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Saturday, 12 January 2013

Wigtownshire Ramblers-Knockdolian-January 2013

Saturday the 12th of January
Today we're up in Ballantrae, South Ayrshire for one of our regular favourite walks.
I'm leading a group of twenty five today.
The walk report will follow the images.
Previous posts
I find it hard to believe we didn't climb it in 2012

Ballantrae Information Boards

Accessing the beach

One or two of today's pictures will be from the recce ten days previously.
We saw a few flocks again today. I didn't get a picture of the closest flock, they were in an adjacent field on the drive home.

Passing what's recorded as the wreck of a fishing boat.

Allowing the back markers to catch up.

The fence and wall climb. I'm not sure what we're going to see on Scoop's Blog post when it's done.

The back markers

At the very cool summit.

Overlooking Knockdolian House and Castle

The descent

We didn't get very close to Knockdolian House and Castle on the walk.
Luckily while on the recce we were allowed to walk through the grounds, hence the next few pictures are from the recce.

Knockdolian House, castle and crest.

The ladies of the manor

The Ornamental Bridge and their Lord and Ladyship

Knockdolian fishing stretch.

Last leg to Ballantrae.

Wigtownshire Ramblers Walk Report 
Saturday the 12th of January 2013 

Twenty five walkers met at the Ballantrae shore car park for the walk start. Two new walkers were welcomed to the group. It was a fine but cold morning with a light mist. The walk began by heading north. The first point of interest was a notice board telling the 1933 story of Johnny Hood an Islandmagee ferry operator who amazingly survived after drifting for 36 hours on freezing choppy seas before his boat smashed on to the rocks of Ballantrae. Another board stated the beach has been listed by Scottish Natural Heritage as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (S.S.S.I.). The area is noted for the shingle beach, which provides a habitat to a wide range of coastal plant material, and as home to a breeding colony of birds. Now began a two kilometre walk along the beach. A heron and other seabirds were seen. Stopping to view the remains of a fishing boat, sweets were distributed. Reaching a point where the Red Burn flows into the sea, a path led over the dunes to the busy A77 road. After crossing the road, a short walk eastwards along the B734 brought the group to Corseclays Farm. Now a farm track took them onto the lower slopes of Knockdolian. A drystane dyke alongside a barbed wire fence proved to be a challenge. After many contortions all walkers were safely on the other side. After crossing a short boggy section the firmer ground of the steeper slopes were reached. A quad bike track was now followed to the 869ft summit. A sea mist hid the usual extensive views west. Nothing could be seen beyond Ailsa Craig. Closer by, Colmonell could be seen along the Stinchar valley while above Glen Tig to the south the blades of Arcleoch wind farm were seen turning. Dropping below the summit, refuge from a strong easterly wind was sought in a sheltered rocky outcrop for a lunch break. Directly below and owned by the family of the Duke of Wellington the mansion house of Knockdolian was in clear view. A new book by Lady Jane Wellesley entitled “A Journey Through My Family” mentions that Knockdolian was the favourite place of Lady Diana Wellesley, the late duchess. After lunch a steep descent brought the group to a gate leading into a boggy field. The route now passed the prominent mound of the ancient hill fort of Duniewick. Reaching the burn at the Duniewick plantation another mini obstacle course involved ducking under the fence of a burn outlet and crossing over a wooden fence. Photographs were taken. Another boggy field now led to the minor B7044 road. Knockdolian House and the ruins of the 16th century Knockdolian castle were viewed from the road. A short road walk led to a track down to the banks of the River Stinchar. The riverside path took them south through Finnart Holm before re-joining the road below Macherquat farm. A pair of dippers were spotted flitting on the opposite bank. After passing the extensive ruins of Balnowlart House they regained the riverside path which took them to the bridge at Ardstinchar. An information board gave the history of Ardstinchar Castle and the old and new bridges over the river. A flock of curlews and skeins of geese were among other birds spotted today.

Back at the car park, rucksacks and boots were soon stowed away.
The majority of walkers now descended on Craigiemains Home and Garden Centre for tea, coffee, scones and cakes. The cream to top an enjoyable day! The next walk, on Saturday the 19th of January will be a 6.5 mile ‘Woodland walk into Newton Stewart’ from Kirroughtree. Meet at the Riverside car park Newton Stewart at 9.30 am,the Breastworks, Stranraer at 9.00 am for car sharing, or at the walk start at the ‘Fisherman’s Car Park’ (Nx 441 648) at 10.00am. New members are always welcome, for more information or if going to the walk start, contact the walk leader on 01671 402733


  1. I apologize to those faithful blog readers who left comments on this post. I had to re-post it because it was being targeted by some idiot spammer who hasn't a decent brain cell in his tiny little mind.

  2. A liitle bit of work and I got your comments back folks

    I so enjoy your photos and commentary. you are lucky to be a part of this group.
    Annmarie Pipa

    Happy New year to you Jim, and here's to seeing lots more of your interesting walks. O and I are building ourselves up this year and making sure we walk regularly, about time too so we shall be setting off on some of the walks you have featured here for sure.
    Ruthie Redden

    Twenty-five ramblers, wow! Lovely pictures, and some sunshine, too. I'm eagerly waiting for a sunny Saturday or Sunday. Today we did see some rays of sunshine but it was a Monday and I had to stay indoors most of the day

    Fantastic Hill. Only managed to climb it once but I'd go back like a shot.


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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