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Sunday, 2 October 2011

Wigtownshire Ramblers Castle Kennedy Circular October 2011

It's Saturday the 1st of October.
It's dry in Newton Stewart, but very wet in Castle Kennedy.
I've written the walk report so it'll follow the pictures.

Lots of herons to be seen today.

I believe top left is or was the Factor's house
Picking snowdrops illegal!

I guess we all know someone with one of those.

The Sheuchan Burn created by the Black and Tongue (Top Picture) burns

Tongue Glen



Lunch Break

Inquisitive calves


Here's an interesting sign we saw.
The next picture was after we'd passed.
Ha ha

Lodge House

Strange Fungi

Shetland Pony

Approaching White Loch

Lochinch Castle

Inch Parish Church ruins

WW2 Military Camp Ruins

Wigtownshire Ramblers Walk Report

A very wet morning saw eleven ramblers meet at the Castle Kennedy Gardens car park for the walk.
A warm welcome was given to visiting walkers from Stirling and Edinburgh.
The walk began by crossing the tree lined canal connecting the White and Black Lochs. A heron was spotted standing patiently on the bank where the canal leads into White Loch. A little further on a second one was seen on the aptly named Heron Isle on Black Loch.
Passing through Broad Wood a red squirrel was seen scampering up a tree. A notice proclaimed "It is Illegal to remove snowdrops from the wilds" 
After walking a few hundred metres along the New Luce road, the group now took the road north leading to Sheuchan and Meikle Tongue. After a while the tarmac road turned to farm track.
It was thought that the double barbed wire fence along here was for hedge planting.
It continued to rain with only occasional respite. The confluence of the Black and Tongue burns meet at Tongue bridge to become the Sheuchan Burn. Threatening to burst its banks, the Sheuchan was a white water avalanche.
At a fork in the track the route turned along the western edge of Tongue Glen.
The original route was to include the radio telephone mast above Balker Wood, but after consultation the walk leader decided to omit it as the views would be non existent in the rain and mist.
Emerging from the woods the rooftops of Lochinch Castle came into view. 
Another heron stood at the edge of a flooded section of a field.
The track was followed through Cullurpattie and onto Balker farm. A fine detached house was pointed out as being the residence of Davina Katherine Bowes-Lyon, Duchess of Stair.
At Balker, lunch was enjoyed under cover in a farm shed. Adorable Friesian calves were in a nearby byre.
After lunch the group now headed south. Shortly after crossing Balker bridge they took a path through Hamilton wood, the leaves on the trees now adopting their autumn colour. Now and again a resting pheasant would be disturbed.
Reaching a quaint lodge house, the route now followed a field of maize waving in the breeze. Shetland ponies grazing in the next field came up to the fence to make the acquaintance of the walkers.
On reaching the tarmac road leading to Lochinch, the castle could be seen across White loch. A short distance along this road brought the group to the ruins of the old parish church of Inch, which was explored. The Stair family name of Dalrymple was predominant on the headstones and wall plaques. The church and nearby school were closed in 1861.
Continuing on, the walkers now entered Macgill and Douglas woods where there are extensive ruins of the WW2 military camp. After a short exploration and with no let up in the weather it was decided to hastily finish the walk.
Back on tarmac the group were soon back at the walk start. After abandoning wet clothing they made their way to the sanctuary of the tea room.
Welcome tea, coffee and various cakes and scones concluded a wet but interesting day. 
The next walk, on Saturday the 8th of October will be a ‘Woodland Coastal’ walk of 8 miles from Garlieston to Innerwell and back.
Meet at the Riverside car park Newton Stewart at 9.30 am,the Breastworks, Stranraer at 9.00 am for car sharing, or at the walk start at Garlieston Village Hall (NX 478 462) at 10.00am.
New members are always welcome, for more information or if going to the walk start, contact the walk leader on 01988 840268


  1. Castle Kennedy Is a place I,ve always wanted to go.I,ve still got a leaflet for the grounds from the last time I visited Portpatrick.
    Glad to see it rains heavily down there sometimes too Jim.I was starting to wonder :)

  2. You are made of hardier stuff down the in D&G as the ayrshire ones cancelled Saturday's walk due to the rain.Must look out for snowdrops next time I visit!

  3. oh yes, wet indeed! looks like you still had a grand time exploring and moving about!

  4. Love the coo pix!

    You have been bequeathed a blog challenge over at A Daft Scots Lass


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