River Garnock - Places of Interest

Places of Interest

  • Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park is the source of the headwaters of the Garnock.
  • Spout of Garnock is the highest waterfall in Ayrshire.
  • Glengarnock Castle is a ruined keep standing on a remote rocky promontory overlooking the river, located about 2 miles (3.2 km) north of Kilbirnie.
  • Nether Mill (or Nethermyln), in Kilbirnie, is a ruined watermill that leaves as its legacy the name of the local football team, Kilbirnie Ladeside, who originally played in a field beside the mill lade running from a weir on the river to the mill at the end of Knoxville Road.
  • Dalgarven Mill still draws water from the Garnock to turn the restored undershot waterwheel. The mill complex, located off the A737 road north of Kilwinning, is now a tourist attraction with the mill building being home to the Museum of Ayrshire Country Life and Costume.
  • Kilwinning Viaduct, on the former Lanarkshire and Ayrshire Railway, is now used by the Sustrans Garnock Valley Cycleway to get across the river.
  • Eglinton Country Park was developed around the ancient Eglinton Estate, home for 600 years to the Earls of Eglinton and Winton.
  • In the River Garnock some distance below Kilwinning Bridge in the Dirrans area, in the vicinity of the old saw mill and close to where the lade to the mill started, was Saint Ninian's Isle, named after the saint who is otherwise mainly commemorated at Whithorn. It is now part of the river banking.
  • Down river near the confluence with the Lugton Water were the 'Mess(rs?) Johns Steps'; stepping stones across the river as shown on the first edition of the 6 inch OS map.
  • Between Ninian's Isle and the steps, just before the bend of the river, is an area named Cullim's Hole.
  • Smith records in 1895 that an island called Ringen's Isle existed in the Garnock. This may have been named after Saint Ringen or Winning.
  • Salmon generally arrive in the Garnock at the end of July, with the most productive part of the river being the stretch between Kilbirnie and Dalry.
  • Garnock Floods is a wildlife reserve of the Scottish Wildlife Trust in Kilwinning; sandwiched between the railway line, Sandy Road and the river.
  • Ardeer Factory, once the world's largest commercial explosives factory, is situated on a natural peninsula with the Firth of Clyde on its west side, the River Garnock to the east, and the mouth of the River Irvine to the south.


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