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Sunday, 19 December 2010

Wigtownshire Ramblers-Stranraer Circular December 2010

It's Saturday the 18th of December.
Todays walk is a repeat of one we did a year ago.The difference will be that today we'll do it in reverse.
2009 Walk

It's colourful and cold at the meeting point by Stranraer Harbour.
We're only a group of seven today.Understandable to some extent as the forecast is for more snow and todays walk is over nine miles with much of it on road..
C'mon ramblers,get off your backsides ! This is one of our poorest turnouts.

With us we've got a quadruped in the shape of the exuberant Monty.The Stena Caledonia's just about to dock as we set off. 

The shoreline of Loch Ryan has the usual mixed selection of shore and seabirds.This one's found a shellfish to crack.
I didn't get a picture of the Ring Necked Plovers flittering around.

Reaching  McCulloch's Point a picture is posed for.
Ailsa Craig, in view at the mouth of Loch Ryan has a good coating of snow.

Now we turn west and leave the shore.... 

...bringing us to Larg Road where the snow is most welcome to this happy pair.

Heading through the suburbs the snow enhances the Christmas trimmings.

Snow is quite a rare occurence for Stranraer.The gulf stream running close by usually keeps the really bad weather away.It's why the nearby  Logan Botanical Gardens can grow exotic sub-tropical plants and trees.

Now we're heading out of town.This road  will take us up the Springbank Hill where we'll be overlooking the town.

A steady climb and we're overlooking the town.We take a short break,while steps are being retraced to find one half of a brand new pair of non-slip snow/ice grabbers.
I take this panorama.

Our deputy leader gets delusions of grandeur.

After passing through Springbank farm we pass this tyred looking silage heap.

Reaching the radio mast on Gallows Hill we get a lovely view of Ailsa Craig.

There,that's more seasonal.!

The Caledonia's on the move again.It's heading back to beautiful Belfast.

After passing Hillside Piggeries,( which now has a new sign saying 'Poultry Farm') we join the route of the SUW (Southern Upland Way) .We pass the time of day with the local constabulary,who just happens to be the nephew of our deputy walk leader.

These lovely little creatures enjoyed the apple I shared with them.

I'm not sure whether we spooked the cattle into a run,or whether they're just keeping themselves warm.The youngsters weren't bothered.
Upon reaching the road junction at Ochtrelure there's another good view over Stranraer so we stop for lunch. 

This flying shark stands by the cottage just past Dunbae farm.

The top picture in the above collage is Stanalane Cottage.The horses are opposite Whinstanes Cottage.
To non Scots readers the name Stanalane probably comes from the isolated location of the cottage.It stands alone.

Close by is Whiteleys farm with some curious horses wondering who's out in this weather.It's just started snowing.
You can stay at Whiteleys farm in The loft holiday cottage a Scottish Tourist Board 4 star self catering holiday home. Looks good.

Now we cross the A716 Stoneykirk road and continue on the SUW route.The car doesn't look any worse than it was last year.

The Scottish government presently have a ban on wildfowling because of the extreme weather,so these few hundred geese have no worries.However the same can't be said of grouse,pheasant and partridge.Shortly beyond here a shooting party stopped by us to ask us our route. 

Now we're entering the woods passing the remnants of Culhorn House.This from last time... When Lady Stair moved to Culhorn House near Stranraer in 1792 the garden grew a remarkable range of vegetables, including five types of onion and six varieties of cabbage.

We came across the shooters and beaters again.Lots of rifle shots and beater shouts but we eventually emerged unscathed onto Commerce road.
Taking the path across the other side now brings us down to the railway line looking towards what was Stranraer Town Railway Station.

Passing the very quiet Aird Donald caravan park we emerge into Westwood Avenue then onto London Road. Our last leg takes us down Ladies Walk over the rugby field and back to the waterfront.
The snow and Ice have certainly made the going a lot tougher than last year.Though very tiring it was a still a good walk.

Here's what twa corbies thought of us.I'd call that a sideways look of total indifference.


  1. It's not often you get a chance for snowy shots of Galloway - will it still be there by the time I get to it.
    Fine treatment of Ailsa Craig :)

  2. While the temperatures stay this low Sandy,the snow's going nowhere.
    I guess the snow doesn't get much chance to settle on the Foinaven ?

  3. Not very often, though we did have a fair old covering for one day last week (definately the worst snow I've seen on a rig)

  4. It looks even more beautiful in the snow! I agree with you we do have the most stunning sunsets here! I haven't managed a single snowy walk this time around!! Hoping for lots now im on holiday. Hope you have a Merry Christmas & great walking.


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