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Sunday, 17 February 2013

Wigtownshire Ramblers Isle of Whithorn to Garlieston February 2013

It's Saturday the 16th of February 2013.

Today's walk is one of our most regular and popular.
It's a linear from the Isle of Whithorn to Garlieston. We alternate the walk start between the two. Here's a couple of previous walks.
Twenty three of us got on the bus at Garlieston to travel to the Isle. 
After looking at the BBC's weather forecast I for one was optimistic we'd have a good day weather wise. Wrong! 
Although it never really rained the whole day was dreich with a constant smirr and/or mizzle.
Not good for my camera. At times I left it out of it's carrying case for too long which has resulted in at least half the pictures I took being nonpublishable. Permeating sounds a good word for it.

Accessing the shoreline via Stinking Port we head north. We pass the 'Clept', a natural narrow bay once used as a harbour for fishing boats.

We're a colourful, adequately dressed group for the conditions.

It's a fairly turbulent sea below us.

The Trig Point at Stein Head. This is Scotland's second most southerly trig point. Inshanks Fell on the South Rhins is the most southerly. (It is however the most southerly non-primary in Scotland, but don't ask me, I know nothing) 

Another constant feature of today's walk was mud.

There's lot's of fun to be had at the drystane stiles on the route.

A 'Beetle', part of a 'Hippo Pier' in Cairnhead Bay, Portyerrock Bay part of the Mulberry Harbour

Even with the damp now getting to my camera I managed to get these next pictures of fungi. Probably the best pictures in the post.
Called Hirneola Auricula.........................or..........

.............................Auricularia Auricula - Judae.......................

...................It's among a group called Jelly Fungi......

................translates as 'The Jew's Ear Fungus'...........................

..................and is's what Wikipedia say
Wished I'd known about it, I could have gathered it and sold it to the local Chinese Takeaway!

This boat has the right name for today's walk

Passing Portyerrock Mill

Here we pass the remnants of promontory forts at the 'Howe Hole of Shaddock'.

A Badger's Sett pointed out by our walk leaders.

Evidence on our deputy walk leader's boot of mud, mire,sludge or muck. For Spanish readers it's barro, cieno, fango, limo, lodo, pecina.
Or if you're Dutch it's drek, modder, slijk, slik.

Removal of some of the aforementioned.

The stile to access Cruggleton Castle

The damp is now in my camera but I get in the picture thanks to a young lady with a smart phone. Thanks Ecky.

With the camera now back in my carrying case we continue on to Cruggleton Lodge, then along to a track High Lodge. Two restored 18th century cottages on the Galloway House Estate.
(My camera's now dried out a little)
Now we cross a field to arrive here...................... Snowdrop Cottage, in the woods just south of Galloway House. 

How the cottage got it's name is patently obvious

Rounding Rigg Bay
(What a difference since I was last here at Rigg Bay, it was a during a visit by my twin daughters back in November. Twin's visit.

Walk finish at Garlieston. Tired me out anyway !
We're off to the Bayview Bistro in Wigtown for our after walk refreshments (and what a welcoming spread they put out for us)

The walk report author this week is 'Knot'Dolian' (nickname devised by herself in reference to a certain hill with a similar sounding name. I asked if she liked this hill, she replied I'm a frayed knot), and if this post hasn't caused any offence I'm hopeful she'll forward it for inclusion here.

