Grading for Walkers
General: Easily accessible, 6-8 mile (10-15 km) stages, are ideal for young families, youth groups, and veteran day-walkers. Energetic long-distance backpackers might tramp several sections in a day. As an Eco-friendly route, most stages can be linked with bus or train timetables. We strongly recommend purchasing the Guidebook, which provides lots of practical information on the stages, as well as historical connections, wildlife and other things to look out for during your walk.
Easy Walking – From Ayr north to Largs, most of the walk is level and suitable for all age groups – along sandy beaches, cycle paths and pleasant coastal town promenades.
Much of this section can be done by wheelchair users. To make it even easier for tourist walkers, many of our Accommodation providers can supply baggage transfers by arrangement.
Moderate Walking – From Ayr south to Glenapp, there is a lot of fine beach walking, but on long sections of coast – Heads of Ayr to Croy Bay, where the Carrick Hills slope to the sea; Kennedy’s Pass north of Lendalfoot; Bennane Head north of Ballantrae; and the high plateau north of Glenapp – walking along the shore is difficult or impossible. But here we use sections of disused railway line, cliff-top field-edge paths, and gradual ascents over farm tracks and ancient pack roads, to provide superb high-level views of the Firth.
Difficult Walking – Between Ayr and Dunure; Dunure and Culzean; and Turnberry and Girvan; are several unavoidable short (150-300 m) sections that involve scrambling over rocky shorelines. Normally walkable at most states of the tide, these may be impassable for 1-2 hours before and after certain high spring tides (on 3-5 days each month). Heeding the detailed advice in the Stages Guide and in the Guide Book; plus careful route planning and checking Tide Tables, will avoid any delays.