will be the History Walk, leaving at 1.30pm. This ever popular event will visit all the historical sites around the village and allows you access to places including the Glencairn Aisle at the church, Maura's Tower, the Dovecotes and the Ice House.
There’s also an exclusive opportunity to visit the old Glencairn Church, now a fantastic stained glass workshop, where you can hear about the fascinating techniques used to design and produce these wonderful works of art. Don’t miss this one!
The first event to be held on Sunday, September 3 will be a memorial walk for Jim Dunlop, a keen walker who for many years encouraged walking in Kilmaurs and other local communities.
Participants will leave the village along Irvine Road before heading out towards Stewarton Road past High Langmuir Farm. The walk will take in the “secret garden” and the Watermeetings before returning to the village along the same route, a total distance of approximately 4 miles.
And the final event of the festival will be a visit to Dumfries House Gardens, with shared transport leaving Kilmaurs at 1.15pm. These beautiful gardens are definitely worth a visit, with highlights including the walled garden, Rothesay garden, Chinese bridge and arboretum.
All walks are free of charge, but children must be accompanied by an adult. For details of where and when to register click here.