Sunday, 28 September 2014

Wigtownshire ramblers. Glenapp to Cairnryan. September 2014

Leader explaining todays route.

This guy came down to see us.

Jackets were soon being packed away as it got warmer.

A lot of the forest had been felled improving our path.

Todays group

plus our leader.
Yesterday Saturday September 27th I journeyed by bus to Cairnryan to meet with Wigtownshire ramblers for a 8 mile walk starting at Finnarts Bay . It was a pleasantly cool morning once we had taken another bus to our start point at the head of Loch Ryan. A good track saw us all heading up the glen towards Glenapp Church before carefully crossing the main A77 onto an old drovers road up onto the hills with its panoramic views across the Irish seas to Northern Ireland. Our leader had found an excellent spot for lunch in an area which had been recently felled providing us with tree stumps to sit on and also superb views.Crossing over the moorland we arrived at the dis-used world war 2 gunnery perched high above the loch giving our troops plenty of opportunity to scare away any potential invaders.At this point the teacher and I left the group to make a hurried descent down to the village where we caught the earlier bus home to end a nice autumn walk. Thanks to the leader for showing us a slightly different route today to the one most of us had done in our rambling careers.

Footnote: Scoop will provide me with more photos and the press report of the walk later on today which I will publish on this post.
Extra photos are shown first .

Here's Scoop's report
Twenty three walkers, many making use of their precious bus passes, helped to fill the bus which took them from Cairnryan to the turnoff on the A77 to Finnarts Bay.  After introducing a new walker and welcoming back one who had rejoined them after an enforced absence, the leader gave a brief description of the walk before setting off down towards the bay.
After passing what used to be a fish factory and using the beautifully restored bridge over the Water of App, the group walked along the hard track beside Garry Wood, the trees in which are starting to wear autumnal colours.  A few moments were taken to admire a magnificent bull amongst a field of cows before they passed Finnarts Farm and continued on along the tree lined road track to reach the Bridge of the Mark, re-crossing the river to gain the A77.  The traffic was braved for a hundred metres before turning into the track leading up towards Wee Leith Hill. This is the Glen App to Stranraer section of the Mull of Galloway Trail.

Now the walking became harder as the zig-zagging climb began, frequent stops for breath, drinks of water and photo taking essential. Gaining height, we were soon able to look back down to Glenapp Church and the rhododendrons on the opposite hill. The rhododendrons once spelled out ‘Elsie’ but now only the odd letter can be guessed at.  An information board told us a little of the life of Elsie Mackay, daughter of the 1st Earl of Inchcape, who found fame as an actress and who became a very competent pilot.  She was lost over the Atlantic on her bid to become the first pilot to cross it, east to west.  The view across Glen App was a spectacular one over heather, bracken and trees with their changing colours, while the entrance to Loch Ryan and the Mull of Kintyre showed pale blue to the west.
Our track now became a forestry one with much evidence of the massive cull of Larch trees owing to widespread disease.  However, the views have now opened up to give us a bigger perspective of the area.  Logs were piled high beside the route and tree stumps were in abundance – giving the Ramblers perfect seating for lunch as they neared the edge of Low Marsh Forest.
Blood sugar brought back to satisfactory levels, the group started their descent, turning westwards above Old Park of the Gleick, looking across the loch to the North Rhins of Galloway.  A farmer had expressed his opinion on Scottish independence with a resounding ‘NO’, ploughed into a field.  After crossing the almost dry Galloway burn and looking down on the ferry terminals of Cairnryan there was a last uphill trek to the Taxing Stane  where once travellers had to pay to use the road crossing between Wigtownshire and Ayrshire, and to the Gcon gun battery of Little Laight Hill.  An information board informed us that this marked the burial-place of Alpin, the King of Dalriada and father of Kenneth McAlpine, King of the Scots, killed in 741 in Glenapp.
Turning away from the track near Little Laight, the walkers descended to pass through Meikle Laight and were delighted to watch while sheep were having their toe nails clipped – lying on their backs, on a table, feet upwards!   An offer was made to the group to have theirs done but they were on the move again, heading for the reservoir and weir close by.
From there it was a lovely descent through woodlands, following the course of Glen Burn, to reach the cars in the north car park of Cairnryan.  Most of the group gathered again to enjoy the excellent refreshments provided at the Merchants House – they are highly recommended by the Wigtownshire Ramblers!
The walk on Saturday 4th October is an 8 mile C grade figure of eight walk at the Mull of Galloway.  Meet for car sharing at the Riverside, Newton Stewart at 9am, at Port Rodie, Stranraer or the walk start at the Mull of Galloway (NX 154 304) at 10am.  For further details or if going to the start please phone the walk leader on 01776 840636. New members are always welcome.

