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Monday, 7 June 2010

Wigtownshire Ramblers-Cream o' Galloway and Ardwall Island June 2010

I'm a bit late with this weeks walk.No worries though eh!
Thanks to Scoop for additional pictures.
The press report will again suffice for the blog.
We had a good day.

Wigtownshire Ramblers Walk Report

Saturday the 5th of June 2010

A warm but grayish morning saw twenty walkers gather at the Cream o' Galloway for todays walk.

A warm invitation from the manager of the visitor centre to use their facilities had been gratefully accepted.
Cream o' Galloway

The walk began by following the centre's bue nature trail to Megan's Lochan.Here a little grebe's diving habits were observed.Lush colourful vegetation around the pond showed the coming of the summer season.

Passing by detailed nature information boards they made their way to the gate and steps to where the trail leaves the complex.

Next they made their way north along the eastern edge of Boreland Wood,where colourful wild fowers were in abundance.After crossing another drystone wall via well constructed wooden steps they came to a gate which would take them through the toughest section of todays walk.
The path along the edge of the plantation had become overgrown, and the group made their way through overhanging bracken,gorse, bramble and blackthorn bushes.Reaching the almost collapsed bridge over the Boreland burn, one unlucky rambler ended up in a bed of nettles.Luckily there were dock leaves to hand to apply to the stings.

Emerging into a field of sheep with the now baptized 'Wildwood' behind them, one more fence saw them reaching a gate onto the Sandgreen road.

Blossoming hawthorn and welsh poppies were a feature of the short road walk the group now took to the Carrick chalet park complex.

After passing Carrick Bay they reached the shoreline opposite Ardwall Isle.

Having arrived a little earlier than low water a short break was taken.

Some walkers had a change of footwear for the crossing , while others either kept their boots on or went barefoot.

A damp and sometimes muddy walk across the sand now saw the group reach the rocky shore of Ardwall Isle.

From Sandy Bay they made their via the low central plateau to the cairn on the southern half of the island.In places, evidence of run-rig could be made out.Now they stopped to view and identify the many landmarks in view.To the north clouds still hung over Barholm and Ben John hills.To the south, the ruins of the Corseyard Model Dairy known locally as Coo Palace and the impressive Knockbrex house could be seen.

Next they moved to view the boarded up house closer to the south of the island.
A well and an overgrown orchard were found close by.The surrounding gorse was bright yellow while pignut grew profusely.The house itself was surrounded by an escalonia hedge.
With thoughts on turning tides they now moved north to try to identify the site of the ruined 7th century chapel.With vegetation and undergrowth so thick the result was inconclusive.The walk leader however read out some facts concerning this very early and important christian site.
There's a very comprehensive report in P.D.F form on the excavations called 'An Early Christian Cemetery and Chapel on Ardwall Isle, Kirkcudbright' which can be found here.

This looks like it's been a small harbour over the years.There's a lot of work gone into building the wall.

Now they made their way back to the mainland, climbing up to Knockbrex Hill viewpoint where a leisurely lunch was taken.

Posers !

The sun managed to breakthrough during lunch as the tide was observed coming back in and Ardwall Isle again became cut off. Children could be seen wading where the group had so recently crossed over.
To the left in the above picture is Barlocco Isle.
Above the yellow gorse can be seen the Sandgreen caravan and chalet park.Why else would I include this picture.Ha

After lunch they now made their way east over undulating country through whin and gorse to reach a drystane dyke with a built in stile.Care was taken to avoid the live electric fence on the other side.This crossing brought about much joviality.
Skirting round Castle Hill they now reached the farm track north which would take them to Boreland of Girthon Farm.

Upon reaching the farm, the group encountered the farmer who they conversed with.They learned of the constuction of the viewpoint, more facts about Ardwall and the discovery on his land of a univallate spur site, or more commonly a promontory fort.
I think I've uploaded this picture before.

Back on the Sandgreen road they now retraced the outward route back to the Cream o' Galloway complex.The short path through 'Wildwood',being slightly easier on the return.

Now back in the complex they took the circular route via the Knockewan Lochan where a pair of nesting swans were seen.As they passed Megan's Lochan they could see the little grebe was still diving.

Back at the visitors centre, rucksacks were stowed away and the many varieties of the renowned ice cream were soon being sampled.

Thanks must go to the Visitor Centre Manager Helen Fenby and her friendly staff for allowing us the use of their facilities.

I think we might do this walk again.

The next walk on Saturday the 12th of June is a 'History and Hills' walk of 9 miles over Cambrett Hill and Cairnharrow.
Meet for car sharing at the Breastworks, Stranraer at 9am, the Riverside Car Park, Newton Stewart at 9.30am, or at the walk start at CairnHoly (NX 518 539) at 10am.
New members are always welcome.For more information contact the walk leader on 01671 820527


  1. Looks like you had a really good walk, shame it was a bit cloudy, I'm pleased it was a success after all the planning and no-one got more than their feet wet. I bet the ice cream went down a treat too. Well done.

  2. Thanks No1 the ice cream did go down well.


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