Monday, 21 April 2014

Wigtownshire ramblers. Portpatrick circular. April 2014

What a beautiful day to go a coastal walk

First the climb out of the village

Passing Dunsky castle

Some of the older members had to take a break!

Looking down on Knockinaam Lodge.

Passing through one of the many gates

Takes you to a WW2 listening station

We arrive down at the lodge

Now we had a couple of miles road walking

A herd of aptly named "Belted Galloways"

Lunch stop was beside this waterfall

Only thing missing was Billy Connolly
The hotels were very busy in the warm sunshine
Todays group
With our leader.
On Saturday I travelled by bus to Portpatrick in South West Scotland to join my mother group for an 8 mile coastal walk .As my mentor "The Newton Stewart Blogger"is preparing the press report I will use his text as my blog today..As I am having blog problems this morning with my spacing I hope it comes out OK.

Here's the report
Saturday the 19th of April

On a dry spring morning with the sun shining, sixteen ramblers gathered at Portpatrick's South Car Park for today's coastal and countryside walk.
Already people were congregating in this popular village to enjoy the Easter weekend at the seaside.
Climbing the many steps to the cliff tops we were joined by another rambler to take the group total to seventeen.
We were soon passing the ruins of Dunskey Castle and dropping down to cross the bridge over Craigoch burn.
Early day caravanners were setting up on the best sites.
Even this early in the walk we were seeing an abundance of spring flowers. The daffodils at Portpatrick were giving way to primroses, bluebells, violets and celandine. Later in the walk we would see wood sorrel and anemone and a lone wild orchid.
Solar haze meant the absence of distant views, but we were treated to nesting seabirds and a variety of fishing and pleasure craft out to sea.
After passing through a number of kissing gates we were soon looking down on the holiday cottages of Morroch Bay.
Here too was the intriguing sign declaring the 'Path to Hush-Hush'.
A gradual descent brought us down to the Antonlew Glen, Port of Spittal Bay and the Knockinaam Lodge Hotel.
It's remote location made it an ideal setting for a secret meeting between Sir Winston Churchill and General Eisenhower during the Second World War to discuss the D-Day plans. It also featured in John Buchans 'The Thirty-nine Steps' as the house to which Hannay fled. An erected marquee in the hotel grounds gave speculation to a possible wedding party later in the day.
Accessing the beach, we enjoyed a fifteen minute tea and coffee break.
Reluctantly leaving the beach we climbed the road alongside the tumbling Port of Spittal burn up to the Portree road. Here, as we turned north a brightly coloured peacock made an appearance.
Gypsy Vanner horses grazed in adjoining fields.
A gradual climb brought us to North Port o' Spittal where delightful Jacob Suffolk cross bred sheep and lambs eyed our passing with suspicion.
In other fields we saw Belted Galloways, Shetland ponies, pheasants and rabbits.
Soon we were alongside the ruins of Hush-Hush, once a world war two radar listening post hence it's name. The name has more appeal than the actual indistinct rectangular brick building.
With views over Portpatrick and the surrounding countryside we made our way back to Portree where we lunched by the waterfall on the Craigoch burn.
After lunch we made our way past the increasingly busy holiday parks to Portree Terrace from where a short steep climb brought us to Heugh Road.
Here we passed an intriguing garden filled with oriental ornaments, standing stones and Easter Island type statues.
A short walk along the A77 brought us to the farm track to Dunskey Mains Farm. With a profusion of wild garlic along the verges we now made our way down the wooded Dunskey Glen to emerge at Sandeel Bay.
On our way back along the coastal path to Portpatrick, we occasionally had to give way to the increasing number of casual walkers and daytrippers out this Easter weekend.
Back in Portpatrick, the place was awash with people. The outdoor seating areas of the hotels and bars were filled to capacity while cars drove around the car parks looking for spaces.
Knowing how busy Portpatrick would be, our walk leader had arranged our after walk refreshments at Brambles in Stranraer.
Our car spaces were quickly filled as we left the port. Now we made our way to Commerce Road in Stranraer. Fruit scones, cherry and apple pie, tea and coffee capped a wonderful day out in the spring sunshine.

The next walk on Saturday the 26th of April is a new moderate walk in the central Machars.
Meet at the Breastworks car park in Stranraer at 9.15 am or the Riverside car park in Newton Stewart at 9.30 am for car sharing. The walk will begin at 10am at Clauchrie Forest Gate (NX 401 556). For more information or if going direct to the walk start telephone the walk leader on 01671 403351. New walkers will be warmly welcomed. 


  1. Cheeky ! My excuse is I've had a hard life. We just got back as your bus was leaving I think. Was that you waving to us ?

  2. I managed to catch an earlier bus that took me to Stranraer via Knock and all sorts of back roads a truly memorable journey HA HA