Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Recce for Cunninghame ramblers. 5 Ben challenge,Island of Arran. may 2014

Getting ready to climb

what a glorious view on a sunny morning

making our way up a rocky path

Coire Fhiorn Lochan

We think the eggs belong to a meadow pipit

We stopped for a breather

A new bridge has been built near to Pirnmill
Yesterday Tuesday May 27th I met up at 6.30AM with 5 other walkers to do a recce for a forthcoming walk for Cunninghame ramblers. On a glorious sunny warm morning we took the ferry to Brodick and the bus to Thunderguy on the West coast of Arran which was our starting point for this fairly challenging 9 mile hike over 6 mountains finishing in Pirnmill. This is a walk I led back in June 2011 for ADRC which entails scaling Meall Bhigg(438M) Meal Bioreac (551M) Meall Donn (643M) Ben Bhreac (711M) Mullach Buidhe (721M) and finally Ben Bharrain (717M) so not a walk for those that do not enjoy a wee challenge. As it was only a recce I will not go into too much detail as a full blog will be posted on July 1st when the group plan to do the walk, all I will say that the weather yesterday was absolutely stunning allowing us views over the Paps of Jura ,Kintyre and beyond to Northern Ireland, thanks to my fellow ramblers for a wonderful day out on what is one of my favourite walks on the lovely Island of Arran.

Monday, 26 May 2014

Wigtownshire ramblers. Kirriereoch to the Merrick. May 2014

Newton Stewart blogger complete with cameras and poles.

First hill was Kirriereoch (786M)

Lots of dark clouds with thunder in the distance

Looking over to Loch Enoch

That is the Merrick up there

Climbing up the Spear

Me with the bear and the deerstalker
Yesterday accompanied by the deerstalker and the bear from Cunninghame ramblers I met my mother group for a good old tough grade "A" walk to Kirriereoch (786M) and onto the mighty  Merrick (843M) via the little spear which is a very steep ascent to the summit. The Newton Stewart blogger was present today and I will as usual refer readers to his professional blog for all the details of the walk. 17 of us did this climb led by the lovely milkmaid on a day which was dry with warm sunshine followed by a shower or two of drizzly rain but reading todays papers how many parts of the country were experiencing flooding we obviously were very lucky. Great day out yet again thanks to my guests and all the members who came along your company made the journey all the more worthwhile. Thanks.

Wigtownshire Ramblers Report 25/05/14
On Sunday 17 ramblers met at Kirriereoch car park for a 9 mile circular hill walk.  The turn-out was higher than expected because many of our members had just returned from the group’s annual walking trip, this year to Wales. Heavy rain was forecast but visibility in the hills was good.
After moving cars to the point where two forest roads meet just past Kirriereoch Farm the ramblers set off along the forest road taking a left fork after nearly 2 miles. Following this track to its conclusion led to a path leading straight ahead through the trees. Down a slope, through a grassy clearing, some overgrown sheep pens mark the way to the Crossburn.  Here the water level was reasonably low and the stream was easily crossed.
A steep pull up towards the Carnirock stone, following a line of old metal fence posts, was quickly rewarded with fine views to the west where Knockdolian near Ballantrae could clearly be seen. Ominous black clouds hovered over the Bennan to the south, and further north Shalloch on the Minoch was obviously undergoing a drenching. It was time to move on.
A shallower gradient and grass eaten down by sheep made the next 1.3 mile walk to the top much easier walking. Stopping only to don waterproofs when light rain started and experiencing relief when the promised deluge failed to materialize, the ramblers soon found themselves at the summit cairn. Views were temporarily obscured by a thick mist swirling over the top and a light breeze made it too cold to stop for long. When the way ahead became visible the group made their way down Kirriereoch towards the ridge leading to the Little Spear where a useful wall provided shelter for lunch.
Refreshed the group were ready to tackle the steep rocky slopes of the Little Spear. On reaching the top of this conical shaped hill, some paused to enjoy the views, but others chose to immediately tackle the final pull up the Merrick where once again mists blew over to spoil the scenery.
A gentle descent along the finger of the Merrick, first above the Black Gairy, then following a dry stone wall and finally the ridge leading to Kirriemore Hill found the ramblers at the final summit cairn for the day. A quick descent past recently felled forestry took the now tired walkers to a forest road and eventually their awaiting cars.
The next walk, on Saturday the 3rd of August, is a 7.5 mile C grade, Dunskey circular. Meet for car sharing at the Riverside, Newton Stewart at 9.00 am and Stranraer Breastworks at 9.30am or at the walk start at Dunskey Tea Room car cark ( NX 003 561) at 10.00am. New members are always welcome but must contact the walk leader on 01776 700707.

