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Sunday, 26 September 2010

Wigtownshire Ramblers-Whitefield Loch to Knock Fell September 2010

It's Saturday the 25th of September 2010
Todays walk is one we've done before with a slight difference.
2008 Walk
My thanks to my fellow snapper Scoop for a number of todays photographs.
As is my usual practise when I've written the walk report,I'll use that for the blog.

A cold but sunny morning greeted the twenty ramblers meeting at the car park of Whitefield Loch for the walk to Knock Fell.

They began by heading east following the tarmac road running along the southern edge of the loch.
It's the start of the pike fishing season,and a number of anglers were already out looking for the early bite.

I don't know the story behind this memorial,but Brian Chapman will be remembered.

Reaching the end of the wooded area around the loch,they now took to the farm track towards Machermore and the Knock of Luce.Beyond Machermore a small flock of dyed Scottish Blackface sheep eyed the group with some curiosity.A knowledgeable group member explained the various reasons for dyeing sheep.

Behind them the sun glinted off Luce Bay and the Mull of Galloway lighthouse.

A recce on Thursday saw myself and the Stationmaster trying to change the route and make it into a circular.We'd taken the farm/forest track up to Craigenveoch and took to the moors over towards Loch Robin.Long sections over the moors had remnants of farm tracks,but equally lots of boggy ground.A cairn,possibly a shepherds, sits on a piece of raised ground.
We'd almost abandoned the possibility of crossing this way with the group when our mind was made up for us.We'd reached a drystone wall with a three stranded barbed wire fence at either side.We both surmounted the obstacle on the recce,but it's doubtful we'd have got the group over without incident.

They continued on a steady incline passing Knock of Luce cottage and a water pumping station.

Next they reached Knock of Luce where a good many horses,fowl and water birds were admired.

Piles of stones to the south were identified as the ruins of St Johns Chapel and St Johns Well.An artefact from here showing a Maltese Cross carved in relief is in the museum in Stranraer.

Just beyond Knock of Luce the farm track ended and they entered a field of horses and turned north.

The horses were a colourful mix of Shetland Dartmoor and Pure Bred ponies,and were very friendly and entrancing.They seemed to welcome the intrusion.Many photographs were taken.

We hung about this field for a short while.The horses were enjoying our company as we were theirs.

Now they turned back west for the steady climb to the summit of Knock Fell.

Below us is a covered reservoir built around the 1950's,I can't find any information on the net about it,but it's to do with Port William's water supply I'm reliable informed.

This is the only real effort we'll expend today.

And we're up and 'Mr Know It All' is pointing out landmarks.

Knock Fell is only 175 metres high,but commands amazing views in clear weather.
Places identified on this clear autumn day included the Ayrshire Hills,the Mountains of Mourne,the Isle of Man and the Cumbrian Mountains.Skiddaw was easily identifiable.

A benchmark on the trigpoint.A fellow walker had another name besides benchmark,and that's Flush Brackets
Apparently trig baggers know all about flush brackets,take pictures of them and upload them to the Ordnance Survey's Bench Mark pages.
See here Benchmarks and Flush Brackets

We'd two lovely dogs with us today.Here's Bella trying to coax some food from her master.

A lunch break was taken just below the summit and looking towards Mochrum and Black lochs.

A background of the Galloway Hills.

Artfield Fell windfarm (The new one near Barrhill was also visible),a cairn or barrow,and Loch Robin in front of Craigenveoch farmstead.

After an extended break they descended to the farmtrack and retraced their route back to Whitefield loch.

Now they took the forest road to the north of the loch heading towards Craigenveoch.Leaving the main track they made their way through the forest to reach the ruins of the walled gardens of the former baronial mansion of Craigenveoch House.With three walls and parts of the potting sheds still standing, the group explored the area.Now mostly overgrown there were still reminders of it's former glory,and group member took away saplings of Irish Yew to replant.

The foundations of Craigenveoch House were next to be explored.During the walk one group member produced rare photographs of the house.

There's still a few remnants around...maybe I'll do some more exploration.

A nearby information board explains that due to a series of events the house was abandoned and eventually razed to the ground in the 1950's.

Next they returned to the lochside to the sensory garden built by the National Schizophrenia Fellowship where another short break was taken.

Monty's our other guest quadruped today.
We passed the time of day with some anglers fishing for pike.
The sun's still shining brightly as we leisurely make our way back to the cars.We couldn't have asked for nicer weather.Today was good.

Next week, Saturday the 2nd of October,the walk is a circular taking in the summits of Cairnsmore of Dee and Benniguinea. Meet for car sharing at the Breastworks, Stranraer, 9.00am,the Riverside, Newton Stewart, 9.30am, or the walk start at the Raiders Road North car park (NX 547 752) at 10am. All welcome, new members or anyone going directly to the start, please phone the walk leader 01671403351.


  1. So many wonderful walks & adventures on blogger lately, I enjoy them all! Thanks for sharing!
    Michael :-)

  2. Thanks Michael,you've a road in Calgary who's name would suggest a good walk.The Deerfoot Trail ?
    I guess not for a while eh


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