NAME OF RIVER: Water of Girvan.

WHERE IS IT?: South Ayrshire, Scotland. Travelling south on the A77 from Ayr take the B7045 to Straiton.


Put in: turn west on the B741 from Straiton. The bridge (NS 37713 04976) is 200 metres after the turn, wide grass verge.

Take out: Take the C road west to Crossmichael from the B7045 south west of Kirkmichael. Park by bridge at (NS 34405 07875).

Google map available here

APPROX LENGTH: 8.3 km, 59 metre drop.

TIME NEEDED: 2.5 to 3 hours with plenty stops for play.

ACCESS HASSLES: Runs through sporting estates so watch fishing season, remember that responsible access is a right under the Scottish Outdoor Access Code.
See the SCA notes on Access regarding the situation in Scotland generally.

WATER LEVEL INDICATORS: Needs a lot of water, all rocks should be well covered at takeout. See the gauge on SCA Where's the Water.

GRADING: Starts with Grade 1/2 then Grade 3 weirs.


Slot drop is on of the first weirs in the gorge. Go river right.  There is a ledge on the left shortly after this which could be an undercut, stay over to the right. There's plenty of trees on the river.

Water Framework classification is Moderate and there's some sewage pipes into the river.

The first section passes though shooting estate.  Wear bright red for an extra thrill.

GENERAL DESCRIPTION: A wee river about 8 to 14m wide.

There's a couple of small drops near the start then a grade 1 paddle through the scenic estate.  An island after 2.5km can be taken either side but there are many more problematic trees on the right and better
views on the left.

After the estate grounds the bank become more of a gorge and there's a many drops, mostly old weirs, no higher than 1.5m with the odd double drop.  One of the first is a slot best taken on the right.  Watch for the undercut wall on the left shortly after this.

The river returns to grade 1/2 when it next meets the road.

There's plenty of fun playwaves as you go down.

The Slot:

CONTRIBUTED BY: Jonathan Riddell and Douglas Wilcox

If you would like to submit updates, new guides or photos, email ukrgb.scotland AT gmail DOT com

Photo from Edinburgh Kayak Club