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Saturday, 20 September 2008

Wigtownshire Ramblers-Ballantrae Smyrton Circular

It's Saturday the 20th of September.Todays walk is a seven and a half mile circular beginning at Ballantrae car park.Sixteen regular ramblers today.The weather forecast is for a day without rain.
We head south out of Ballantrae.You need to click on the picture to read the notice on our walk leaders back.
The first part of the walk is on the same route as we took on the March 21st walk.This is all that remains of Ardstinchar Castle built in the 15th Century.

We're soon off the main road and heading up the Laggan road.A break is taken while i take off one of my too many layers of clothing.

This is Laggan...
...and here the entrance to the Laggan Estate.I'm not the only one feeling warm.
One of our amateur botanists tell me this wild flower is Orpine.My 'Collins-Complete British Wildlife' confirms that it is indeed Orpine.It also says it grows in England and Wales.A very pretty migrant.
Another well looked after house and garden.I particularly liked the otter.
We continue on a steady slope with views opening up to us.With a backdrop of Knockdolian,a farmer on his quad inspects his cattle.Here in South Ayrshire walks are well signposted.

Behind us is Ailsa Craig in the mist.Continuing on passing Garphar and Auchenflower we reach the furthest point of our radius... we turn back towards the west.

We're heading through the lovely grounds of Crailoch now...

...owned by a relative of the Earl of Stair.
Reaching the Crailoch Burn...'s lunch time.It's a welcome break for me.Surely i'm getting fitter?
There are some waterfalls a little distance away,but that's for another visit.

Lunch over and coming up from the burn we're met by this scene.The sheep remind me of the old western films where the indians appear over the slopes surrounding the cavalry or the wagon train.I can't remember ever seeing sheep in a line like this.

Our amateur botanist thinks this fungi may be Chanterelle.

Our route now is along what may have been a drovers track with beech trees lining both sides.

Lots of gates today.This one after coming out of a particularly muddy section.

Coming towards the village of Smyrton now and we've a view of the rooftops of Glenapp Castle.It's an upmarket hotel these days,with Bed,Breakfast and Evening meals from £255 per night single occupancy.If any of my friends are interested more details can be found at
and yes i accept your offer of a weeks stay.

Another informative notice.

In the village of Smyrton now.These garden gnomes caught my eye.

No doubt the whole village once belonged to the estate.

Now across the busy A77 we're in the glen and woodlands surrounding Glenapp Castle.
This is a lovely forest walk,following the Smyrton and Kilphin burns downwards across wooden bridges...

...with trees such as the redwood and larch,bamboo...
...and lots of waterfalls.

We exit at the Castle Lodge,which itself looks very impressive.

The Kilphin burn on it's way to join the Stinchar.

This house has it's own standing stone.

Now back into Ballantrae..

..via this old fashioned milestone.

Ballantrae in Bloom is very much in evidence as we return.
This was a very pleasant walk.

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