Sunday, 28 October 2012

South Ayrshire Ramblers. Beith to Cuff Hill. October 2012

Beith Trinity Church.

Preparing to start the walk.

Half 10's on the bridge.

Gentle climb in the sunshine.

We were right below the flight path from Glasgow Airport.

Looking over Lochwinnoch.

These cows plus a large bull were causing us some problems.

We decided to get out of that particular field!!

Trying to find a dry path through the reeds.

"The rocking stone"(see text)

Kirkleegreen resevoir.

We are now in full autumn colours.

A local viewing point.

Aye time for a wee seat!

Today's group.

Through the window today? Our leader.
Yesterday South Ayrshire Ramblers met at the North Ayrshire village of Beith for an 8 mile circular walk to Cuff Hill one I already have blogged when I did it last month with Cunninghame ramblers. On a clear frosty morning 20 of us left the village to go through the grounds of the old Speirs School which are now retained by the council for all to enjoy.With the autumn colours now at their best the group had a wonderful time stopping to admire the views of the surrounding countryside bathed in the morning sun.Once we were on the summit of Cuff Hill our leader pointed out Ben Lomond and various other mountains which were visible today to the north of Glasgow. Our next point of interest was to visit an 11 tonne "rocking stone" which had been deposited there during the last ice age. A very jovial lunch was taken on the shores of Kirkleegreen resevoir, fortunately there were no fishermen about to disturb. The last part of the walk is past Beith Golf Club standing high up above the village before we finished up back at the cars parked beside the magnificent Trinity Church. Thanks to the leader for a super day out in the hills and to all the other members of the group for permitting me to join you.(You had no option HA HA)

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Culzean Castle to Doonfoot. October 2012

A gloomy Culzean with Ailsa Craig in the background.

Autumn colours on the shore.

Heading towards Croy shore.

This gorse was still in full bloom.

My walking companion.    
Today Thursday October 25th we took the bus to Culzean Castle to do a 12 mile walk back to Doonfoot. We normally do this walk starting at the Ayr end but as it was high tide  at 9.43AM we decided to do it in reverse which made it completely different. Once we were on the shore we set off at a cracking pace on a very still cloudy morning with very little movement in the sea, just the odd fishing boat engines broke the silence. We met 3 members of Ayr Rotary Club who are responsible for the Ayrshire Coastal Path preparing to put  a bridge in place over a stream which I know from past experience  can be very tricky to cross in wet winter weather,so this has to be a welcome addition to the path.Once through the village of Dunure we had our lunch watching a naval vessel doing it's manoeuvres on the Clyde. Also lying at anchor we could see the Zaliv Vostock a large oil tanker which I now find out was waiting to go to Finnart Oil Terminal on Loch Long to discharge it's cargo to be pumped all the way to the Grangemouth Oil Refinery on Scotland's east coast.The final leg of our walk was along the shore to Greenan ,the low tide enabling us to take short cuts over the sand and rocks to end a very pleasant dry day on the Ayrshire coast.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Cunninghame Ramblers. Glenbuck to Muirkirk. October 2012

Totem pole at the entrance to Muirkirk

This is real Covenanter country.

Also famous for it's coal mines

Even Rabbie gets in on the act.

How the colliery once looked.

The start of our walk today.

This sculpture is a wee bit strange

to say the least.

Double click to read about "the legend"

Elevenses on an old railway bridge.

Opencast leaves it's mark on the countryside.

Please Miss may I leave the room

Kaimes community hall.

Perhaps the crisp company are the sponsors.

Our mid week group.

Our leader is such a cheery soul.
Today I caught the bus in Ayr to Muirkirk to meet Cunninghame Ramblers for their mid week walk from Glenbuck to Muirkirk. We met at the entrance of the village to organise cars to take us to the start as today's walk was a 7 mile linear route which always requires sorting out drivers and their passengers so that we had enough cars to transport the drivers back to the start. This was done admirably by our leader who has had lots of experience of sorting groups out, as before she retired she was a school teacher by profession.Our first stop  on this cloudy dry morning was an RSPB hide situated on Glenbuck Loch which is the official start of The River Ayr Walk  where we then took a path down to the old railway line that used to run all the way to Edinburgh. Our leader paused to point out the remains of the local station before we set off along the old line. Various things were pointed out to us including a druid's standing stone but sadly there is little history recorded about it.Our lunch stop was at a bridge known locally as Tibbies Bridge  which spans the Garpel water with it's various plaques telling you a little about this legendry woman. A short walk took us back to the cars to finish a very pleasant day with glorious autumn colours, with thanks  to our leader for a most enjoyable ramble.

A little footnote . The walkers learnt today that one of our regulars is a wee bit poorly at present and is in hospital. If you have an opportunity to read this blog Cathie we all wish you well and a speedy recovery.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

ADRC. Glen Catacol to Lochranza, Isle of Arran.October 2012

On the ferry heading to Arran.

The starting point.

Lovely new gates have been installed on the deer fence.

A view looking up Gleann Diomhan.

Alone in her thoughts.

She was keen to climb even further today!!

Looking down Glen Iorsa.

Yes, it was a wee bit muddy today.

What a fine place to end a walk.

Making use of the facilities whilst we waited for the bus.

The local stag is quite used to being photographed.

Quite a large group today.

Always room for a photo of the leader.
Yesterday Saturday October 21st I had the honour of leading a group from ADRC to the lovely Island of Arran off the West coast of Scotland. We took the ferry to Brodick to board the bus to take us to the lovely village of Catacol which is where you will find a row of quaint little houses known as "The 12 Apostles" 23 walkers set off up Glen Catacol following the burn to the the deer fence where the track for Gleann Diomhan begins with its long climb to the summit.Some of todays group found this a wee bit testing due to the soft ground coupled with the slippery rocks but all made it safely to the top. Lunch was taken surrounded by the mountains with several stags spotted on the tops keeping a careful eye on us as this is the height of the rutting season and they are very protective of their hinds.A clip from U tube gives a wonderful account of a day on Arran accompanied by some fine music which is well worth taking the time to enjoy. Today it was a dry partly cloudy day as we took time to look down Glen Iorsa which runs through the centre of the island with its river meandering all the way to the sea. Stopping at Loch Na Davie which is more better described as a large puddle I explained it had two outlets one to the south feeding into Iorsa ,the one to the north went to start the River Ranza. As we descended the paths became very soft and muddy resulting in many slips and falls, I am sure there are a few aching bones in Ayrshire this morning.On the final descent we were treated to a rare sighting of a Golden Eagle as it soared high above us close to the crags of Cnoc Nan Sgrath. Arriving at Lochranza Distillery we were able to make use of their fine visitors facilities before taking our final walk into the village where we saw a sea otter playing at the  waters edge. Also we managed to get fairly close to a stag grazing at the side of the road and was not at all bothered by the walkers taking photographs perhaps he is used to all the tourists who visit this part of Arran . Bus arrived to take us back to Brodick for the ferry to Ardrossan and finally back home to Ayr to end a good day out on the hills of Arran,maybe a wee bit tougher than some of the group had expected.As leader it is difficult to plan these types of walks  to get  ideal conditions as the programme is made up months in advance lets hope it dries out a wee bit before I take you all for 13 miles round the hills of Straiton next month.

I am going to try and add a link here to Dennis Duke's excellent account of our walk set to music.

Dennis Duke Link. .