Red Climbs

Red Climbs (Challenging)

It’s getting a wee bit lumpy!

Largs 3km 5.8%
Carleton 2.2km 6.8%
Hadyard 5.4km 4.6%
The Screws 2.9km 4.8%


  • Distance: 2.2km
  • Elevation: 127m
  • Max Gradient: 15.6%
  • Average: 6.8%

Just a little too short to get a Black rating, Carleton makes up for it with an unrelenting gradient. Leaving the coast by Lendalfoot you zig zag up past the ruined castle and onto the moor above Pinbraid Loch.

Wave at the fisherman if you have any energy left. From here you can head cross country to Barr via Colmonell, or even race down the Byne.

As scenic as it is, we do not recommend retracing to Girvan via the busy A77.


  • Distance: 5.4km
  • Elevation: 245m
  • Max Gradient: 11.7%
  • Average: 4.6%

A tricky beast, the gradient of Hadyard is constantly changing. A gentle stretches lull you into a false sense of security before the road pitches up again. It’s a beautiful climb, rising up out the pastural farm land and onto open moor, listening to the grand swish of mighty wind turbines. Enjoy!


  • Distance: 3km
  • Elevation: 145m
  • Max Gradient: 10.5%
  • Average: 5.8%

From Straiton set out east towards Dalmellington and snake out past the Lady Hunter Blair trail. The road sweeps round on itself before you hit a false summit. Enjoy the respite because the final kick up to Gass farm is relentless and makes for an intimidating sight.

Fancy a challenge? Carry on across the summit to Dalmellington and do a loop of the 2011 David Bell Memorial Circuit featuring the Carrick Forest Drive – Scotland’s answer to L’Eroica!

The Screws

  • Distance: 2.9km
  • Elevation: 113m
  • Max Gradient: 13.9%
  • Average: 4.8%

Whatever you do on your visit to the Ayrshire Alps, make sure you don’t leave without descending the Screws at least once! You will quickly understand where the name comes through as you helter skelter around its wonderful cambered corners.

However, to tick it off we need to be going up. The Hitchhiker’s Guide says ‘mostly harmless’!