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.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for joining us Gordon, you always brighten up the atmosphere one way or another !!