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Sunday, 2 September 2012

Wigtownshire Ramblers - St Ninian's Cave to the Isle of Whithorn - September 2012

Saturday the 1st of September 2012.
Meeting up at St Ninian's Cave Car Park, I got my flask out for a small cup of coffee while we waited for the others to arrive, only to find there were no others coming. Everyone's either on holiday, sick lame or lazy or doing something else. Our smallest turnout ever was seven I think, we've just beat that with eight.
Report to follow the pictures.
St Ninian's Cave


Underground stream

Cliff Top

A colony of shags



All that's left of the original Wickerman at Burrowhead

More dramatic cliff top views

Looking back to Burrowhead

WW2 Pillbox view

Sheer cliffs

Salty, Sammy or Sandy ? Do they sleep like this

Above collage right......I wonder what's down that hole ? It may be a big smugglers cave.

Big nostrils (It took a while to spot our first seal, but after leaving Burrowhead, we saw them frequently)

Wished I'd fetched my trunks !

Outside the Steam Packet Inn

Wigtownshire Ramblers Walk Report
Saturday the 1st of September 2012

Due to many walkers being on holiday, it was a depleted group of eight who met at St Ninian’s Cave Car Park for the start of the walk to the Isle of Whithorn. The weather forecast was for a bright but breezy day.
 A gentle start, passing three lazy bulls, took the group down the verdant Physgill Glen to arrive on the stony beach of Port Castle Bay. The cave of St Ninian, Scotland’s first Christian missionary was visited. A close inspection identified some of the original crosses carved into the rocks.  Many new hastily made crosses were in evidence after the annual August pilgrimage.
Now following the coastal path the cliff top was accessed via a short climb. The scenery now for most of the walk was of dramatic rocky outcrops, inlets, wide bays with caves and sheer cliffs. Some of the rock strata resembled that of the Giant’s Causeway or Fingal’s Cave.
Wild flowers including the ‘Hairy Buttercup’, Saxifrage, Bellflower, Tufted Vetch and ripe brambles were abundant. A great variety of seabirds spotted included Fulmars, Gannets and a colony of Cormorants.  Wheatears, Swallows, Crows and Pigeons were also identified.
On reaching Burrowhead, a roofless breezeblock structure was accessed to shelter from the wind while a leisurely lunch break was taken.
After lunch a look was taken at the site of the original Wickerman. There’s little left of the wooden stumps. They’re cemented into the cliff-top where the initials “WM” and the date 1972 are carved into the base.
From Burrowhead the cliffs now became steeper and higher. The occasional inquisitive seal came close into shore to study the bipeds passing overhead.
A claustrophobic pill box, a remnant of WW2 was inspected.
The final stretch into the Isle of Whithorn included disturbing a herd of cows and a hare, more seal sightings and seeing a variety of colourful butterflies.
On reaching the car park in the Isle, the car drivers were ferried back to the walk start to collect the vehicles.
Watching the activities of youngsters swimming and frolicking in the water, while drinking tea and devouring ice creams outside the Steam Packet Inn concluded a very enjoyable day. 
The next walk on Saturday the 8th of September is a moderate circular walk of 7 miles, starting in the conservation village of Barr in the Carrick Hills. Meet for car sharing at the Breastworks, Stranraer 9.00am,the Riverside, Newton Stewart 9.00am or the walk start at Barr Village Hall (NX 275 941) at 10am. For further details or if going to the start please phone the walk leader on 01465 712180. New members are always welcome.

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