From gentle river walks, bracing coastal paths and glorious beaches to rolling hills and forests there are plenty of varied walks to keep you active whilst staying in Ayrshire.

The Harbour Cottages are right on Ballantrae Beach, with over a mile of beach to the mouth of the River Stinchar to the South, and two miles of deserted beach to the North. Perfect for long dog walks. Dogs are allowed on the beach all year round.

The River Cottages are a short stroll from a beautiful river bank path which runs for a kilometre along the river below the cottages. The beach is within easy walking distance less than one mile along the lane and through the village.

All the cottages are equipped with local maps and there are numerous walks from the door of all the cottages. You are a moment from the Ayrshire Coastal Path and the River Stinchar has a beautiful path alongside perfect for lazy strolls. It is well worth the effort to walk up Knockdolian or Beneraird and you’ll be greeted by some stunning views out over Ailsa Craig and Arran. For local walks around the Stinchar Valley see www.stincharvalley.co.uk/walks for more details.

Some good walking routes:

Southern Upland Way – this path is 212 miles long and covers the breadth of Scotland. It starts in Portpatrick and sections can be walked in a day from here or New Luce.

The Pilgrims Way – this is the route that the pilgrims used to take from Glen Luce to the priory of St Ninian at Whithorn.

Carrick Forest Trails – starting in Barr there are many forest trails, including the Stinchar Falls, Barr Trails and Cornish Hill.

Galloway Forest Park – close to Newton Stewart there are a wide range of tracks and trails in the park. See www.forestry.gov.uk/gallowayforestpark for more details.

Some more walking suggestions

See www.visitscotland.com/walking/southscotland for some ideas and to give you a start some of the following might be worth the trip:

Portpatrick to Killantringan Lighthouse – starts and finishes in Portpatrick, circa 6 miles – approx 24 miles from Ballantrae.
A lovely coastal and inland walk at the start of the Southern Upland Way.

Changue Forest Trail – starts and finishes in Barr, circa 8 miles – approx 20 miles from Ballantrae
A rewarding hike up into the Polmaddie Hills alongside the Laggan Burn, with spellbinding views of the local countryside. It then veers off round Balloch Hill and you return into Barr down Larg Hill alongside the Changue Burn.

Loch Trool – starts and finishes at the western end of Trool, circa 5.5 miles – approx 27 miles from Ballantrae
Loch Trool is in the heart of the Galloway Forest Park in the valley of Glen Trool and there is an easy-going hike around the shores of the loch. You will pass through some great scenery and past Bruce’s Stone, which commemorates the life and achievements of King Robert the Bruce.