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Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Wigtownshire Ramblers-Cream o' Galloway to Barlocco June 2011

Sunday the 26th of June 2011.
Recce'd on Friday for the walk on Sunday,I had to change the original schedule for today's walk because of the tides.Basically I got it wrong.

We're starting the walk from the Cream O' Galloway .
Much of the walk is along the same route of last June's walk to Ardwall Island.
2010 Walk

I'm today's walk leader and because I didn't do it in the press report I must thank my deputy walk leader for all the work she put into this one.

As I usually do when I write the press report,I'll double it up for the blog.
Pictures from the recce will also be included.
So here we go.

Wigtownshire Ramblers Walk Report
Sunday 26th June 2011

The ramblers were trying out a Sunday walk this week.

A dull morning saw seventeen walkers gather at the walk start at the Cream O' Galloway.Two guest walkers were welcomed to the group.

They started by walking along the Cream O' Galloway's blue nature trail to Megan's Lochan where a few ducks and a little grebe splashed playfully.

After a quick look in the birdhide they made their way to the 'Viewpoint'.Unfortunately cloud and mist obscured the views which are normally extensive to the west.

Next they made their way to the gate and steps to where the trail leaves the complex.

An oak tree in perspective

Now the path took them along the eastern edge of Boreland Wood,where colourful wild fowers were in abundance.After crossing another drystone wall via well constructed wooden steps, they came to a gate which would take them through the toughest section of todays walk.

A fallen tree,overhanging bracken,gorse,bramble and blackthorn has made this a hazardous two hundred yards.Today,two big strong men had been dispatched at the walk start to try and clear the path somewhat.
Sterling work by the advance party made the passage much easier and the only real hazard was the collapsed bridge over the Boreland burn.

Emarging from the previously baptized 'Wildwood' two fields and one more fence saw them reaching a gate onto the Sandgreen road.

A drystone dyke opposite the gate included a personalised stone declaring 'This stone was laid by James Finlay and the dyke completed by Roger Lewis in 1980'.

Welsh poppies were a feature of the short road walk the group now took to the Carrick chalet park complex.

Passing through the chalet park cheerful greetings were exchanged with holidaymakers.

Beyond Carrick Bay,Carrick shore already had visitors.Ardwall Isle,the original target for todays walkers was still two hours away from low water,the reason for programme change.

Now they reached a kissing gate which begins the core path of Knockbrex to Kirkandrew.Todays walk is taking place in one of Scotlands National Scenic Areas.
Next they rounded Knockbrex Bay crossing the Plunton Burn.From here they made their way to the harbour and jetty.Three unique looking high stone beacons direct the boats into the harbour.
A castellated boathouse stands nearby.

Close by a substantial headstone remembers 'Jeemes July 1893 and Squire Twist August 1893'
as 'Faithful Doggies'.

Here they had their first look at Knockbrex House,a beautiful Grade 2 listed mansion house.Knockbrex House was built in 1900 for James Brown,a Mancunian, wealthy cloth merchant and chairman of the drapery firm Affleck and Brown. He had bought the estate from a Captain Hope in 1894 for the princely sum of £14,000.
Knockbrex House

Now they rejoined the path towards Barlocco Isle.A castellated wall follows much of the track.

After rounding Bar Hill they arrived at the ruins of the picturesque Knockbrex Bathing House.Built at the same time as the house it too has a castellated parapet.

With the weather slowly improving lunch was taken.

After lunch the group were given some free time to walk on the beach and rocks.
The work of artistic and not so artistic ramblers

From the rocks the tower of the Corseyard Model Dairy,known locally as 'Coo Palace' could be seen.This too was apparently one of James Brown's constructions.

At the causeway to Barlocco Isle the tide wasn't sufficiently low enough to cross over.The recce party earlier in the week had been on the island,but very little of interest was noted. Barlocco Isle had been the centre of attention in 2006 when a 61 foot long Fin Whale beached and died.

