Day 156: Fairlie to Gourock

Distance: 17.10 miles

Ascent: 1478 feet

Weather: sUNNY

Accommodation: Alec & Liz's House, Gourock


After a lovely healthy breakfast in the Ferry Row, I was heading off a little later than usual. The sun was already out and the first part of the day took me along the foreshore in front of Fairlie. After this there was a short stretch on the pavement alongside the A78, before the path headed off alongside a marina and to the outskirts of Largs.

There is a stone needle monument called The Pencil which commemorates the Battle of Largs in 1263, when with the aid of a large storm the Scots defeated King Haco of Norway’s troops on the beach.

I walked past a great skate park in a very scenic location before Largs slowly got a little more tacky as I reached its centre. It did though still have some lovely buildings. As you start to head out of Largs the A78 trunk road is too busy and with an almost non-existent verge, so I followed the official Ayrshire Coastal Path which took a quiet lane that followed parallel to the coast but a few hundred meters inland. This stretch was nice in the dappled sunshine and I was joined by a dogwalker for a fair distance up the hill.

The lane took me passed the private Knock Castle, before eventually dropping back down to the A78 which had a sort of pavement by now. I followed the pavement for a couple of miles which followed the coast exactly and after a little loop around Wemyss Bay I got to Inverkip.

I stopped in a little café in Kip Marina for a snack but also as I was quite early to finally get my by now four weekly blog out. The next stage I had proposed to follow the coast exactly but was not sure what I would find, in fact there was a flat solid cycle path from the edge of Kip Marina all the way to Gourock where I would be finishing today. The weather was stunning and this was the first time on the walk where I was really beginning to get to see the loch nature that I will become very familiar with on the west coast of Scotland. The mountainous backdrop, blue sky, flat water made for a stunning view on this stretch.

I arrived on the outskirts of Gourock where I had kindly been offered some dinner and floorspace by Alec & Liz (a friend of a friends in-laws).

Another shortish day, in the sun, under a roof with a view.

charles compton