Ayr Gorge Woodlands

The Ayr Gorge Woodlands reserve is a steep ravine of sandstone cliffs covered mainly with oak, ash and some very old majestic beeches. It is one of the most important ancient woodlands in Ayrshire for invertebrates, plants, fungi and bats including Daubenton's and brown long-eared bats.

It is particularly noted for its abundant invertebrate life, supporting a number of Scottish rarities, including spiders and beetles.

This reserve is on the River Ayr Way walking route. Click here to visit the River Ayr Way website.

Otter (c) Steve Gardner

Why visit?

  • Ancient woodland
  • River walks
  • Woodland and river birds and bats
  • Invertebrates and fungi

Best time to visit?

  • All year for woodland and river walks
  • Spring for birds
  • Summer for bats and invertebrates
  • Autumn for fungi

Visit for:

  • Mammals
  • Scenery
  • Geology
  • Woodlands
  • Birdwatching


The reserve is at Failford village on the B743. From the centre of Ayr, take the A719 north east for about 3 miles to the junction with the A77. Continue straight over the roundabout onto the B743 Mauchline Road and continue to Failford.

Getting onto the reserve

The main entrance is at the west end of Failford village, on the south side of the road at the blue sign. The reserve can also be accessed from the opposite end via the River Ayr Way. There are surfaced paths on the reserve.

Getting round this reserve

Please prevent dogs from hunting wildlife at all times of year, especially in the spring.


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