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Sunday, 14 October 2012

The Wigtownshire Ramblers Sandhead to Stranraer October 2012

Saturday the 13th of October
Today's walk should have been led by the 'Farmer', but due to unexpected circumstances he's unable to lead this walk, and has subsequently delegated leadership to the 'Milkmaid'. This will be the first walk she's led with the group. I'm sure it wont be her last.
Today's walk is a section of the recently opened Mull of Galloway Trail completed by the Rotary Club of Stranraer. It's also become a part of the International Appalachian Trail.

We begin with 17 walkers. The walk start is outside the Tigh Na Mara 
It's a bright but cool morning as we set off along the dunes north of Sandhead.

Here's three of the countless geese we saw today.

Carisbrooke and the Sandmill Burn

The dunes are very undulating.

It may be October but there's still lots of late colour such as this Wild Pansy

Occasional information boards are strategically placed along the route.
(N.B. a right click on the picture will bring up the option to 'Open link in new tab', making the text readable)

After passing close to the Clayshant Control Tower, we cross the B7084 road to view the Radomes of West Freuch. There's some interesting pictures on Airfield Information Exchange
The local press continually speculate about the future of West Freugh. It's supposedly mothballed at the moment, but I wonder! remember the West Freugh Incident of 1957

Now on the tarmac road to Low and High Mye our number has dropped to 16 as one of our walkers heads back to Sandhead. This changes to 18 as we are joined by two latecomers arriving on foot.
One of these is the Ayrshire Blogger having walked at pace from Lochans. He'll have done more miles than any of us today.

The above collage shows milk churns from Galloway Creamery. Remember the Milk Marketing Board ? 
Water quality monitoring solar panels.
I put the bottom right picture in 'cause I was intrigued by the name Barsolus ! Who's that inside the bus ?

There were at least three stiles in the field. Health and Safety at Work i suppose.

Lunchtime. Note the table and chair (the stile). Guess who'd claimed that..

The 'Milkmaid' today's illustrious leader.

Nearing Culhorn we join the SUW for a short distance. There's plenty of lying water.

The view back.

Culhorn House
When Lady Stair moved to Culhorn House near Stranraer in 1792 the garden grew a remarkable range of vegetables, including five types of onion and six varieties of cabbage

I was trying to get a bevy of beauties leaning on the gate, however it seems there's an interloper in there somewhere !

After crossing the road to the Blackparks Industrial Estate, we're heading back into town.
A slight mishap saw one of our walkers trip over a kerb causing a cut to her chin. She was soon administered first aid, and quickly dispatched to A&E to get checked out. She seemed Ok, hopefully she's ok now.
Opposite the newly reopened Bayhouse Retaurant stands the first of the information boards promoting the trail.
Our day finished with refreshments in 'Stir It' an excellent Stranraer cafe.
Congratulations to the 'Milkmaid' for a well led walk.

The leader's walk report.

Wigtownshire Ramblers Report for 13/10/12
17 ramblers met opposite the Tigh-Na-Mara to walk the Sandhead to Stranraer section of the new Mull of Galloway Trail, only recently completed by the Rotary Club of Stranraer and officially opened in August 2012. This new trail is also part of the International Appalachian Trail.
With the weather looking promising the group made their way along the coast from Sandhead, crossing Sandmill burn and rounding the perimeter of the Sands of Luce Holiday Park before traversing the sand-dunes towards Culmore burn. Fine views across Luce Bay and carpets of wild pansy were enjoyed. A stop was made to read the information board marking the site of the old Clayshant parish church, now modern quarry workings.  Accompanied by the sounds of migrating geese the group passed between the Clayshant Control Tower of the West Freuch and Clayshant quarry to cross the B7084. Here one member walked back along the beach to Sandhead, shortly followed by two more members joining the group.
The group then continued along quiet roads, following the way markers, past Low Mye, High Mye,  Mosscroft and Barnultoch. Along the way there were views over the Radomes of the West Freuch, fields of Charolais bullocks and a solar powered water monitor. Leaving the public road via an access road to High Barnultoch Farm, passing through a kissing gate into a field, the group stopped for lunch on a sunny bank. Here a number of stiles allow walkers to escape in the event of a bull being in the field.
After lunch the group made their way through a small wood and across a field to the public road leading to Culhorn. Following this into the woods they stopped at the ruins of Culhorn House, which was the residence of the Earl of Stair after Castle Kennedy was destroyed by fire in 1716, before the family moved to Lochinch Castle in 1867. From here walking on a carpet of autumn colour, the group was able to enjoy the splendour of the Culhorn Approach which once extended as far as London Road. After crossing the public road the group emerged from the woods into Westwood Avenue, Ladies walk and the A77 and into Stir It for refreshments.
The next walk, on Saturday the 20th October is an 8.5 mile linear walk from Garliston to Whithorn. Meet at the Isle of Whithorn for the 8.55 bus to Garlieston (remember bus passes if you have one).  The walk starts at Garlieston (NX478 463) at 10.20. Meet for car sharing at the Breastworks, Stranraer and the Riverside Newton Stewart at 9.00 am.   


  1. as always, i enjoyed taking a walk with you ~

  2. A rich harvest of womenfolk Jim and a lovely sunny day.That photo of everyone sitting reminds me of autumnal fruit and veg displays to show how good a year its been.
    All we've managed to collect in four years is one new guy :(
    The AT also has people in common.A lot of the clearance highlanders ended up in the mountains of the southern USA.


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