Sunday, 24 November 2013

Wigtownshire ramblers. Ballantrae circular November 2013

Shetland ponies enjoying the grass.

He at last found someone to talk to!

Still in bloom despite the recent frosts.

My famous tree lined avenue.
One wind destroyed mobile home.

Now you know how sheep must feel!!

Ah the age of chivalry lives on.

A very fine sunlit Ailsa Craig

Some of us actually got a sweetie out of him

An MG Midget in need of restoration.

Walkers at the base of a sequoia tree

Todays large group

with me as the leader.
Yesterday Saturday November  23 I was privileged to be the walk leader for my mother group on a lovely calm cloudy autumn day in Ballantrae situated on the Firth of Clyde. This was an 8 mile circular walk and as walk leader I have to prepare a report to be published in the local press hence the reason I will not wax lyrical on as my report will be published here once my learned colleague "Lofty" has edited and corrected it to make it fit for publication.I must mention here that usually I refer you to my blog mentors page on the groups walks where you always find a very professional post of the outing but due to his impending holiday to Memphis Tennessee in his quest to find "Elvis" he was unable to attend yesterday, we all wish him well and look forward to to hearing all his stories and blog of the trip.

                                  Walk Leaders report.

On Saturday November 23rd Wigtownshire Ramblers made their way to Ballantrae in South Ayrshire for an 8 mile circular walk in the surrounding hills and countryside.  On a calm cloudy morning 25 ramblers assembled at the shore car park. A short walk took us to the remains of Ardstinchar Castle which was built in the 15th century by the Kennedy family.  It was later was demolished to use the stone to build a bridge over the nearby River Stinchar.
We then walked up the quiet road on the south side of the Stinchar valley.  On entering the grounds of Laggan House via the imposing gates it was noted that the track into the caravan site had been extensively upgraded.  This made for a very pleasant 2 mile walk through the woods which were still bearing some of their autumn colours.  At the caravan site we noticed the remains of one of the large mobile homes that the recent winds had totally destroyed.
Leaving the site we went through the peaceful hamlet of Heronsford where the country road climbs gently up to the large house of Crailoch with its commanding views across the fields to the Firth of Clyde.  Leaving the hard road behind it was now onto an old track which once formed the main entrance to the house complete with one of Scotland’s finest tree lined beech avenues. Our leader told us that, if you used your imagination, you could visualise the wonderful horses and their grand carriages making their way along to the house.  It took some imagination as the cattle had recently been using it for shelter.  The track then followed the contours towards the head of Glen App with wide views over the Clyde estuary.  The islands in the Firth were sporadically illuminated by patches of sunlight which gave an ever-changing scene.
Passing down through the quiet village of Smyrton we entered the estates of Glenapp Castle which were completely carpeted in autumn leaves lit up by the sunlight poking through the large trees.  We stopped to admire two very fine examples of Sequoia trees which are among the world’s tallest, sometimes also known as Californian Redwoods.  Moving down through the woods we also passed several man made dams which were used to store the water for use in producing power for the old mill and castle in days gone by.  
The last part of our ramble was on a minor country road back to car park before adjourning to the local garden centre for the now traditional afternoon tea and scones to round off an excellent day out.
Next week’s walk is a 10 mile circular walk around Stranraer and the local countryside.  Meet at Riverside car park in Newton Stewart 9:30am to share transport.  The walk will start from the Breastworks car park, Stranraer 10:00am.  Visitors most welcome and if you require any further details please telephone the walk leader on 01776 700707.

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