Wigtownshire Ramblers 16th February 2013 Isle of Whithorn to Garlieston
Twenty three ramblers met at Garlieston to take the bus to the Isle of Whithorn for the eight and a half mile walk back along the coast. The morning start was cool with a steady drizzle which didn't bode too well for seeing the fine views normally visible on this walk. As they waited for the bus more waterproof clothes were donned, gaiters, gloves, scarves and hats made walkers almost unrecognizable  On the bus it was standing room only and the astonished driver wished everyone a good walk as they alighted, no doubt thinking they were all a bit mad to do a coastal walk on such a miserable morning.
The start was through the village, past the old schoolhouse heading north along the coast towards Portyerrock Bay. Passing the holiday houses crocuses, snowdrops and an early celandine were spotted promising better weather to come and lifting the spirits. The drizzle eased a little as pregnant sheep pushed ahead and darted into the next field to avoid close encounters with this strange looking band of folk. A slight detour was taken to see the first landmark – a trig point, but still no views over the bay.  Curlews could be heard calling above and a cormorant was seen skimming the waves heading southwards as the group squelched through fields and climbed over stone dykes – one in particular proving a challenge to shorter members as there was only one stone footrest over a high wall. After much pushing, heaving and hilarity everyone was safely on the other side and a congratulatory pause for sweeties was taken.
As they walked on three deer were seen giving the group a good looking over before they turned and skittered off into the distance. The walkers now entered a small wood, passed some ruined Second World War buildings and followed a muddy path into a farm field. This route enabled them to avoid the shore where the going over seaweed and slimy rocks would have been treacherous. A 'Beetle', part of a 'Hippo Pier'of the Mulberry harbour constructions was visible as the tide was at a low ebb. Emerging from the field the B7063 road was followed for a short distance to the old mill at Portyerrock where a stile was crossed onto the coastal path to Garlieston. The going became very muddy at this point and the ramblers had a hard time struggling through it. Oyster catchers were busy along the shoreline but the arch at Cruggleton, normally visible from this point, was nowhere to be seen as the mist and drizzle persisted. Eventually the walkers crossed over a dyke and thankfully found rest and shelter behind it for a lunch break. Some cleaned off their boots little realizing that there was worse to come.
The next field proved to be the undoing of some as, although a detour was taken to avoid the worst of the mud, one particularly nasty patch saw some getting their boots stuck and one or two fallers as walkers and mud did battle and mud won the day. Eventually a bedraggled and clarty group staggered up passed the wind turbines onto drier ground. A nearby burn was used by some to clear off the worst of the mud as the castle of Cruggleton was finally reached. Here another short breather was taken before the group walked on to the lodge where they turned left and followed the drive down to the road. The walking was easier here and the pace picked up. At the road the group turned right through a field heading for the ruins of Snowdrop Cottage which proved to be the highlight of the walk as snowdrops in all their delicate beauty stretched through the woods as far as the eye could see. The walkers now proceeded through the grounds of Galloway House and back onto the coastal path which was followed to Garlieston.
A longer time than usual was taken over getting cleaned up as the ramblers had booked tea at the Bay View Bistro in Wigtown and wanted to be presentable. The staff there had a most welcome cream tea waiting for the rosy cheeked walkers – a fitting end to what had been a challenging walk.
Next week’s walk has been changed owing to more mud and will now be a moderate six miles starting at Leswalt Village hall at 10am. For car sharing meet at the Riverside car park in Newton Stewart at 9am or the Breastworks car park in Stranraer at 9.30 am. New walkers are most welcome, please contact the walk leader on 01776 870441.


  1. We had the same dreich day over here in Langholm.

    You've posted some colourful pictures Jim despite the weather. Love the fungi.

  2. Liked the Codswallop Joke Jim.
    At least if its a bad day your always surrounded by lovely ladies.
    Interesting info about the Mulberry Harbours and the Jew's ear.
    I've noticed jelly fungus a few times now on walks but I would have to be really desperate to eat it. Like chewing a melted car tire I'd imagine.

  3. Love the fungi pics Jim, the mud looked very sticky and what a bunch of colourful walkers! And you looked a happy chappy in that beautifully framed pic of you under the stone arch. Was it as cold as it looked?!

  4. Thanks Sandy, we've got a much better forecast for this week.

    Hi Bob, you're right about the lovely ladies, the worse the weather the bigger the hugs. I'm happy enough with that.
    As far as edible fungi goes I'm afraid I'm too chicken to ever take the chance, I only just trust the supermarkets to make sure I'm not poisoned.

    It was pretty cold Rose. We do that walk quite regularly and we've nearly always been blessed with good weather so I suppose we were due a dreich one.

  5. To Jim.
    Quote. 'I only just trust the supermarkets to make sure I'm not poisoned.'
    Good luck with the donkey burgers then :)

  6. Hi Bob, I fell right in there didn't I. I was specifically talking about the mushrooms, but as my mum used to say "never open your mouth before you engage your brain"

  7. It looked like a fun, but cold, ramble. You would have lost me at the first stile. The view of all of the snowdrops at the snowdrop cottage was very pretty. I thought that the fungi was strange and amazing. I don't know what would have ever inspired the first person who ever ate that fungi, starvation, I guess. It does not look too appetizing to me. I thought the information about it was very interesting. If you would have had some of it earlier this winter, you could have treated your flu symptoms with it. Or maybe not.

  8. Hi Susie, it was a cold ramble. The adversity of the mud was what was good for the soul. If we didn't laugh we'd cry!
    Yes, the fungi 'Auricula' looks like it has worldwide fame in food and medicines, I think there's probably something in it.

  9. You really are a colourful bunch of people!

    There are good things about these freezing temperatures and snow - not that much of muta, lieju, rapa, kura!

  10. Hi Maria, thanks for the Finnish translation of that sticky stuff.
    Have a nice week.


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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