Desperate for a good long walk, we dropped everything on Tuesday and headed for Largs to go up Knock Hill. Although it’s not exactly high up, Knock Hill is supposed to offer some of the best views in Ayrshire. The route we followed is circular – starting and finishing in the sea front car park at Largs – and around 11km long. A quick web search brings up several guides for this walk, here are two that we found:
Looking back at the Millport ferry from the start of the walk. It’s after 9am, but it’s still not properly daylight
Most of the write-ups we’d seen for the walk described it as being pretty easy if you discount the muddy conditions, though some did note a couple of hazards around Brisbane Mains Farm; one walker nearly soiled his pants due to an over enthusiastic greeting from the farm dog, while another had to contend with “kamikase free range chickens”. We saw neither, but we did have to keep a tight rein on Beanie and Biggles when we ran into some stroppy geese!
The distinctive frontage of Brisbane Mains Farm
View from the muddy farm track as you go round
Forget the farm dog and the chickens, it’s the geese you have to worry about!
As we approached them the geese reluctantly waddled off the path leaving us free to continue on to Knock Hill. We were fairly keen to make good time as the weather report indicated we’d have a relatively dry, clear window until midday, when the heavens would open up. Clearly the weather gods weren’t working to the Met Office script, because conditions kept changing every couple of minutes.
A little overcast..
Could go either way..
We get a couple of brief, light showers
Sun, rain, heavy clouds and a rainbow all in one go
According to the route guides, you can either take a gentle spiral path to the summit or just go straight up. We ended up doing a bit of both, and as we reached the top it seemed that we were going to be rewarded by a spell of blue sky and sunshine, but in the space of ten minutes it went from this:
And finally to this:
So it won’t surprise you to learn that we didn’t hang around at the top for long! We took the spiral path back down the hill to avoid going mud-surfing..
And by the time we were back at the bottom of the hill and on the return leg of our journey, we all had very wet feet. The conditions didn’t upset our Beagles in the least though; they loved every minute of it and were constantly tieing up their leads as they excitedly darted from one interesting sniff to the next!
By the time we were back in Largs it had turned into a beautiful sunny day again
To finish things off properly we decided to honor a sacred Largs tradition by having fish & chips from The Viking followed by ice-creams from Nardinis. We put Beanie and Biggles into their crates in the car just before I went to get our food and I fully expected to hear frustrated wailing when I returned bearing smelly edibles, but I was wrong; both our two were fast asleep, not from the physical exercise but from the stimulation of all those new country smells. We finished our nosh in peace, and set off for home before the seagulls had a chance to drop anything foul on our heads!