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Friday, 2 November 2012

Dyke Hill walk, Darvel, November 1st 2012

It's the first day of November, and I've arranged with my walking friend from Cumnock to travel to Darvel in the Irvine Valley to do a short walk. This will be the Dyke Walk in the Ayrshire Paths Irvine Valley Walks.
It's a dry day but cold.

After parking close to the Ranoldcoup Bridge on the River Irvine we're soon climbing.
To the east we can see Loudoun Hill. This being a new area to both my walking partner and myself we know very little about the place. Loudoun Hill and it's William Wallace connections will have to be climbed at a later date.

Soon we're looking down on the village.

At Dyke farm, we leave the tarmac and take to a somewhat muddy, boggy and soggy path.
This takes us to the edge of the Dykehill Plantation where we turn west.

I now get to take a panorama of the opposite hills.

I've never seen so many wind turbines in one view !

You can also view this panorama full screen here on Panogio

There's been a lot of rain, so there's plenty lying water. The views are great though.
After emerging from the plantation we have the option of extending the walk up Changue Hill. We decide to leave that for another day fortuitously !

Still walking west we see a nice big house on the opposite hill.

I zoom in for a close up.
Looking for it on the net later I find out it's Gowanbank House. A luxury Bed and Breakfast in the heart of Ayrshire.

Our view to the west now looks over Kilmarnock and the Firth of Clyde.

A full lens zoom brings up this plant on the coast. Is this Hunterston Power Station ?
(No, it's the Pulp Paper Mill at Irvine) See comment below. Thanks Gordon.

Just west of Darvel is the town of Newmilns. A very important town in the production of lace in the 19th Century. 

After a descent via track and tarmac we reach Gullyhill. The house here has a date of 1787 above the door.
It looks in good condition for it's age.
Now we enter the Lanfine Estate 

It's a lovely looking estate, and well looked after. There are some rare looking animals around.
We got talking to a walker soon after entering the estate. We learned that he's a member of the Early Ooters Walking Group . Nice blog gentlemen !

Lanfine House itself is available for private hire and corporate hospitality. A four bedroom self catering apartment inside for £500 a week sounds pretty good to me. Respecting the private signs, I didn't get a good photo of the house. 

I'm sure this sculpture been one of prominence at one time ?

The sun keeps making an appearance, and when it does it shows up the lovely autumn colours.
After crossing the bridge we took a look at the wild pigs enclosure, but I'll come back to that.

There are some very tall trees in the estate. We follow a path that goes up the Newlands Burn.
The photographs don't do justice to the depth of the glen. It's very steep.

This is my favourite photo of the day.
We had lunch looking upwards towards the Dykehill plantation. We then walked along to the walled gardens where we talked to the estate factor. There are plans to improve the gardens which at the moment are lawned. After an amiable chat, we retraced our steps to the wild pig enclosure. 

I take a short bit of video. They're certainly entertaining creatures.

After passing another walking group, (We've seen a few walkers today) we head back to the car.

In the above collage is our lunchtime view, another view of Gowanbank House, and the estate lodge house.
When I said fortuitous earlier, it was because we just got into the car as the rain and sleet came down.
The Irvine Valley is destined for further visits.


  1. Great walk, wonderful pics and the weather held out for you! It even "looks" cold....
    Thanks Jim I'll make the most of my break and gosh I must live a sheltered life, have not heard of 'nanoblomos' etc - indeed what is our language coming to!! See you!

  2. Unless Hunterston Power Station has moved some 20 miles south you were looking at the pulp paper mill in Irvine. Always happy to oblige sir!!

  3. Thank you Rose, I might take a leaf out of your book and ease off a little on the blogging. Sitting at a computer can be time consuming. G'day, she'll be right.

    Thanks for putting me right Gordon, I had a sneaky feeling it wasn't Hunterston. Still it's not a bad image for 15 miles away.

  4. Like the wild pigs :) Though I'd certainly be keeping out of those woods - I mot caring if the notice says they're not as dangerous as tales would have you think. I wonder if they ever find they're inbetween two slices of bread?

  5. Hi Sandy, would it be possible to build a smallholding offshore ? A few chickens, fresh eggs and milk and fresh pork sausages and bacon and call it Noah's kitchen. I'd come for breakfast.

  6. The Lanfine estate is a new one on me Jim.Looks impressive.Good one for a sheltered winters day.
    Cairn table and Loudoun hill are worthwhile outings in good weather.
    I,m surrounded by a wall of windfarms in Glasgow.Seen a recent development on tv of European windfarm parks built in geo shapes,circles,diamonds, stars etc.Looked a lot nicer than ours.Like giant scultures,almost objects of beauty.
    Why didnt they think of that here?

  7. Terrific post. I amazed. I really love your post....


Thanks for all your comments. I may not get to reply to them all, but you may be sure they'll be appreciated.

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