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Wigtownshire ramblers. Cairnharrow to Creetown liner walk. September 2014

Todays very large group

Our leader with his camera.

Making our way up Cairnharrow(456M)

Everyone took a well earned rest at the summit.

Looks like a serious conversation.

Lunch on a stone circle.

Our charismatic walk leader.
Yesterday with the deerstalker and teacher we traveled to the south west of Scotand to join Wigtownshire ramblers on 9 mile linear walk starting at Barholm Bridge over the hill back to Creetown. Our leader was none other than the Newton Stewart blogger so with that in mind I will make my post brief and will publish his press report later when it becomes available. 31 of us started out on cloudy warm morning with a fairly steady climb to the summit of Cairnharrow (456M) followed by a steep descent to a prehistoric stone circle which made an ideal lunch stop. Another climb followed up Cambret to the masts at the top giving us some lovely views over the River Cree estuary. A mixture of road and tracks now took the group back down to Creetown with a visit to the Gem museum for tea and coffee. A reasonably tough walk with a very large group made the leaders job quite difficult trying to keep us all together and as usual one or two of us strayed from the main party to be suitably scolded on our return Sorry sir won't happen again until the next time. (Only kidding) thanks for a great day.
Some extra photos have arrived from Scoop .

Walk Report
Thirty one walkers  assembled at the Robert Adam designed 18th century bridge at Kirkdale for the walk.Unfortunately a short way into the walk, one of our seasoned members turned back when she realized that the viral infection she was carrying wouldn't get her over the hills.
The first section took us past the 18th century Kirkdale water driven sawmill, one of only a few left in Scotland. 
A steady incline on the tarmac road took us past the entrance gate to Barholm Castle, a onetime stronghold of the McCulloch Clan,and a hiding place of the reformist John Knox.
Just beyond Barholm we turned north. With Cairnholy Glen below us to the west we continued along the potholed road leading to Claughreid.
A holiday cottage belonging to the actor Martin Shaw was pointed out.
After road walking almost two kilometres we gained softer ground entering the lower slopes between Barholm Hill and Cairnharrow. Now the incline became steeper and we were soon gaining height.
Behind and below us Wigtown Bay and Fleet Bay would occasionally stand out in the patchy sunshine. 
A zig zag climb on sheep and quad bike tracks eventually got us to the 1500 ft summit of Cairnharrow. With low lying cloud over the Galloway hills views were in limited supply, but across Wigtown Bay landmarks in the Machars and the South Rhins could be identified.

We took a short sweetie break at the summit of Cairnharrow before making a careful descent to the col between Cairnharrow and Cambret.
During the descent we disturbed quite a number of black grouse. A full sized red deer was also spotted running away. Bright purple heather was in full bloom. 
At the remains of a stone circle and a large round Neolithic burial tomb cairn we stopped for lunch. The cairn made for great seating.
After lunch we crossed the Cauldside Burn, barely noticeable because of the lack of rain, a drystone dyke and a barbed wire fence.
On the lower slopes of Cambret Hill we viewed the cup and ring marks on a slab of rock. The markings were barely perceptible until a ray of sunshine highlighted the the rings.
A steep climb took us up to the masts and satellite dishes atop Cambret where we regrouped ready for a length of road-walking.
Now we descended to the Corse of Slakes road. Harebells and Grass of Parnassus were among the wild flowers spotted on the verges.
Now a fair distance of road walking took us across the Englishman's and Billy Diamond Bridges passing the extensive plantations of the Garrocher Christmas tree farm.
At Garrocher ponds we paused to look at the wooden roundhouse and the wire man, Creebaby. It was created in 2011 by sculptor Alex Rigg and originally had roses and clematis climbing the frame. It's bare now, but is still an impressive sculpture.
Our route now took us through Balloch Wood where various fungi grew in abundance.
We emerged from the woods at Creehenge, the stone circle featuring seven large illustrated blocks of granite. Here we took a moment to read some of the inscribed Haiku verses compiled by the pupils of Creetown Primary School under the guidance of the Galloway born poet Lucy Burnett. 
Now a short walk through Creetown brought us to the Gem Rock Museum and the walk finish.
After car drivers had been ferried back to collect their vehicles, we gathered in the Gem Rock cafe for after walk tea, coffee, scones and other delights. A fitting end to a cracking walk.