Cunninghame ramblers. Bridge of Weir circular. May 2014

Meeting at the start.

River Gryfe (NB. only one F)

One of the many weirs that make up Bridge of Weir

The groups twitcher was in his element today.

I may not have enough sweets to go round

The old Quarriers home awaiting conversion to flats

Many stiles were crossed today

One of many lovely river stretches

A motte near to Kilmacolm

Other landowners please note

How nice to see Madam chairperson arrive a wee bit late due to recent injury.

Walkway through Glen Moss

Cycle path and walkway on the old railway line.

A sculpture known locally as the soldiers

another of the sculptures

A viewing area over the loch

local hostelry is spelt with 2 F's

This is not meant to be a rest area for weary walkers!

A large Kilmacolm residence (bedroom tax exempt?)

Another fine bunch

Always leave the best till last. Mr and Mrs walk leaders
On Saturday Cunninghame ramblers met in the town of Bridge of Weir for a 9 mile walk along the River Gryfe to Kilmacolm returning on the old Glasgow to Port Glasgow railway line which has been tarmaced to form a cycle/walkway.On a lovely dry morning 17 of us left the car park to make our way along the river to Quarriers home which is awaiting development into apartments. Passing by a motte the walkers entered a private estate with tracks for walkers to enjoy the various plants and wildlife,it was here our chairperson and her husband joined us for the rest of the walk. Lunch was taken in an area called Glen Moss which is a nature reserve at the edge of the golf course. From here we had a short road walk through Kilmacolm which is reputed to be one of the wealthiest towns in Scotland due its proximity to Glasgow and the airport, some of the housing has to be the most expensive real estate in Scotland. Similarities to Kilwinning were discussed among the group but no real common denominator could agreed. The last part of the walk was along the old railway line complete with some amazing sculptures that have been constructed to brighten up your day as you enjoy the local countryside. Back at the start the leaders were thanked by everyone, again it had been another successful dry day out in area that this group do not often venture to.

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Cunninghame ramblers. Mid week walk to Culzean with a Barbeque. May 2014

Starting out along the Croy shore.

There is always one who walks on his own!(guess who)

Tip toe through a burn

Madam chairwoman has returned after injury.

Culzean Castle will never look finer in the sunshine.

The minstrels from the castle took to the great outdoors today

and serenaded the ramblers

Going through the walled garden

Serious discussions after the barbie

I could not do it without her

whilst I do my chef with a wee refreshment!!
Today Cunninghame ramblers met on a lovely sunny morning on the shore at Croy for a walk to Culzean estate followed by a barbeque in the afternoon. 23 of us left the car park with myself as leader to enjoy a coastal stroll towards Culzean with all its bird life enjoying the sun and  sea. Once in the estate we stopped at the castle to listen to a lady on the harp and her partner on his guitar serenade us whilst we had a  coffee stop on the ramparts overlooking the Firth of Clyde. Next was a visit to heronary where we saw a nesting heron with her mate guarding the youngsters high up in the canopy of the woods. At this point I handed over the leadership responsibilities to a fellow rambler to enable me to meet Anne at the Maidens to get a lift back to Croy and get the barbie underway. Well, as the walkers returned to the start in the wall to wall warm sunshine the smell of burgers ,chicken and sausages filled the air, everyone was soon tucking into the food. I have to say it myself even though I organised it, the best barbie ever due to the exceptionally fine weather I could not think of a better place to be in the world when Scotland shines out like this in all its glory. Thanks to all who came along today, Anne and I really appreciated your company.

