Sunday, 30 September 2012

Wigtownshire ramblers. Culvennan Fell circular near Kirkcowan. September 2012

Leader's briefing.

And through today's arch .

On the old Military Road.

Mud,mud and glorious mud!!

Nobody was sure what this was built for.

I always find a tree lined avenue.

This tree was precariously held up by the phone wires.

Leader helps the walkers cross the burn

Barfad Loch.

And then there was more mud.

This group provide carpet to assist you over the fence.

The infamous Newton Stewart Blogger.

They make a lovely couple.

Todays group on the summit of Culvennan (213M)

Lofty was today's leader.
Yesterday Saturday September 30th I went by bus to Stranraer and then by car to meet my mother group near Kirkcowan in Dumfries and Galloway.13 of us met on a cloudy windy morning for this 9 mile circular walk up to Culvennan Fell (213M). Firstly we started out on one of General Wade's old military roads which our leader explained to us  had been built around 1760 to allow the soldiers a road from Dumfries to Portpatrick and then by boat to Ireland.Passing Shennanton House which today has been split up into holiday lets, the walkers had a difficult time trying to avoid the mud and puddles on the tracks after all the recent heavy rain. Lunch was in a disused quarry area beside the picturesque Barfad Loch with it's little boathouse presumably for the use of the local fishermen. From here we started to climb through a forest that our leader some years ago was partly responsible for the planting of the various fir trees to take us to  the summit of Culvennan Fell where we had another short break to take in the wonderful views across the hills all the way south to the Solway coast. The final part of the walk was across moorland with a couple more fences and burns to cross before reaching the cars back at the start. A very interesting walk in an area I am not too familiar with made this a super day out,many thanks to the leader who had worked out today's somewhat muddy route around the forests he knows so well.

For a more interesting blog with some wonderful pictures of yesterday go to the Newton Stewart  bloggers page where you will find lots more information.(Thanks for the pic J.D.)

This is the walk leaders press report:

Wigtownshire Ramblers – Saturday 29 September 2012

Thirteen ramblers assembled on the Three Lochs road just north of the A75 on a morning that promised crisp autumn weather. Dark clouds to the north suggested something else but the group headed off in good spirits along the old Military Road. Some sections were wet and muddy but the solid base created under the direction of General Caulfield in the 1760s provided a good foothold.

They soon reached the old farmstead of Drumbuie. There they paused to inspect the unusual archway which served the courtyard of the old house. A stone gave the date of 1734 which predates the Military road. The group continued eastwards along the road which soon reached a tarmac section which took them to Doonhill Wood. From there they squelched through a gateway and followed the edge of the wood over a low hill below the main power line. From there they took to the attractive woods around Shennanton House. In the woods they found an unusual dyked enclosure about 4 metres square with the sides sloping down to the south. There was no entrance into the enclosure nor any obvious structure inside. There was much speculation as to its purpose.

The ramblers skirted the main gardens and emerged onto the road at Shennanton Sawmill. They followed the road past the home farm and as far as the Bladnoch bridge. There they took to the fields and followed the course of the river northwards. As they went along a couple of shots were heard and, fearful of disturbing a shoot, they proceeded carefully until it became clear that the noises were only a pair of gun dogs under training. Burn crossings added to the entertainment and they soon reached the road again. After crossing the road they entered another wood and soon reached their lunch stop overlooking Barfad Loch.

Lunch was curtailed by a sudden sharp shower so the ramblers donned their wet weather gear and headed for the old track which crossed north of the fells. The rain soon stopped but the track got wetter and the presence of cattle made the going a little difficult. The route crossed a fence into the forest and the going got easier. There was a short pause at the ruins of Shennock farm where the walk leader recounted a tale of an army exercise where the unsuspecting shooting tenant was confronted by a troop of armed soldiers supported by small Scorpion tanks. He felt somewhat out-gunned.

After leaving Shennock the ramblers followed the little used forest road to the top of Shennock Fell. The main users seemed to be red and roe deer which had left many tracks in the muddy sections. The group then cut through the trees and emerged onto the open moorland. A short climb led them to the cairn and trig point on the top of Culvennan Fell. There were excellent views in all directions with odd features picked out by patches of sunshine as the clouds scudded over the sky. A pair of diggers were working away on the summit of an adjacent hill but it was not clear what they were up to.

The group descended the southern side of the fell and then a short rise led them to the summit of Crunlae Fell. After admiring the views over the Machars and Wigtown Bay they continued on down following a well-used sheep track. On reaching the lower ground they found evidence of several ancient structures. One had the appearance of a chambered cairn and another seemed to be the outline of a building but there was nothing marked on the current maps.

The route then followed a rough path over green fields and bracken knolls with boggy sections and deep burns between them, after which they re-joined the Three Lochs road and regained the cars. It had been an enjoyable but testing walk of 9 miles.

The next event, on Saturday 6th October, is the popular walk around Newton Stewart. Meet at the Breastworks Car Park in Stranraer at 09:30 to share transport. The walk will start from the Riverside Car Park in Newton Stewart at 10:00. (Grid Ref: NX 412 653) New walkers are always welcome. For any queries, please contact the walk leader on 01671 403351.

1 comment:

  1. I canny sleep so I'm up having a green tea.
    Great to see you Gordon, look forward to this Saturday.
    I hope the dart player's hubby disny read your blog, I could be in trouble.
    Have you got a fetish for arches and tree lined avenues ?
    Nice post sir.