The Ayrshire Coastal Path was created and built by the Rotary Club of Ayr as a major community project to celebrate the Centenary of Rotary International in 2005. With the consent of farmers and landowners, and the support of our two local councils – the Ayrshire Coastal Path was completed in just four years.
Using a simple strategy of linking existing natural beaches and walkable shore and cliff-top terrain by means of field-edge paths, wrack roads, existing farm tracks, promenades and old railway track – only short stretches of path required to be built or restored.
Opened in June 2008, (when it won the Rotary International British Isles Environmental Award 2008), the ACP provides Ayrshire folk – and visitors – with healthy exercise and the opportunity to enjoy and cherish their beautiful natural heritage.
Subsequently, Ayr Rotary encouraged Stranraer Rotary Club to create their Mull of Galloway Trail; and the Rotary Clubs of Gourock and Allander to develop the Clyde Coastal Path. Together, but managed independently, the three Trails form the Firth o Clyde Rotary Trail.
Nowadays, as one of Scotland’s Great Trails – and part of the International Appalachian Trail (Scotland) – the ACP attracts an ever-growing number of walking visitors from all over the world to our beautiful and historic county.
Rotary International is a community-based, worldwide Service Organisation with over a million members in 165 countries.
2019 Change of Management Structure
With the Path growing greatly in popularity from year to year, there’s been a developing discussion that in the future, Ayr Rotary Club might struggle to maintain, fund and manage the Ayrshire Coastal Path from within its membership.
Over recent years, many volunteer non-Rotarians have joined the Pathminders group, and several are now active members of the Management Board. It was felt that this influx of younger people with a variety of skills, needed to be developed further to secure the Path’s future.
It was decided that Ayr Rotary Club should step back from running the Ayrshire Coastal Path. Consequently, from 1 July 2019 under its new Constitution, the Ayrshire Coastal Path is being managed independently by an Ayrshire Coastal Path Management Board comprising both Rotarian and non-Rotarian members.
Ayr Rotary Club will continue to give its full support and active backing to the ACP.