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Sunday, 25 September 2011

Wigtownshire Ramblers Ballantrae to Glenapp September 2011

It's Sunday the 25th of September 2011.
Yesterday I headed off to Ballantrae with some fellow ramblers to see if my injury had healed enough for this eight and a half mile section of the Ayrshire Coastal Path.
After climbing up to Murrays Monument on Friday I was optimistic. 

As a group we walked this back in 2008

If I completed the walk I'd be writing the report. 
It'll be after the last picture if I did.

Ballantrae Cemetery Car Park

One of a pair of Kinniegar's Griffins

Heading for Langdale.

View back to Knockdolian,Ballantrae and Bennane Head.

Onto Downanhill  with Ailsa Craig in view.

Photo calls

Over Wilson's Glen

Three distinct mushrooms (and some fungi bottom left) ha ha only kidding folks

Lunchtime at Currarie Port

You've been framed !
Stretch those legs,we can't stay here all day.

View back to Currarie

Over on the hill called Donald Bowie,this pattern cut into the gorse was done deliberately.
If anyone knows why or what it might depict,answers on a postcard to Ripley's "Believe it or not" 

This sign appears on most of the kissing gates.

Ruined cottage near Craigmore with ferries coming and going.

Two P and O ferries with Milleur Point and Corsewall lighthouse in the background.

Overlooking Finnarts Bay and descent to Glenapp.

By the end of the walk I felt some discomfort in my knee,but I'm pleased to report there are no ill after effects from the walk.I'm almost fit again.

Wigtownshire Ramblers Walk Report
Saturday the 24th of September 2011
A lovely sunny morning saw eighteen walkers gather at Ballantrae Cemetery Car Park for the walk. This was to be the section of the Ayrshire coastal path from Ballantrae to Glenapp.
The walk began by heading back towards Ballantrae before turning south by the standing stone at Garleffin.
Along this first tarmac section, ornate griffins topped the gateposts of Kinniegar farm, white cockerels strutted at Downan farm and sheep grazed lazily at Langdale.
A gradual rise saw the end of the tarmac.

 Looking back, Ailsa Craig, Knockdolian, Bennane Head and Ballantrae created a wonderful watercolour backdrop.

A kissing gate now gained access to the slopes of Downanhill.
A sign on the gate read poetically.
Be ye Man - or Bairn – or Wumman,
Be ye gaun – or be ye comin,
For Scotland’s Pride – no Scotland’s shame,
Gether yer litter – and tak it Hame!

Distant views were affected by solar haze, but the outline of Ireland could still be made out.
After rounding Downanhill the path now crossed Wilson’s Glen.A few late wild flowers still added a little colour.
 Cattle grazed unconcerned by the trespassers. Here and there were patches of various fungi.

Out in the busy North Channel ferries were in constant view.
Two ramblers spotted a marine mammal breaking the surface. 
The possibility of it being a whale was discussed, but no further sightings were made. 

A long stretch of undulating slopes now saw the group reach the rocky hill known as Donald Bowie. 
The path now went inland for two hundred yards to reach the track hewn out of the rock that leads down to Currarie Port.
This is where the Moyle Interconnector, an undersea cable links the electricity grids of Northern Ireland and Scotland. The  Auchencrosh  converter station is close by.

Back in the 18th century, tea and brandy were amongst the goods smuggled ashore here.In this tranquil setting amongst the rocks a leisurely lunch was taken.

After lunch the path now led inland along the flow of the Shallochwreck Burn.
Looking back to the hill Donald Bowie, an intriguing maze like pattern had been cut out of a large patch of gorse. A number of theories failed to resolve the reason for this ‘Artwork’. 

A ruined cottage below Craigmore Hill led to Craigans where a farm track was followed.
The track now circled Penderry Hill crossing in turn the burns of Black Glen, Nickalogie and March.
Views over to the North Rhins opened up where Milleur Point and Corsewall lighthouse could be easily identified. 
Fast ferries made sweeping wakes entering and leaving Loch Ryan. 

After passing between the hill tops of Blarbuie and Sandloch a long downhill section followed.
Steadily turning north east and following the Water of App, the Bridge of Mark heralded the end of the walk.

 A perfect walking day was topped with tea and cakes at the Ballantrae Garden Centre café.

The next walk, on Saturday the 1st of October will be an eight and a half mile "Circular around Lochinch Castle” from Castle Kennedy’s Garden Centre. 
Meet at the Riverside car park Newton Stewart at 9.30 am, the Breastworks, Stranraer at 9.30 am for car sharing, or at the walk start at Castle Kennedy’s Garden Centre (NX 111 609) at  


  1. Looking at the photograph of the ferries we must have been only minutes ahead of you. The P&O fast one was coming into Cairnryan Port as we descended. What a lovely day for a great walk.

  2. Jim I can barely keep up with your blogs! Even with your injuries you out do most of us!!! Fantastic!
    Great photos Jim, keep up the great walks..

  3. Yes,we only just missed your group Gordon.You passed us on the road back to Ballantrae.Did I already tell you ? I've an awful memory.

    Thanks Michael,I'm almost back to fitness.We're having a bit of an Indian Summer here in Scotland.I hope the weather's good with you in Calgary

  4. Think I,ve done Some of that walk in the past.Glad to see you able to do full walks again Jim.Apart from the fresh air its what keeps
    us enjoying life.

  5. Is that "Bairn" in the sign "child"? I was just wondering as "child" in Swedish is "barn". There might very well be a connection with these two.

  6. Yes Maria, bairn is child.I believe many Scottish words are similar to Scandinavian or Norden.
    For instance in Scotland we say "I ken you" which is "I know you".In Danish 'ken' also means 'know'
    The Orkney and Shetland islands owe their ancestry more to the Vikings than any other people. Take a look at Shetland Tourism dot com


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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