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.

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