The OS map was pretty vague about where exactly the walls are, firstly we took the middle path that goes high but under the bridge ...not that way ,next we went left and ended up at the rivers edge beautiful but...not that way,after an hour and half we took one last chance and wahay we found them . There are bigger and wider cliffs and walls but they chose these two little ones out of the way, very strange.
They do look very faded but still visible, we asked four people if they knew where the rock art was, but to no avail so god knows how brainless kids found them I don't know what can be done to protect them but something should be done. There was no directions from the car park nor any mention of them at all ,Returning to the car I felt a bit of a plonker upon realising how close to the car they were. A wonder of prehistory hiding in the forest known only to a few . I liked it here a lot.
With a close proximity to the road and the unfortunate location of neds'r'us (Aryshire branch) Ballochmyle feels doomed. The sheer disrespect of someone who feels compelled to carve their name onto such a unique and ancient piece of art is both astounding and deeply deeply depressing. Erosion so noticable around the bottom part of the wall will probably get it eventually if human folly, Buckfast and a closed mind don't get it first.
It _is_ intially hard to find but once you know where it is you notice that there are paths to it. The one friendly local who went out of his way to show it to us left us with the dire warning 'don't tell anyone how to get to it or those kids will find out and destroy it'. Sadly this is so true. It would have been better if that fabled dog walker who discovered it had been turned back because the rain came on.
On a happier note some of the vandalism seen on earlier pictures (black paint and crayon) seems to have been washed away.
The sheer variety and frenzied activity of the two walls here, for me, denotes an extremely important site. It's just my opinion but I reckon this was a stopping point on a route around the area to other sacred sites, a 'station' if you will.
For me this site far outstrips Achnabreck and Cairnbaan and is well worth a visit if only to scare the 'neds' off!
I visited the Ballochmyle walls last summer with my partner and our two boys.
We didn't have much clue as to where we were going - all we had was a road atlas and the directions in the Modern Antiquarian.
This part of the Ayr valley is truly enchanted. The valley is narrow, deep and heavily wooded - these woods are ancient. The surrounding land outside and above the valley is rolling green pastureland, so when you descend into the valley you feel like this is just a different world.
Our search for the walls turned into a true quest lasting an hour and a half of me scrambling around, losing, finding and losing the family. While searching, I was down by the river - it's deep and dark and goes slow beneath great red sandstone cliffs on either side with these little red beaches at your feet, and the green canopies high above and all around. There's also a huge red stone Victorian viaduct which straddles the valley nearby.
What a feeling when we found the walls!
They consist of 2 vertical cliff faces with a variety of cup / ring / animal and phallic symbols carved into the soft and brittle sandstone.
The cliffs were only rediscovered less than 20 years ago, so their current exposure leaves the carvings vulnerable to erosion - before rediscovery they were covered in thick vegetation.
The carvings are unusual, in that they are on vertical, not horizontal sheets, but quirks of a wider culture are understandable down there in that valley.
Also not usual in Scotland(?) is the animal carvings - the only other possible prehistoric animal carving I've seen in Scotland was at Dunaad.
You could spend all day here - the surroundings were warm and serene that day but the walls had a dark red drama that took our breath away. Our gameboy / pokemon obsessed boys were held in wonder and that was great to see.
It's a bugger to find though and I can't shed much light on how we found it other than to take a better map than we had.
Came back here with Norie of the pictures.
I dont know if it's my imagination but the walls looked to have deteriorated a bit.
And somebody has been at the carvings with a mix of charcoal, chalk and wax crayon.
This kind of thing is bad enough on horizontal sheets of hard rock but to arse about with these walls is plain vandalism as the rock is crumbly sandstone and the rain wont get a chance to wash the crayon etc. away as these are vertical cliffs.
It still remains a very special place but I felt pretty pissed off after this visit.
We travelled from the North on the A76. Just after the town of Mauchline we turned right onto a minor road (it's the last right turn before the A76 crosses the River Ayr). We parked a couple of hundred yards down this road. At this point there is a style on the right hand side of the road and a path then takes you over a grassy field then into the woods. Just into the woods you cross a little wooden bridge and just after that there is a rough path which goes up an embankment from the right hand side of the main footpath. Follow this rough path and persevere for a couple of hundred yards until you get to the walls.