Ness Glen

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The walk is situated in East Ayrshire not far from the border with Galloway. Its information board modestly proclaims Ness Glen to be 'one of the finest examples of a true rock gorge in Britain', but it is hard to disagree! This is an exhilarating walk around an unsigned but easy-to-follow circuit. On the outward leg you rise through open, deciduous woodland and walk above the very steep-sided glen with the ever-present sound of the surging River Doon far below. Descending, you pass under an elegant footbridge to follow the riverside path back through the glen, always close to the tumultuous waters furiously racing between the overhanging, moss-covered rocks of the gorge.

The river starts as an outfall from Loch Doon and reaches the sea south of Ayr. Scenic Loch Doon, seven miles long, lies 700 feet above sea level. 2,000-foot mountains, part of the Rhinns of Kells, line its eastern side. To the south may be seen the Galloway Hills. Close to the start of the walk by the Roundhouse Takeaway is a promontory affording fine views of the loch.

Because of the dangers posed by the steep terrain and proximity to the river, elderly or unfit people, together with small children and other untrained animals, are considered unsuited to this walk. I did this walk in March 2012 during a prolonged dry spell, when many of the sidestreams (sideburns?) on the outward leg were dry, but which could cause muddy conditions at other times. Even so, the riverside path was wet in places; beware of slipping on mud or wet rocks.

Information for Dog Owners: even biddable dogs would need to be on the leash on the return leg alongside the fast-flowing river.

Scotland - South Scotland - Ayrshire and Arran - Woodland or Forest


Birds, Butterflies, Cafe, Flowers, Food Shop, Good for Kids, Great Views, Hills or Fells, Lake/Loch, River, Tea Shop, Wildlife, Woodland