Auchinleck House

Ice patterns

As I was on taxi duty later in the day 1 we only had time for a short walk around Auchinleck House near Mauchline.  We parked at Ballochmyle near the Rock Art and headed along the lanes and tracks for the House. It was beautiful late-autumn weather and the mud was all nicely solid.

Auchinleck House

The house sits in a lovely estate with mature trees in parkland. I had hoped to see Nuthatch but apart from a few Bullfinches all the birds were busy keeping warm rather than active. We skirted the house (closed up but according to an estate-worker we met, it is now owned by the Landmark Trust and available to hire). It is a beautiful building that was nicely catching the low sun.  The inscription above the door apparently 2 means: “Whatever you seek is here, in this remote place, if only you have a good firm mind“.

Jazz breath

Sunbeam on a bush

We then took the track along the banks of the Lugar Water.  This is a steep wooded gorge and we had hoped to see Wallace’s and Peden’s Caves that are marked on the map, but the woods were too dense.  The track eventually runs out at the point at that an old bridge would have crossed the river.  Here we had to go into the field and head for the track to Braehead and the (frozen) minor road. The field was rough and would have been a soggy, muddy trudge if it hadn’t been frozen solid. The road crosses the River Ayr at the hamlet of Haugh and we turn onto the River Ayr Way for a lovely woodland walk back to the car.

Peden’s Cave

We drove around to the other bank of the Lugar to find a way down to Peden's Cave.  We found a footpath and then with a scramble we got down to the river and the cave.  The “cave” is just an overhang of sandstone rock – not worth the effort: Peden's Pulpit in the Ayr Gorge near Failford is much more interesting.


  1. The Missus was off on one of her regular gin-sozzled sessions with a reprobate friend and needed a lift.  Luckily, there’s no way she reads this…
  2. It’s been a while since I browsed my copy of  Ecce Romani where Flavia et Cornelia in horto ambulant.
Do It Again: