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Sunday, 20 January 2013

Wigtownshire Ramblers Kirroughtree to Newton Stewart January 2013

Saturday the 19th of January 2013
Today's walk is one from 2012's walkfest.
Here's the link to that. Friday the 11th of May 2012

Our walk leader is Shorty with Scoop as backup.
There are 18 of us out today. We've the two new gents from last week, and a couple of lovely new recruits of the fairer sex  from Newton Stewart. 
On four legs was Bella.
Shorty's report will follow the pictures. 
Our walk started up the hill from Blackcraig at the Fisherman's Car Park.

Little Bruntis Loch

Scoop, happy to be the back marker today.

Bruntis Loch

Ramblers at the Gem Stane, one of seven of the Seven Stanes Mountain Bike Trails 

This friendly wee fella flitted around us.

The bridge over to the Gem Stane

Forest tracks and tracks. Bella met a friend.

Heading down towards Larg

The remains of Larg Tower
This castle and Kirroughtree are connected to Robert the Bruce, the ancestry of the McKie family and 'The Wife of Craigencallie' , a very interesting tale.

Heading west from Larg Tower

The snow covered peaks of Millfore and Drigmorn.
The S.U.W have a walk from Murray's Monument to these two summits.
Millfore and Drigmorn walk. I've a feeling our group haven't done this from this direction.
What do you think fellow walkers ? Click on the link and see what you think.

Climbing up to Parliament Knowe. A lazy buzzard ignores our passing.

Heading through Wild Wood and Bower Wood to reach Newton Stewart Golf Club

The Doocot has approximately 450 spaces for Cushats or Cushie Doos

Passing by Wall Villa and the Conifers Leisure Park

The last stretch over Broomisle. The frost in the ground was welcome here.
A lovely stroll and a lovely get together afterwards in the Cinnamon for tea, coffee, fruit scones and jam.

Shorty's report will appear here when I get it.

Wigtownshire Ramblers – Saturday 19 January 2013

Eighteen ramblers and one well behaved dog met at the Anglers’ car park at the top of the Mines Hill above Blackcraig.  The weak winter sun was working its way through the thin clouds and the ground was sprinkled with a light dusting of fine snow.  It promised to be a fine day for a walk.  The group headed off following the newly constructed Yellow Route which wound its way through the trees down to the Bruntis Lochs. These were built as a water source for the lead mines and could be regarded as industrial dereliction but are now a most attractive feature of the forest.  When they reached the big loch a pair of herons wheeled above the glassy water, silhouetted against a clear blue sky.

There was a short pause to admire the ornate bridge over the outflow from the main loch and the repaired Jewel Stone, a symbol of one of the Seven Stanes cycle routes.  As they stood there a cyclist whirred past on the downhill run towards the visitor centre.  The group then made their way round the north-east side of the loch until an old track led northwards to a forest road.  The forest road was followed round the north side of the loch until the leader realised he had missed a turn and they back tracked a little way to where the Blue walking route led up through the trees to yet another forest road.  This road was followed south-westwards until a short track followed a moss decked dyke to an upper road where the group turned northwards, following the white trail round Larg Hill.  Along the way they met two other ramblers who were walking a borrowed dog in the opposite direction.  Greetings were exchanged and the ramblers continued on their way.  Views of the snow covered hills were seen sporadically through the larch trees.  They looked magnificent in the sparkling sunshine.

The group followed the lower road below Larg Hill until they reached the edge of the fields of Larg Farm.  At this point one member and his dog left the group to walk home and the remaining walkers crossed the fields down to the remains of the Larg Tower, and ancient tower house believed to have been the seat of the McKie family.  This was built on land granted to the McKie family by Robert the Bruce for services to the king during the wars of independence.

