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Sunday, 16 December 2012

Wigtownshire Ramblers Drummore to Sandhead Coastal December 2012

It's the 15th of December.
Today's walk is part of the Mull of Galloway Trail
We are doing the section from Drummore to Sandhead.
An early start sees us catching the 9.15 bus from Sandhead to Drummore.
22 of us begin the walk, this becomes 23 when we're joined at Logan Mills by a walker who's recently undergone knee surgery.
Today's leaders are Scoop and the Weaver.
The Weaver's report will follow. 
We get the occasional glimpse of the sun as we begin the walk from the old mill in Drummore.

Although most of the path is by the coast it occasionally diverts inland.

This inward loop took us though a muddy path via the Grennan Slate quarries.

We get back on the coast at Dungamen Bay as a couple of horse riders head for Terally.

At Terally Point we pass this information board.

We have a four legged friend with us today. This beauty goes by the name of Tilly.

Another short stretch of road walking brings us to New England Bay.

There's no shortage of seabirds today.

Reaching Logan Mills we stop for lunch. 

After lunch we head inland again.

On this section we pass St Agnes Chapel, Logan Windmill and view Auchness Castle.
I included more details on these three buildings in my 2011 post Ardwell to Logan. 

Seeing a nice lean on gate I ask for a girly picture.
Everyone a cracker ! (Christmas that is)

Chapel Rossan Bay and Ardwell come next. No sign of the burger van at this time of year.

The two pictures on the left in the above collage are of a miniature European village. I believe this is known as the Ardwell Proving Ground. It's a village for model tanks. There's a number of  videos on YouTube

Back on the shore, it's quite a stony beach the rest of the way

Drumantrae Bay

We take another short break near the Dyemill. It's now a private residence, but was once powered by the Alwhibbie Burn to mill seaweed and obtain a brown dye.

Smiling faces at the thought of mince pies

Another information board close to Ardwell Mill.

Tilly takes a drink from the Cairnwell Burn.

Sandhead and the walk finish.

Below are a couple of collages from Scoop in which I get a look in. 

Reaching Sandhead, the Tigh Na Mara were well prepared for our arrival.
Hot mince pies, tea, coffee and lots of chatter were a welcome conclusion to a long day's walking.

Here's the Weaver's report.

