Saturday, 31 December 2011

Wee walk in Culzean with friends. Hogmanay 2011

The walker on the ground is practicing for the Olympics!!

Generating enough power for the village

The cat gates

This aerial walkway was built by the gurkhas 15 years ago.

Snowdrops are now starting to flower.

Let us out was the cry.

You had to be careful on the muddy steps.

Someone with sense of humour.

Daffodils were also starting to grow.

Lunch on the shore.

This little guy came looking for his share of lunch.

Me with the Ayrshire girls.

Todays walkers.

Our leader.

Mulled wine at the pilots house.
Well the last blog of 2011 and it is of Culzean estate yet again as due to the weather and low cloud we decided to stay near to the coast.9 of us met at the Maidens and followed the the path up to the railway line. I will not give too much detail as I have covered it all in previous blogs. We visited the cat gates , then made our way up happy valley to the Kennedys memorial ground tucked away in the trees. From there we followed  the railway line through the caravan site heading towards Croy to make our way down onto the shore. After lunch we walked through the estate to the cliff path above Maidens and then back to the cars in the village. This was a walk of about 8 miles and was perfect on such a day which we got round dry this certainly was not the forecast for that area. Thanks to the leader whose idea it was to have a walk whilst most of the rambling clubs close down for the festive period.
 Once we had finished our walk the pilot invited us all back to his house for mulled wine,chestnuts on an open fire accompanied by mince pies.An excellent end to our day out was enjoyed by all. Thanks once again to the pilot for his very kind hospitality.

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Seasons Greetings. Christmas 2011

A Very Merry Christmas to all our blog readers and also to fellow bloggers.

                     From Anne and Gordon.

Friday, 23 December 2011

Ayr to Girvan on the winter equinox.22 December 2011

You can just make out the heads of Ayr in the gloom

The farmers gate(in joke)

Approaching Dunure from the North

What a great wee building ,you can still have a cuppa even though it is raining. This is at Dunure Harbour.

Viewpoint at Dunure Castle.

World War 2 lookout tower.

New signage has been erected explaining the outdoor access code.

Culzean Castle rises out of the sea.

The castle's gas house.

Bamboo canes maybe they are for our new "Pandas"

Last springs cygnets have survived very well.

Only 6 miles to go.

The main runway on the old Turnberry airfield. My father once landed here during the war.

This is my favourite lunch stop.

Lots of improvements have been made by the rotary club.

Another fine example.

Memorial stone in Girvan to a policeman (see text)

I did it!!!

The End.
On Thursday as it was The Winter Equinox in other words the day of the   shortest daylight hours in the Northern Hemisphere I decided to attempt the longest walk in my repertoire which is the Ayrshire coastal path from Ayr to Girvan a distance of 23 miles.Starting off just after 7.00AM I was able to do the first couple of miles on hard roads and tracks as it was still pitch dark. Passing to the inland side of Greenan Castle I made my way down onto the shore just before the wonderful Craig Tara caravan park which is closed for the winter. Daylight was starting to show on a cloudy dry morning as the next section I was going to do is a bit tricky with the high tide it definately helps if you can see where you are going.Once clear of the heads of Ayr my route took me along the old railway line before a steep descent back onto the shore which takes me to the lovely village of Dunure with it's ruined castle.From here the route goes inland for a couple of miles over some farmland until you reach Croy shore. This part I have never done before at high tide and it proved a little tricky on the wet rocks still adds to the fun of the day out. Reaching the splendour of Culzean Castle I took some time to go and look at the recently restored Gas House situated below the castle. Now it was on through the estate to the village of  Maidens and onto the lands of Turnberry with its fine lighthouse. This is always my lunch stop on this marathon as you can now see the town of Girvan in the distance which gives you some idea of the distance still to be walked. There are some tricky streams and rocks on this stretch but as the tide had now receded it made it a lot easier than it had been on previous walks.On reaching the outskirts of Girvan the first large building you see is the Grant's distillery where many a fine dram started its journey out into the far flung countries of our planet.As you come into the town by the railway station there is a small plaque to the first poilceman to be killed on duty in the U.K.his name was Alexander Ross and if you look at the web page all the details are there.Once in the centre of  town it was off to the local butchers to order the Christmas steaks before ending my day in the the Harbour Bar where the usual bunch of locals were assembled who thought I was telling porkies when I told them I had walked all the way from Ayr.Other suggestions were muttered but as this is a family blog I could not possibly repeat them.
   In conclusion it was a great walk, it is the only one I have done where  I saw the sun rise and set all on the same outing. Perhaps in the summer equinox I could do the shortest walk on my books.You could also say it was a recce for Ayr and District Ramblers where I have the honour of leading this walk on Saturday 24 March 2012.

