|Location Map ( geo)
|12 miles (19.3 km)
|A736, B706, B769, B778, B751, B7064, B7038, B7082, B7073, A759, B7081, B7038, B7072, A71, A76, A77
|Route outline (key)
The A735 is a medium-length A-road in northern Ayrshire, which criss-crosses the railway line as it winds south through Dunlop, Stewarton and Kilmaurs.
Lugton - Kilmaurs
The routes starts at a staggered crossroads with the A736 and B777 at Lugton Bridge. The realigned Dunlop Road then snakes through the tiny village and passes under the railway for the first time. It then climbs gently between the abutments of an old railway bridge and curves through a shallow cutting onto the hillside above, where it straightens up as it heads south through the fields. After crossing a summit just below 150m, the route drifts down the hill, a slight double bend taking it back over the railway, and down into the valley of the little Black Burn. The route is windier now, with a sharp left turn taking it across the burn and up the other side of the valley, where it soon enters Dunlop as Lugton Road. An assortment of houses sit along the roadside before it reaches a mini roundabout and turns right onto Main Street, quickly reaching the pretty town centre. Main Street forks right by the shops and becomes the B706, while the A735 curves left onto Stewarton Road. After a short straight, the road curves round to the left again and soon passes under the railway through a low arch at the end of a short viaduct. A sharp right turn follows, lifting the route out of Dunlop to briefly run alongside the railway.
The road now climbs away from the railway, crossing fields, with a couple of houses visible over the hedgerows. A crest suddenly reveals an expansive view ahead across Ayrshire, but it soon disappears once more as the road dips down, round a bend and over the railway again. A short straight then leads into Stewarton, where it passes a growing new industrial estate on the right, before rounding a small roundabout serving a new housing development. Dunlop road then crosses a couple of fields, with the ruins of Corsehill Castle off to the left, before entering the older part of the town. Signals control traffic as it passes under a very low, narrow railway bridge and in to the town centre on Rigg Street. This is lined by modern flats, supermarkets and other commercial premises, older building only appearing at the signalised crossroads where it meets the B769 (left) and B778 (ahead). The A735, therefore, TOSTO to the right onto Lainshaw Street, which is lined with old stone buildings at first, but they soon give way to modern flats.
Lainshaw Street is a multiplex with both the B769 and B778, but the latter soon turns off to the right at a mini roundabout. Continuing ahead, the A735 passes under a railway viaduct, which more or less marks the edge of the town, and then kinks left at another mini roundabout to drop down over the Annick Water. Just beyond the bridge, the B769 forks right, while the A735 climbs up and passes under the railway line once more, at another low bridge. A sharp right hand bend precedes a short straight, which stays close to the railway, before a double bend sees the two routes start to diverge again. It climbs up over the shoulder of Byra Hill before meandering southwards across fields, along a couple of straights linked by sweeping bends. Unlike previous sections, there are a scattering of roadside properties along here, but before long Kilmaurs comes into view around a bend.
The village is entered as Townhead, which gently drops down the hill past a mixture of old and new properties, indeed some of the newer properties have been deliberately designed to match the local vernacular, and while this is a relatively common idea, it seems to be particularly successful in Kilmaurs. The centre of the village is very pretty, with a wide Main Street dominated by the small but elegant tower of the tollbooth which sits a little to one side. Just in front of the tollbooth, the B751 comes in from the left,, and after a short multiplex turns off to the right at the second min roundabout. Kilmarnock Road then curves down hill between neat rows of painted cottages and over a wee burn. Morton Park is to the left, followed by a little group of houses, and then the tall tower of St Maurs church stands at the edge of the town.
Kilmaurs - Kilmarnock
After Kilmaurs, the A735 winds across fields for about a mile before reaching Kilmarnock. A roundabout at the entrance to the town serves a modern housing estate, and then the road runs between older council housing, set back behind service roads with wide grassy verges. It feels like a very spacious estate, with large green areas and plenty of room to dual the A735 if it were ever necessary. The route then crosses the B7064, Western Road at a roundabout, and the B road is dualled, providing an important distributor route around the north and west sides of the town. Hill Street beyond quickly narrows as it runs between a mixture of flats and houses, the new housing development on the right replacing older flats. The route then curves to the left onto Witch Road, which is unexpectedly lined with single storey buildings. The route then splits at a signalised crossroads where the B7038 comes in from the left and forms a complicated one-way system around the town centre.
Continuing ahead on Dean Lane, the A735 meets the B7082 at a signalised T junction at Kay Park. It turns right onto High Street, which passes under the railway for the 8th time, with the viaduct also crossing the Kilmarnock Water to the left. It winds south on Green Street, past the B7073 junction and then onto Sturrock Street to reach a large signalised crossroads. This is the end of the multiplex with the B7038, and the far corner of the one way system, with the mainline of the A735 turning left. The One way system, however, turns right onto Fowlds Street, which zig-zags along Titchfield Street onto St Marnock's Street, passing the end of the shopping centre in the process. Another signalised crossroads see the route turn right onto John Finnie Street, while the A759 turns left and the B7081 continues ahead. The route then TOTSOs again in front of the railway station onto West George Street, before turning left onto Portland Street. Here a spur cuts across East George Street to the other side of the one way system, while Portland Street passes under the railway, and becomes Wellington Street to get back to the start.
Back at the opposite corner, the A735 follows the curving Old Mill Road south east through more suburbia. It then crosses the River Irvine as Wellbeck Street, before becoming Queens Drive as it passes the retail park, served by two roundabouts. After crossing a disused branch line, the B7072 turns right at a mini roundabout, and soon after the route ends at the grade-separated Bellfield Interchange, a large roundabout junction with the A71, A76 and A77 passing underneath.
The route of the A735 has changed very little since it was first classified in 1922. At Lugton, the A736 has been realigned to remove a double bend over the Lugton Burn, with the old junction surviving as a rough parking area alongside the A735. This, obviously, means that the A735 has been extended by a few metres. The only significant realignment on the route is south of Dunlop. The road originally forked right opposite the left turn of the staggered crossroads, then passed to the left of the house (now reclaimed as garden), before a long curve through the fields which survives and is gated at the far end.
The A735 originally ended on the A77 in the centre of Kilmarnock. Instead of using Witch Road, it ran all the way down Hill Street, and then turned left in front of the railway to meet the A77 which followed Wellington Street. It was diverted onto Witch Road in the early 1960s. The Kilmarnock Eastern bypass opened in 1973, and the A77 was moved onto it, leaving the A735 to be extended south along Wellington Street into the town centre. The 1973 edition of the OS One Inch Map was perhaps produced before the new numbering was finalised, as it shows Wellington Street as a B road. However, before long the A735 met the A71, which had been diverted onto Old Mill Road into the town centre. The Kilmarnock southern bypass opened much later, in 1987, and took the A71 number, with the A735 getting its final extension out to the Bellfield Interchange, along the former A71 route. At some point in between, the A735 had also gained its one way system around the town centre.