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Sunday, 25 May 2008

Wigtownshire Ramblers-Isle of Whithorn to Garlieston

It's Saturday the 24th of May,and todays walk is a coastal walk from the Isle of Whithorn to Garlieston.I'm not in top form at the moment,but decided i'd go anyway.

Car sharing from Newton Stewart and we head for Garlieston.We're taking the 10.35 bus to the Isle of Whithorn.

Nineteen walkers soon fill the regular 415 service,and 25 minutes later we disembark at the Isle.

It's a little windy and overcast.A good day for walking.

The bus has deposited us almost on the edge of the village,and as we set off along the Garlieston road we view the Isle Castle which is one of the village's oldest buildings.
The pace is a moderate one,but i'm distracted by muscle pain in my right leg..

..and not paying enough attention to the views.
A short history lesson at Portyerrock Bay.
This is a passage from Garliestons own Website.

In Garlieston square is a boulder erected to commemorate the part played by Garlieston in 1943-1944, when full scale sea trials of the structures and ideas which resulted in the floating Mulberry Harbours, installed off Normandy immediately after D-Day to supply the armies in the Battle of France. Garlieston was chosen as a secret location for its trials because of the large rise and fall of tides on an exposed coast, similar to that of Normandy. The harbour, Rigg Bay, and Portyerrock Bay were areas of frantic activity at this time, used to test and discard unsuccessful ideas and develop the successful one with the best procedures and gadgets for assembly, securing, towing and planting. From the harbour one can see two wrecked "beetles", pontoons stranded on Eggerness rocks , and at Rigg Bay, the metal structure with cormorants nesting on it is what remains of a "hippo", one of the unsuccessful proposals.

Portyerrock House...

...and Portyerrock Mill next to the Millers cottage nicely restored
Here we take the coastal path.

Lots of gates provided for walkers.

And now craggy cliffs,belted galloways and remnants of long ago military activity.

Time for refreshments.This break takes away my muscle pain,and the second half of the walk becomes much more enjoyable.

Back on the move...

...and single file on the narrow path.

While driving from the Isle of Whithorn to Garlieston,i've been intrigued by this odd looking structure.Today i find out what it is.

A fisherman baits up,there's supposedly Mullet,Pollack,Bass,Wrasse and Dogfish to be caught.A local walker says he'll catch Mackeral.

There are lots of seabirds along this coast,and a lot of them are cormorants.

Over this wee burn,and we're getting closer to the odd structure.

Behind and to the west we can see Palmallet Loch and further west is Whithorn.

And now we take a few moments at the teapot lid.This is all that remains of Cruggleton Castle.The site has probably been used since the iron age.What's left here dates back to the 13th century.It became a ruin towards the end of the 17th century.Unless it gets some restoration work in the very near future,it'll no longer be the landmark it is now.

With Scoop 1 away on holiday, i do the photo shoot.

Now after a short break,and with the weather improving we're at the edge of the Galloway House Estate.
Galloway house is the historical seat of the Earls of Galloway,but depleted wealth meant having to sell in 1908.
It's had numerous owners since including Glasgow City Council who between 1947 and 1976 used it as a residential school.
More on it's history can be found at

I wonder whether there are secret tunnels in this cave.

This is the rear view of the house.

And here's a picture i took earlier this year of the front.

The beach at Rigg or Cruggleton Bay now takes us into the house gardens.

Lots of colour in the various plants and trees,including the Handkerchief Tree(Davidia involucrata)as seen here.
Looking at the Galloway House Gardens photo gallery there's a picture of one of the last visible remnants of the Mulberry Harbour.
That can be found at

This has been a lovely detour around the garden,and while keeping our eyes open for a parrot...

...we make our way back to Rigg Bay and the path.

Passing colourful shoreline plants and dead trees Garlieston comes into view.

I wonder whether this anchor has a colourful history.

Back in Garlieston it looks like the tranquility of this place may not last judging by the amount of construction at the harbourside....

...and finally back to the car park.
Had i not felt so rough at the beginning of this walk,this would probably have been one of the nicest walks i'd done,and I now have more lovely places to show visitors.

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