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Sunday, 7 February 2010

Wigtownshire Ramblers-Newton Stewart Circular Feb 2010

N.B My experimentation with altering templates is over,and i've decided to stick with a tidy standard template.I had fun doing it,but you poor reader probably wondered where you were.This will probably affect some of the more recent blogs,which i may or may not get around to making compatible with this template

Todays walk is one of my own which has become fairly popular,and will be included in this years Newton Stewart Walks Festival.
We did it in August and April which you can find here.
August Walk
April Walk
We totalled thirty three walkers today,three of whom were guests from the Galloway Strollers group,and since i was at the front for most of the time,i must thank 'Scoop' for her contribution of pictures.

The report for the local press will be my shortcut once again.Any similarity to the August and April walks is purely intentional.

A mild but slightly overcast morning greeted the thirty three walkers gathered at the Riverside Car Park,Newton Stewart for todays walk.Included in the group were three guest walkers from the Galloway Strollers.The Cree flowed steadily as the group made their way across the Sparling bridge and alongside the river to the Bridge of Cree.It's recorded that Robert the Bruce forded the Cree at this point in 1329 on a pilgrimage to St Ninians.

Next they made their way through Minnigaff via the golf course clubhouse and up past the log cabins of the Conifers Leisure Park.The snowdrops were in full bloom here.
At Kirroughtree House Hotel,a short history,and the Robert Burns and Heron family connections were read out.One or two of todays walkers have had the pleasure of a stay in the house.

That's me with the map board.What do i look like ?

Now they headed onto the golf course near the sixth fairway.The hole being named the 'Doocot' after the circular stone dovecote standing there.
Ongoing alterations to the course meant there was no fear of stray golf balls.They then walked up to the 17th at the north end of the course and into Bower Wood.

They now walked through the woods till they reached the Old Edinburgh road,from where they made their way to the Queen Mary bridge.
A number of walkers were successful in dropping pebbles into the wishing pot.
They also learned of the flood which washed away the bridge in 1961.

Now they headed up to Monnigaff Parish Church.
The 900 year old yew tree and the listed Heron memorial were among the many points of interest.Unfortunately the historic old church in the grounds was screened off for safety purposes.

There followed an early lunch on the banks of the Cree at the King George V Suspension Bridge.By now the cloud was lifting giving occasional glimpses of the sun.

After lunch they crossed the bridge then headed up the Girvan road turning left up the hill at Duncree.
I've never really taken any notice of this engraved standing stone,but apparently it had something to do with Glasgows Garden Festival of 1988.Possibly locally carved and sent to the festival?

After crossing the old coach road which originally went from Old Hall Farm to House O' Hill, open views to Penninghame and the Galloway hills were enjoyed .

The group now headed south above Old Hall farm,with views over Douglas Ewart High School and the town.Prior warnings about pregnant sheep at this time of the year were heeded,and the Leicesters in the fields were not unduly disturbed by the presence of so many two legged creatures.

They then made their way through Doonhill Woods and Blairmount Park to the Barnkirk road.Quite a number of finches,tits and blackbirds were spotted,but no sign of the red squirrels that are known to frequent the woods.

After carefully crossing the A75,the group then made their way to Barbuchany.
Now they turned east through green fields,to begin climbing up to the telephone mast above Barrhill Wood.One particular gate proved to be an interesting 'Climb over or squeeze through' decision.

At the mast,another short break was taken to admire the views,and to identify landmarks within the town and beyond.
And another excellent contribution from Scoop.

I doubt that even a quarter of the population of Newton Stewart realise that the best view of the Cree Valley is right on their doorstep.

The descent eastwards towards Corvisel House afforded wonderful views of the Cree Valley.The descent also took them over the embankment of the old railway line into Newton Stewart.

After crossing the A714 the new cycle and pedestrian path alongside the river took the walkers back to the car park and the walk finish.

To complete a very enjoyable walk,the Riverbank Tea room and Coffee shop proved to be a magnet to a large number of the group.

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