Straiton - Highgate Hill & Monument - Craigfad - Bennan Wood - Straiton

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This is probably the most popular walk in the locality as it provides excellent panoramic views for two viewpoints, one of them optional. It’s also a hill walk and the climb up the hill to the monument is very steep and long so you will need to be reasonably fit to complete this walk - or have plenty of time to make slow progress. There are no stiles, but the numerous old wooden kissing gates are in good order, but a couple of old rusty field gates are in poor condition and will have to be dragged. The paths are well worn and easy to follow, and all along the route there are good path markers so you are unlikely to get lost on the hills. On a fine day from the monument viewpoint you can see Ben Lomond, Ben Arthur, Goat Fell and Ailsa Craig. The return route is at low level, more picturesque, and much less strenuous although a stream flows downhill along your footpath as you pass by the bottom of Curroch Wood. The best part here is through the Bennan bluebell wood (see photon the right).

The walk is more suitable for teenagers and adults of working age as some senior citizens like myself may have a problem with the steep hill hence its moderate grading. The route is excellent for dogs, but hopeless for wheelchairs & buggies. Suitable footwear will be anything flat soled will but boots will be best and there should be no problems for anyone wearing shorts, although there may be some nettles along the narrow river bank path towards Craigfad. On your route there are no picnic tables or bench seats, but some well located round boulders may be useful. There are signed toilets behind McCandish Hall in the village. The Black Bull hotel may be open but has mixed reviews, and opposite is 'The Buck' for coffee and cakes, with Straiton stores and post office set back from the road nearby.

Scotland - South Scotland - Ayrshire and Arran - Countryside

Features

Ancient Monument, Birds, Butterflies, Cafe, Church, Flowers, Food Shop, Great Views, Hills or Fells, Pub, Public Transport, River, Tea Shop, Toilets, Wildlife, Woodland