The River Ayr Way

Experience Ayrshire’s most varied and beautiful countryside, enjoy relaxing accommodation, welcoming pubs and award winning restaurants.

The River Ayr Way, officially opened in 2006 by Fred Macaulay, is Scotland’s first source to sea path network. 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 weekend or a long weekend making it an ideal short break activity for visitors to Ayrshire.

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 habitats and diversity of wildlife including otters, badger, heron, hen harrier and much more.

The development of the River Ayr Way was part of the Coalfield Access Project. Ayrshire’s mining history gave access to funding packages totaling £2.5m which was to implement the River Ayr Way and other key routes including the Doon Valley Network, Lugar Water Trail and the Coalfield Cycle Route.

The River Ayr Way is also one of Scotland’s Great Trails. Previously known as long distance routes, Scotland’s Great Trails comprises a network of 20 longer distance routes. The new network represents the best trails Scotland has to offer the long distance walker or cyclist with great opportunities to explore the best of Scotland’s nature and landscapes and to experience our amazing history and culture.



River Ayr Way: Wellflat Bank, Stair to Daldorch

Please note that, due to several landslides, the above section of the River Ayr Way is no longer available for public use. As this section of the path is unstable and potentially dangerous, access takers should not attempt to use it, in the interests of their own safety.

A temporary diversion, via Daldorch, has been put in place whilst a permanent alternative route is negotiated. Please download the Stair diversion map from the right hand side of this page.

For further information, please contact Neil Feggans, Community, Enterprise & Development Service, South Ayrshire Council on 01292 616128.

Public survey

Please complete our survey about the benefits of walking and cycling paths and routes and tell us how they could be improved to encourage greater use!

The National Walking and Cycling Network (NWCN) is a network of walking and cycling paths and routes throughout Scotland which provides opportunities for people to make local journeys or to travel further afield.  The network is made up of Scotland’s Great Trails, Scottish Canal tow paths and the National Cycle Network.

Over the next few years, Scottish Natural Heritage, in partnership with Sustrans, Scottish Canals and others will be working to develop and improve the National Walking and Cycling Network and we’re keen to find out how it’s being used at the moment, what people think of it and what benefits it provides.

Please tell us what you think by clicking on the link below and completing our survey.  It should only take a few minutes of your time and your feedback will be valuable in helping us plan the future development of the network. All responses to the survey will be entered into a draw for a £50 or £25 shopping voucher.

Thank you!