|Walk - Mains of Collin - 3.5 miles|
This is another walk using quiet country lanes and minor roads - a good strong pair of shoes is recommended as the road surface is rough in places.
From our usual starting place in The Square head go downhill, cross the bridge and turn up Crockett Road. This road is named after S R Crockett, the famous author, who mentions in his book The Raiders, "The Great Cave of Isle Rathan" - being a reference to Hestan Island. There are two schools of thought on the derivation of the name Hestan. The first is that it was called Estholm by the monks - being the most easterly part of their lands - altered down the years to Hestan. However, with the close proximity of Horse Isles a suggestion that it may come from the Scandinavian "hestum ey" meaning Horse Island, has been made.
Keep on past the de-restriction signs with the burn on your left. You are now on a rough track known locally as The Guttery. After a time the road divides. Ignore the turning to the left and keep on up the rough farm road. About a quarter of a mile further on you reach Bengairn Loch (24). There is a great view from here of Bengairn Hill with the loch in the foreground - if you have your camera this would be well worth a shot or two.
After a further half mile or so you come to a farm cottage where the road bears right and you go through the farm buildings of Mains of Collin (25). As you walk up the hill you will get fine views of the loch with the village beyond.
As you reach the crest of the hill - as well as enjoying the super views you will see in the fields to your right what remains of Auchencairn's Ghost Trees (26). The Ghost Trees formed part of the 'Ring Plantation' on a farm called Ringcroft of Stocking. Tradition has it that because of a poltergeist the farmhouse and steading had to be demolished, after the best efforts of several ministers failed to exorcise the spirit.
The track now leads downhill to join the main road where a right turn is made back to Auchencairn which has been described as " a bright, rose bowered, garden circled, seaside village" enjoying superb views across the bay and the surrounding countryside.The name is from the Gaelic, Achadh-an-cairn which means field of the cairn.
The village is situated on the steep side of an east facing hill and you will find the usual village facilities including a restaurant, a public house, garage, shop and post office.
Main Street has many picturesque cottages with their closes (narrow passages) allowing fascinating glimpses of the landscape beyond.