Having been stuck in for days upon days, going for a long walk on a sunny day has been one of the best forms of escapism. 

We’ve picked out five of the classic scenic walks around Ayrshire for you to revisit or try for the first time now that the 5 mile lockdown limit has been lifted.

Lugar Water, Cumnock

This beatiful spot is one of the most peaceful and scenic walks in Cumnock, with the river flowing beneath the beautiful ornamental bridge of Lochnorris.

Passing through Cumnock and by Ochiltree, it joins the River Ayr a mile (2 km) south of Mauchline.

Whilst on your walk you can keep an eye out for the wildlife that are most commonly spotted there, like the Kingfishers and Dippers which are two of the avian species to be found on it’s riverbanks.

Irvine Times: The Lugar Water at Ochiltree by Morag Gordon.The Lugar Water at Ochiltree by Morag Gordon.

Lynn Glen, Dalry

The shortest of the four Dalry Paths (3.5km), this 45-minute jaunt is great for an afternoon stroll round the locality without having to trek too far outside of Dalry town.

Begin your walk just over the Caaf Water at the Lynn Bridge and venture through wooded glen, cross bridges shrouded in greenery and stand in awe of the dramatic waterfalls.

With a burn running alongside, brave the stepping stones or peer over the edge to impressive views of the large waterfall from further upstream.

See if you can catch a glimpse of the many different types of birds to be spotted, great for avid bird-watchers.

Irvine Times: Lynn Glen, Dalry credit: David LongLynn Glen, Dalry credit: David Long

Loudoun Hill, Darvel

Nature and history come to life in this walk over Loudoun Hill, the volcanic plug located in East Ayrshire.

With various landmarks, trigs and plaques commemorating the historic battles fought there, whether you are a Scottish history buff, a film buff (the Hill featured in Netflix hit Outlaw King) or just keen to explore what lies beyond the River Irvine, this easy, level walk is truly fascinating and fun for all the family.

Darvel is more off the beaten track from the usual Ayrshire routes but has reliable bus links to take you to the starting point, Hastings Square.

A battle may have been fought here but Loudoun Hill is certainly not too much of a fight to climb.

Irvine Times: Loudoun Hill, Darvel credit: Pamela AitkenLoudoun Hill, Darvel credit: Pamela Aitken

Ness Glen, near Loch Doon

Continue your walking escapades with a jaunt south to Ness Glen for incredible forestry, scenery and interesting sites that will keep you engrossed in what is a riveting and thoroughly enjoyable amble.

Reliable footpaths and many small bridges guide you through the soft terrain and along the rushing stream.

About two miles into the walk is the Loch Doon Dam, built in 1935 on what is the largest inland loch in Southern Scotland.

Ness Glen is becoming quite the tourist hotspot since the opening of the Scottish Dark Sky Observatory situated in the only Dark Sky Park in the UK.

The night skies here are spectacular; the Milky Way, shooting stars and occasionally the Northern Lights are visible.

You can also view the ruins of Loch Doon Castle, with links to Robert the Bruce, off in the distance at the far end of the loch.

Start the walk at the Osprey Roundhouse Café – a tranquil spot where you can grab a bite to eat before you take off.

Irvine Times: Ness Glen, near Loch Doon credit: Craig MurrayNess Glen, near Loch Doon credit: Craig Murray

Castle Hill and Douglas Park, Largs

Largs is best known for being a seaside town but it is also a great spot for a bracing hill walk, too.

A Largs hidden gem, Castle Hill and Douglas Park boasts superb viewpoints looking out to Millport, Arran and Bute – as well as whatever other islands you can spot in the distance – various resting points to pace yourself as you climb higher and even a 5,000-year-old chambered cairn to discover.

With lots of signposts giving you alternative routes to get the best out of your walk, don’t forget to look behind or below you to see where sea and sky meet over the Largs coast.

Irvine Times: Douglas Park, Largs. Credit: Louise Tait.Douglas Park, Largs. Credit: Louise Tait.