Dailly town centre, KA26 9SB
Start: Dailly town centre, KA26 9SB
End: Daily town centre, KA26 9SB
Distance: 2.5 miles (10.5km)
Download map, route of path also available from: http://www.ayrshirepaths.org.uk/walkdailly.htm (Created by Ayrshire Paths) (Red path on map)
Barony Hill Walk at Dailly 10.5km. Path Marker Symbol: Oak leaf from the Colliers Oak, where miners used to meet. Leaving the village the route passes Balcamie Farm and climbs towards Barony Hill with views west towards the coast and Ailsa Craig beyond. Ascending the hill the track passes close to Machrikill. This is believed to be the site of a cell or chapel founded in the first century by St Machar. It contains parts of an oval shaped earth enclosure within which are two ancient Christian pedestal stones with sockets for holding crosses. Until recent times Dailly Parish Church was known a St Marcher's Church of Dailly. Crossing the bare hillside the summit of Barony Hill is reached, where there is the opportunity to take in the view and rest on the many oak log seats distributed throughout the walks. It is a joy to walk through Falfarocher Glen following the burn downstream through a marvelous woodland which is the haunt of roe deer, badger and fox. Walking the bank of the Water of Girvan the route passes the now derelict Dalquharran Mansion, which is conspicuous on high ground on the north side of the river. It was built in 1786 to a design by Robert Adam and commissioned by Thomas Kennedy who married Jean Adam, a niece of Robert. Wings were added to the left and right of the house in 1881 pending a royal visit which never took place. In 1936 it opened its doors as Scotland's grandest youth hostel until the war intervened. After re-crossing the river the ruins of the old Dalquhairn Castle can be seen through the woods. The castle dates from the 16th century and was built by a branch of the Kennedy's of Culzean and was acquired by Sir Thomas Kennedy of Kirkhill and Colmonell, an offshoot of the Bargany Kennedy's who held it until 1935. The grounds contain a walled garden, stables and a family graveyard with an obelisk, crosses and chest tombs. T he path now meanders through a riverside wood of predominately sycamore, yew, lime and elm. In spring and early summer snowdrops, daffodils and bluebells carpet the woodland floor. Before reaching the village the path crosses a footbridge (constructed in 2002) over the River Girvan. This artistic designed bridge is the main focus of the paths network around Dailly. The path through the Dalquharran woods to the bridge and from the bridge to the village is suitable for wheelchair access.