Loch Doon Road
Start location: Dalmellington (NS 481 056)
End location: Pulcagrie Burn (NX 543 789)
Geographical area: Dumfries and Galloway, Arran and Ayrshire
Path Type: Civil Road
Path distance: 41.2km
Accessibility info: Suitable for pedestrians
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We don't yet have a full survey of this path and would be very grateful for one.
This is an interesting track, although due to the effects of both the raising of the level of Loch Doon and the heavy forestry you are rarely walking along the historic line of the route. Another difficulty with finding the line of the old route is that it isn't depicted very clearly in old maps.
In Ordnance Survey's 1st edition 6 inch to the mile maps a route is shown from Dalmellington to Starr and then nothing till Clatteringshaws Loch, but 30 years earlier in 1831 Ainslie mapped a clear road going further south to MacWhirther Lodge. There are sites of settlement along the route recorded from Pont's surveys of the 1590s onwards suggesting that people were travelling this route but that it wasn't significant enough to be mapped by Pont or Roy and that it had largely fallen out of use by the time Ordnance Survey undertook their detailed surveys in the mid 19th century.
There are sites of interest en route such as Donald's Isle, which is now submerged in Loch Doon but was excavated in the 1930s prior to the water level being raised and found to be a medieval settlement. Castle Island too was almost entirely submerged by the rising waters, but most of Loch Doon Castle was carefuly dismantled and relocated to its present lochside site in 1935. Well hidden among the trees, there is a Kirk Stone at NX486918 that is thought to have been used as a preaching place during the religious upheavals of the 17th century.