|To:||Castle Douglas (NX767627)|
|Via:||St John's Town of Dalry|
|Distance:||49.2 miles (79.2 km)|
|Meets:||A70, A77, B742, B7034, B730, B741, B729, A762, A702, A712, B795, A75, B736, A745|
The A713 is a long A-road crossing the hills between Ayr and Galloway.
It starts in the town of Ayr at a roundabout junction with the A70, not far from the railway station - and merely yards from another roundabout with the A79. We start our south-easterly journey by travelling through Ayr's eastern suburbs and cross the A77 Ayr bypass at Bankfield Roundabout. Once past the roundabout we come across Ailsa Hospital (psychiatric), Ayr Hospital (general), and then the private Carrick Glen Hospital. These hospitals place a 40 mph limit on this part of the road but once we've cleared them we get NSL. The distance through the South Ayrshire Council area is relatively short, and the East Ayrshire border is reached a mile or two after the hospitals.
The section in East Ayrshire does go through some beautiful scenery but beware of the unpleasant towns. The largest – and probably the best – of these, Dalmelington, even has speed humps, which completely ruin the rest of the road. Once we pass Dalmelington we go near, but cannot see, Loch Doon: the largest loch in the Southern Uplands and worth a visit. Not long after the loch we enter Dumfries and Galloway, Kirkcudbrightshire to be precise. This part of the road is equally as scenic as the Doon valley section but the villages it passes through are much nicer and there are lots of hydroelectric plants to keep you entertained.
After passing Earlstoun Loch we bear left over the Water of Ken, whilst the A762 goes forward following the right bank. The A702 is met at St John's Town of Dalry and then the A712 shortly afterwards; we haven't met any A-roads since Ayr and now three come along in the space of a couple of miles. The Water of Ken widens out into Loch Ken and we run along its entire length.
As we approach our terminus of Castle Douglas, the landscape tames. But before we get to Castle Douglas, we have to negotiate the A75. Luckily we don't need to do much – there is a short S2 link road between the two roads and we just pass under the A75. In Castle Douglas, the pre-bypass A75 is met and the A713 TOTSOs left onto its former route. It terminates about half a mile further on at a roundabout on the A745, which continues along the ex-A75 to meet the bypass.