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Byne Hill ,Girvan December 2011

Just a short blog today as I have blogged this hill many times before at Wigtownshire ramblers and also Grey Hill with a twist so I did not take any photos today that would merit another viewing due to the weather. Armed with the trusty bus pass I set off to Girvan to meet up with the teacher who was waiting for a wardrobe to be delivered to his abode.There lies another tale it had not arrived by 11.00AM as the delivery company had stated so I set off from the harbour on my own along the shore past the coffee stall at the south end of the town and then went up past the caravan site ,over the style before I put my body through its paces up Byne Hill at a very quick pace to punish myself for all the abuse I have given it over the last few days. Once on the top the rain started so instead of going on to Grey Hill I went down the path past the Craufurd Monument onto the shore . At this point it started to pour but the wind was at my back so off I went back to the harbour to catch the bus home. Apart from the rain I did enjoy the walk which probably was only about 5 miles but it was a lot better than sitting at home playing with the computer. PS The wardrobe finally arrived at 1.30PM.

Monday, 19 December 2011

Family weekend in Doonfoot. December 2011

Family gathering.
I did not go out on any walks during the weekend as we had our annual Christmas gathering of the family. Anne and I do this prior to Christmas so that the kids are free to do what they want on Christmas Day. It was a great day having them altogether including our two wonderful grandchildren. I am proposing to do a walk this week weather permitting which will allow me to do some exercise to work off all of yesterdays turkey (and also the beer!!)

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Winter walk in Culzean Castle estate. December 2011

Looking over to a snow capped Isle of Arran.

A victim of last weeks storm.

A Pagoda House. (see text)

A very peaceful swan pond.

One of many wooden sculptures.

The cat gates. (see text)

The teacher with one of the cats.

Another tree lined avenue!!

The branch actually grows on these two trees.

The Kennedy memorial to Marquiss of Ailsa.
 Today Thursday 15 December I met up with the teacher at the Maidens for a walk round Culzean Castle estate. On a cold clear winters morning we set off along the shore to enter the estate by way of a cliff path which gave us some wonderful Christmas card scenes of the Island of Arran with  all the mountains covered in snow.We then visited the Pagoda House which my learned friend informed me is the name of a Japanese house alternatively to learn more you could visit the web site  where a full detailed description is available.From here we walked through an area called happy valley which is adorned with wooden sculptures until we reached the cat gates or Swinston Gates as they were once known. This was once the main gate to the castle itself with its wonderful tree lined avenue which  carried the stately carriages into the estate.We now headed over to the castle where in amongst the trees we came across a small cemetery where many of the Kennedy family are interred it was only because it was winter today that we actually spotted it as in the summer it is all overgrown and not visible to the passer by.Lunch was taken at the castle viewing point which looks out over the bay to the Maidens where one of our walking group was attending a book club lunch in the well known seafood restaurant situated beside the harbour. We did  think of visiting her to see if there was any lobster left but thought better of it as we were not properly attired to join such a prestige group of Troons finest ladies.After we had finished our cheese pieces we walked around the swan pond before making our way back to the cars to end a super day out in the sunshine visiting parts of Culzean neither of us had ever been to.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

ADRC Loch Doon to Craiglee circular. December 2011

We filled this small car park.

Loch Doon in the winter.

Walkers preparing for the first climb.

Not too long before we were up at snow level.

2 brave mountaineers!

This lady took a quiet moment on the summit to remember someone who was very close to her.

Lunch on the sheltered side.

Todays group.

Lots of damage to the forest after last weeks storm.

The leader.
On a dry winters morning 22 members of ADRC met at Loch Doon to climb up Craiglee. Leaving our cars at the bridge over the Garpel Burn we followed a forest track which ran alongside the loch until we were nearly at the castle where we then climbed up the Wee Hill of Craigmulloch (427M). It was now a steady climb through the snow to reach the summit of Craiglee(523M). Finding a nice sheltered spot we had our lunch stop when our leader pointed out the various lochs we could see which included the Doon, Bradan,Finlas,Derdach,Riecawr and Skeloch. Hope I mentioned them all it was quite a view.From here we went down a steep path past the Nick of the Loup to take us to the forestry track which would eventually take you to Loch Bradan. We now entered the forest to make our way back to the start past a lot of fallen trees which were obviously destroyed in last weeks storm. Arriving back at the cars after a very pleasant 7 mile walk we all thanked Madam Vice for stepping in today to lead this walk. It should have been the pilot but he unfortunatey is injured at present we all wish him well and hope to see him return to full fitnes in the near future.