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Sunday, 7 November 2010

Wigtownshire Ramblers-Colmonell Circular November 2010

My pal Slew was an admirable walk leader today.I was deputy walk leader on this occasion.
I'll be using pictures from both the recce and walk day.

Since I'm writing the report I'll do my usual trick of copying it to the blog.

Wigtownshire Ramblers Walk Report

Saturday the 6th of November 2010.

A heavy rain shower greeted the twenty one walkers who gathered at the Boars Head in Colmonell for todays circular walk.

The rain cleared and they began by heading south out of the village.
This is a nicely designed war memorial.

Stopping at the twin arched bridge over the river Stinchar,they learned that it had been rebuilt in 1868 at a cost of just under £1600.A feature of the rebuild was the variety of materials from different places.Freestone from Thornhill and Girvan, granite from Dalbeattie,and wood from Stranraer and Ballantrae were all used.

Over the bridge they changed direction to the east,where a 'Stinchar Walks' signpost showed a walk of three and a half miles to Pinwherry.

Trees, still shedding their leaves,showed off their wonderful autumn colours.

They continued along the road across the Glenside Bridge and past the Dalreoch estate.An abundance of pheasants were disturbed along this section.

Reaching Dalreoch Mains farm, the tarmac now changed to a wet and muddy farm track.

At Dangart a short break was taken.An old iron cast railway sign on a white painted gate produced a few smiles. It read "ANY PERSON who omits to shut and fasten this gate is liable to a PENALTY not exceeding FORTY SHILLINGS".

Time for some people pictures.Is that Scoop in some distress ?

An enclosure close by was home to a pair of White Peacocks.They're frequently mistaken for albinos, but are a colour variety of the Indian Blue Peacock.
I'd like to have got a better picture of them,but it looks as though they were quite shy.

Now they took to the fields on the lower slopes of Pinwherry Hill.Gaining a little height they were able to view the slopes,trees and settlements across the other side of the Stinchar valley.

Looking over to a hamlet with the name of Poundland, it wasn't surprising to see a Bargain Hill close by.

I kid you not with the above.Take a look on the Ordnance Survey map if you don't believe me.

Flocks of sheep made avoiding manouvres as the group passed by.

Back on farm track they reached Pinwherry Wood where a shoot was in progress.Here they took another short break to allow the group to bunch up.After talking to some of the shooters,they passed by safely.

The top picture of the above two I took on Wednesday's recce.I couldn't really see the ruins.Look in the trees between the houses in todays picture and it's there.
Clear of the woods they now overlooked Pinwherry,where the ruins of Pinwherry Castle were pointed out.The sun made an appearance and shone on it's walls.

I get in the picture courtesy of Scoop.

Here's an even better view back to Pinwherry and the castle ruins.

Now they began the return section of the route.A steady climb along a farm track on the southern slopes of Pinwherry Hill,brought them to heathery and tussocky moors.

Time for a group photo.

Boggy ground and the Alticane burn were crossed without incident bringing the group to the southern end of the Alticane Glen plantation.
I wonder if anyone's noticed that Alticane is an anagram of Alicante.Different as chalk and cheese eh!

From here a number of barbed wire fences were to be crossed,and the walk leader with some forward thinking had fetched a length of bicycle tyre to assist.Some interesting contortions were noted as these obstacles were climbed.

Looking at some of these faces they're maybe wishing they were in Alicante...

...that's better.

The Galloway Hills appear.

Open fields now brought them to hill above Craigbrae,where, overlooking Loch Lig lunch was taken.

Arecleoch Wind Farm,Farden farm and Farden hill are also in the above collage.

During this time,two passing trains were spotted on a wide length of railway bridge.Views of the Galloway hills were enjoyed.

After lunch they took to a solid farm road heading in a generally westward direction.

Reaching the farmhouse at Drumskeoch,the group were given a glimpse into it's history.One member of the group had spent five years of his childhood here,and described the changes since his departure.

Panorama of Twin Peaks on

Now the track undulated through fields of sheep and cattle.Lots of gates were opened and securely closed behind them.

Reaching Reuchal the coastline occasionally became visible.Arran and the Mull of Kintyre could be seen.

At Reuchillgate wood,farmtrack turned to tarmac road ,while the peaks of Ailsa Craig and Knockdolian spanned another view.

A long downhill road now took them past Auchenclery and the colourfully wooded Pyet Glen.
Large gate posts denoted the entrance to the historic mansion of Bardrochat,once the home of Alex McEwen the jazz, folk and blues musician.

Here's an interesting thing,north of Toronto in Canada is the Bardrochat Pheasant Farm,while in Saskatchewan is a hamlet called Alticane.I'll bet South Ayrshire has the originals.

Now they were overlooking the remains of Craigneil Castle,the Stinchar Bridge and Colmonell itself.

Back at the Boars Head with the walk over, the clouds were again beginning to gather.Having stayed dry throughout the walk the only casualties were a few damp feet from the boggy ground.

A number of walkers now headed to the garden centre at Ballantrae to enjoy tea and scones at the end of an enjoyable walk.

Panorama of Colmonell,South Ayrshire on

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