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Sunday, 23 March 2008

Wigtownshire Ramblers-Ballantrae

Saturday the 21st and todays walk is at Ballantrae.
For some time i've been under the misapprehension that Alfred Nobel's scottish factory was here.After a bit of investigation i've discovered it's further north at Ardeer near Irvine.

After meeting up at the carpark i realised i'd forgotten my gloves,so i went back for them and made my own way to the walk start.
A fair sized gathering of walkers today,18 or 19.
A little cloudy as we set off,but occasional glimpses of the sun.
Just on the edge of the village we come upon our first point of interest.

This is all that remains of Ardstinchar Castle built in the 15th Century.It's closed to the public due to it's condition.

Apparently it's been in ruins for some time,and much of the castle stone was used in the 1770's to build this bridge over the river Stinchar.

As usual all the walkers are in good form,although one walker is a little apprehensive after a five month lay off due to an achilles injury.

We now head east and pass this cottage with an old cigarette advertising sign.

A short break at the lodge house of the Laggan estate.

Continuing on towards Laggan we've now clearer views of Knockdolian.Also known as the 'False Craig' due to it's similarity to Ailsa Craig out from Girvan.
Now on the Laggan estate and the entrance to the caravan park.

A lovely new septic tank awaits new construction.

I dont think this can be Laggan house.It doesn't appear to be anything like this old postcard view.

At first glance it looks as though there's going to be a new supermarket along here.Surely not.Probably borrowed safety shuttering.But dont take my word for it,they're sneaky enough to do something like this.

We take another short break in the caravan park.

And back on the road again.

We come to this war memorial commemorating Major Denzil Hughes Onslow and others of the Laggan estate.A lovely web page about this memorial can be found at

Open countryside the sun keeps appearing and it's lambing season.Beautiful!

This lovely whitewashed house may be part of Polcardoch farm.

Another short break...

....and over in this field are the remains of St Cuthberts church demolished in 1819.
Kirk-Cuthbert eventually became Kirkcudbright,the same as the the town of the same name.

On down to the river Tig and over this rusting bridge where we stopped for lunch.

Following sanwiches a nice surprise came in the shape of chocolate easter eggs brought along by a forward thinking and leading member of the group.

Back over the bridge retracing part of the route,we follow up the Tig valley or should i say glen,before turning back to the west... this junction.

And soon the top of that wonderful landmark of Ailsa Craig comes into view.

Views also from here of Ireland,Arran,Mull of Kintyre and the North Rhins.A distant haze today wouldn't do any pictures justice.

And looking back towards Knockdolian more sheep and lambs grazing.

Back at the Laggan Lodge house a final break is taken.

The last stretch back into Ballantrae...

...and Curly's not even out of breath.
A very enjoyable and scenic walk.

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