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Sunday, 13 July 2008

Wigtownshire Ramblers-Dally Bay to Corsewall Lighthouse

It's Saturday the 12th of July and we're in the North Rhinns.Once again by the generous sharing attitude of fellow ramblers,i've no need of my car.

We're a group of seventeen happy wanderers today.
Todays walk is a coastal walk from Dally Bay to Corsewall point and the lighthouse.

Even before setting off,a view of interest manifests itself out in the North Channel.It's a Trident submarine surfaced.It stays above water till it's out of sight.Maybe he has a problem and is making his way back to Faslane.

A short walk down to the shoreline,and we're soon treated to the sighting of a seal surfacing in the bay.
My pictures today won't show the amazing amount of birds we encountered on todays walk.Among those that i remember seeing are Gannets,Plovers,Cormorants,Curlews,Oystercatchers,Terns,Peewits,but i've no doubt there were other species-i'm no bird watcher.

By the looks of the supposed path,this stretch of the coastline isn't much frequented,and underfoot is quite tricky for much of this first section.
This area is of some geological importance for it's deposits of copper and iron.

For most of the walk we have a P & O or Stena ferry in view.Early afternoon is a busy time for the crossings between Loch Ryan and Ireland.

This is Craig Laggan or the Ebbstone,once a shipping beacon but no longer in use,except for the birds.

While watching where one is walking,time out is still taken for views and wildlife,including plant identification.But don't ask me the name of this colourful little beauty-I dont know.

Leaving Portlong Bay...

...and coming round to Portnaughan Bay,the lovely little island of Ailsa Craig comes into view.
The island is located approximately 16 km (10 miles) west of Girvan. 2 miles in circumference and rising to 338 metres, the island consists entirely of a volcanic plug of an extinct volcano that might have been active about 500 million years ago.[5]. It belongs to the administrative district of South Ayrshire, in the ancient parish of Dailly.

Closer views later in this blog.

Here a small yacht contrasts sharply with the slow moving submarine.

Time for another short break.

Now we reach the remains of the ex world war two Chain Home radar station of North Cairn.
Chain Home was the codename for the ring of coastal radar stations built by the British before and during World War II-More info on this at Wikipedia at

Lots of bunkers and lookouts still evident give a picture of how busy this must have been at the time.Twelve concrete bases show there were at least three large radar towers.
Some of the pictures in this collage were taken on our return when we took a closer look.

A passing ferry and Ailsa Craig make this a lovely picture.I think the group as a whole missed seeing the obvious in this picture-apologies if any ramblers did spot what's here.

I wonder if there's a story behind this strange head.

More obstacles,but at least we know we're on the path-the sign says so.

Another view of Ailsa Craig...

...and now we're at Barrack Point looking out to the Oust rocks,with the Mull of Kintyre in the background.
I wonder where some of these names came from,we pass Bloody Rock,Emer's Isle,Horseback Rock,Ships Slouch and Slouchlaw-there's obviously a story behind them all.

Yet another fence/wall to cross where an informative sign give us the distance to the lighthouse...

...where it soon comes into lovely view.

Nowadays this is a luxury hotel,and if you can afford it then take a look at

I think they even do B & B !

Some very interesting characters in an adjacent field eye us with some suspicion.

Now just north of the lighthouse we stop for our lunch.
From here we can see over to Ireland to the Mountains of Mourne and the Antrim Coast-Ailsa Craig,HolyIsle and Goat Fell on Arran-Out west to the Mull of Kintyre.Would you want to lunch anywhere else?

Seems too soon,but we're ready for the road again.

This looks like a ferry race...

...while above the hotel a Kestrel hovers.
Deer,Hares,Buzzard were also spotted on this walk.

Our return route takes us inland for a while,and in the fields at Barnhills are quite a number of Gypsy Cobs.I spoke to the farmer on a previous visit up here,but i'm not sure whether he still breeds them.He also has a number of Gysy Caravans,and hired them out with the horses.A sadly disappearing sight on the roads today.Ah the good old days-well some of them anyway.

There's not a lot left of the 15th Century Corsewall Castle.Apparently a seven foot long cannon was found here in the last century.I can only assume it's now in a museum.

Shorthorns,Dogs and a Pudsey Bear were spotted on this section of the walk.

Here the the tip of the Mull of Kintyre sits between a nice neat stack of well wrapped silage,and a P & O Ferry...

...and will you look at the muscle on this big guy.I know i wouldn't argue with him.

Now heading back towards the coast here at Cairnside is yardful of various implements and vehicles...

...which is in complete contrast to the loving attention thats been lavished on Kellies Cottage...

...and Arran View,just a short distance away.

A click on the picture is required to read this welcoming message.

At North Cairn,ripe for restoration a French Army truck,and a barn ripe for conversion.

This ferry's been in and out while we've been walking-they have a very quick turn round.
Now we head back through the disused radar station-where we take that aforementioned 'closer look'

Back on the coastline this view of Ailsa is not all it seems.

Something moving around in the water prompted a closer look.

There were possibly as many as twenty seals on these rocks.

Some tired legs and we're back through the heavy stuff,a short rest up before the last leg.

Overlooking Dally and Dounan Bays the walk is almost over.One or two ramblers had the perfect finale when they spotted a solo dolphin.
This was a brilliant walk with so much to see over a short,though tiring distance.
Did anyone spot the sunbathing seals on the outward run?

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