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Monday, 25 April 2011

Wigtownshire Ramblers-St Medan's to St Ninians April 2011

I'm trying something different for today's report.
The layout my fellow blogger and walker Slewtrain uses has given me the idea.

Since I've already written the report for the local press,I'll copy and paste that in it's entirety first,then follow that up with pictures from the recce and the walk.
I'm sure my worldly wise readers will be able to follow it.
I'm leading today's walk.

Ramblers Walk Report

23rd of April 2011

A wet drizzly morning saw 22 walkers assemble at St Medan's beach car park for the walk.
After walking along the beach they arrived at the cliff edges adjacent to the 4th green and 5th tee.
Here they looked at the Boden Walls Well of which little is known.Perhaps a reader can shed some light.

Now they made the steep climb to the cliff-tops from where they proceeded southwards.Looking down on Callie's Port and the Red Gate caves,the varied and irregular rock formations were noted.One rock indentation in the shape of an upside down heart has been christened Neptune's Seat. 

They continued following the coastline, rounding the bay where the Grey Mare's Tail waterfall tumbles over.Nesting Fulmars were spotted on the cliff shelves.Shags and other species of seabirds were also seen.

Wild spring flowers were in abundance.Those knowledgable in the group were able to identify spring squill,mossy saxifrage,celandine,red campion,kidney vetch and lousewart as well as the more common wild flowers.Brightly blooming gorse was widespread.

Generally following a drystane dyke along the clifftops they now reached Cairndoon.Occasional barbed wire fences and gates were carefully surmounted.Several new born lambs were seen in the fields. 
Not yet flowering Water Parsnips and Marsh Marigolds were seen when crossing the small and boggy burns making their way to the sea.

After passing a derelict building at Knockgulsha the group were now able to look down on the Carleton Port shoreline of a previous walk.
This rarely visited stretch of coast has more than it's share of washed ashore flotsam and jetsam, and includes a great variety of coloured fish boxes.   

Now the big bulk of the Fell of Carleton loomed above as they crossed over a stile on the drystone wall next to Laggan Pond.The top of the large promontary fort of Laggan Camp was now reached.After a look around, the group now dropped down to a sheltered spot for a lunch break.Detailed information about the fort was passed around.
The rain continued.

After lunch they returned to the cliff tops and continued southwards.As well as seabirds,swallows,wheatears and skylarks had also been spotted. 

Talk of the possible sighting of a larger bird of prey were receding when quite suddenly the majestic sight of a young Golden Eagle rising and flying across towards the east and north made everyone forget about the rain.
Tagged by the Highland Foundation for Wildlife this young chick who's been christened Roxy flew close enough to the group for them to see the distinctive white patches under her wings and on her tail.
With brighter weather following behind they were now passing the Hill of Glasserton.Along the edge of the field grew mare's tail, or horse tail,( equisetum arvense), a plant whose family dominated the land about 360 million years ago, in the carboniferous era when coal was being laid down. There are fossilised specimens of some that grew about 40metres tall in Glasgow's Fossil Grove. Because these plants are made up of simple parts they are supposed to be primitive, but they are survivors. 

After crossing the field above St Ninians Cave they negotiated another dyke and fence to emerge into the woods of Physgill Glen. Early blooming bluebells carpeted the ground here.Once on the track to the shore they now made their way to St Ninians Cave.Now the sunshine had arrived.
Old and newer wall carvings were looked at,but headstones and crosses from the 10th and 11th century are now displayed in the Priory Museum at Whithorn.

A gentle walk up Physgill Glen where yellow rattle, skunk cabbage and wild garlic flourished brought a wet but very satisfying walk to a conclusion.
After the walk a number of ramblers enjoyed tea,cakes and biscuits next to the eagle owl in the grounds of Monreith Animal World.

The next walk, on the 30th of April will be a circular B grade “ Throught the hills east of Girvan” walk of 8 miles. 

Meet at the Riverside car park Newton Stewart at 9.00am,the Breastworks, Stranraer at 9.00am for car sharing, or at the walk start at the Girvan South Car Park (NX 183 965) at 10.00am

Boden Walls Well

St Medans 4th Hole,5th Tee

Seabirds and Mushrooms

Clifftop and Obstacles

Nesting Fulmars

Rocky Bays,Monkey Rock and Neptunes Seat

Wheatear ?

Deputy Leader and Brightly Blooming Gorse

Wild Flowers


Below Foxhunt

Laggan Pond Drystane Dyke

Zoomed in on recce

Leaving Fell of Carleton

Previous Photo of Roxy

Near the Hill of Glasserton

Horse Tail-Equisetum Arvense

Above the Port of Counan

Dead Snake

Physgill Blubells

Young Leaves

Physgill Glen

Beach Clean or just a warm up ?

St Ninians Cave

Physgill Plants

After walk relaxation

Next time we'll reverse this walk.Apart from the rain,I think the walk went well.Thank you for joining me ladies and gentlemen.

Below are a few pictures from my fellow snapper Scoop.

It finally paid off Scoop


  1. It seems that these group walks are quite fun - I have never walked in such a big group, it could be nice for a change. The Neptunes Seat looks impressive!

  2. Thanks Maria,we have a great time in the group.A lot of us are seniors,but we also have quite a few younger members.Often a group of us will also go on a walking trip.We were in the English Lakes a couple of weeks ago.
    Are walking clubs rare in Finland ?
    Does Suomen Latu Hiking arrange group walking.
    Maybe we'll get over to Finland sometime.


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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