Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Cunninghame ramblers mid week walk on the River Ayr. October 2014

Lovely sunny day after yesterdays rain.

Wallace Burns Cairn at Oswald bridge.

Some large Fungi was spotted

He just loves talking to the horses

Passing the West of Scotland University campus in Ayr.

Known locally as tomato lane
The twitcher was our leader
of a very jovial group. 
Today on a lovely crisp Autumn day 20 of us gathered at Auchencruive college car park for a 10 mile walk into the town of Ayr on the River Ayr way. First stop was the Wallace Burns cairn before crossing over a very muddy field to return to  the river at the by pass just outside the town. Quick coffee stop and we made our way into Ayr stopping at various points of interest. Lunch in the grounds of the Auld Kirk was followed by a lovely 5 mile walk on the other side of the river back to the start. A super walk with various sightings of birds including one of a kingfisher which are very hard to spot. Thanks to our twitcher leader who was leading his first walk for the group,it was a great success sir.                         

Cunninghame ramblers 30th anniversary celebrations. October 2014

Sheltering from the rain before we got started

The plaque to commemorate our 30th anniversary

Trying to avoid the puddles.

I got a brolly for my Christmas!!!!!

Trees have now taken on their autumn colours.

Perhaps Scottish Water would like to sponsor us.

Passing the remains of Eglinton Castle.

This tasty cake was shared by all at lunchtime.

The groups founder (right) with our oldest member (left)
Yesterday was a very special day for Cunninghame ramblers who had their 30th anniversary celebrations in Eglinton Country park just outside Irvine. A new 3 mile path was constructed by the group in conjunction with North Ayrshire council and the local rangers with clear signage all the way round. We were joined  by representatives of Ramblers Scotland along with several dignitaries from other local rambling groups. Unfortunately it was a wet morning when we started to make our way along the new path however after about half an hour it cleared up and we were able to complete the walk in comparitively dry conditions except for the flooding underfoot  caused by all the recent rain that has fallen in the west of Scotland. The walk was followed by a buffet lunch where we were joined by the founder of the group and also our longest serving member who until recently was a regular walker handing out sweets to all her fellow ramblers. Thanks to our committee for working so hard to make the day a real nostalgic success with lots of stories of the group over the last 30 years. .

Racing at Ayr . October 2014

The racegoers
On Monday October 27 the deerstalker hosted lunch at Western House hotel followed by an afternoons racing on the hallowed turf. Two friends from Stanley which is 6 miles out of the fair city of Perth joined us to make it a most enjoyable day out ,thanks to our hostess for her hospitality.

Monday, 27 October 2014

Ayr and District ramblers. Craigengillan Estate circular by Dalmellington. October 2014

Passing a memorial garden on our way to Craigengillan

Dalcairney Falls.

Coffee break under a tree.

Equestrian pastimes are encouraged on the estate

Someone has to do the mucking out.

My walks always have a tree lined avenue in them

Lovely restored cottage with a thatched roof.

Craigengillan House
The leader always makes an appearance in the blog
Todays group seek shelter from a passing shower
Yesterday Sunday October 27 on a dreich breezy morning 9 of us braved the elements with myself as leader for a 9 mile circular walk round Craigengillan Estate near to the town of Dalmellington.Fistly we walked along a riverside with two seperate sightings of dippers at play in the water. Once we were in the estate the light rain we had experienced at the start ceased to make it a little more pleasant to make our way up to Dalcairney Falls which were not quite in full flow which was a little surprising given all the rain that has fallen in the last few days.From here the group made their way up to the dark sky observatory which unfortunately was closed today probably due to the lack of visitors to the estate on a wet day.Again the rain stopped as we made our way towards the Bellsbank path when one of our group suggested an alternative route (same one that suggested an alternative route when I had a wee acident) anyway unperturbed the group made their way along a most wonderful dry path enclosed by a magnificent forest to make the going so much more pleasant before rejoining our original path. Arriving back at the cars we all agreed that the conditions were not too bad for that kind of walk and it was a lot better than sitting at home looking out the window.

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Bus holiday to Folkstone,Canterbury,Calais and Bruges. October 2014

The tour bus.

Our hotel built to resemble a ship.

A replica spitfire

The main reason for our visit

to remember my father.

We also visited this museum at Marston

This spitfire has been beautifully restored

the lovely sunny town of Deal, England

Anne attempting to navigate us round Bruges in Belguim.

the main square.

