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Sunday, 8 February 2009

Wigtownshire Ramblers-Aldouran Glen-Lochnaw

It's Saturday the 7th of February 2009,todays walk takes us through Aldouran Glen and round Lochnaw Castle.
Twenty eight walkers young and old rendezvouz at Leswalt village hall.

Heading in a westerly direction out the village,Aldouran Wetland Garden is our first point of interest.A pair of swans are in residence,and the local community are hoping they'll be nesting.
They have a lovely website here

Now we head up through the glen.Aldouran comes from the Gaelic and means Glen of the Otters.I doubt there's enough water in the burn nowadays.
Aldouran Glen Wood, owned and managed by the Woodland Trust Scotland, is one of only a handful of "Ancient semi natural woods" left on the Rhins peninsula.

Our walk leader assures us that this is the only climbing on todays walk.We'll see ?

A break at the top of the glen to catch our breath,and to say hello to those we haven't seen for a while.

This friendly looking creature was pleased to have our company for a minute.

Still heading in a westerly direction.There's no great hurry today.

Now we're heading alongside Lochnaw Loch.That sounds funny to me,you'd think it would have been Loch Naw wouldn't you.

Now as we reach Lochnaw Castle,we see a summer house on it's last legs,whereas in the back courtyard restoration work in progress.

The ancestral seat of the Agnews, one-time hereditary sheriffs of Galloway, Lochnaw Castle is situated by Lochnaw Loch in the Rhins of Galloway, 5 miles (8 km) northwest of Stranraer. The original four-story tower-house dates from the 16th century and was extended both in the 17th and 18th centuries. However the 18th-century extension, together with a Victorian mansion which was built adjacent, have been demolished. Ruins of an older castle, destroyed in 1390, stand on a small islet in the loch.

There's a ton of stuff on the internet about Lochnaw and the Agnews,some of it stretches the imagination a little.A fairly comprehensive account can be found in the book 'My Granny Made Me an Anarchist' by Stuart Christie.There's a preview here
'My Granny Made Me an Anarchist'

It looks like a good read,i'll have to try and get a copy.

Now here at the Home Farm Riding School we turn north...

...till we reach Drummullin Wood.Here we take a break at the once productive but now bare walled garden.

Back alongside Loch Naw now...

...this is where we'll lunch.It's warmed up nicely with the sun.Ice breaking and stone skimming occupied the youngsters (and a few of us oldies)

Time to head off again.Lots of brambles to contend with on this part of the walk.

Once out of the undergrowth,it's road and farm track till we're back at Glenhead.

Now Loch Ryan comes into view.We're directly opposite the P & O ferry terminal at Cairnryan.

Reaching a T junction we turn left towards our next objective up Kirkland Hill.
I've always connected the word 'Hill' with the word 'Climb',but i must be wrong-our illustrious leader told us we'd done our only climbing.One of our senior ramblers did mention 'Electric Brae'.Here on Wikipedia is an explanation.
Electric Brae

The Tor of Craigoch once housed an iron age hillfort.Now it's a monument to Sir Andrew Agnew... this locally produced granite plaque explains.

I remember coming up here last spring.The mud clung to my boots making them feel like lead weights on my feet.The frost today has made it easier.

To the north is a picture postcard view of the top of Ailsa Craig,and the snow capped hills of Arran.

We bide a while to enjoy the views and identify different landmarks.

Now we set of on the last leg...
...with Leswalt in the foreground and Stranraer at the head of Loch Ryan.

It's all downhill back into picturesque and historic Leswalt,and we're soon back at our departure point.Today walk has been very pleasant and fairly easy,despite the no climbing hills.

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