After examining the ruins they crossed another field and reached the New Galloway road by Larg Cottages.  The road was crossed and the ramblers followed the old road line up into the Doon Wood.  They left the track and walked through the lovely larch wood to the Parliament Knowe.  This was an old hill fort of unusually small dimensions which had been used as a traditional camping ground for passing tinkers.  It is believed that the name derives from the practice of local miners meeting there to discuss their mutual problems.  Lunch was taken on the top of the knowe where quarrying activity had provided ideal seating.

The sun now disappeared behind scudding clouds and the temperature dropped markedly.  The ramblers returned to the old track and climbed towards the Doon Fields. The fields which are completely screened by woodland, had once been used as a training site for young motocross riders.  All signs of their activities have now healed.  The group crossed the field and went back into the woods.  This section is known as the Wild Wood.  The area is predominantly conifer plantation but scattered older broadleaved trees suggest that there may have been an old wood on the site.

The original intention was to walk further round Clark’s Wood to the east but felling of areas of Larch following the identification of the Phytophthora disease meant that they avoided these areas and turned directly down to the Bower Wood.  There was no sign of the local Fallow Deer which are commonly seen here.  Perhaps they had all gone down to Minnigaff village where they had been causing problems for gardeners.  The group left Bower Wood and crossed the golf course to the doocot which stood between the fairways. This was examined and the group was amazed at the number of cells in such a small building.  As no golfers were in sight, the ramblers then crossed the next fairway and entered the track leading to the Kirroughtree Stables.  The track was followed round through the chalet park and down to Minnigaff.  The main road was crossed and the group picked their way by the driest possible route past Broomisle Cottage and down to the river.  This cottage was most unusual in that it has no road access and the occupants have to make their way as best they can over the fields.  Recent wet weather had apparently made this very difficult.  The group reached the riverside path and were amazed to see how high the debris from the recent floods had spread up the riverside trees.  The path had also been severely eroded by the floods.  The group made their way round the potholes and crossed the Sparling Bridge to the end of their walk in the Riverside car park.  While the drivers were ferried back to the start to collect their cars the remaining ramblers made their way to Cinnamon where they all enjoyed tea and scones.

Next week’s walk is a leisurely walk from Glen App to Cairnryan, partly following the recently completed Lochryan Coastal Path.  Meet at 09:00 at the Riverside car park, Newton Stewart or 09:15 at the Breastworks car park in Stranraer to share transport.  The walk will start with a bus at 09:45 from the north car park at Cairnryan (NX 062 691). New walkers are welcome.  If going direct to the start or for any other queries, please contact the walk leader on 01776 705818.


  1. Wonderful photos and post Jim. Love the Robin

  2. Photo of Bruntis Loch is worthy of competition entry Jim ,the colours make it look autumnal but the snow on the ground tells a different story.

  3. to my eyes, it looked like pretty fall colors mixed with winter. But i know it is your winter. fun to see a bit of snow in your photos. enjoy it while it lasts.

  4. Very idyllic pictures, especially at Bruntis Loch. The Doocot looks interesting - it resembles those capsule hotels in Japan.

  5. Thanks Sandy, the Robin's a cousin of yours I think.

    Thanks Gordon, Bruntis was just perfect when we reached it, a baby couldn't have taken a bad picture of it.

    Montana/Alberta winters are much more dramatic than ours Tammie, so as you say, we'll enjoy it while it lasts.

    I know just the ones you mean Maria, but the ones I've seen were in Western Australia.......they probably got the idea from Japan.
    You may already know this but a dove or a pigeon in Scotland is known as a doo hence Dovecote becomes Doocot

  6. Nice colourful range of Jackets on show Jim. Good for reflection shots. You always seem to get a good turnout, rain or shine on your walks.

  7. There's always a great variety of jackets with our lot Bob.
    We have everything from a Dutch De Bijenkorf to a Berghaus to a Michael Foot type Donkey Jacket. (I thought I still had my Donkey Jacket, but I'm mistaken. I've been looking 'cause I see they're back in fashion......Burberry have one at half price.......£447 !)


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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