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Sunday, 11 November 2012

Wigtownshire Ramblers Loch Whinyeon Carstramon November 2012

Saturday the 10th of November
It must be an age thing, but I kept insisting I'd missed doing this walk in back February.
If that is the case, then an imposter walked and published my blog because it's here.
The 'Weaver' is once again the leader and her report will follow.
That's wrong, I've just learned that it will be the 'Milkmaid' writing the report.

There are 15 of us today.
The climb to Grey Hill and Benfadyeon

A zoom in to the Water of Fleet

Overlooking Loch Whinyeon

The group on top of Benfadyeon

What was once a sink or blow hole for the tunnel to Gatehouse of Fleet

Loch Whinyeon and sluice inlet
(Just looking back at February's walk, I'm taking much the same pictures. Maybe I should have just copied and pasted and changed the date lol)

The sluice gate

On reaching Craigtype waterproofs appear, it looks like rain

After descending the tussocks and bogs of the Fell of Laghead a solid track makes a nice change

Looks like we have a new member

Down into Castramont Cleugh

Lunch on a grassy knoll (no assassination planned yet !)

One of a number of wooden bridges

Rusco Tower

Colourful Castramont Cleugh

I was once as handsome as the bully boy above.
The woods of Carstramon come next

Carstramon Wood is one of the largest semi-natural broadleaved woodlands in Galloway and comprises a mix of ancient coppiced woodland around the Doon of Castramont and long established woodland in the northern half, planted over 200 years ago. Ancient beech pollards are found throughout the wood which provide valuable dead wood habitat for a number of rare insects. In spring the wood comes alive with the sound of summer migrant birds and in May the woodland floor is spectacularly carpeted with bluebells.

This felled tree proved to be a microcosm for fungi

I'll bet there's loads of creepy crawlies in there too

It's fungi season in the woods

Hello you guys up there

One of the largest of the coppiced trees

Heading over the fields on the last section the lowering sun casts a glow

It's been quite a tough walk today

My fellow snapper Scoop got me in the picture, so here's me

The 'Weaver's'  'Milkmaid's' report will appear here.

Wigtownshire Ramblers report for 10/11/12
On Saturday, 15 ramblers met at Knocktinkle car park, Gatehouse of Fleet, for an 8 mile walk over moorland, hills, and woodland and farm tracks. The weather was bright, but showers were forecast.
The car park is dedicated to the memory of the late Betty Murray-Usher, who along with the Stewartry Drystane Dyking Committee founded the Dry Stone Walling Association of Great Britain.
Setting off over moorland towards Benfadyeon the group crossed a part of the lade made to transport water to Gatehouse-Of-Fleet.  In 1790 the water power scheme started to supply the new mills in Gatehouse as the Fleet did not provide enough. It cost £1400 and supplied 4 cotton mills, 2 tanneries, a brass foundry and brewery. The water came from the end of Loch Whinyeon through a tunnel and was canalised down the burn to two mill ponds at each side of the village. The system was extensive, originally 6.4 km long and there are over 4.6 km remains.
The climb up Benfadyeon was rewarded with 360 degree views over the surrounding area which included Gatehouse of Fleet and the Solway with the Wigtown peninsula just visible. To the west threatening clouds loomed above Ben John and Cairnharrow . Loch Whinyeon, a popular fishing destination, well stocked with brown trout, could be seen for the first time.
The descent from Benfadyeon disturbed a well camouflaged snipe and a couple of grouse.  On reaching Loch Whinyeon, the end of the lade tunnel and sluice gate for the water power scheme were explored. Today water is extracted from the dam at the opposite side of the loch and is now used as the local water supply.
After leaving the shore of Loch Whinyeon a short steep climb led to the summit of Craigtype where ramblers paused just long enough to don waterproofs before a heavy shower encouraged them to head downhill and back up to the highest point of the walk, the Fell of Laghead at 292m. After descending and crossing the Lauriston road, the forest road led to a footpath following Castramont burn. Due to the recent weather the path here was very muddy.  Lunch was taken close to waterfalls with a red kite circling above.  The burn was followed down to Culreoch farm road with a pause to admire a beautifully patterned new dry stone wall.
A screeching jay announced the entry of the walkers into Carstramon Wood. Bronzed fallen leaves covered the meandering path through predominantly oak woodland with many glorious, gnarled old coppiced beech trees along the way. The remains of charcoal burning platforms from the 19th century were passed. Oak was chopped and burnt here, to produce charcoal for the iron, copper and brass industry. Timber from Carstramon Wood was also used to make bobbins in the Gatehouse mills.
Leaving the woods the walkers continued along the road to Lagg Farm passing a field of blackface tups with magnificent spiralled horns. A farm track was followed towards Laghead Farm, before crossing some fields to the car park and retiring to Galloway Lodge for tea and cakes.
The next walk, on Saturday the 17th of November is a 9.5 mile linear walk from Stranraer to Portpatrick. Meet for car sharing at the Riverside, Newton Stewart at 9.30 am. The walk starts at Stranraer Breastworks (NX061 61) at 10.00am. Please remember bus passes (if you have one). Transport back from Portpatrick to Stranraer will be by bus. New members are always welcome.  Contact walk leader on 01776705818.


