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Monday, 6 February 2012

Wigtownshire Ramblers Glenwhan February 2012

Saturday the 4th of February.
Our walk today could be a wet one.
Having missed last week, I need this walk.
It rained, nuff said. Soulful anyway.
I ended up not paying too much attention to the route. Shorty was the walk leader so I'll borrow his report for the post .
It's a slight variation on one we did last April.
April 2011

Only a few pictures.

Lunch Break

The Weaver

Glenwhan Forest

Some squelch ahead

Almost a picture

That was a bit of a wet patch

This is what's called the 'Neon' effect on Picasa.
At least Shorty's recognisable.

Wigtownshire Ramblers:  Saturday 4th February 2012 – Glenwhan Forest Circular

The weather forecast was appalling, offering rain, low cloud and wind.  Nevertheless, thirteen ramblers assembled at the forest gate on the windswept moorland between Castle Kennedy and New Luce.  The weather was just as promised.  They swiftly donned all their wet weather gear and set off along the road leading to the forest.

The group was very pleased to reach the shelter of the young trees at the start of the forest.  This reduced the strength of the wind and the rain now fell downwards instead of horizontally and was much more comfortable.  As they followed the road south-eastwards they passed between blocks of trees and recently felled areas which were more exposed.  On reaching one of the larger blocks a red squirrel skittered across the road causing a little excitement.

The group followed the southerly arm of the road until they reached a quarry and a small shooting hide perched on the top of a rocky knoll.  They then turned off down a narrow grassy track which at one time had been the main route from the Dunragit Estate on to the moor.  The rain had eased off now and hazy views of the low ground and the sea at Luce Bay were just visible through the murk.

As they descended through the young forest a skein of geese flew overhead honking loudly.  The route took the ramblers down to a narrow gate at the edge of the forest and over a green hill.  The group breasted a small rise and came face to face with the geese who seemed surprised at the sight of the bedraggled crew.  After a short face off the geese retreated complaining in full voice and continued to circle until the ramblers had left the area.  After crossing the field the group entered the lane which descended through the Glenwhan Gardens.  Fortunately the café was closed or there might have been a mutiny amongst the walkers.  The ramblers now followed the old Estate roads through the policy woods behind Dunragit House.  Several large old trees had succumbed to the recent gales but the level of damage was less than might have been expected.

The rain had now returned and the clouds descended even further.  The group emerged from the shelter of the trees and enjoyed the full force of the south-westerly gale.  On reaching the dyke below Challoch Hill they searched in vain for a sight of the roundel of trees on the summit, their proposed lunch stop.  A short debate resulted in the decision to omit this section of the walk and the group turned their backs to the wind and headed across the fields to the forest.

On entering the forest they followed an old forwarder track to the end of the forest road.  After a short distance they turned onto a narrow track through the trees.  From the tracks in the muddy ground it seemed that many deer, both red and roe, used this route and many trees had been marked by the deer staking out their territories.  After a short time the group reached the central forest road, which they followed to its end.

Lunch now became a priority and the group sought shelter in a mature Sitka Spruce stand which reduced the persistent rain to gentle drips.  After a short rest the reinvigorated group left the road and followed an old dyke into the forest.  Unfortunately the leader missed one of the marker flags for the proposed route and continued to follow the dyke over the hill until it reached the old road near the north side of the forest.  This added a little extra distance but at least they were now on the sheltered side of the wood.

The group followed the old road westwards until they reached the main forest road which they followed back to the cars.  The rain had renewed its efforts and the damp crew left with thoughts of hot baths and warm firesides.

Next week’s walk is a moderate (C+) walk in the southern Machars.  Meet at the Breastworks car park, Stranraer at 09:00 or the Riverside car park, Newton Stewart at 09:30 to share transport. The walk will start from Glasserton Church (NX 421 381) at 10:00.  New walkers are always welcome.  Please contact the walk leader on 01671 403351 if you are meeting at the start to confirm arrangements or have any other queries.


  1. You folks are a hearty brave bunch to head out in the cold rain! Although it looks so beautiful out there I don't think I could resist the venture myself.. I really like your misty fog photos..

  2. It was only the hard core of the group who turned out Michael.
    A little shower's no problem, but when it's incessant the pleasure is in the completion and a nice warm bath

  3. Looks wet.
    That,s when you really need the compainonship and banter of a group around you.I,ve been thinking about joining one recently but walks are always planned in advance not where the sun is going to be.Miss the company though sometimes.


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