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Saturday, 20 June 2009

Wigtownshire Ramblers-New Luce to Castle Kennedy

It's Saturday the 20th of June,and todays walk is part SUW with a bit of diversion from New Luce to Castle Kennedy.
Fourteen walkers gather at New Luce Hall,it's a bit damp and overcast,but the forecast is for it to clear up.
Our first two kilometres are on the minor road towards Glenluce where we join the Southern Upland Way at Cruise.
Now off the road we head through the long grass to the footbridge over the Water of Luce.It bounces well as i reach the middle,and i'm not the heaviest of the group today.
Now we leave the SUW route and keep to the woods between the railway and the Water of Luce.

Our walk leader today was born and bred in these part,and we stop frequently for him to impart some local knowledge.The biggest problem here was the million midges threatening to eat us alive-a couple of sensible walkers produced midge netting.
We continued following the river in a southerly direction over some rough terrain and slippy burns until we were clear of the trees and approaching Craig Farm.

The cattle weren't sure what to make of us,just after i'd taken this picture they did a runner.

Again as our walk leader imparts more history,he insists the sign has nothing to do with what he's saying.

A little further on we come to Craig Crossing.An old cannon stands outside the house here.There's a telephone at the crossing.A notice says for taking cattle or slow agricultural machinery over one needs to ring to make sure it is clear to do so.Another notice then goes on to state that if there's no answer between certain late night hours-use the crossing anyway.(I'm not sure how that works)
Since crossing the railway at Craig we've been travelling in a generally westward direction and we're overlooking the farm and lands known as Airyhemming.This was where todays walk leader was born and raised.To the south we can make out the Mull of Galloway.
Continuing on through harvested forest we come over a ridge where a western outlook opens up...

here we'll lunch,and since the weather's picking up all the time,there's no urgency.

Over to the west stand the new wind turbines at Portpatrick...they're not yet operational.

Back on the move,I investigate this deer hide.It contains one usable and one unusable deckchair.
We pass one of many quarries in the area-and the ruins of some sort of building-probably a sheep pen.

We tread cautiously as we come to ongoing forestry operations.The operator of the bottom machine was just finishing work for the day.We'd see him later changing a punctured tyre on his car.

Now as we're nearly rejoining the SUW,we pass this stretch of water that appears to be called 'Glenwhan Lochs or Lochs of the Eyes' Very odd !
Now we walk a few hundred metres along the Castle Kennedy to Glenluce road before coming back onto farm track.

Hidden away in this picturesque copse of trees and rhodedendrons bushes, are the ruins of a cottage once resided in by two elderly widows or spinsters who used to keep chickens.

Now the industrial sheds near the A75 at Castle Kennedy come into view as we meet two walkers coming in the opposite direction.We impart some knowledge of some of the route to them.Nice rucksacks but their footwear left a lot to be desired-they've a few muddy patches to get through.

Here at Chlenry are the remains of an old corn mill,looking as though it's waiting for the modern age to collapse so it can start up again.

Now back on the Castle Kennedy New Luce road the sun and bikers are out.
There's some sort of light aircraft meeting over on the Cults Airfield.Later after the walk was finished,we were treated to an aerobatic display by one of them.

Now we move into the Castle Kennedy Estate via this view of Black Loch or Loch Crindil...

...and head through the grounds of the estate.

While over the other side of White Loch or Loch of Inch proudly stands the Earl of Stairs residence Lochinch Castle.

After a final group photo by the loch,it's just a short way to the cars to ferry us back to New Luce.
After an uncomfortable start this turned into an enjoyable walk.

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