Ayr Gorge Woodlands

Important notice

Phytophthora ramorum is killing the larch trees. You can help stop the disease spreading by CLEANING MUD AND LEAVES OFF SHOES AND TYRES before visiting another woodland and KEEPING TO MARKED PATHS.

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.
Please note that the steps at the Stair entrance and the middle steps are under repair. A diversion is in place. Apologies for any inconvenience caused.

Why visit?

Highlights include:

  • Ancient woodland
  • River walks
  • 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:

  • birdwatching
  • woodlands
  • geology
  • scenery
  • mammals

Other information

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 – find out more about the River Ayr Way by clicking here.


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How to get there


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.

Get directions

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.

Access restrictions

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

Nearest town
Mauchline (4 mi / 6.4 km)
OS grid ref
Landranger map


About Ayr Gorge Woodlands

Links & downloads

Area leaflet

Reserve map


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