The River Ayr Way

**Every year we look forward to bringing the RAW Challenge to the ultra running community. But due to the long standing impact of COVID-19 and factors outwith East Ayrshire Leisure’s control, we’ve made the difficult decision to postpone the event until 2022.

This was a hard decision but one that will allow us to concentrate on delivering a safe and successful event in the new year and we look forward to welcoming back our regular and new runners in 2022. Please get in touch at if you have any questions.


The River Ayr Way, officially opened in 2006 by Fred Macaulay, is Scotland’s first source to sea long distance path. It covers a distance of 44 miles following the river Ayr from its source at Glenbuck Loch to the sea at Ayr.

**Please note that during lockdown, the River Ayr Way is not being maintained**

The section of the River Ayr Way between Fisherman’s Bridge and Sorn has been closed due to deterioration of the access route. Please refrain from using this section until remedial works can be undertaken.

South Ayrshire Council have given notice that a section of the route will be closed from Monday 26th April for a period of 39 weeks. Full details and a diversion map can be found by clicking the links below

Closure notice details                      Diversion route map

The route passes through one of the most interesting river valleys in Southern Scotland and, unlike many other long distance routes, it can be walked over a long weekend making it an ideal short break activity for visitors to Ayrshire. The walk begins at Glenbuck Loch and parking is available at the Glenbuck Heritage Park.

The River Ayr Way passes through areas steeped in history with links to many famous Scottish figures including Robert Burns, William Wallace, John Loudoun Macadam and many Covenanters. The route also has a wide range of habitat and visitors are likely to see wildlife such as otters, badgers, herons, hen harriers and much more.

The River Ayr Way is one of Scotland’s Great Trails. The new network of long distance routes represent the best trails Scotland has to offer with great opportunities to explore the best of Scotland’s nature and landscape – a brilliant way to experience our amazing history and culture.

River Ayr Way Challenge

The River Ayr Way Challenge is an annual 40 mile ultra-marathon which takes place in September every year. Often referred to as the RAW Challenge, it is a popular event in the Scottish Ultra Marathon series and attracts runners from all over the country. 

The Tricky Bits ....maps for entrants

Route Map  Section 1  Section 2  Section 3  Section 4  Section 5  Section 6  Section 7

Diversion at Stair

Please note that due to numerous landslides in the Wellflat Bank area of the River Ayr Way, this section of the route is closed as the path has become unstable and dangerous. In the interest of safety, visitors should not attempt to use it. A temporary diversion, via Daldorch, has been put in place whilst a permanent alternative route is negotiated.

Stair diversion map History of the Route  Route Breakdown