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Wigtownshire ramblers. Cairnryan hills and tracks . May 2014

Leaders briefing at the start

Beginning to climb out of Cairnryan

A breather at the top

Lake Superior (Yes this is in Scotland)

Now there is a happy chap!

Dis used quarry above the port.

Helping hands at the stane dykes

Steep descent and a rather wobbly bridge

Our large group

plus leader.
Today Saturday May 17th I travelled by bus to Cairnryan near Stranraer to meet with my mother group for a 10 mile walk into the hills above the town. 22 of us met of a dry cloudy morning with a forecast of rain later we set off up our first hill to take us to Brockloch Fell forest with its tracks through the woods to  Lake Superior,I had always thought until today we only had one lake in Scotland but if you check the map I was proved wrong (yet again). After a lunch stop our next climb was up Cairn Hill (199M) complete with trig point and wonderful views of Loch Ryan. Passing Meikle Laight reservoir the group then made their way down back to the start completely dry as the forecasted rain did not appear. Thanks to the leader for an excellent walk and for pointing out all the various landmarks visible from these range of hills.
 Again a wee reminder that a full professional blog of today will appear on the Newton Stewart bloggers  page sometime tomorrow Sunday 18th.

Wigtownshire Ramblers – Saturday 17 May 2014 – Cairnryan and Lake Superior

After the exertions of last week’s Newton Stewart Walking Festival twenty one Ramblers assembled at The Merchant House on the main road in Cairnryan.  The weather had been wet and a thin drizzle persisted as we set off through the village and turned up towards the quarry.  Another walker joined us as we puffed up the hill.  Once the quarry was reached the slope levelled off a little and we continued up the road towards the forest.  Here the gate was locked with an impressive chain so we clambered over the barrier and followed the forest road through the woods.  
The rain had now stopped and the skies to the west looked distinctly brighter and blackbirds were singing noisily in the surrounding conifers.  A little further along the road a greylag goose was seen lurking in the mossy ground at the edge of the trees.  She eyed us warily as we tiptoed past but made no move to leave the nest.
After climbing the next rise we came upon Lake Superior, one of the few Lakes in Scotland.  There was considerable speculation as to the derivation of the name.  The lake was apparently created on the upper reaches of the Fellsavery Burn some time in the early 1900s.  The name may have been given by a humorous landowner returning from travels to the Americas.  As we passed another greylag goose lumbered skywards from the water and numerous ducks headed for the far shores.
The loop of road was then closed and we made our way back to the gate where we had lunch in the watery sunshine, using the dyke as shelter from the brisk breeze.  After lunch we passed the ruins of High Croach accompanied by a posse of young lambs.  We then climbed above the quarry and crossed the fields to the trig point on the summit of Cairn Hill.  The views over Loch Ryan with the hustle and bustle of the ferry ports contrasted with the mournful cries of the whaups on the moors behind us.
The route next took us down across the wetter moorland towards the small reservoir at the head of the Glen Burn.  In spite of the recent damp weather the water was only trickling over the lip of the dam in a pair of narrow streams.  We made our way gingerly down the steep bank to a wobbly bridge over the burn below the dam.  This was followed by a steep climb back up to the road serving Meikle Laight.  We turned down the road through the glen.  Along the way we passed numerous rhododendrons flowering magnificently in a variety of colours.
At the bottom of the glen we turned towards Lochryan House and then followed the track back up above the gardens.  The foundations of numerous nissen huts flanked the track with the remnants of a few brick chimneys marking the site of an army camp left over from the last war.  The track descended into the village where we visited the Merchant House for excellent tea, coffee and cakes.
Next week’s event will be a strenuous walk over Kirriereoch and the Merrick on Sunday 25th May. The walk will start from the Kirriereoch car park at 10:00.  Meet at the Breastworks Car Park in Stranraer at 09:00 or the Riverside Car Park in Newton Stewart at 09:30 to share transport.  New members are always welcome but please contact the walk leader on 01776 870231 for full details.