  1. Some lovely Autumnal colours in today's blog.
    Interesting to see a bit of poetry in a wall (if not a great piece). A quick look says that there were a great pile of various Murray Ushers all from here abouts - one owned the Cally Palace at one point.
    The cow following your group is a great picture. You seem to spend a lot of time colse to cows out on your walks - at least there's a bit of fence between yourself and the bull.

  2. I wish I could be a new member! I very much enjoy your beautiful photos. You are lucky to be in such a group!!

  3. Cheers Sandy, the line in the song " the leaves were brown came tumbling down, remember, last September" don't seem to apply anymore. Maybe I'll compose new lyrics. We often come across cattle. I was recceing a walk a couple of months ago when I'd just passed through a gate and the animal closest to me began braying and pawing the ground. I was out there quick. Talking to the farmer later I learned he had five temperamental dairy bulls in that field. I changed the route.

    Hi AnnMarie, we're always on the lookout for new members, but you'd need Scotty to beam you to the walk start on a Saturday morning. I don't think that transportation method has been streamlined enough yet. I try to make my pictures reflect the soul of the walk. I'm happy when i get positive comments like yours.
    Have a great week.

  4. Yes as always the sun shines on the righteous a wee bit further north and you were into the rain. Super pics.

  5. Very interesting Post Jim.Looks a varied walk with the leaves lasting on the trees for a long time this year.
    An area I,ve not visited yet in a hillwalking sense,just passed through it sitting in the car.

  6. I don't know about righteous Gordon, I heard some talk about burning witches from someone in the group. I think we've a mixture of holy and heathen.......balances itself out I suppose.

    It was a very varied walk Bob. There's about half a dozen small summits to make a decent 14 mile circular. Be good on a dry summers day.
    Yer right too about the leaves, the seasons aren't what they used to be.

  7. Beautiful colors in your photos. Carstramon Wood looks like it is an amazing place.

  8. Am really enjoying your blog and photos are great. We are from NE England have a caravan at Auchenlarie and love the area. Although we are only used to walking a couple of miles your blog is giving me lots of ideas for picking out shorter versions. We often go for a short walk in Carstramon Wood. Thanks and keep up the good work!

  9. Thanks for visiting Susie. Carstramon is a beautiful woodland. A few years ago a nephew and niece returned from a trip to St Louis with some wonderful pictures of their visit. When I get round to planning my Memphis/Nashville trip, St Louis would make it a nice triangle.......late next year maybe..

    Hello Shirley, Auchenlarie must be one of the prime holiday parks in the U.K surrounded by beautiful countryside and coastline. Thanks for your positive comments, might just bump into you sometime.

  10. I enjoyed the pictures of your walk a lot.

  11. Thanks Tommy, I've occasionally dropped by your Langholm pages via Sandy's blog. You've some of the best bird pictures I've looked at.

  12. the water of the fleet shot is so stunningly gorgeous. and i like that picture with the "new member" joining you guys. always a pleasure to look through your photos.

  13. Happy to oblige Aguilar, thanks for visiting.


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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