Sunday, 27 November 2011

ADRC Lowther Hills circular from Wanlockhead. November 2011

Leader briefing the group on todays route.

We start to leave Wanlockhead behind.

Our first sighting of the golf ball aerial.

On top of East Mount Lowther (732M)

Enterkine Valley.

No mist today on the top of Lowther Hill (725M)

Lunch stop out of the wind.

Todays group at Leadhills Station.

Walking the old railway line.

Todays leader.
On Sunday November 27 ADRC met at Wanlockhead to do a 9 mile circular walk up the Lowther Hills. This is a walk I blogged in October with The Kilmarnock Rocket and Cunninghame ramblers and also I reccied it back in March 2011 with The Right Honourable Secretary so todays blog will really only be a short resume of the walk as most details of the area are already recorded.(2 links in the one blog JD )
18 walkers left the village on a clear but very windy day with the RHS as leader to climb East Mount Lowther crossing over to Lowther and Green Lowther Hills. The wind speed at this point was most probably gale force and it was difficult to keep your balance but we are a hardy lot and managed to battle our way through until we reached the Big Windgate Burn. Descending from here through the heather in the gale surprised a couple of white mountain hares who have now taken on their winter plumage.Crossing over a couple of burns which took us to the old light railway line and back to the start.Super walk in the blustery conditions , special thanks must go to the leader who had been out with me on Saturday night for dinner plus a wee swallie, he only managed 4 hours sleep before he had to pick me up.(not literally) Nae bother to you Sir.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Culzean Estate to Girvan. November 2011

Bridge on the Dunure to Maidens light railway.

Road under the railway.NB. The engineering bricks on the underside.

Young monkey puzzle tree.

Remains of Turnberry Castle. circa early 1200's

Turnberry war memorial on the golf course.

Turnberry Lighthouse stands on the ruins of the castle.

This is the world famous 9th tee on the Ailsa course.

This farmer still has a sense of humour.
Today Thursday November 24 I joined the teacher at the main gate to Culzean Castle Estate to walk the 10 miles to Girvan. On a cloudy windy morning we set off along the old railway line looking for the remains of Glenside Station which should have been near to our starting point. It is so overgrown now we abandoned that idea and will return in the spring when hopefully the paths will not be so wet. Back into the estate we were able to rejoin the line further on  to take us to the village of Maidens. A couple of the bridges that still remain today are worthy of mention not least for the very detailed brickwork on the underside which must have taken great skill to construct. Once clear of the village we made our way over the disused runways that once formed the airfield till we arrived at the famous lighthouse that was built in 1873 on the top of the ruins of Turnberry Castle.(circa 1200)It is rumouresd that this could have been the site of the birthplace of Robert the Bruce. Again the teacher went into detail on this subject but with the noise of the wind I did not really have to listen to him.Onto the shore the wind picked up which made the next 6 miles fairly difficult as it was blowing directly into our faces. Undeterred we soldiered on jumping burns which were difficult to cross due to it being high tide at this time.At one point we took to the road (A77) for a short stretch when a rather large Range Rover pulled over and the driver asked us if were walking the Ayrshire Coastal Path, he then said we had taken a wrong turning and  should be on the shore when we told him about the rivers he apologised as he had not realised how difficult this part could be. It turned out this man was none other than the retired doctor from Ayr who was one of the original instigators of the ACP and is the author of the book that a lot of us have used to navigate the path. He also explained the improvements they have made recently particularly around the Turnberry area but agreed there is still more work to be done.Arriving in Girvan a couple of windswept walkers agreed it had been a great day out but extremely difficult in the stormy conditions.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Cunninghame Ramblers Barr trails. November 2011

Getting ready in the village of Barr

A hold up whilst we all cross the many styles.

What a lovely day for a hill walk.

This was the nearest I came to a tree lined avenue.

Coffee in the forest.

A lonely rambler on the bridge.

Then he was joined by 22 others.

Lunch at Kirsties Cairn.

We meet some friendly cows with their young.

Walkers looking for "The Devils Footprint"

Todays leader (sorry about the shadow)
Today I met up with Cunninghame Ramblers in the lovely picturesque village of Barr in South Ayrshire for their mid week walk around the Changue forest. This is a walk that I have already bogged when The Right Honourable Secretary of ADRC fame took us here back in January of this year. Links are improving JD (a wee in joke to another blogger) 23 of us left the village on a very bright sunny winters morning with little or no wind to speak of. Climbing up the path we came to Changue forest and went through an area known locally as the fairy knowe. It was beautiful as the sun tried to pierce the canopy of trees with all the different mosses covering the forest floor. Crossing over a couple of streams on bridges presumably provided by the local council to encourage walkers to visit the area.Lunch was taken at Kirsties Cairn which was erected in memory of a local shepherd Christopher McTaggart, more commonly known as Kirstie who perished in the snow in 1913. After our refreshments we had a nice wee climb up through the forest to The Devils Footprint which we think was on top of a hill bordering the path. Several of us climbed the hill but no sign of any footprint supposedly it is in some rock formation but we did not find it. A 2 mile walk back down the hill and tracks brought us back to the the cars parked in the village conveniently next to the loos in the hall which were well patronised mainly by our lady members.Super walk in the sunshine with thanks to the leader and again all members for allowing me to join you it certainly was a day to enjoy the wonderful scenery  this area has to offer. 

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Wigtownshire ramblers. Girvan to Grey Hill circular. November 2011

Ideal spot for the start and finish of this walk.

Everyone getting ready once the Stranraer group eventually arrived.

The "Crawfurd Monument" or what is left of it.

Come on you lot as we get spread out.

