Sunday, 29 April 2012

Recce for Wigtownshire Ramblers. Merrick and Craignaw circular April 2012

Snibe Hill.

Memorial to airmen killed in 1979


"Devils bowling green"

The Merrick (843M)

Bennan. (562M)
Yesterday Saturday April 28 I did a recce for Wigtownshire ramblers in the Galloway Hills . I was joined by the Right Honourable Secretary  from Ayr and District Ramblers along with the Kilmarnock Rocket (Kilmarnock and Loudoun) and the windae cleaner from Cunninghame Group.This is an "A" grade walk and before I describe it I just want to say to fellow members of my mother group please don't be put off by the difficulty and the climbing involved as on the day of the walk I can shorten it depending on the weather and also the capabilities of those that turn up on Saturday 2 June.
  On a clear windy morning we set off from Bruces Stone car park to follow the Gairland Burn up to Loch Valley where we picked up the track to the summit of Snibe Hill and then crossed over to Craignaw (645M) passing the memorial stone to the American airmen who were killed here in 1979 .Our next stop was on a granite slab known as the devils bowling green before we dropped down to Loch Enoch for a lunch break. At a rock known as the "Grey Man" we started the very steep climb to the summit of the Merrick (843M) which is the highest hill in South West Scotland. The views today were stunning as we had a northery air stream keeping all the mist and cloud away. Ireland,the Lake District ,the Isle of Man were clearly visible which made a wonderful change from the normal conditions we generally experience at this height. We now headed over the Knave of Spit to Benyellary (719M) and onto the summit of Bennan (562M) with its radio station serving Dumfries and Galloway.Next was a very steep descent over the Fell of Eschonsan (347M) back to the car park to end a 13 mile hard walk which as I mentioned earlier can be tailored to suit the conditions on the day of the walk. Many thanks to my fellow walkers today especially the RHS whose map skills were tested  to get us all safely round this stiff route in the Galloway Hills.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Cunninghame Ramblers Carrick Hills circular. April 2012

New angle of Greenan Castle.

Against the wind on the shore.

Today's group

In true blog tradition the leader has to be recorded.
Today I joined Cunninghame Ramblers for a 12 mile circular walk on the Carrick Hills South of Ayr where I was priviledged to be the walk leader.This is a walk I have done and blogged many times but a few of the members had not done this route before. 12 of set out from Greenan Castle car park along the shore on a dry breezy day until we reached the Bracken Bay where we then went inland to climb to the summit of Brown Carrick (279M). It was quite windy here so after admiring the views we made our way down to Dunure passing the now infamous remains of the "Kibble School" where I was able to relate the story of its origins to a few of the group who had not heard it before. Lunch was taken at a small inlet where we were afforded some shelter from the wind before we headed back along the stony shore up onto the old railway line where were given a brief resume of its history from our rambling teacher.Going over the Heads of Ayr we had a small rain shower which lasted approximately 5 minutes so considering the dark clouds we could see over parts of Ayrshire we were extremely lucky not to get drookit.Once back down to the beach we passed Craig Tara holiday park to make our way back to Greenan to end a good windy walk and judging by the positive comments I received  it appears to have been a very successsful day out.

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Wigtownshire Ramblers. Maidens to Dunure. April 2012

Todays start was in the village of Maidens.

Tulips in the walled garden

Walkers admiring the plants.

Culzean Castle.

The Gas House

I thought there were only "three craws sat upon a wall"

A wee bit tricky on the rocks.

Croy shore.

Farmer had left a track for walkers.

Looking down on a bevvi of beauties.

Today's group at the lookout tower.

