|Location Map ( geo)|
|Route outline (key)|
NCN Route 753 is a cycle route which will probably one day continue south along the Ayrshire Coast to meet the possible NCN757 at Fairlie, and then continue to Ardrossan. For now, however, it is a series of bits stretching along the coast, being a mainland continuation of NCN75, which itself crosses the Gourock to Dunoon Ferry to Cowal, as far as Inverkip. The next section runs south from Largs, part of which may be the NCN757, and the final section is in Ardrossan itself. Much of what is shown on the map (right) is not yet signed as NCN753, but it is logical to assume that it will one day be part of it.
Starting at the ferry pier, the route cuts through past the station to the A770, and then follows the road round the coast, past the car ferry to Dunoon and out of town. There is an off road path in places, signed use of the pavement in others, but the road is not too busy out of the main summer period. The off road sections are on the shore side of the road, and after leaving Gourock behind, the cycle route cuts down into the car park at Lunderston Bay, and then follows a pleasant coastal trail round to the marina development at Inverkip. The footpath along the A78 Inverkip bypass is wide and separated from the road by a grassy bank with trees. At the southern end of the village, a shoreside car park marks the current end of this section of the route, the pavement beyond not really being suitable for cyclists.
A route away from the busy A78 can be found through the Junction and much of Wemyss Bay, but then the main road must be used to reach Skelmorlie. It is likely that from here, the long term route plan will climb up the hill and follow the minor roads used by the Ayrshire Coastal Path to reach Largs, but the climbs are steep and the A78 needs to be used briefly in the middle. From Largs, the wide shoreside pavements are designated as shared use, and so cyclists have an off road route from near the Cumbrae Ferry terminal south to the edge of town.
This route then crosses the Marina access road, and runs along between the railway and Marina compound, with a series of anchors, buoys and other maritime artefacts alongside the path, labelled with panels. A very low bridge takes allows the cycle route to pass under the railway, and it slowly converges with the A78, before emerging on the roadside at the entrance to Fairlie. Cyclists must then follow the A78 to reach the disputed NCN757 off-road section.
Curiously, signage for the NCN753 reappears to the south of the section nominally referred to as NCN757 (although not signed as such anywhere). This leads from the Hunterston Roundabout south into the grounds of Hunterston House, crossing the power station access roads. The route then becomes un-numbered once more as it runs down the avenue to the A78, before quickly turning off again and heading up a side road to reach the B7048 Portencross Road.
The next section of cycle route to be numbered as the NCN753 appears to be a short piece at the northern entrance to Ardrossan. This as yet incomplete section then leads down to the NCN73 near the Arran Ferry terminal.