Southern Upland Way at Sanquhar and Crawick Multiverse – Sunday 21st August 2022 – Walk Grade - Moderate (C+)
Meeting Place: East Ayrshire Council Offices 9.15am for 9:30am departure
Walk Distance: 9.2 kms (5.71miles) (includes the walk round the Crawick Multiverse)
Toilets and refreshments are available at the Crawick Multiverse
Cost of entry into the Crawick Multiverse is £5.00 but a group discount will apply if sufficient numbers.
Terrain: Mostly good tracks but with a couple of steep hilly parts and a muddy stretch in the wooded section. The path here is narrow and close to the water with narrow stone steps going downhill, so this needs to be negotiated with care, especially if wet. Poles and gaiters are recommended. There are 3 sections where we are walking on roads so vigilance required for vehicles particularly when we leave the Crawick Multiverse, as there is a blind bend in the road, before we pick up the path back to the parking area in Sanquhar.
Distance from EAC car park, London Road, Kilmarnock and return: 100 kms (62.1 miles)
Location. Parking area for about 10 -12 cars. Leave Kilmarnock via the Bellfield Roundabout taking the A76 signposted for Mauchline and stay on this heading for New Cumnock and thereafter signposted for Sanquhar. As you enter Sanquhar, cross the bridge where the traffic is controlled by lights, pass the playing field with the statue of the horse and rider on the right until you reach the garage on the right hand side. Turn right immediately after the garage. Continue down this road until you see a bridge ahead, take the left hand turn immediately before the bridge and you will see the parking area on the right next to the river.
The walk follows the Southern Upland Way skirting round Sanquhar passing Sanquhar Castle, dating back to the 13th Century, which was visited by Robert the Bruce, William Wallace and James VI and I, and was the site of many conflicts (hopefully not on the day). From here we walk back into Sanquhar, so look out for the blue information plaques. We then head away from the Main Street via Coo Wynd and out into the countryside, climbing a steep path to the top of the hill, with lovely views across the valley, and then head along a quiet country road. We move into a wooded section which winds down to the river, passing a viewing platform looking onto a lovely little waterfall, and then follow the river, negotiating some stone steps and 3 small bridges, which brings us onto the other side.
We will then head to the 55 acre Crawick Multiverse, an amazing land art installation built on an open cast coalmine. It was designed by the American land artist, cultural theorist and landscape designer Charles Jencks (1939-2019) in 2015, with the landforms based around cosmology, space and the universe. He is also the co-founder of the Maggie’s Cancer Care Centres. It is a fascinating place and a very clever repurposing of a scarred area of land. We will have lunch here. There are plenty of picnic tables and a covered area if weather is not with us. After lunch there will be approx. 1 hour free time to enjoy the site
There are two paths within the Crawick Multiverse, the Comet Walk, which is a more challenging ridge walk but with the reward of spectacular panoramic views of the whole site. Care is required on this one as it is steep and uneven in parts. The Low Walk is a gentler option taking you to the heart of the site, for those who wish to take it easier.
We will reconvene and then head back into Sanquhar to the parking area.
Leader: Morag Lewis
Walk: Carrick Hills Circular
Grade: B +
Date: Sunday 21st August
Start time: 8.20am for 8.30am start
Distance: 9 miles
Car milage: 50 mile round trip
Walk leader: Patrick Kelly
Phone number: 07572834180
Travelling from Kilmarnock we take the A77 south, turn off for Alloway, then follow the signs for Craig Tara and onwards on A 719 to Dunure. Car parking is at the castle car park.
From the car park we follow the shore-line then climb onto the cliff path which then leads us to the caravan park. We cross the main A719 and climb up steeply to the highest point of the Carrick Hills. We drop down to a felled area and onwards to Black Top ridge, then over fields and paths before descending to a short road section which leads us to a path and back to the carpark.
This is a strenuous B + walk of 9 miles with panoramic views of the Firth of Clyde.
Gaiters optional, poles recommended.
Look forward to seeing you