Straiton Village and River
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The Church Walk (1.25 miles/2km - 30 minutes)
Church Walk at Straiton. The Walk name refers to the Victorian practice of church-going from the Castle and the Dower House to the village church via the mill-lade. Points of historical interest are: on the Old Pond Road notice the dam at the curling pond now with shimmering poplars, the arch of the bridge at Milton and the lade built to maintain a steady flow at the mill itself. Eddie's Island with its two foot-bridges, its bamboo thickets and tall firs is an attractive addition to the paths. Squirrels, dippers and kingfishers may be seen here as may snowdrop, primroses and comfrey in their seasons.

The Monument and Bennan Circuit (4.5 miles/7km - 2.5 hours)
Monument and Bennan Circuit Walk at Straiton. From the Car Park at the Playing Field go into the village, noting the 16th century St Cuthbert's Church with its colourful stained-glass windows and the crowstepped gable at the oldest part. The name of the village may mean a settlement in a deep valley.
Created largely in its present form by Thomas Kennedy, Earl of Cassilis as a model village in the mid-18th century the wide street and its stone built cottages draw the visitor to the War Memorial at the far end. The McCandlish Hall dates from before the First World War. The Black Bull Hotel is from before the time of Robert Burns. Opposite are the Straiton Stores and Post Office. A little further along is "The Buck" (coffee and cakes).
The toll cottage is strategically placed at the start of the Newton Stewart Hill Road and behind it stands the elegant 18th c manse. Go towards the School. Just beyond it is a gate leading to the path toTraboyack Wood. Follow the track through the wood and out onto the hill The obelisk on Craigengower (the Hill of the Goats in Gaelic) is a monument to Lt. Col. James Hunter Blair mortally wounded at the Battle of Inkerman in 1854.
On a fine day one can see Ben Lomond, Ben Arthur, Goat Fell and Ailsa Craig. From the summit follow the waymarkers towards Culdoch. Cross the road to the river and up to the bridge below Craigifad. Then return via Berman Wood.
In the wood itself look out for primroses and violets, also long-tailed tits, red squirrels, deer and badgers. At the little gate is a marker for Bennan Hill (Option 1). Continue through wood to Bennan Farm and Stepends Cottage to cross the river and return to car-park. If you wish you may join the Church Walk at the cottage (Option 2).

Lady Hunter Blair's Walk (2.5 miles/4km - 1 hour)
Lady Hunter Blair's Walk at Straiton. The route takes you either to the village or to the Fowler's Croft Development on to the Dalmellington Road. The Development gained an award for architectural design in 1984 from the Association for the Protection of Rural Scotland. Just beyond Sclenteuch Bridge the path is now inside the hedge leading up to Lambdoughty Glen with its hard woods and conifers, most attractive in the autumn with its noisy waterfalls, one of which is known as Rossetti Linn because Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-82) was thought to be contemplating suicide there according to his friend William Bell Scott who had been staying at Penkill Castle the home of Alice Boyd and a retreat for PreRaphaelite poets and painters. Straiton Primary School's Pupil Council spent money given to them under the 'Determined to Succeed' initiative to add four wood sculptures to this walk. See if you can spot them. They're all creatures you can find in our area. Footbridges cross the burn at the lower and upper ends of the gorge. Primroses and bluebells flourish on the banks. Roe deer may be encountered; hawks and finches seen. Largs Farm was the home of Thomas McHaffie the Covenanting martyr shot by the dragoons in 1686 after a brief trial near Linfern Farm. In the churchyard stands a memorial with its poignant verses near the west door. The earliest reference to the history of Straiton is the Genoch Cup found at the farm in 1878 and relates to a Bronze Age cemetery near Tairlaw Bridge 3000 years ago. Of more recent times is a connection with Robert Burns befriended by Sir James Hunter Blair, Lord Provost of Edinburgh when the Ayrshire poet was visiting the city. On his patron's death Scotland's national poet wrote an elaborate elegy and, though he decried the quality of the verse, he claimed that the sentiment was sincere..

Straiton Village Ramble (1.25 miles/2km - 30 minutes)
Straiton Village Ramble. This modest low-level route leads from the Car Park into and around the village. Straiton folk in common with those from other Ayrshire Towns and villages were always busy with woollen cloth making two hundred years ago. In 1791, of 186 inhabitants 12 were weavers and others were masons, shoemakers, blacksmiths, tailors, joiners a butcher and a baker, A change came about with the making of muslin but Straiton prospered still and depended, as before, on water-power. Mills were built and traces still are seen e.g. the corn-mill under Bennan, the timber mill at Milton and a corn-mill as well. The name Fowler's Croft may indicate a fulling-mill to cleanse the wool. On the other hand it may refer to the home of the bird-catcher. Go through the village to the Newton Stewart Road, then just beyond the School take the track on the right to the river bridge and Bennan Farm and Stepends. Either return to village or Car Park or continue towards Milton and the Church Walk. On the Dalmellington Road itself stands the Forestry Commission Headquarters, opened in 1984, which plays an important part in maintaining the Galloway Forest Park just to the south of the village.

The Hill Wood (3.25 miles/5km - 1.5 hours)
Hill Wood Walk at Straiton. Cross into Fowlers Croft to Dalmellington Road. Just beyond Sclenteuch Bridge go up to Glenhead and turn left through the gate a quarter of a mile beyond the steading. Views open up as you head towards Altizourie noting Blairquhan Castle (1820-24) beyond the water meadows. The castle is the home of the Hunter Blair family. A regency mansion of Tudor design by William Burn, it has a long and varied history and connections with Robert Burns and links with John Loudon Macadam the road builder. It is beautifully situated on the left bank of the river. On the edge of the moor sparrowhawks and buzzards may be seen, also roe-deer. Return by the same route with Straiton Monument and Bennan Hill providing an impressive backdrop. If you choose to return by the road great care should be taken.

The Straiton-Patna Path (5.25 miles/8.5km)
This track takes you on to Sclenteuch Moor and passes near to Loch Spallander. This area was once a grouse moor before the planting of extensive conifers. The trail is part of a long distance route to and from the Barr and Straiton area and is for well-equipped and experienced hill-walkers (especially in bad weather). With extensive views across Ayrshire, it is a fine walk on the open moor and through coniferous forest following an old coal and drove road. This is an ancient route which is shown on Armstrong's 1773 map of Ayrshire. The old stone walls can still be seen crossing the moor and closer examination offers the opportunity to study the techniques of the dry stane dyke builders of the past. You cannot fail to be impressed. Ruins of the cottage at the Dhu Loch may provide a little shelter in bad weather. Moorland birds and mammals make it attractive especially when the larks are soaring high above the heather.
Straiton Village Paths
Straiton is a remote village in rural Ayrshire set in rolling hills and farmland. There are farm, field and woodland walks, river side strolls and hill top views. Nearby cycle paths take visitors north to Ayr or south into the Galloway Forest on cycle route 7.
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