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Sunday, 26 July 2009

Wigtownshire Ramblers-Gatehouse of Fleet-Sandgreen-Cream O' Galloway

Saturday the 25th July (Already) 2009.Todays walk is a nice steady one starting from the picturesque 'Wee Toon' of Gatehouse of Fleet.Lots of tourists around,it's the start of Gatehouse Gala week.
We're a group of 25 when we all eventually manage to get together.Parking and road works to blame for the late start.Our route initially takes us out of town via Cally Park,where there's already a hint that the leaves on the trees will soon be changing colour.It's hard to believe it's almost August.
Cally Palace is busy as we take a break and learn a little of it's history.Here's a was built in 1763 for a James how come i've been a virtual pauper all my life ? We didn't go in,i doubt whether a lineage claim would stand up these days.

Continuing on our route takes us under the A75 trunk road,and through the woods around Cally Mains.Across Fleet bay we can view Cardoness Castle.

It's a great day weatherwise (Writing this Sunday morning with the rain incessant,it's hard to believe how quickly it can change),and the scenery is of pastoral calm.

Soon we reach the caravan park at Sandgreen.It doesn't look overly busy,but i believe many of the timber lodges are in private hands.I've often wondered about places like this.You buy yourself a cabin to retire to,but then you're only allowed to live in it for 11 months of the year.You wouldn't want to get sick or infirm then would you.?

Soon we're on the beach at Airds Bay where we'll take an early lunch.

Bella keeps a close eye on things...

Panorama of Airds Bay,Sandgreen on i take this panorama.

Lunch over we get ready to move.

There are one or two folk around.The tides well out as one family group walk out to the surf.Others are contemplating a bit of canoeing and boating.

Now at the caravan park entrance,these guys were up for getting their picture taken.Hope you find this picture sometime kids!

Quite a bit of roadwalking to follow now.A fellow rambler spotted swallow chicks being fed while sitting on a fence.This ones looking a little stern.

The old drystane dykers never got this sort of recognition.I suppose it's an art nowadays.
I met a few Thatchers,Weavers and Restorers on my recent island hopping trip,and although i think some of them are psuedo craftsmen,there is a need to keep up old traditions,so i suppose they have their place.
After dodging quite a number of Bmw's and Chelsea tractors we come to Rainton...

...home of 'The Cream O' Galloway'.Our walk leader welshed on his promise to buy the group a '99'each(maybe i imagined that bit),so those with money enjoyed a delicious organic flavour of their choice of the best ice cream in the UK.I make no excuse for giving them a plug,it's a great place and not just for kids.More info at
Cream O' Galloway
It's not the Ice Cream,since one of these was taken before the Cream O' Galloway...must be something in the air today.
Now underfoot becomes softer and kinder to the feet as we head over fields towards Girthon.There's a few gates,fences and stiles to negotiate,which we managed without mishap.

Now at Girthon we've time to take a look around the old churchyard.There's quite a few interesting gravestones,...

...including this one from a dark period of Scotlands history.

On our way again and we're soon back in Cally Park again.There's a lot of history connected to this estate,and anyone interested should download a fairly substantial PDF from here.
Cally Park
Oh those landed gentry,what they got up to.
There's a game of cricket taking place... we stop for a photocall.

Now we're back in Gatehouse and in Garries Park.The group will split up and head off in different directions here.Cars are parked in lots of different places.

Past the bowling green,the 'Toon' is looking so spick and span at this time of year.Fair play to them.

And to complete an enjoyable walk,the Masonic Arms is a haven for a few thirsty ramblers to see them on their way.Who's that sitting on the bench being anti-social ?Cheers.


  1. Seems like you had a wonderful walk again with superb weather, pictures and commentary. Brings back many great memories. Glad everything is still looking so good. Gatehouse is such a pleasant homely village. Wish they would get the webcam showing the square with the clocktower and Murray Arms up and working again. Is the "Original Gate House" (second to last photo) still a cafe?

  2. Hello Andrew,yes it was an excellent walk.I don't think the Original Gatehouse is a cafe these days,although someone obviously keeps it spruced up.
    The cafe in 'The Galloway Country Style & Kiltmaking' shop at the bottom of the High St seems to do a roaring trade these days.
    The Mill on the Fleet has also been spruced up for the visitor,complete with museum,cafe and bookshop.
    I see it's a company called CMSBroadband at Kirkcudbright that are responsible for the webcam.Maybe they just need a shake up.

  3. Thanks Jim. I sent an email some time ago to CMSB but they didn't respond and even worse they didn't fix it. Perhaps they need a local shake up...

    On the subject of webcams, my all time favourite is the one on the Mull of Galloway from the Northern Lighthouse Board

    It is dynamic and one can choose from several views. Nice to look at the race, especially on a stormy day. On a clear day you can see Cairnsmore and N. Ireland (not on the same view !!!). Some of the sunrises and sunsets are spectacular, but nothing compared to yours on Lewis. Happy viewing if you haven't seen it already


Thanks for all your comments. I may not get to reply to them all, but you may be sure they'll be appreciated.

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