Recently, Sarah and I decided to take a short stroll up Loudon Hill, near Darvel, for a quick hour-long walk to stretch our legs after our final days at university for the summer. This small and steep little hill rewarded us with lovely views over Ayrshire and across the Firth of Clyde to Arran.
With no time to prepare for and drive to any serious hills, we decided to opt for an easier walk once again to stretch our legs and give us a chance to get out and about without travelling very far. We decided on Loudon hill, a 316m volcanic plug in East Ayrshire, about 20 minutes from the town of Kilmarnock.
We parked up in the parking area along a single track road roughly 750m from the A71 (this is signposted and it is also possible to walk here from the small town of Darvel). It was also another chance for Sarah to try her walking boots once again, as the only previous trip for them was around the Hunterston Peninsula.
The walk from the car park to the top of Loudon Hill is less than half a mile, but the ascent was very steep and quite a shock to the system on legs that hadn’t done much since my West Highland Way adventure! Nevertheless, we were at the top of the hill in just under 20 minutes and were presented with fine views down the Irvine valley towards the Isle of Arran.
We took 10 minutes or so at the top to take some photos of the picturesque farming landscape that surrounds the hill before heading off the opposite side to where we had left the car.
We descended steeply down the west face of the hill, zig-zagging around the rough cliff face before arriving at a fence, where we turned south and soon reached a track that would take us back to the car park.
Although a short walk – the whole thing took just over an hour including 10 minutes to enjoy the fine views from the summit – we were glad to be out and about once more, and if the weather continued to be as nice, we were keen to plan and undertake more adventures in the coming weeks.