Loudoun Hill

Just a few miles from Kilmarnock at Darvel in East Ayrshire, Loudoun Hill is a volcanic plug and the site of a few battles; where William Wallace won in 1297 and in 1307 where Robert the Bruce won his first battle against the English.

Loudoun Hill stands at just 316m elevation, and from car park the walk is only 0.6 miles to the top where the views are beautiful. It has quickly become one of our favourite walks with (and without) the kids!

Park the car at the Spirit of Scotland car park; it is signposted from the A71 so is easy to find. (Google maps and our car satnav both took us to the wrong side of the hill. Though you can also walk up the hill from this side; you just need to park up at the side of the single track road which can prove a bit tricky, especially if it’s been wet recently).

The Spirit of Scotland Monument, dedicated to William Wallace, is located a minutes walk from the car park. At 5 metres tall it’s an impressive structure. It looks like William Wallace bashed his way through the metal structure leaving the outline of himself standing there on the hillside.

The Route

From the monument, head down the hill and across the wooden bridge to the other side of the River Irvine. You’ll go through a gate (and past an electric fence so watch little ones!) into a field. Loudoun Hill is right in front of you and unlike many other hills we’ve walked up, the bit that you can see actually is the top.

Follow the grassy path as it winds up this open space past little old stone walls around the base of the hill.

Head round to the right of the hill, following a stone wall up towards the woods. You’ll pass an old ruined house and some fallen logs and big boulders that kids will love to climb and play on.

Walking along this path, you eventually just have to choose a route to the top. There aren’t any paths or marked routes so when you get to a bit that looks like you can walk up it, just go for it. It is quite steep and when you get almost to the top there are some boulders little kids will need to scramble up. And then you’ll see the trig point at the top.

The Highlights

From the top you can see all the way to Arran on a clear day and you can even make out Goat Feel from up here. To the north you can see the extent of Whitelee Windfarm.

For such little effort getting up here (it took us about 40 minutes with stops for playing on rocks and logs) you do get some splendid views. The trip back down, as you’d expect, was much quicker. We were back in the car within half an hour.

The Stats

  • Total distance: Just over 1km
  • Elevation: 316m
  • Duration: It took us 30 minutes to get to the top and about 20 to get back to the car.
  • Difficulty: 2/10. Loudoun Hill is a quick and pretty easy walk. Most of it is a very gentle climb. The last 5 minutes are quite steep. The 4 year old needed a hand to hold on the way down this part just to keep his balance, but apart from that he managed it no problem.

The Logistics

  • Wheels: This walk is not suitable for wheels. No buggies or scooters are getting up here!
  • Parking: There is a small car park at the Spirit of Scotland monument from where you’ll have easy access to the monument and hill beyond.
  • Toilets: There are no toilet facilities here.
  • Clothing: Mostly a decent path but can be quite muddy so wellies/waterproof shoes are advised. You can clamber around the muddy bits though if you need to.
  • Dogs: Good for dogs. Plenty of them there.

The Location

Loudoun Hill is located in East Ayrshire, just off the A71 at Allanton. Don’t do what we did first time we went and go up the wee single track road that our satnav took us to. Instead, head towards the Spirit of Scotland monument. Look for the blue signs from the A71.

The Cost

Parking and visiting the monument and Loudoun Hill are completely free.

The Verdict

Although it is steep towards the end, Loudoun Hill is a really lovely wee hill walk. It has become one of our favourite quick wee walks where you can get maximum reward for very little effort.

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