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Sunday, 1 August 2010

Wigtownshire Ramblers-Barholm, Ben John, Mill Knock Hills July 2010

Updated 2nd of August
It's Saturday 31st of July 2010.

I'm leading todays walk as a favour to the original leader who's got something else on.Because I'm leading, photo opportunities will be limited.
Myself and the Station Master recce'd this on Thursday,so some pictures from then will be included.
As usual,when I've the press report to do I'll use it as the 'blogspiel'
(I thought I'd just invented a new word there,but the germans have beaten me to it

Sixteen ramblers assembled at the Robert Adam designed 18th century bridge at Kirkdale for the 'three hills' walk to Skyreburn.One new and one recently new walkers were warmly recieved by the group

They began by passing the restored water driven 18th century Kirkdale sawmill.
Emerging from Cairnyhill Wood.

A steady incline on the tarmac road took them past the entrance gate to the recently renovated Barholm Castle.Here they learned that it had previously been a stronghold of the McCulloch Clan,and a hiding place of the reformist John Knox.

Beyond Barholm Castle they took the road following Kirkdale Glen to the north.
A cottage belonging to the actor Martin Shaw was pointed out.
After two kilometres of road walking, they changed direction entering a boggy field to the east.
A field of waist high ferns followed.Luckily the walk leader could still identify the path through the ferns.
Curly's been getting some prime time walking in recently.

Now on moorland they zig zagged their way to reach a drystane dyke which they followed to the summit of Barholm Hill.

Still overcast ,a forecast of showery weather hadn't yet materialised, views over Wigtown Bay to the Isle of Man were enjoyed.

Descending Barholm their next target of Ben John Hill towering to the east looked imposing.
Heather and Blaeberry were in abundance as they descended to the saddle between the two hills.

A short stop was made to view a small stone monument with a metal plate inscribed 'Rest In Peace Philip'.

The saddle,halfway between Barholm and Ben John hills.

Next came the climb to the summit of Ben John.A steady incline with one short steep section took them to the cairn.

The Stationmaster on our recce.

After reading some of the inscriptions on the cairn stones,they descended a little to a sheltered spot for lunch.A light shower was to be the only rain during the walk.

Here the views were over Carrick Shore to Kirkcudbright Bay with occasional glimpses of the Cumbrian Mountains in the distance.

Looking back to Ben John.
Another descent through the heather saw them then climbing Mill Knock, the last of the three hills.Reaching the top,they followed a sturdy drystane wall running along the ridge of Mill Knock till they found the best place to climb over.

Gatehouse of Fleet from Mill Knock.

Another break was taken overlooking Gatehouse of Fleet with the Murray Isles,Ardwall Isle and Barlocco Isle prominent by Carrick Shore.

The descent of Mill Knock was carefully trodden.Thick ferns,potholes, uneven surfaces and big drops made this the most precarious part of the route.Wild raspberries were found and sampled.

Now in open fields they made their way over a burn next to the ruins of a cottage by Old Land Loch.

Next they looked at a triangle of standing stones at Lagganmullan.An inquisitive herd of bullocks cut short the viewing.

Emerging at the junction of the Corse of Slakes and Kings Laggan roads ,they now headed down the road through Skyreburn to reach the end of the walk at the old aquarium.

The next walk,on the 7th of August will be a ' riverside and forest' circular walk from Glentrool Visitors Centre at Stroan Bridge.

Meet at the Breastworks,Stranraer at 9.00am,the Riverside car park Newton Stewart at 9.30am for car sharing,or at the walk start at Stroan Bridge (NX 372 786)

New members are always welcome,for more information or if going to the walk start,contact the walk leader on 01671 401222

The walk went well,and our newest recruits really enjoyed themselves.
Additional photographs from one of them are likely to adorn these blog pages in the future.

Pictures below added the 2nd of August 2010
We have another very good photographer in our midst.
I've reduced the sizes of the panoramas below,but you can still get a decent enlargement if you open the picture in a new tab,then click on it.

I'd normally put panoramas like this on my CleVR account.Perhaps our new picture taker has her own photo page,I'll have to enquire.

Having another 'Scoop' means we'll have lots of choice pictures on future walks.

A 'Nom de plume' or nickname will have to be considered for this new talent.
Steak and Kidney perhaps ?


  1. What a brilliant synopsis of an excellent day out! Awesome photographs and so good to be able to reflect on the experience with such knowledgeable commentary. So much better than viewing the shot and wondering "and were the heck was this"??!!..

  2. Thanks Debi,and thanks for your contribution.

  3. Good brief and this mail helped me alot in my college assignement. Thanks you as your information.

  4. on reading the blog for July 2010 I became confused you stated that you past Barholm castle then north following the road beyond Kirkdale glen.would that road take you towards cairnyhill wood or towards Cairn Holy

  5. Hi Judith,I can see why you're confused,what I should have said was with Kirkdale Glen below us.

    It's the road up to Cairnyhill wood,then not far past the entrance to Barholm Castle a tarmac road goes north with Cairnholy Glen to the west.

    If you're walking it I hope you get a great day.


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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