Colourful beach huts in Folkstone.

A victorian cable railway

Adjusting the water weights before we set off

we both hope they get it right!!

One of many world war 11 lookout towers on the Kent coast

reminds you of Dame Vera Lynn
On Monday October 20 Anne and I left Glasgow on a 4 day coach trip to Folkstone in Kent with day trips to Calais,Bruges,Canterbury and many places of interest.Arriving at our hotel the Grand Burstin  situated at the harbour in Folkstone we checked in to a pleasant room overlooking the Channel with lots of boats passing by on their way to  ports around the globe. The hotel was very clean with good wholesome food only downside was it is used by so many different tour operators that the decor and furnishings could do with a wee bit of upgrading. Up early on the Tuesday and our coach took us the short trip to the Channel Tunnel where we boarded the train and 30 minutes later we were in France and off to the local hypermarket to stock up mainly on alcohol products. Next we were whisked off to Belgium to a tobacco warehouse for more cheap fags and chocolates. Lunch was in the beautiful city of Bruges with all its churches and old buildings. Back on the coach and in a fairly short time we were soon back in the tunnel  to England having successfully avoided several hundred assylum  seekers trying to smuggle themselves onto any of the buses or lorries as they waited in the queue to board the train Pleasant meal in the evening followed by a visit to the local Wetherspoons for some fine real ales.Wednesday was our day to visit some memorial sites to the Battle of Britain where my father proudly served his country as a spitfire pilot back in 1941. There is lots of memorabilia at a new museum situated on top of the cliffs outside Folkstone in a town called Capel Le Ferne, my father is remembered on a wall alongside all other airmen who flew in this major  battle.Next stop was a museum situated at Marsden Airport which co-incidentally is owned Anne Gloag of Stagecoach bus fame who is not very popular with the locals as her plans for the future of the airport is for new housing. This museum houses an actual Spitfire that flew in the war and has been painstakingly restored by a team of enthusiasts. Canterbury city in the afternoon was interesting with lots of old buldings and hundreds of tourists enjoying the famous cathedral.Again after dinner we ventured out to Wetherspoons to round off a very pleasant interesting day.On Thursday it was a relatively free day to explore the town of Folkstone and generally have good walk in an area we really have only passed through earlier on in our lives en route to France. Early bed as it was off sharp on Friday morning for the long coach journey home with our fellow passengers who had now fully stocked themselves up with enough cigarettes and alcohol to last them until their next trip, some of them make regular crossings to France using the opportunity to combine their shopping with a wee holiday.In conclusion for the money we paid (£129 each) it was well worth it for 5 days away to a milder climate at this time of the year with all the coach trips included and the services of a guide to point out lots of interesting places to visit.We will definitely do another bus holiday in the near future.

Friday, 17 October 2014

Glasgow Oktoberfest. October 2014

Me and my son.

The evening is progressing well.

This "big" girl was one of the serving wenches.

All good things must come to an end!
Last night my son and I visited the Glasgow Oktoberfest on Glasgow Green. Basically it is an enormous tent with seating for 3000 folk ,expensive strong German beer and loud foot stomping music. It was a great atmosphere with lots of singing and dancing. Great night out ,thanks Glasgow for putting on yet another very successful event in this memorable year for the city.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Cunninghame ramblersmid week walk. 8 mile circular on the Fairlie moors. October 2014

Super morning for a walk

Elevenses in the sunshine

This is the only tree left on the moor.

Wreckage from a World War 11 plane

Lots of tussocks today
Windswept group high above the Clyde.

Our smiling leader.
 Yesterday Tuesday October 14 Cunninghame ramblers met at Farlie railway station for an 8 mile walk over the top of the moors and return by Kelburn Estate. 13 of set off up a sttep climb up the glen on a gloriously sunny cool morning, once we reached the moorland the wind was blowing a wee hooley making for some wonderfully clear conditions across the Firth of Clyde. After crossing over to Brown Hill (344M) we came across the remaians of a  World Warr 11 plane before descending to a road which took us back towards Kelburn Estate where we found a sheltered spot for our lunch stop. The last 3 miles or so was on a stiff muddy track above the estate back to the forest to pick up the path down to the station to end a pleasant day out in the autumn sunshine. Our leader did his best to keep us altogether in some quite difficult terrain, well done sir.