Our leader.
Today Saturday April 21 I travelled to Maidens to meet up with the Wigtownshire Ramblers (my mother group) for a 6 mile coastal walk to the lovely village of Dunure.20 of us left the car park to head into Culzean Estate where we met up with three other members ,why they were  not at the start is a long story and one I am not prepared to go into in any detail. Firstly we visited the swan pond before going to see a heronary which one of the group knew about and is well worth a visit as several pairs are nesting at present. On to the Cat Gates which once formed the main entrance to the castle some 200 years ago. The walled garden provided some wonderful colours especially the tulips which in the sunshine were quite spectacular.After a quick visit to the castle ramparts to admire the sea views we made our way down onto the shore at the the old Gas House which was once used to provide power to the castle. Lunch was taken on a very sunny  Croy shore overlooking Arran waiting on the tide to recede to enable us to get round a tricky rocky area. All made it safely and we had a wonderful cliff walk into Dunure passing a world war 2 lookout tower on the way to end a super day in the warm sun with some great scenery. Mention was made of the Newton Stewart Blogger who unfortunately had to call off today due to an illness. All walkers wish you a speedy recovery sir your company and humour were sadly missed today.Thanks must go to the leader who had worked so hard to make the day  a success and apart from the wee blip at the start everyone thoroughly enjoyed it.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Elite walkers Maybole circular. April 2012

My two fellow walkers today.

Today Thursday April 19 With the teacher and  groups colour co- ordinator we decided to  do the Maybole circular walk one we have all done before and also blogged when I did it with Ayr and District Ramblers  back in November 2012 .Today was an overcast day when we set off and there was signs of better weather in the distance. I will not give any real details of the walk as it has alredy been well documented least to say we had one hail shower ,lots of sunshine to make a very enjoyable 8 mile walk.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Recce for ADRC to Cairnsmore of Carsphairn from Water of Ken. April 2012

Teacher enjoying a break whilst RHS tries to figure out where we are!

Snowy summit of Cairnsmore.
Today the Right Honourable Secretary of Ayr and District Ramblers ably asissted by the teacher and myself did a recce walk from the Water of Ken to Cairnsmore of Carsphairn (797M). As I am the walk leader on the day and  have already blogged this when I did the walk with Wigtownshire Ramblers last August todays rendition will be short and sweet  with a fuller version appearing on the day.Starting off at Craigengillan Estate gates we made our way up the forestry road past the Moorbrock cottages until we reached the base of Beninner ( 710M)where we had a very steep climb to the summit. Today was very clear so great views were enjoyed of the surrounding hills as we made our way further up until we reached the cairn at the top of Cairnsmore. From here we dropped down to the bothy at Clennoch to have  our lunch stop before walking 4 miles on the forest road back to the car.
        The walk is programmed for Sunday May 13 so hopefully the weather will be kind to us on the day for what is a fairly stiff grade "A" 10 mile circular route with one particularly steep ascent . If anybody requires further details please feel free to contact me or the RHS .

Saturday, 14 April 2012

South Ayrshire ramblers 3 lochs from Loch Doon. April 2012

Leaders briefing on the shores of Loch Doon.

Some of the walk was on good forest roads.

Loch Riecawr with Shalloch of Minnoch in the background.

Coffee stop at the kiddies play area.

Tunskeen bothy.

Loch Macaterick.

Todays group.
Today Saturday April 14 I joined South Ayrshire ramblers for a 12 mile walk around three lochs starting at Loch Doon. We parked beyond the castle before 16 of us  started out on some excellent forestry roads to take us to Loch Riecawr where a coffee stop was enjoyed in the kiddies play park overlooking the loch.Turning off the road we followed a track to Tunskeen bothy which is in incredibly good condition for its age , obviously there is someone  looks after it and stocks it with dry firewood etc., a welcome sight I am sure for some wearie walkers. After we had our lunch here it was onto  the tussocks and bog for 2 miles which was quite testing particularly after all the good roads in the morning stretch. Safely back on the road the leader then took us to Loch Macaterick which sits in a glen surrounded by many of the Galloway Hills including a snowy capped Merrick. The last part of the walk was a very twisty path through the forest back to the cars at Loch Doon. As usual the group thanked the leader for his efforts, ably supported by his sister whose combined knowledge of the local  area  has to be commended and made this another memorable day out .

