Sunday, 17 May 2015

Irvine Valley walking festival. Dean Park to Craufurdland estate. May 2015

Road crosses a ford here

a footbridge gets us over safely.

A walk of many stiles

and another

Entering the estate

Once you catch a fish you have to return it to the water.
Lunch at the tearoom
Craufurdland Castle.

Todays large group.
 Yesterday along with the deerstalker we travelled to Dean Park in Kilmarnock to join our second organised walking festival this week namely the Irvine valley festival. 20 of us met at the visitors centre and after introductions the group headed off through the park on a showery blustery morning. Many stiles were crossed slowing the pace of the group whilst the tricky crossings were negotiated safely. On reaching the Craufurdland estate lunch was taken at the tearoom overlooking the estates fishery with lots of anglers enjoying their sport. On reaching the castle we were indeed honoured to have the laird show us round the property and giving us a brief history of a castle that as been in his families care for some 800 years. The last part of todays walk took us over the main A77 on a small footbridge into a wee country road back to the start. Apart from a couple of minor showers we got a mainly dry day for this very interesting and historical walk. Thanks to the organisers who each year compile a programme of some local and unusual walks taking you to places you did not previously appreciate even though the majority of them are local.

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Newton Stewart walking festival. Straiton to Loch Doon via Ness Glen. May 2015

One of many fences that were crossed

Craigengillan house and gardens.

Group listening to the history of the gardens
Your two leaders today.

On the summit of Monument Hill.
On Tuesday May 12th along with the teacher we were privileged to lead a group from the Newton Stewart Annual walking festival. On a clear dry windy morning 21 of us set out from Straiton to climb Monument hill with myself as leader to take us over the moors towards Dalmellington. It was extremely windy and in places soft underfoot but this was a hardy group and after a couple of hours we reached the summit of Auchenroy Hill overlooking Dalmellington. This was where lunch was plannned for but due to the high winds we carried on to lower slopes where we found some shelter and took our break there.On entering Craigengillan Estate passed the site of my infamous accident in 2012 a trip round the gardens had been arranged for the group where we had a very interesting tour with the lady of the house explaining all the history attached to the estate and the work that had been carried out since taking possession of the property back in 2000.The last part of the walk was through the wonderful Ness Glen with its high sided gorges allowing some  sunlight to come
through the trees made this a very memorable end to a very interesting walk. Your leaders hope you all enjoyed the day and  look forward to seeing you all again next year.

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Wigtownshire ramblers. Smyrton to Finnarts Bay on Clyde Coastal path. May 2015

We took the bus to the start.

Going past Glenapp Castle.

We admired the flower pot men.

A break high above the Clyde.

Ailsa Craig.

This took walking the plank to a new meaning!

The age of chivalry is not dead.

We stopped in this lovely bay for lunch.

"G.I." Joe was our leader today.
Yesterday with the deerstalker and a fellow rambler from Kilmarnock we journeyed to Finnarts Bay just north of Cairnryan to meet with Wigtownshire ramblers to do a 10 mile walk from the small  hamlet of Smyrton onto the Clyde Coastal path back to the start. As there were two walks on, the large group of 33 split into two groups one to climb Penderry  to Carlock Hill. As I have been a wee bit off colour recently I opted for the low level supposedly easier walk. 16 of us caught the bus to Smyrton and started off walking down through the lovely Glenapp Castle estate with all its different trees including the giant sequoia which we stopped to admire.From here we ventured out of the shelter of the estate onto the cliffs high above the sea where the wind was picking up with the threat of rain coming in from the south west. A blustery walk was undertaken on good dry ground until we reached Currarie Bay where we had our lunch break watching the ever closing in rain clouds approaching. The afternoon part of the walk was wet and very windy making for arduous conditions until we reached the lower slopes of Glen App which gave us shelter from the weather. Once back at the start the first group headed off to Cairnryan for home made scones with strawberry jam and clotted cream washed down with several cups of freshly brewed tea and coffee.Thanks to G I Joe for his leadership today, he told us it was an easy walk but he had not taken in to account the difficult windy conditions we experienced on the moors high above Glen App.Well lead under the circumstances.