Scotland's Secret Places - Auchincruive in Ayrshire
View along the River Ayr
Why should I go to Auchincruive?
This stunning, little known area of Ayrshire in Southwest Scotland has along its short river walk a mixture of wildlife, trees, flowers and insects.
The changing scenery and views offer the amateur and professional photographer many opportunities to capture the landscape and its inhabitants in all their beauty.
High level view of river
Track which runs alongside the river
View of the trees surrounding the river walk
Meaning of the Name
There is no definitive meaning for the name Auchincruive although the word “Auchin” does appears frequently in Scottish place names and historically implies an elevation in a valley near a river mouth, where the area is intersected by a channel or channels of deep water. Meanwhile Cruive was an old Scottish name for a pen or hut for animals. So it could be assumed that Auchincruive was originally used as a place to keep livestock near the banks of a river. We may never know.
Auchincruive Estate recorded history goes as far back as the 13th century where mention is made of it being the property of the Wallace’s. William Wallace, the leader of the Scottish rebellion against King Edward I of England, was also said to have taken refuge here on many occasions.
The Auchincruive Estate was a former country house and estate which has changed hand many times finally being owned by the Scottish Agricultural College before being sold into private hands with plans to restore the listed buildings and ancient landscape and develop it into among other things a research facility.
More details on the history of Auchincruive
How to get there
The Estate is situated approximately five kilometres (3 miles) outside of Ayr on the B743, signposted with a right turn onto a minor road, just before the village of Mossblown.
Since the estate is in private hands the entrance gates are now padlocked and you can no longer drive into it. There are however small parking areas at the entrance beside Oswald Bridge which crosses the River Ayr. It must be mentioned that the views of the river from Oswald Bridge are impressive and not to be missed.
Despite being unable to drive into the estate foot access can still be gained to the North banks of the river through an opening at the side of the gates. Once through the entrance walk down the trail on the right and follow the path along the riverbank as far as you like while enjoying the stunning views. The terrain alternates between dirt paths and woodland tracks with shaded and open areas.
- Auchincruive West of Scotland Agricultural College - Google Maps
Google Map of area
What to see and photograph
There are thick wooded areas on either side of the river giving the opportunity to frame some excellent photographs. Depending on what time of day, or year, you visit the constantly changing light adds to the natural beauty of the area.
At points along the path there are some very rough, but accessible with care, paths to the rock strewn waters edge where you may be fortunate to see up close some of the local wildlife such as Mallards or Herons or even fish leaping from the river to catch insects. Kingfishers have also been observed as well as numerous other small birds, and a thriving insect community, along with many species of trees and wild flowers.
The river itself changes as you walk along its banks. From shallow, calm flowing area with still pools to small rapids. This whole area can be at its most impressive after a heavy rainfall.
@ 2013 Brian McKechnie (aka WorldEarth)