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Sunday, 16 October 2011

Wigtownshire Ramblers Stranraer to Castle Kennedy October 2011

Saturday the 15th of October 2011.

Today's walk leader is the 'Weaver', and her report will follow the photographs.
I'm sure her report will be as well written and absorbing as usual,so there'll be little of the account from me.
There's 21 of us today.Not a bad turn out given the weather forecast.

Leaving the car park, it's dull but fair.

Through the 'Gardens of Friendship'.

Through Westwood Avenue, up the 'Approach' by the chicken broiler houses and across Commerce road.

All that's left standing of Culhorn, the temporary home of the Earl of Stair.
In the 1841 census ,Stair (8th Earl) The Right Hon. John, 69, army, Scotland and Lady Stair,55, Scotland were recorded as being at Culhorn House in the Parish of Inch together with 26 staff.

I like this warning notice.

Three deer after they'd moved to a safer distance.

Autumn colours have definitely arrived.

My thanks to Scoop for her pictures used in this post.I've no idea who this is.

Our walk leader distributes the sweeties.

Ruins of the military camp along the Southern Upland Way.

Castle Kennedy village.

Castle Kennedy entrance lodge.

Along to White Loch.

A group picture.Who's that on the left ?

I was quite chuffed to get this picture.

A fully zoomed picture of Lochinch Castle

Into the the grounds of Castle Kennedy and Gardens.

Lunchtime on White Loch.

There's been military exercises on the area the past few weeks. A helicopter circles us.

Around Black Loch with exotic trees and plants.

A view of the old Castle Kennedy.

Bridge over Black Loch.

Is this one or two Weeping Willows.

The other side of Lochinch Castle.

Lodge at Balker Bridge.

A couple of colourful macros.

Out into the country and a small hill climb.

Zoomed into the ferry terminal and a look at the HSS.
It'll be sailing when we get back.

Inchparks to Balyett.

Remnants of the old railway and a birdie playground.

The last leg to Loch Ryan.

Here is the Weavers excellent walk report.
Ramblers’ walk Saturday 15th October 2011
The ramblers met on Saturday, barely fitting into the marine car park, which was congested with vehicles and caravans from the autumn shows. Nineteen members walked to the ferry terminal, crossing to North West Castle hotel to view the neglected artwork attached to the wall here.
Panels represent the connections between Northern Ireland and Galloway, with people migrating both ways, with names mixing  and origins blurring. Sibyll von Halem created ‘Watermark’ in 1995 as a contribution to the 400 year celebrations commemorating the Burgh of Barony satus of Stranraer.
The Garden of Friendship, into which the route now led, also has a story to tell. First laid out in the 1920s as a quiet attractive entrance to the town, it has always been a community involved garden, from first donations of plants, to the 2001 refurbishment by ‘Friends of the Garden’, guided by the ‘Beechgrove Garden’ celebrities.
Quickly moving through the town the walkers passed the first of the many Stair Estate buildings to be met with this day – the former Offices on London Road, an iron lampholder still arching over its gateway.
Two more members joined the company on Westwood Avenue, bringing the numbers up to 21.
The town was left behind suddenly as the beautiful beech avenue of the ‘Approach’ was followed; the path was strewn with gold, red and russet leaves, the trees showing their glorious autumn colours to perfection. After crossing Commerce road the woods continued to the old Stair house of Culhorn, where the family lived when the old castle at Inch was burnt down in the early 1700s. All is now demolished except for a couple of red brick walls and a great archway.
The Southern Upland Way footpath was soon joined. Culhorn Loch could be glimpsed shining through the trees and the sight of three roe deer cheered the walkers on what was proving to be a dull day weatherwise. The path became muddier. A hedged track between fields led to a lodge house on the old Military road. The railway now determined a slight detour from the original direct avenue of trees that leads to Castle Kennedy, but once under the railway bridge it was rejoined, and the first wartime remnants were seen - overgrown bases of huts and blast shelters that the grounds of the estate abound in.
The A75 was crossed and the beautifully kept main drive to Castle Kennedy Gardens was followed, alongside the White Loch. Loch Inch Castle, the nineteenth century Scottish baronial house was viewed over the water. It replaced the old seventeenth century ruin which could also be seen directly ahead amongst the trees, on the peninsula between the White and Black Lochs.
Although the weather remained dreary, the rain just held off whilst the ramlers had lunch by the canal which joins the two lochs.
The walk now left the Southern Upland Way and contoured around the Black Loch, along a track bordered by exotic trees and rhododendrons, some of which were flowering, deceived by the mild wet weather. After crossing a bridge spanning a narrow part of the loch, another drive was followed giving a good view of the west side of Loch Inch Castle.
The outfall of the loch continues on to enter Loch Ryan near Innermessan but the walkers left the burn and track to climb a grassy hill which gave good views over the surrounding countryside. Another track led to the A751, joining up with a farm road through High Balyett, and crossing the line of the old Cairnryan railway, picked out now only by small embankments and hedge lines. By the gate a lone remnant was found – a single iron rail.
The shores of Loch Ryan were soon reached and whilst some walkers were transported back to Stranraer in waiting cars, others opted to walk along the cockle shore, just arriving back before the rain began and rejoining the company for welcome refreshments at ‘Stir It’ tea rooms.
It had been a varied and most enjoyable walk, a pleasant way to spend a day of dismal weather.
Next week a 9mile exploration around Murray’s monument is planned. Meet at Breastworks Stranraer 9am, Riverside, Newton Stewart, 9.30am and at the walk start, NX 491 720, 10am. If going directly to the start, please phone walk leader, 01671 401222. All are welcome to join the walk.


  1. WOW! Just gorgeous pictures....I can close my eyes and picture myself there!

    Wow Wow Wow!


  2. Thank you Lisa and Gillian.
    What a lively walk we'd have if you two were to join us on a ramble.

  3. A place I,ve always fancied visiting
    as I like large estates.Might get there some day.

  4. I love those pictures of the castles & ruins, we just don't have anything like that here!
    Thanks for your recent visits Jim, have a great week..

  5. such a beautiful land you have to explore. so fun to picture you all out there enjoying it.

  6. Aye Bob,we've enough large estates. I doubt that Castle Kennedy could match your recent visit to the Colzium estate.
    We don't have any 200 year old dutch barns though Michael.I was amazed by them up in the Athabasca region.
    And Tammie,next time you're in South West Scotland you're welcome to join us for a ramble.


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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