Ramblers’ report Saturday 15th December.
A mild but overcast day encouraged twenty two ramblers to turn out for a 10 mile walk along the coast path on Saturday. The route was to lead northwards from Drummore to Sandhead.
Cars were left at Sandhead and a bus journey taking in the delights of the Southern Rhins eventually dropped the company off in Drummore, to start the walk from the old mill by the harbour.
The tide was coming in, but there was no wind, so the problems were not expected, which had plagued the previous day’s high water, where debris consisting of mounds of seaweed and quite large stones were thrown up onto the path.
The shore on the west side of Luce Bay is being washed away by the rough sea and the walk showed just how vulnerable the land is along here. The old road out of Drummore is no longer accessible by motors because of erosion, but provided a quiet introduction to a length of road walking where some walkers took to the wide sea wall with a good view of the water below.
A section away from the sea, following the track up to Grennan farm brought a panoramic sight of Luce Bay, before descending once again to the road along by hidden quarries and brushy undergrowth.
Tarmac was avoided by walking a path alongside the road, through the edge of Grennan wood, sometimes muddy after the recent rain, to Terally road end. Across the road the foreshore, with the sea approaching rapidly was now enjoyed, until the roofless Terally coal store was reached. Old pictures show horses and carts queuing here to be loaded from beached shipping, a reminder of how this inaccessible corner relied on sea transport for such a long time.
The sandy beach at New England Bay was nowhere to be seen as the tide rose and when Balgowan Point was rounded the shore had to be abandoned for the path cleared above the tideline.
Logan Mill is now just a tower lacking its sails, a corn mill dating from the seventeenth century. It was a perfect stop for lunch, where a late arrival put the numbers up to twenty three. The waves crashing onto the shore provided a pleasing accompaniment to the sociable picnic.
With time at a premium because of the short daylight hours, the walkers were soon pressing onward, forsaking the coast path for a while to turn inland and pass by the nineteenth century Saint Agnes’ chapel. This was built by James McDouall, the Laird of Logan, and named after his wife, Agnes Buchan Hepburn, for the use of estate workers.
The coast path was picked up once more at Auchness where woods and fields alongside the road gave a safe path to Ardwell picnic site. Two delightful small bridges could be seen carrying the road over small burns, one with a beautifully built rounded arch. A ruined building and large gateposts were discovered along the old entry into the Logan estate.
The shore was once more reached at Chapel Rossan house, where the old road used to take the seaward route, but was washed away long ago. The site is named for St. Drostran, an Irish monk. However, there is no sign of the old chapel to be seen today.
Killaser burn is wide and deep and the road bridge crosses it, which meant that the pretty village of Ardwell, with a miniature town nestled between trees in one of the gardens, and a Norman motte above the old shop, was not missed.  Again the ramblers progressed to the shore by Ardwell chalets and on to Ringvinachen point and the West Freugh outpost, used to monitor the range in the bay.
Another rest was taken at Dyemill before skirting the house along the A716 and dropping to the beach once more by way of an old green road. The Dyemill is a reminder of the old textile manufactory of the area when it was renowned for its flax production.
The high tide kept the walkers to the wooded path and the rather overgrown trail for the next section, passing Ardwell mill and a small cairn raised to commemorate someone’s beloved dog, Rebel. There was no sign today of the long legged, long beaked white bird, perhaps a great white heron, which had been seen feeding by an outfall pipe on Tuesday’s recce.
As Sandhead came into view, a landslide which had fallen earlier in the week from the road south out of Sandhead, had been surprisingly washed away, with very little sign left of it on the beach, but leaving a great scar on the hillside, another sign of the encroaching sea on this coast.
As the sky darkened and dusk began to fall, Tigh na Mara in Sandhead, welcomed the weary ramblers with tea and mince pies, a fitting end to this December walk.
Next week’s walk will be an 11 mile quite strenuous tramp around the Door of Cairnsmore, meaning an early start of 8.30 am Breastworks, Stranraer, 9 am Riverside, Newton Stewart and 9.30 am at the walk start, Cairnsmore car park, NX 464 633. Another short walk is being arranged for those who wish to have a little exercise before mince pies at the walk leaders’ house. For more details phone 01671 401222.  New members are always welcome.


  1. looks like a lovely time was had. your winter looks more like our autumn or spring even....

  2. I love walking along beaches. You'd think a guy who spends half his life at sea would want to keep away from it, but it doesn't seem to be that way.

    There's a bit of paddling going on there. I'll bet you now know who needs to go and buy a new pair of boots.

  3. Lovely route by the sea. I'm sure I would have enjoyed this walk.

  4. A wonderful post Jim.
    The last holiday Anne and I spent together was at The Mull of Galloway staying at Drumore 2008. It was spring time and we were knocked out by the wild fowers that were at full bloom at the time.

  5. Thanks Tammie, It's very nonseasonal the way the rain is lashing down tonight. However where we were walking benefits from the warmth of the passing Gulf Stream and rarely sees frost and snow. However even that's becoming more frequent.

    I've no problem with the puddles Sandy, my new pair of Meindl are only five weeks old.If you're on board at the moment, I hope you're inside out of this weather.

    Hi Maria, I'm sure you would have. When I worked in shipping and distribution, an inspector for the forestry commission would come regularly to look at our cargoes of timber. On one visit he showed us some photographs he'd taken while visiting the Kvarken archipelago. That's an amazing coastline. I seem to remember getting cargo boats from Turku.

    Quite a number of those on this walk were local Sandy. It's a bit remote from Stranraer and even further from the big shops but they love to live down here. It's a truly wonderful region of D & G.

  6. Winter is the best time for a coastal walk. You're lucky Jim. These days I've got to go on my own if I want a coast walk as all my friends want to do is hills. Its like eating a apple every day. Sometimes you just fancy something different for a change.


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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