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.

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