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Sunday, 11 July 2010

The Wigtownshire Ramblers-Ardwell Drumbreddan Barbecue 2010

Saturday July the 10th 2010
It's an overcast day and the forecast is a poor one, so no nice bright pictures today.
We meet up at the picnic site at Chapel Rossan Bay near Ardwell.
Today it's our annual barbecue to follow the walk.

We're heading across country from the eastern side of the South Rhins to it's western coast.
We follow the minor road to Barhill farm.There's a lot of dogs barking as we pass through.
I'm reminded a little of Ireland here.In Ireland quite a number of farms have abandoned vehicles scattered around.The one in the above collage was one of three we saw.
After an interesting interlude concerning the movement of cows and bulls,we take to the fields crossing over a number of well constructed stiles.These rolling hills go by the names of Drumbawn.
Now we round Fort and Kirkholm hills where the ruins of Drumbreddan cottages come into view.
A short walk down a track via Slewdown (Take note Slew) brings us to Drumbreddan Bay and our lunch break.Up to now the weather's stayed dry and the suns had a peep out.This is a lovely isolated bay.Worth some exploration on a sunny day I think.
Somewhere close by is Doon Castle, the best example of an Iron Age broch in Dumfries and Galloway.
There's a lot of colour about.
I took the picture of the board marked A-B-X-Y on our return leg at Drumbreddan Farm.
I've really no idea what it signifies,could it be the auction of some farm machinery?

Now we're heading back and the route takes us via Drumbreddan Farm.We're told that Drumbreddan Farmhouse is quite a substantial dwelling, but we only got a view of one small corner of it.Texel Sheep and these wooden houses generated some interest.

After walking on tarmac for a while we agin take to the fields...
...these are the ruins of Killaser Castle,the ancestral home of the McCullochs, who formerly held Ardwell.
The cattle seem to be interested in our exploration.
Now we move on via Barhill Plantation to the edges of the gardens of Ardwell House.
Ardwell Gardens is 970 acres in size and surrounds the 18th-century Ardwell House.As well as this big pond,it also has a walled garden and a medieval motte.Thats it cover with an iron mesh.The view to the village creates an interest as it shows where our chairperson used to live.
It's started raining as we arrive back at Chapel Rossan Bay.
Our chef for the barbecue is Slewtrain,appropriately dressed for the occasion.
Undeterred by the rain, our barbecue organisers have laid on a splendid spread.We're soon into the chicken, beefburgers,sausages and salads.A mix of alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks are available,and champagne is being quaffed.
Good dialogue,corny jokes and the rain easing,increased the merriment.A good time was had by all.
Too soon it's time to leave.
A lovely day.


I've just received the walk leaders report.
It's so much more detailed and delightfully written.
I've used her report quite a few times now, so much so that blog readers will begin to identify her style.
And I have permission to use it.

Despite a poor weather forecast the rambler’s barbeque walk took place with almost no rain at all. From the meeting place at Ardwell picnic site a grassy footpath took the company along to Barhill farm, meeting the cows going to pasture along the way. From the farm steading a route was taken across the fields, which were a little muddy due to the overnight rain, and under the shadow of the Drumbreddan windmill to reach another path past ruined cottages.
Drumbreddon beach was reached via a good track; the full tide was washing the rocks as a welcome coffee break was taken. The shore, which a few days before had been covered with common jellyfish, was now strewn with a great variety of seaweeds. Bladder wrack, sea belt, sea lettuce, red seaweed and carragheen had all been washed ashore and littered the sand with their bright colours. Terns and gannets were diving, and a lapwing urgently called whilst a kestrel hovered above. Reluctantly the ramblers had to leave this wild haven and continue the walk.
Drumbreddon farm was skirted and after a short road walk, the remains of Killasser castle, near Ardwell church, was visited. Built around the end of the fifteenth century, this stronghold of the McCulloch family is now not much more than a couple of walls and a pile of stones, but imagination could furnish it with stairways and a vaulted undercroft.
Ardwell gardens were now entered and a delightful woodland track led the party to the pond walk which brought them to the second castle of the day. The Norman motte is reached across a footbridge which spans a deep ditch. There is a good view of the modern Ardwell house from the top where a path leads around the pudding shaped mound. An old well in the centre has survived surprisingly intact though devoid of water.

As the path led around the pond, swans and three cygnets came to enquire about lunch but the mallards and moorhens kept their distance as the rain at last began to fall. The picnic site was now quickly reached once more, where a delicious barbeque awaited and the rain did not dampen the enjoyment of this summer social event.
The next walk on Saturday 17th July is a 10mile A walk up Cairnsmore via the Duke’s path. Meet for car sharing at Breastworks, Stranraer, 9am, Riverside , Newton Stewart, 9.30am and Cairnsmore car park 10am. All are welcome. Please phone the walk leader for more details or if going directly to the start. 01671 401222


  1. You even had your own Chef Jim now thats what I call an upmarket affair! Bob.

  2. 'Slewtrain' is a man of many talents Bob.He's from Ayr I'll have you know.


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