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Saturday, 1 November 2008

Wigtownshire Ramblers-Knockdolian

Today is the first day of November 2008...

...and this is the view from where we park the cars.You've guessed,we're in Ballantrae.
We should have been setting off walking at 10am,but due to a complete hash by the highways departments regarding road closures,unnecessary detours by ramblers meant we didn't start the walk until 10.45 am.

Here's our out point target,the summit of Knockdolian (The False Craig).

A warm welcome is afforded to a new walker today making us a group of 15 bipeds...

...and Meg is our guest quadruped today.

The first couple of kilometres is along the minor road which wends and bends with the course of the river Stinchar.It's quite a cold day but the sun shines beautifully.

Here at Balnowlart a large derelict looking building might have had something to do with fishing and shooting in days gone by.Is this what shooting lodges looked like ?Modelled on Bisley ?
Here's a clipping from the Scotsman back in 1842.

We continue along this road till we reached Macherquhat where we turned to move up the hill.Unfortunately the farmer wasn't around when we did the recce-we had knocked on his door and tried to locate him.Now he appeared,and didn't want us walking through his property.Rather than have a confrontation and argument on 'Right to roam' laws,it was decided we'd make our ascent further along the road nearer Finnarts.

The contour lines are closer together here,so the climb is steeper.

As we climb,the Stinchar valley opens out below us.

It's heavy going on this steeper slope.

To the north this could be a view over to Irvine above Ayr..

..and closer is Loch Melemon.

Below us to the east is the newer Knockdolian Castle owned by the Dowager Duchess of Wellington.On the recce we'd been stopped entering the grounds of Knockdolian Castle by a jobsworth member of staff.Again we took the non confrontational approach.There's still plenty to see.

Nearly there...

...and it's time for lunch.

The wind isn't nearly as cold and strong as it was on Tuesday,then we had to descend from the summit to take our refreshments.

The views from here are excellent.

Panorama of View east from Knockdolian on

My pictures don't do them justice.

All too quickly we have to begin our descent.We head back down the way we came up.

A careful descent.Once we reach the road we head north west.

We reach the riverside to follow it some of the way back towards Ballantrae.Buzzards are circling-not for us i hasten to add.

A look back up our descent route.Slurry spreading closer at hand.

No fishermen in sight today... we've no problem enjoying a break by the river..

..and the company is as amiable as ever.

This looks like trouble.We think it probably means it's the end of a fishing stretch.On the recce we thought it meant we'd have to go back the way we came.
Luckily there is a path of sorts.

It's along here.On Tuesday,we'd cleared a number of branches that littered the path,so it's a bit easier today.

Eventually out of the woods,we're greeted by this herd of sheep who can't make up their mind whether we're a threat,or are here to feed them.

Now we're back on the road and a break to allow us tail enders to close up.

Hope this chap doesn't meet up with another coach coming the other way.Someone would have to back up.

Not far now,back in the village.

There's some nice buildings in Ballantrae.

And back at the last turn we've made good time.
A lovely walk.


  1. My friend and I done this walk just the other week.We first saw the hill on the way back from Portandea a few years ago.What a cracking wee hill it is too :)
    Congratulations on an excellent blog for the Galloway area.

  2. Thanks Alex,looking at your blog,you and Bob certainly get around.Going to go through your archives.I climbed East Lomond hill in 1952 then i waited 56 years to do it again.My 75 year old aunt from Glenrothes led the way.


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