The river Doon, comes from the Gaelic, Duin, which can mean either hill or fort,
stretches some twenty-six miles from its source in the marshlands of Galloway to
its estuary just south of Ayr into the Firth of Clyde.
This river has a number of features along its length that are worth noting. The
Alloway Motte, which is conical in shape with a flat top, can be seen from Doonholm
Road, is of Norman construction and was used for defensive purposes as it sat on
the border between South Kyle and the enemy, Carrick and Galloway. It is thought
that it was used for a considerable part of the twelfth century but when the new
castle was built at the mouth of the river Ayr in 1197 this Motte lost its military
Moving down stream one comes upon the site of the old Alloway Dutch Mill, which
produced cloth. Built in the 1700's for the Earl of Stair (by labour over from Holland),
it then became part of the Doonholm in 1775, by the mid1800's it was owned by Charles
Templeton and some thirty people were employed.
Next one comes to the Brig O' Doon which is thought to date back to the fifteenth
century and best described as a single span bridge. Today it is most famous for
its link with the Robert Burns poem Tam O' Shanter and the loss of Meg's tail! In
1816 the new Doon Bridge was constructed and the old bridge was to be demolished,
however due to the bridge's connection to the aforementioned poem it was saved.
Adjacent to the bridge is the Brig O' Doon Hotel, which due to its magnificent location
and aspects has become a firm favourite for couples to host their wedding receptions.
Beyond the hotel to the north is The Burns Monument. Sir Alexander Boswell of Auchinleck
led the subscription fund to commemorate the life of Robert Burns. Work commenced
on the monument in 1820 and it was completed some three years later. The architect
was Thomas Hamilton of Edinburgh who included some interesting features - the base
is triangular to represent the three districts of Ayrshire, Cunningham, Kyle and
Carrick while the nine columns represented the nine muses. The total cost of the
monument amounted to £2000, a large sum of money in those days. The monument
is surrounded by beautiful gardens, which are open to the public.
The river then meanders till it becomes part of the boundary of the Cambusdoon Estate,
which is open to the public and which has a lovely walk along the steep banks of
Near the mouth of the river is Doonfoot Bridge (1861) where, on the southern bank
stood Doonfoot Mill, which later became Greenan Steam Laundry.
The newest bridge over the river Doon is the Millennium Bridge (2001) situated at
the estuary. The bridge was constructed as part of the National Cycle Route and
links Ayr promenade with Greenan shorefront.
There are a range of recreational pursuits enjoyed on the river Doon from walking
to canoeing, but by far the most popular is of angling for trout or salmon.
For those who do visit the river, they will surely enjoy the splendour of the landscape
and the wildlife to be seen - the river now boasts salmon and trout as well as otter
and water vole. Added to this the vast array of bird life, especially at the mouth
of the river where over 190 species have been seen a birdwatchers dream.
Information on fishing on the River Doon can be found on www.doonfishing.co.uk/fishing/