Lunch stop

He called himself "The Lendalfoot Mermaid"

Old coach road was a wee bit muddy to say the least.

Our leader.
Today Saturday November 19 I met up with my mother group Wigtownshire ramblers to do an 8 mile circular walk in Girvan to Grey Hill. This is a walk that most of us have done before but our leader had reccied a new route for us that took us up to the Crawfurd Monument ,over Cairn Hill and Fell Hill onto Grey Hill(297M).By now we were up in the mist with a very strong wind blowing we found some shelter to have our lunch before proceeding out on to Pinbain Hill (224M) with its sea views now that we had dropped out of the mist it made the conditions a bit easier to navigate. On the old coach path we experienced some quite tricky muddy paths especially after Ardwell Farm where we also met a herd of cows who decided to join us. Once clear of the mud we went through a gate that also got us away from the cattle. From here we dropped down passed the ruins of Ardmillan Castle before arriving back at the cars where several of the group went for tea and scones in the farm cafe. For a more professional blog of this walk which will be available from tomorrow afternoon click onto Ye Auld Bloggers Page it is always worthy of a look.Thanks must go to our leader today for taking us on a walk that gets the vote of the muddiest this year.See you all again soon.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Maybole circular. November 2011

The teacher resting in a disused quarry.
Yesterday Wednesday November 17 I met up with the teacher to do a 9 mile circular walk round Maybole using the Carrick Way. This is a walk I have blogged before when ARDC under the auspices of Madam Vice did it last month and by using the link you will be able to view where we went.(Thanks again J.D.) So for that reason there is a lack of photographs also it was a wee bit murky yesterday albeit dry we just had a super day meeting different people going about their work mainly on the farms we passed through.An ideal winters walk.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Elite walking group. Barrhill to Ballantrae Recce November 2011

Our mode of transport today.

What a dinkey little signal box at Barrhill Station.

Large collections of fungi are still growing in the forest.

The teacher at the martyrs tomb.

River walk down the Cross Water.

Details of the tomb.

Normally they are such a happy group!!
Today Tuesday 15 November we decided to travel to Girvan station by car and catch the train to Barrhill. So far so good. This was to be a recce for a group of walkers who have asked me if I could take them from Barrhill through the forest and over a windfarm all the way to Ballantrae on the coast.Always up for a challenge 4 of us left the station armed with maps of the area heading for a forest and  as we all know once inside the canopy of the trees the whole place looks the same.With the help of the compass we made our way along some quite tricky boggy paths through the trees and after about 2 miles we came to a clearing and a made up road. Feeling very smug we congratulated ourselves to have made it this far we could see wind turbines in the distance.One of the maps we had, provided by a fellow Girvan rambler  showed all the turbines have numbers so we thought all we had to do was walk to a windmill and get its number and from that information we could ascertain where we were. One problen though as we arrived at checkpoint charlie or at least that is what we called him he informed us this was a working construction site and we were not allowed through. Now to be honest all you had to do was go into the trees a wee bit and by pass Adolfs  hut and we would have been on our way but he informed us once I had suggested this alternative route that we would be stopped again further on.Nothing else for it but to abandon our original idea and we made our way down the site road back to village of Barrhill. Well here starts another  story I will only give you a very abridged version of what happened next. We missed a train by 5 minutes to be told go for the bus as an alternative. Checking the timetable we were informed we would have to wait an hour and half for the next one. Well those that know the area well there is not really a lot to do in the village so we had a little walk to the bowling green and beyond when out of the blue along comes a bus to be told that there had been an alteration to the timetable but no one had informed the travelling public. 2 of our group who at this point were in the trees doing whatever girls do in there were shouted at "the bus is here" and the driver  was prepared to wait for them. The rest of the story was a great laugh but to be honest you would  have to have been present to really appreciate it. So in conclusion if you are thinking of going from Barrhill to Ballantrae forget it until next year when the construction will have been completed and checkpoint charlie will have been removed.Not all reccies work out the way you plan them.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

ADRC Moorbrock to Mid Hill of Glenhead and the rest! November 2011

Starting out at Craigengillan Estates.

One of the Moorbrock holiday cottages.

Coffee stop.

A misty windmill on Windy Standard. (698M)

Todays group.

Lunch in the mist.

"Honest I do enjoy these days out!"

We are now starting to clear the mist.

Glacial drumlins (see text)

Could this be the tomb of the unknown rambler?

A small lochan on Dodd Hill (496M)

Our worthy leader.
On Sunday November 13 I went out with ADRC to Craigengillan Estate which lies between Carsphairn and Monaive. On a cloudy dry morning 15 of us set off on a 11 mile circular walk which would take in one or two hills or at least that what the leader told us. First of all we past the holiday cottages of Moorbrock on a  nice pleasant forestry road which took us round Green Hill before heading up to Moorbrock Hill (650M) . We stopped briefly as we climbed to have a one minute silence at 11.00 for everyone to remember those who had given the ultimate sacrifice in all the wars around our troubled world. Once on the summit we were now shrouded in mist as we crossed over to Keoch Rig(611M) and then onto Windy Standard(698M) with all its windmills giving off an eerie sound in the mist and wind.This was our lunch stop before we started our descent to Mid Hill of Glenhead (531M) thankfully dropping out of the mist. This is where we looked over a valley to some fine of examples of  glacial drumlinns which are elongated whale shaped hills and apparently are quite rare in Scotland. On  top of yet another Dodd Hill is a lovely wee lochan where we had a  rest before  tackling the descent back to the start over some lovely tussocky marshy ground just what you want to experience at the end of your day out.  Apart from the mist we all had a super day out in the hills and our thanks must go to the leader who had to navigate us safely through some fairly  difficult conditions.