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Mochrum Hill and Culzean. April 2012

At the summit of Mochrum Hill with Arran in the background.
Today I was joined by the Elite walkers group colour co-ordinator to climb Mochrum Hill one we have done a few times in the past most recently in March with ADRC. It was a wet drizzly morning when we set off from the Maidens shore along the old railway line into Culzean Estate. As we climbed Mochrum the rain eased off and in the distance we could see it was going to clear into a nice day. As we left the summit the views of Arran were stunningly clear and made our way onto at the shore at Goats Green to have  lunch in glorious sunshine. What a stark change from when we set out with our full waterproof suits on.Once  passed through the castle grounds we walked along the Maidens beach back to the car. A day of two halves made this 10 mile walk a real pleasure, thank you madam for your company today.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Cunninghame Ramblers. Chatelherault Park nr. Hamilton April 2012

Bluebells are just starting to flower.

Some of the minature hedges at the "House"

One of the bridges over the River Avon

Passing the remains of Cadzow Castle.

This tree house is in one of the private residences.

There's one born every minute !!

These trees are known as the Cadzow Oaks.

A tree lined avenue !!

This is referred to as the green bridge.

Steps have been built to assist walkers up the steep climbs.

The group at the Dukes Monument.

Job well done sir.
Today was a bit of an adventure for the Cunninghame Ramblers who went to Hamilton in Lanarkshire for their mid week walk to Chatelherault House . I went by bus from Ayr whilst the other 9 walkers met at Irvine and travelled by car. Once we met at the visitors centre the leader suggested we went in for a cup of tea as at this point the rain was pouring down this would give us time to decide whether we should abandon the walk.After 20 minutes the rain eased to a drizzle so the decision was made lets go for it as the first part of the walk was a circular track of about 3 miles which would bring us back close to the centre so if the weather was getting worse we had opportunities to give up. Passing down a gorge in the River Avon we enjoyed a forestry walk which gave us shelter from the drizzle which was showing signs of easing.Arriving back at the magnificent house it was decided to carry on and we walked another track to the Dukes Monument where we had lunch stop in very grand surroundings.The afternoon part of the walk took us past Cadzow Castle ruins on our way to see some old oak trees that must date back a few hundred years.Some glimpses of sunshine appeared as we made our way through the park to pass over the River Avon again which really is the centre piece of the grounds. Arriving back at the cars everyone agreed that it had been a super walk which we were all pleased that the leader had persuaded us to go out earlier in the inclement weather it soon cleared up to give us an excellent day out to a part Lanarkshire very few of us had ever visited let alone do a 10 mile walk. Thanks  to the leader and the group for putting up with me yet again.

Friday, 6 April 2012

Recce for ADRC to Striding Arches . Moniaive . April 2012

1st arch on Benbrack (580M)

2nd arch on Colt Hill (598M)

3rd arch on Bail Hill (517M)

4th one comes out of this old cottage.

My fellow walkers.(Jackets were on special offer so they both bought one!)
Today Good Friday 6th April I was kindly invited to  join two of Ayr and District Ramblers finest to assist in a recce of Andy Goldsworthys striding arches which have been built on the top of various hills near to the village of Moniaive in Dumfries and Galloway.We started off on a cloudy drizzly day to find a way through a forest on our way up Benbrack. We found a farly difficult steep track up which may not be suited to a group of walkers as it was very slippy in places. An alternative route was discovered once we were on the top so in true recce tradition we had to investigate this new path which meant we had to go all the way down again to make sure it was safe for a group. Now we were back down at our starting level again so we had to make our way along and up a forestry road to get us back onto the track we will use for the ramblers. Once we were on Colt Hill we had a welcome lunch stop before the 4 mile treck over Mullwhaney Hill to our third arch on Bail Hill. Will not give too much detail here as it might spoil it a wee bit for those who are going to turn up on the day of the walk, least to say it was a wee bit challenging in places if you get my meaning. Passing down a fire break in the forest we reached the hard road and the two mile walk back to the car and our fourth arch which is built in an old cottage with the end coming out of the building. Super strenuous walk with my thanks to the RHS and the banker for inviting me to join you both today I thoroughly enjoyed it . The proposed walk is scheduled for Saturday 30th June.