The following three collages were taken on the island during the recce.
Note the colourful fly (is it a fly?) in the top left picture above. 

The outside of a D & G litter bin seemed quite unsuitably located.

Colourful, but not a lot to see.No sign either of any remains of the 'Truda',shipwrecked here in 1903 with the loss of four lives.

Now the return trip saw them retrace their steps as far as Carrick Shore from where they made their way to the Knockbrex Viewpoint.
Another short break was taken here to admire the now emerging views with occasional glimpses of the sun.

Next they made their way east over undulating country through whin and gorse to reach a drystane dyke with a built in stile.No volunteers were found to test whether the electric fence running alongside was live.
They now passed a pond which was once a sheep dip where an abundance of wild orchids bloomed.  
To the west of Castle Hill they now reached the farm track north which would take them to Boreland of Girthon Farm.

Reaching the Sandgreen road they retraced their route back to the fields and the 'Wildwood', becoming easier with each passage through.
Now the Cream O' Galloways blue nature trail was rejoined for the last section back to the car park.
After divesting themselves of rucksacks the group now enjoyed sitting in the sunshine enjoying the numerous varieties of the centre's excellent range of organic ice creams.An indulgent finish to a lovely walk.
Mint and choc chip with fruit.

Thanks must go to the Visitor Centre Manager Helen Fenby and her friendly staff for allowing us the use of their facilities.

The next walk, on Saturday the 2nd of July will be an easy,six miles "Walk in the Rhins with tea and cakes" from Port Logan to Damnaglaur. 

Meet at the Riverside car park Newton Stewart at 9.00 am,the Breastworks, Stranraer at 9.30 am for car sharing, or at the walk start at Port Logan (NX 094 404) at 10.00am.

New members are always welcome, for more information or if going to the walk start, contact the walk leader on 01776 840636


  1. hello,
    your posts are such a wonderful mix of stone buildings, people, nature and interesting findings... always looks like a good time.

  2. Ah, yet another wonderful adventure with the Ramblers!
    The Knockbrex structure looks amazing! Love the stone work...
    Oh & yes Airdre Alberta was named from Airdre Scotland!
    Have a good week..

  3. Thank you Tammie and Michael.
    This was a gem of a place to find.
    I'm hopeful of more walks on this coastline.
    Happy blogging.

  4. Lots of good memories from your blog particularly the ice cream . Your weather was a great deal better than those walkers who chose to walk at height on Sunday.

  5. You really go on the most interesting hike and see also showing us so much . I just love Knockbrex House. How wonderful it would be to explore .
    Have a wonderful day

    Thanks for your kind comments.

  6. Nicer in the sunshine Gordon.You're no fair weather rambler though.

    Thanks for visiting Lisa,it would be fun exploring the house.You can hire the West Wing.

    or the Grooms and Factors House.

    reasonable prices for such prestigious accommodation.

  7. I,m sure I,ve been to cream o galloway Jim.Didnt have any ice cream but I,m ashamed to say did have a go on the adventure playground.The young kids I was with needed( ahem) supervising round the course.It was good fun.I enjoyed it more than they did by the end.

  8. I'm feeling much younger after I read this post! Keep it coming! :)

  9. Bob,or is it Alex,whenever my grand-kids visit it's one of the first places we have to head for.It's quite a job to get them away,and you're right it's great for grown ups too.

    The Tame Lion at
    keep making us laugh.

  10. Your fly is a 12 spotted burnet moth

  11. Thanks for that information Paul.
    See you tomorrow if you're the Paul I think you might be.

  12. Ach, you had me worried there for a wee bit. I thought you'd left the Cream of Galloway without having an ice cream but I see at the end that you returned that way. Phew!

    Another interesting walk - a fortified bathing house, well I never.

  13. It's hard to believe Sandy,but there were one or two in the group who didn't sample the splendid selections of this purely organic delight.

    Of course they perhaps have dietary considerations or an intolerance to dairy products so I shouldn't be critical.


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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