Fairlie Glen

Location and Access

Travelling by car, park at Fairlie railway station having turned off the A78 Ardrossan-Largs coast road in Fairlie at the sign to “Park and Ride”. There is a regular train service Glasgow-Largs and bus service along A78.

Facing the railway line, take the path on the left and then turn right in front of Argyll Cottage. Alternatively keep on the path and take right up the road, but the former is more interesting. Climb up the hill past Fairlie Castle, the only residents being a number of Jackdaws, till you see a sign for “Waterfall”. This is a little detour off the main path – nice but there was not much water falling when I visited! Retrace your steps back to the path and continue up the hill. You will see a sign “To the Moors”. Turn left over a fixed gate and onto the moors at NS 220 547. You can climb and wander the moors as far as you like and enjoy lovely views across to the Cumbraes, Bute, Arran etc. A network of paths is planned for the area.

West Kilbride is fully accessible by train and bus. Tel: 0870 608 2608 for timetable enquiries.

Rough narrow steep tracks up through glen.

Just off the Ardrossan to Largs coastal cycle path.


The walk up the glen onto the moors takes in woodland and moorland habitat with flowing water attractive to birds. Typical species to be expected would be tits, finches, wagtails, thrushes, Robin, Wren in the glen and Stonechat, Meadow Pipit, Wheatear, Linnet on the moor. Raptors would include Buzzard, Kestrel, Sparrowhawk and the possibility of Merlin and Hen Harrier.

Kelburn Castle and Country Centre

Around walk of about 7-8 km can be had by going left on reaching the moor, following a wall, fence and powerlines north for 2km to the head of Kelburn Glen. This section of the route requires strong footwear and reasonable fitness as it is over grass tussocks and boggy patches and there is the Keppen Burn to cross. The wall, fence and powerlines are good guides and a well-defined path and track will be accessed again on leaving the moor through a gate and heading for a white cottage, Fairlieward. Beyond the cottage, join the Kelburn Castle and Country Centre path network down the Glen past the Castle and Visitor Centre. Return to Fairlie station along a nice easy going straight track accessed from the far end of the Visitor Centre car park, crossing the Keppen Burn again, this time by bridge.

Note that there are charges for Kelburn Castle and Country Centre, for prices phone 01475 568 685. Some of the paths around Kelburn would be accessible by wheelchair but not up the Glen.

For anyone interested in falconry, or just wishing to see raptors at close hand, the Bird of Prey Centre in Kelburn has displays. Ferruginous Buzzard, Common Buzzard, European Eagle Owl, Lanner Falcon, Red-tailed Hawk, Harris Hawk and Saker Falcon can be seen. The birds are flown on most days and Hawk Walks, educational visits and special displays can be arranged.

< Network of paths.