Day 116 : Irvine – Ardrossan

Irvine has quite a substantial shopping centre called the Riverside with a mall that spans the river into the main centre.

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I leave Irvine to the west of the railway line by the football ground where my map shows a footpath but I could not find a route to the other side of the railway line. I met a lady on a bicycle with panniers who was trying to do the same thing. We both retraced our steps back and followed the road out of town.

I take the NCN route 7 cycle track which follows the river. I have shared this route many times over the last few days that runs from Sunderland to Inverness. We part company at Almswell Park, the cycle track goes towards Glasgow and I make for the beach at Stevenston.

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After Stevenston I cross the sand dunes to a path that runs alongside the railway line towards Saltcoats. Half way along the path had been closed because the sea was rough and coming over the sea wall. It’s a pity there was no warning about this further back. This time I met two cyclists who had to turn back as well. We found a footbridge over the railway line and I helped them get there bikes and packs across. We then passed through a holiday park and onto the road into Saltcoats.

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I stop for refreshments at the Boulevard café in the railway station. The food was simple, fresh and reasonably priced. I walk through the town and along the promenade on South Beach to Ardrossan.

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Ardrossan stands on a small peninsular and is best known for its ferry services to the Isle of Arran. The town had become run down but in the last few years has spruced itself up with a thriving marina and new apartments.

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