|At Barr village car park.|
|Lunch in the sunshine.|
|A "Bevy of beauties"|
|Steep descent (thanks Scoop)|
|Group at Kirsty's Cairn|
|Those walkers down there did not climb the last hill!!|
|Large group on the bridge.|
|Happy Birthday. Three score and ten.|
WIGTOWNSHIRE RAMBLERS –28 Sept 2013 – Barr Circular
On a gloriously sunny morning, twenty-six ramblers, including three visitors from other groups, met outside Barr village hall to commence a seven mile circular walk.
As in some other South Ayrshire villages and towns, a colourful leaflet has been produced, detailing several trails in the countryside around the village, and our walk was an amalgam of four of these trails.
The visitors were made welcome, the Depute Leader was gratuitously insulted, and “Happy Birthday” was sung to one of our stalwarts, Jim, who had reached an important (and advanced) age milestone that very day. We crossed the Changue burn by the bridge in the centre of the village and headed up through the fields towards the forest. Looking back, there were spectacular views of the countryside, with Barr village nestling comfortably in the glen.
There was a sign suggesting that part of the trail was closed, but fortunately our fears were unfounded. However, the forest path had been transformed into a wide track. One of our group suggested that it was in better condition than many of South Ayrshire's A-roads! We followed the track for about a mile before we made a sharp turn onto the Fairy Knowe trail. The grassy path through the forest proved enchanting, with hundreds of red, yellow, white and brown toadstools, together with lichen, displaying every shade of green and silver imaginable, hanging from the branches of the trees.
Suddenly the trail opened out into the warm sunshine, with gorgeous views, myriad waterfalls and narrow wooden bridges as the track plunged and soared alongside, and across, several burns.
After a steep descent down about a hundred narrow wooden framed steps, a wider forest track was encountered leading up to our lunch spot at Kirstie's cairn. The cairn was erected to commemorate a young 19 year old postman, Christopher McTaggart, who had died in the vicinity in January1913. A large area of grass around the cairn had been neatly trimmed, and although there was only one picnic bench, it was an ideal spot for lunch, below the slopes of Haggis Hill.
After lunch we headed up the Devil's trail, a reasonably steep grassy track again lined with mushrooms and toadstools, mainly pink and red. A sharp turn to the left took us down along a steep and slippery path into another enchanting glen at the bottom of which we crossed a wee wooden bridge over the Changue burn. Some of the Fly Algaric toadstools there had reached an impressive size. A short sharp uphill path took us back onto a forest track.
A hill on the right is reputed to feature the Devil's footprints, the marks of a Bible and a sword-drawn circle. These marks were made during an altercation between the Devil and the Laird of Changue. One of the perils of living in the countryside, I suppose. There was no sign of any cattle in the field, so most of us spent the next quarter hour wandering happily around the hillside looking for the signs on the grass. Nothing conclusive was observed unfortunately.
We headed down the trail back to the village, enjoying the spectacular views across the glen to forest and hills beyond.
Back at Barr, most of the group enjoyed the hospitality of the local hostelry, the King's Arms, before heading home. It was wonderful to find that the hotel had recently reopened after a period of closure.
It is safe to say that weather conditions were perfect, and they enhanced our experience of one of our favourite walks
Next Saturday's walk is a long (11 miles) walk along the southern shore of the Machars. Meeting times are 9.30am at Breastworks, Stranraer and Riverside, Newton Stewart, and 10am at St Medans beach car park, map ref. NX 365 395
Further information from the Walk Leader at 01671 403351