Short Walk: Windy Hill, Muirshiel Country Park

This very short walk begins in the heart of Muirshiel country park, which can be accessed from the town of Lochwinnoch, Renfrewshire. This is hopefully not a reflection of the calibre of every walk to come in the future on Scottish Outdoor Adventures!

[July 2016]

Our day started with sun and blue skies, a slight contradiction to the impending storms that were due according to the weather forecast. As it was now late morning, we hadn’t enough time to plan or undertake any meaningful hill walking, so insted we decided to take a short drive to Muirshiel Country Park in Renfrewshire for a short jaunt to the top of Windy Hill, a volcanic plug that sits in the heart of the country park. This 300m hill sports fine views over Ayrshire, greater Glasgow and as far as Ben Lomond, Cowal and the Trossachs on clear days.

We parked the car in one of the many available car parks within the country park and began our ascent through a short area of woodland. The path is waymarked through this section, so to reach the other side of the woods walkers simply have to follow red arrows on small signposts at regular intervals.

Beginning of the walk

Conditions underfoot were decent, with an obvious amount of effort having been spent on the path to make it more suitable for all abilities.

Well maintained paths make for easy walking

Upon reaching the top of the woodland, we were rewarded with our first glimpse of Windy Hill. Although by no means a demanding walk, the section through the forest was both relaxing and enjoyable, a trait that was echoed throughout the entire walk. After a few hundred yards a kissing gate is reached and the path simply follows a dry stone wall towards the top of the hill.

Kissing gate, dry stone wall and Windy Hill

After a small amount of ascent, the summit of Windy Hill is reached. There were beautiful views in all directions and still fairly blue skies at this point.

Views over Ayrshire and Renfrewshire
More views over ayrshire and Renfrewshire
Summit cairn & looking NW
Looking north towards Ben Lomond

After spending some time at the summit enjoying pleasant views, we retraced our steps back to the car following exactly the same path.

The walk took around an hour in total, including several photo stops. However, there are many more walks available within the country park and these could be combined to create a fantastic whole day’s walking round Muirshiel Country Park.

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