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Sunday, 27 February 2011

Wigtownshire Ramblers-Galdenoch Larbrax Lochnaw Circular February 2011

Saturday the 26th of February.
Todays walk is a Castles and Coast walk in the North Rhins.

Our walk leader today is 'The Weaver" aka Spinning Jenny.
Having received her lovely report nice and early, I'll be using it on this blog.
I've covered Lochnaw 2010 Leswalt Walk  Aldouran Glen 2008 and Galdenoch Meikle Galdenoch a few times now.

Here's the Weaver's report.

A bright and sunny morning greeted the 22 ramblers who gathered at Lochnaw Home farm on Saturday, for a walk of castles and coast.

Looking at the surrounding concrete surfaces the company strained to imagine the war time troop hospital which was situated here.

A farm track was followed through woods which were carpeted with drifts of snowdrops, the warmth and sunshine making a welcome change from the weather of recent walks.

After crossing the B738 another farm track led straight to the shore at Larbrax Bay , where a beautiful, wide, sandy beach, and shining sea, delighted the eyes.

Here the path swung around to gain the cliff edges where an Iron Age hill fort, rumoured to have Viking connections, was examined. High double ditches surround a large flat centre, which commands great views over the surrounding area.

Beach Cottage.

The coast was now followed northwards, every step enlivened by wonderful views, with Ireland emerging from the distant clouds.

A descent back towards the shore.

I've zoomed my camera in to take this pictures.I think it's an oil tanker, perhaps a reader more conversant with oil tankers can confirm this ?

After passing an old sheep clipping station, and climbing over ramps, designed to enable quad bikes to cross easily between field boundaries, the ramblers scrambled down through boggy undergrowth to reach Salt Pans Bay .

Is that our Chairwoman out for a duck ?A ball was found and a kickabout ensued.Above right is our number one goalkeeper.Multi sports as well as walking ?,aren't we a talented bunch.

(A comment by a regular blog reader has posed an interesting question on the Duck's voyage.Is this one of the 29,000 yellow ducks shipwrecked in 1992 which have been helping the scientists to map the oceans currents for nearly 20 years.We'll never know since I think we heartless creatures that we are abandoned it ourselves here at Saltpan Bay)

Another Iron Age fort is hidden here amongst the rocks but the most conspicuous remains are from the 17th century buildings associated with salt works, which used local peat to evaporate salt water, and which were in operation for about 200 years. Lunch was taken at this sheltered and pretty spot.

On the move again.

The walk now led inland past a fascinating round shelter by Loch More, used by game hunters on the recently defunct shooting estate. Now ducks and cormorants were the only hunters around, enjoying an afternoon fishing on the loch.

Galdenoch Castle , an L shaped, 16th century tower house in ruinous condition, was the next point of interest with crow steps and commemoration plaque.

 Numerous eucalyptus trees grew within its enclosing wall, displaying their beautiful peeling bark to advantage in the sunshine.

Here's a stitched view of the ruins.

After following the farm track to the road, the ramblers eventually entered the grounds of Lochnaw estate once more at Kathleen cottage, and took a snowdrop path to the loch side, where two resident swans were serenely drifting about. The castle looked at its best from here, with reflective water in the foreground, and a backdrop of woods, surmounted by the lookout of Kinsale tower.

Recent work on the walled garden, with fruit bushes and trees planted up, were viewed through gates, before the castle itself, with sunken garden and renovated stonework, rose magnificently before the walkers.

 Built in the 15th century by the Agnews, the most recent owner is doing a splendid job, refurbishing this building and the surrounding estate.

My photo stitching is occasionally suspect as can be seen in the above picture.
I do think the castle would be enhanced with such a curvature though.

Only a short walk remained, past the old laundry, and a building which used to store the game shot on the estate, before Lochnaw Home farm was reached again. An interesting, varied walk enhanced by the warm sunshine had been enjoyed by the ramblers, who now decamped to Kirkland tearoom for welcome refreshments.


  1. Looks like you had a great time with your family on the previous posts.

    That duck... wonder if it is one of those that fell off the wrecked ship years ago and they traced across the arctic??!!

  2. I don't think anyone in our group knew about those ducks,otherwise someone might have said.
    Wished I'd kept it now,but I think it's been abandoned to take it's chances back in the surf.
    Quack quack.

  3. I didn't realise what a nice coastline you had in your neck of the woods, Jim. Looks like another great day out. Russell

  4. Cheers Russell,it was a good day out.
    Without going too far out of where most of our members live,we'll do coastal walks from Girvan to Kirkcudbright,which roughly translates to 180 miles of coastline.And it's all so accessible.I love it.

  5. I suspect I might be your reader most conversant with oil tankers. I don't think this is one - most of the ones I've seen have the bridge at the back and very little else on the deck. Might be gas of some description. What a shame - a tiny bit more zoom on that and you'd be able to read the name.

  6. I suspect I might be your reader most conversant with oil tankers. I don't think this is one - most of the ones I've seen have the bridge at the back and very little else on the deck. Might be gas of some description. What a shame - a tiny bit more zoom on that and you'd be able to read the name.

  7. You're right about the zoom Sandy,I've tried a few different methods to enhance it to read the name,but all I can see is it begins with a C.


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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