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Sunday, 25 April 2010

Wigtownshire Ramblers - Portpatrick Knockinaam April 2010

It's Saturday the 24th of April 2010.
Todays walk is a repeat of a walk we did back in May 2009, with a little bit added on at the beginning.
May 2009 Walk
Once again, the walk report will double as the blog dialogue.

It was a chilly sea breeze that greeted the 16 walkers who assembled at Portpatricks south car park for the walk.

They began by walking in a northerly direction through the village, and up the steps that start the Southern Upland Way trail.

At the Shearings Hotel they turned right onto Heugh road, and then made their way up to Dunskey Golf Club.

Nice drive Sir!
Keeping a lookout for wayward golf balls they made their way over the course to the grounds of the Dunskey estate at Nursery Wood.

Shades of purple and blue on the woodland floor were heralding the arrival of the bluebell.
Next they passed the historic buildings of Dunskey Home Farm, before turning south and back towards Portpatrick.

I was intrigued by this plaque, but have discovered they're names of holiday cottages.Nice website though.
Ben Ma Cree

Back on the main road into the village they next turned south into Portree Terrace.Passing the caravan and camping parks already busy with holidaymakers, they reached the Portree Bridge where they made their way back to the coast along the south side of the Crailoch Burn.

Perched on the opposite clifftops were the ruins of Dunskey Castle.
Those at the back in this group picture were on the edge of a drop, and Scoop couldn't go back any further but she wanted the castle in.It's potentially hazardous having your picture taken!

Next they descended a deep gully.After crossing a footbridge over the burn they regained the cliff top up a steep and muddy path.It was noted by regular walkers that this section is always muddy, even in the driest weather.
No route march today.We have lots of short stops for taking pictures.
I'm above a spot called Greggary as i take this cave picture.It looks as though it would be hard to get access to it.

Next they crossed Crailoch Park Moor where budding Goatwillow was spotted.

They continued over the cliff tops of the scenic Morroch Bay.

Here they passed the sign for Hush-Hush, a former derelict radar building now believed to have been converted into a holiday home.

A sign at the road entrance to Morroch Bay stating 'Private-No Unauthorised Access', prompted much discussion about Scotlands 'Right to Roam' law, and whether the sign erectors were themselves guilty of law breaking.

A short steep climb down Antonlew Glen saw them arrive at the Port of Spittal Bay and the Knockinaam Lodge Hotel.

A lunch break followed on the beach.The earlier chill in the air had almost disappeared.
A seal, three shelducks, and the hotel labrador provided the lunchtime entertainment.

Because of it's remoteness, Knockinaam Lodge was the location for a secret meeting between Sir Winston Churchill and General Eisenhower during the Second World War to discuss the D-Day plans. It also featured in John Buchans 'The Thirty-nine Steps'.

Congratulations were shouted to a wedding party as they came down to the beach for photgraphs.

After lunch they followed the road alongside the tumbling Port of Spittal burn up to the Portree road. Turning north where Gypsy Cobs grazed and a peacock strutted in all it's finery, they continued on tarmac for some time before making their way back to the coastal path.
As well as this blaze of colour, primroses are in abundance this year.

Now they retraced their steps till the reached Dunskey Castle...

...from where they took the clifftop path back to the village.

The walk was nicely concluded by a visit to the nearby cafe for tea and cakes.
A very enjoyable walk in the best of company again today.


  1. Your certainly getting about this weather Jim..!

  2. Making the best of it while it's there Alex.What d'ye think o' the 'Private' sign?.I feel like getting a midnight beach barbecue going when there's someone in residence.It looks like the owners aren't local anyway.
    Hope your back's on the mend.

  3. Good for you.! I`ve got cabin fever here...dying to get back out somewhere though I don`t want to make things worse before Italy...decisions,decisions...

    The only thing missing from his sign is "Beware of Snakes " :)

    Just trying to intimidate people and I`d ignore it.I wonder if the companys insurers are aware that they are commercially renting properties accessed by such a dangerous path :)


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