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Sunday, 12 April 2009

Wigtownshire Ramblers-Newton Stewart Circular April 2009

It's Saturday the 11th of April 2009,and it's the Easter Weekend,so numbers of walkers are likely to be down.
Todays walk is a Newton Stewart circular,and i'm leading it.
It's a lovely day and the forecast is excellent,so it'll be nice and steady.Me and my newly retired deputy took five hours on the recce on Monday.

Meeting up at the riverside car park,we number fourteen-twelve regular,one guest and one new local walker.
There won't be a lot of information on this particular blog since i've previously covered much of where we're going.I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.
Some excellent additional pictures have been included.Thanks to my fellow rambler/photographer for allowing their use.

We begin by crossing the Cree and walking up the river to Creebridge.It's recorded that Robert the Bruce forded the Cree at this point in 1329 on a pilgrimage to St Ninians.

We head on through Minnigaff and up through Conifers Leisure Park...

...before stopping for a little history at Kirroughtree house.

Kirroughtree was the home of the Heron family whose ancestry can be traced back to a Norman adventurer called Fairuns, who came to Britain with William the Conqueror.
Around 1300 a Gerald Heron fought on the side of King Robert the Bruce, who, on victory, compelled Galloway to return to the Scottish Crown after years of English Rule. As a reward, Gerald Heron was granted the rich lands of Kirroughtree. Over the next 400 years the family prospered.

In 1719 Patrick Heron, a wealthy cattle trader, built Kirroughtree House as a country mansion and status symbol. The lineage continued until 1873, when the last heir sold Kirroughtree to a Major Armitage. The Major carried out a number of Victorian additions to the house, and used Kirroughtree as a sporting estate until it was sold by his family, and became a hotel in 1952.

The poet Robert Burns was a good friend of the Heron family and paid several visits to Kirroughtree.

This is Verse 6 of a Burns composition.

Then let us drink:- ' The Stewartry,
Kerroughtree's laird, and a' that,
Our representative to be':
For weel he's worthy a' that!
For a' that, and a' that,
Here's Heron yet for a' that,
A House of Commons such as he,
They wad be blest that saw that.

We head on through to the edge of the golf course where we take great care to avoid wayward golf balls...

...and take a moment's rest.

Now we're into the woods overlooking Minnigaff and the golf course.Here's an old beech tree that's had some heavy damage.Amazing they can survive after losing such a large limb.
On our recce on Tuesday we'd spotted a number of fallow deer over in a field...

...and they're back now to delight todays walkers.
Now we emerge from Bower Wood,where incidentally the bluebells will weave a beautiful tapestry in a week or two... the top of Old Edinburgh road.Turning right alongside Bower drive we're greeted by this friendly canine.

Now we reach Queen Mary Bridge,where we all have a go at dropping a pebble cleanly into the wishing well...

...and i get in the picture.

We move up to Monnigaff Church now.This Yew tree has been growing here for 900 years.Apparently it's only a baby though,they've discovered a tree in Sweden whose roots first grew 9550 years ago.How can they be so exact?

We linger a while to take in some of the old graves and monuments.
My deputy walk leader sneaks off early-we'll lunch close by-she's brought along enough chocolate easter eggs for all of us,and she's away to hide them for us to hunt.

All eggs accounted for we take an unhurried lunch at the picnic tables alongside the river.

Another excellent picture from my fellow photographer.

On the move again,too much light behind this picture.We head up to the Girvan road at the junction of Douglas Terrace and King Street where we turn right before turning up the hill at Duncree.

With lovely views back to Penninghame and the Galloway hills,we're crossing the fields of Old Hall Farm.In days of old the coach road went from here to House O'Hill.This lost lamb was still looking for her mother as we left.Hopefully she found her.

Another lovely view taken by A.N.Other Rambler.The roof of MacMillan Hall against the Cree estuary.
Continuing on we head through Blairmount Park and Pond,reaching the western end of the town.Here we take great care crossing the A75-the busiest road in the county.

Along to Barbuchany where the owner imparted it's history to us.As a former local teacher,he was well known to quite a few of the group.
Our next target is the telephone mast above Barrhill Farm woods.Views of Newton Stewart begin to open up to us.

More pictures from from my fellow photographer.
Reaching the mast we take a break for refreshments and to enjoy the view.

Here one of our senior ramblers pointed out,is the perfect view for showing why Newton Stewart is known as the 'Gateway to the Galloway Hills'...

...and i seem to be getting in the picture a bit more these days.

Now as we begin to descend,the Cree Estuary opens out.I know i've taken many pictures here,but i make no excuses for taking more.Each time i'm up here it's a different view.

It's downhill to the Wigtown road now...

...passing a couple of hefty porkers on the way.

A short walk along the A75 brings us back to the Cree.
Where the riverside walk completes the day for us...

...and those of us who went for coffee were treated to the heron patiently waiting for a passing mouthful.
I think the walk was a success.I enjoyed it.Of course the weather helped.


  1. Thanks Jim, that was great x

  2. Thanks Jayne,it's always a pleasure.I know i don't get a lot of visitors,but my stat counter tells me i average about 30 a day(the most i've had in one day is one hundred and one).I've noticed today i'm up to 9588 visitors.It'll be interesting to see how long it is before i get my 10,000 visitor.Hopefully i'll get there.

  3. I'm afraid I was probably all 30 of your visitors yesterday, waiting for the blog ! The Troolies told me they'd be going so I was extra interested to see it. x

  4. Hi Jayne,as well as you returning,i had 25 new visitors on Sunday and 20 new visitors Monday,so going by the figures,it looks as though my stat counter only registers new visitors,otherwise i'd be reading well over 9750 by now.No massaging of figures here!


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