The next walk, on Saturday the 27th of September will be a 7 mile, C+ linear walk from Finnarts Bay to Cairnryan.
Meet at the Riverside car park Newton Stewart at 8.45 am, the Breastworks, Stranraer at 9.15 am for car sharing, or at Cairnryan for the bus (NX 060 697) at 9.45 am. Remember to bring your bus pass.
New members are always welcome, for more information or if going to the bus stop in Cairnryan, contact the walk leader on 01581 200256
the gruesome twosome

This is scoop.

Awaiting our turn to cross the dyke.

A barbed wire fence

Looking back to Cairnharrow.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Barony Hill by Dailly. September 2014

Teacher with his German guest
Yesterday I met the teacher in Dailly with a gentleman from Germany who was a guest of his visiting the west coast of Scotland. Unfortunately it was a wee bit misty which was disappointing as we were both very keen to show off how magnificent this part of Scotland can be.Great day for a walk we have done several time before. Safe journey back to Germany on Friday Mein herr it was a real pleasure meeting you.

South Ayrshire ramblers. Howood to Kilbarchan in Renfrewshire. September 2014

Meeting at Howood railway car park

Nobody wanted to pose on the bike.

What a fine morning for a walk

We decided the steps were for access to a signal box.

Nice to see Renfrewshire also has large potholes on the roads.

Again nobody was prepared to have a go on the ropes!

How not to cross a style

This wee guy came to greet at us in the village.

A rather fine example of a town centre church

An old bridge was put to good use

Did not see any newts on bikes today

Fine example of what can be achieved with a dis used railway line.

The foley on Kenmuir Hill near Howood.

Our small group

headed up by Mr and Mrs walk leaders.
First of all my apologies for a late posting but this was due to internet connections being down in the Alloway exchange for repairs.
On Saturday September 13 South Ayrshire ramblers met at the car park next to Howood railway station for a 9 mile walk along old railway lines to the village of Kilbarchan in Renfrewshire. There were only 11 of us on the walk as ADRC were away in Aviemore for the weekend thus depleting our numbers. On a warm misty morning we set off onto the line to Kilbarchan where our leaders had reccied a lovely woodland walk around the village giving us  an opportunity to enjoy the views coupled with local history of the area. After our lunch stop we retraced our steps to Howood with a visit to the foley that stands proud on Kenmuirhil. Several versions of why it was built in the first place were fully discussed without any real conclusions being reached. Arriving back at the cars the leaders were thanked for a very interesting varied walk to an area that a few of us had not visited before .

Friday, 12 September 2014

Cunninghame ramblers. Cock of Arran circular.September 2014

Conditions were perfect.

We have stopped here before.

Lunch in the sun

This was the fast group.

This fine group walked to Glenashdale Falls.
On Wednesday September 10th Cunninghame ramblers sailed off from Ardrossan to the lovely Island of Arran. Arriving in Brodick 4 of the ladys decided to go south to do a shorter walk to Glenashdale Falls whilst the rest headed off north toLochranza to walk round what is known as the Cock of Arran. 18 of us alighted from the bus to start a fairly gradual climb on a perfectly sunny warm morning to head over to the coast at Laggan cottage. At this point our leader sensed we had two distinct groups out today and suggested the faster walkers may want to go on first and this would allow the slower group to enjoy the sunshine at a more leisurely pace.I was in the first lot who soon arrived at Laggan cottage situated at the base of some rather majestic heather clad hills. After a lunch stop we started out heading north around the shore which was extremely difficult in places due to the large boulders. Slow progress was made with one or two minor falls which did not alter the enjoyment of this beautiful part of the island. Arriving back in Lochranza we were able to catch the earlier ferry back home to end the most wonderful day out to what must have been the best possible weather conditions  to complete this type of 8 mile walk.

PS. More photos are due to be published but I am still awaiting for them to arrive. Also thanks to Madam Chair for her contribution to todays blog.

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Brown Carrick hill circular. September 2014

The deerstalker with her men.

Yesterday on a beautifully calm morning 4 of us left the car park at Greenan Castle to walk to Dunure and returning back over the Carrick Hills. The views were not so good as it was so calm there was no breeze to clear the mist away.Total distance of about 13 miles with a couple of new wee twists to try out different routes on a well known walk.

Sorry about the fonts on this post it is a recurring problem I am experiencing and will have to consult my  blog mentor for a solution.