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Sunday, 21 August 2011

Wigtownshire Ramblers-Stinchar Bridge Circular August 2011

It's Saturday the 20th of August and I'm back from my whistle stop tour to Ireland and England visiting family. (Posts to follow)

Myself and a fellow rambler recce'd this walk back in July and pictures from the recce are included.
The first two flowery pictures are from the recce,now one month later there's still a little colour but it's fading fast.
As walk leader I also become report writer so the press release of the walk will follow.
We're a group of 23 with guests from Ayrshire and one from Stirling.
My Ayrshire fellow blogger Slewtrain has also posted this walk so have a look  here.
Slew's Post he's got a couple of interesting pictures up.

Colour from July's recce

A gorgeous wild orchid

Crossing the River Girvan

Climbing up beyond Peden's Hut

Views from Cow Craig
(Points for recognising the Ayrshire Blogger, clue-he's wearing short trousers)

A keen film-maker finds something interesting to video

Tranquility on the recce

I must thank Scoop here as I've used many of her pictures for both this post and for the press.
Some wonderful views,thank you

Rowantree Craig on recce day

Approaching Rowantree Craig

Standing on the precipice 

Shiel Hill,our next target

Heading down to go back up

How's this for a lovely view (the scenery's quite good as well)

Trig Point on Shiel Hill

More undulations and tussocks

A perfect lunch stop overlooking Lochs Riecawr and Macaterick 

The descent 

It's quite cruel to publish this sequence of photographs,but they need to be posted

Here's an aerial view of  the boggy section
I guess this group were quite reluctant to leave the oasis (looks like a scout's been sent on ahead)

The River Girvan as it leaves Cornish Loch

On top of Cornish Hill (two pictures joined here and I can see where)
The Stinchar at Craiglour Lodge,a lovely spot

My last picture of the day is a mushroom.My book says it's a Russula Nobilis (I'd guess it's poisonous)

Here's the report.

Wigtownshire Ramblers Walk Report.
Saturday the 20th August 2011.

A hired minibus brought the majority of today's walkers to the walk start at Stinchar Bridge.Guest walkers from Ayrshire and one from Stirling made the numbers up to twenty three.

The walk began along the tarmac road eastwards which eventually becomes the forest drive through to Loch Doon.
After one kilometre the bridge over the River Girvan was crossed.The source of the Girvan and the Stinchar are close by on the slopes of Ayrshire's highest hill,Shalloch on Minnoch.
After crossing the bridge a stony uphill path was accessed.Now heading south-east they reached the end of the path and took to the heather.
Here there is a feature marked on the map as Peden's Hut.
Alexander Peden was one of the leading forces in the Covenanter movement and preached extensively in the area.He'd often find rocky outcrops with small hidden dales or glens to hold his 'Conventicles',away from the prying eyes of Claverhouses troops.

As height was gained,so the views opened up.The day was a mixture of sun,cloud and breezy and Lochs Braddan and Skelloch were the first stretches of water to make an appearance.
An undulating climb and sometimes boggy ground brought them up to Cow  Craig, the first of a number of rocky  peaks reached today.
With no discernible path the walkers now made their way over wispy tussocky grass,ling and bell heather to reach Rowantree Craig.Here a time out was taken to appreciate the magnificent views to the east.Winding between Lochs RiecawrBrecbowie and Goosie was the forest drive where the vehicles looked like toy cars and the distant peaks of Cairsmore of Carsphairn and the Rhins of Kells were crowned with mist and cloud.

After a distribution of sweets it was onward and upwards.Sticking as much as possible to the high ground of a crescent shaped ridge, Shiel Hill (508mtrs),the highest point of today's walk was reached.
From the triangulation pillar the Ayrshire coastline and Lochs Macaterick and Slochy added to previously mentioned views.Far distant views were obscured by mist.
After another 500 metres of heather and tussocks a rocky outcrop above the Nick of the Strand was designated as today's lunch stop.Sheltered from the wind and high above Loch Riecawr the sun emerged and welcome refreshments were taken.

After lunch and with Craigmashinee before them they descended into the Nick of the Strand.Here a trapped 'Happy Birthday' balloon was released and was last seen heading eastwards high above Shiel Hill.

Now began the trickiest section of the walk.A flat tussocky and swampy section of around 700 metres lay between where the group had descended and Cornish Loch.In the middle looking like an oasis in the desert was a raised section,which would be the first target.
Quite a number of oh's and ah's were heard as steady progress was made.One walker fell up to her waist but was none the worse for the mishap.Light hearted banter spread throughout the group.After a regroup on the 'oasis', the outlet of the River Girvan on Cornish Loch was finally reached.Here a makeshift bridge was repositioned to make the crossing a little easier for some of the walkers.

Once on terra firma, a zigzag path was followed to the summit of Cornish Hill from where Ailsa Craig was now visible.
A bright open descent down the well worn path brought them past the Crawberry Rock and to the ruins of Craiglour Lodge on the banks of the Stinchar.A plaque states that "Catherine Lawson was born here 11th November 1940". The sun was now shining brightly and a number of walkers seemed reluctant to leave this idyllic lovely spot.
The last section through the forest, the picnic spot and the tumbling waters above Stinchar Bridge brought to an end a unanimously agreed lovely walk.

The next walk, on Saturday the 27th of August will be an ' A ' grade walk up Cairnsmore of Carsphairn.
Meet at the Riverside car park Newton Stewart at 9.15 am,the Breastworks, Stranraer at 8.45 am for car sharing, or at the walk start at Green Well of Scotland (A713) (NX 557 944) at 10.00am.
New members are always welcome, for more information or if going to the walk start, contact the walk leaders on 01671 820527 or 01776 860315  


  1. Nice to have you back blogging we have all missed you. Some excellent photos of yesterday with your eloquent patter made it a very entertaining blog. Yours aye frae the blogger in his shorties.

  2. Cheers Slew,it was great to see you again.I'll catch up on your posts soon.

  3. Hope you had a good time visiting
    Jim.Had a trip down your neck of the woods to Galloway recently.Its worse than I remembered it.Fell into countless holes and bogs so those photos brought it all back.

  4. Jim, welcome back, hope your trip was refreshing! Awesome landscapes from your group walk!
    Your part of the world is very beautiful! Don't eat strange mushrooms!

  5. Thanks for your comments guys,much appreciated.Looks like I've some catching up on your adventures which I'll do soon.

  6. Great pictures of craiglure lodge
    and the plaque I put up with my partners name , where she was born.
    I have been trying to get a picture of the lodge before it was demolished but to date no joy.

  7. Good luck in your search Thomas,hopefully someone reading this will have just the picture.


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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