The River Ayr Way

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.

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.

History of the Route  Route Breakdown

** 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 

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 2024 Challenge will take place on Sat 14th Sep. Entries are open now via EntryCentral 

The Tricky Bits ....maps for entrants

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

While the route is waymarked, these maps are also useful for walkers