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A long time ago in a shire far away ... the 18th century Loans Smuggling Company was the most successful in Scotland. Goods like tea, brandy, wine, rum and tobacco were bought tax free from the Isle of Man and shipped to Troon. Local men with their horses would gather on the beach to quickly carry these inland. One route was through Dundonald Glen.
Let me take you on this journey in just over four minutes. Follow the footsteps and hooves of the past. Points of interest include:
1. Royal Troon Golf Course
2. Wrack Road
3. Crosbie Kirk
4. Crosbie Castle
5. Fullarton House
6. Collennan Reservoir
7. Merkland Loch
8. Dundonald Woods
9. Dundonald Castle
You can walk the trail either from Troon to Dundonald or vice versa. For my video I preferred to walk it the way the smugglers would carry their goods inland.
Start: South Beach Car Park, Troon
Distance one way: around 12km (7 miles)
Toilets: Fullarton woods public toilets, Old Loans Inn, Dundonald Castle
Food and drink stops: Loans, Old Loans Inn or Dundonald Castle
Return journey: walk back, have a car at the other end or catch the bus from Dundonald to Troon. Search for number 10 Troon bus on the Stagecoach website
Video clips have been recorded on different days and seasons, so expect a change of weather ... Scotland at its best
I hope you enjoy this historical Ayrshire trail as much as I did.
Walk report and map
You can also read another full walk report including a map on Gillian's Walks website. This is a brilliant blog with walks all over Scotland including buggy friendly, dog friendly and walks the kids will enjoy.
Video of the Smugglers' Trail - Troon to Dundonald, Ayrshire