Clicking a picture will bring up all the posts pictures in a slideshow. To view an individual picture in full screen, right click and select 'Open link in new tab'

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Wigtownshire Ramblers Portpatrick Dunskey Killantringan February 2013

Saturday the 2nd of February 2013
Today's walk starts from Portpatrick, goes around the Dunskey Estate and returns along the coast from Killantringan Lighthouse.
The walk leader is the 'Farmer' and Shorty will be writing the report which will appear at the bottom of the post.
We've walked parts of this walk before, but we'll be going on some new routes inside the Dunskey Estate

Twenty four of us today. Charley and Tilly are two canines joining us. The walk starts at the Lighthouse Car Park in Portpatrick

A few back roads and banks gets us up to Colonel Street
There's a Colonel's Cottage up here, does anyone know who the Colonel was ?
There's also a Colonel's Wood in the Dunskey Estate so no doubt it's named after one of the military Orr Ewings

From Colonel Street we get a good view across the village

Alongside the old railway embankment, a garden shed just about hangs on.
The railway station was situated somewhere in the area of the bottom left picture above.

A short walk on the main road brings us to a track into the Dunskey Estate.
Top right is a well copied verse, bottom right the rooftops of Dunskey House

An estate track brings us down to the gravestones on the headland between Sandeel Bay (Port Mora) and Lairds Bay (Port Kale). 
The Orr-Ewings are descendents of William the Conqueror,and these graves are of military or naval members of the family. One of them is the Lt A.Orr-Ewing that made four attempts to escape Colditz, succeeded once but was recaptured.  A look at the current military hierarchy shows the tradition of joining the military still continues to this day.  

Now we follow the Dunskey Burn up Dunskey Glen, It's quite a muddy path today.

A stop to view the waterfalls. 

There'll be better pictures on Scoop's Blog

A bit over the top with the privacy signs !

Out of the trees we get a look over the North Channel We're looking straight across at Belfast Lough and the big chimney of Kilroot Power Station

This is known as Old Loch, we'll come to New Loch later. Now we're beginning to see more snowdrops

The two lochs are around 11 and 5 acres, with plenty of both Rainbow and Brown Trout

Crossing between the two lochs are some interesting trees and plants

Over on New Loch (I guess not a lot of thought went into naming these lochs) a pair of swans take an interest in our passing

Scoop's in her usual position at the back of the group. I believe she took around 320 pictures today. The roof's blown off the boathouse.

There's a large dog at the house at this exit to the B738. It's not a Newfoundland is it ?

We walked a short section of the B738 passing the North Rhinns Wind Farm and Craigslave.

Turning down the Killantringan road we found a sheltered spot for lunch.
It's a hungry but happy group that gets stuck into their tucker.

The road to the coast

Lighthouse in view

Here's a link to the Killantringan Lighthouse Website
Readers with a little cash might be interested in the passage that reads "Please note this property will be for sale as of Easter". I'm just a few quid short myself.

There's getting less and less to see of what's left of the Craigantlet.
It went down 31 years ago this month.

Now our paths are coastal undulations via Portamaggie, Portavaddie and across Ouchtriemakain  Moor

The climb down to Lairds Bay with the help of chains.

The bridge over Dunskey Burn as it reaches the sea.

Now its around the headland with the Orr Ewing headstones to Sandeel Bay

The climb up from Sandeel Bay and Portpatrick comes into view. The radio station mast still transmits Navtex (Navigational Telex) and a video clip of the radio station in operation around 1980 can be seen on Yotube at PORTPATRICK RADIO STATION/GPK .The way communications have advanced since then makes this a great piece of nostalgia.
We're a little stretched out as we climb down the steps, but we're all looking forward to refreshments in the crown.

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

Wigtownshire Ramblers – Saturday 2nd February 2013 – Dunskey Circular

A bright breezy February morning greeted 24 ramblers as they assembled at the south car park in Portpatrick.  Far way to the south the Mountains of Mourne peeked over the horizon; the destination for an excursion by members in May.  The group assembled and, after a few words from the walk leader, set off round the bay and then took to the back streets.  The route followed streets not previously visited and then climbed a steep overgrown path which took them to the old railway line.  After a short pause to regain their breath the ramblers continued upwards as views over the village opened up below them.  A little further on they passed the school with is bright copper roof and then looked down onto the site of the railway station. 

A short walk took them to the edge of the village and the ramblers crossed the main road and followed the road to Dunskey Home Farm. A pair of roe deer bounced off across the fields. From there they descended through the Nursery Wood and along to the edge of Dunskey Glen.  The track following the rim of the Glen led them eventually to a brackeny promontory between Port Mora and Port Kale where the owners of the estate had created a small family cemetery.  The well kept stones recorded several generations of the family on a site with beautiful views southwestwards over the sea.

After a short pause the group followed the track down to the burn in the bottom of the glen and then took the muddy path back up alongside the burn as it tumbled down to the sea.  After crossing the burn twice by excellent bridges the path led them back to the estate drive which, with the kind permission of the owner, they followed northwards to the Old Loch.  This is an unusual loch which crosses the watershed and has a dam at each end.  The dam was once used as a water source to power the estate sawmill.  The sluice gate is still visible at the end of the southern dam. The loch is now an attractive feature and home to a pair of swans.

The ramblers crossed the southern dam and followed the path through the wood beyond.  There had been extensive planting of a variety of rhododendrons which are now growing well and will provide a real show later in the year.  Beyond the wood they crossed a field and reached the bank of the New Loch, a somewhat larger body of water, apparently well patronised by fishermen.  The group walked round the south end of the loch to the North Drive.  They were surprised to see that recent gales had lifted the roof completely off the boathouse and deposited it on an adjacent rhododendron. 
The walkers took the north drive to the Lochnaw road which they followed northwards until they reached the road to Kilantringan lighthouse.  On entering that road they turned off to find a sheltered spot among the whins to enjoy lunch in the sunshine.

EInvigorated by their lunch the ramblers set off cheerfully down the road towards the lighthouse. The remains of the Craigantlet, which was wrecked in the bay below the lighthouse thirty years ago, were just breaking the waves in the high tide.  There seemed much less of the ship since our last visit.

On reaching the sea the group turned south following the Southern Upland Way along the cliffs back towards Portpatrick. The deep glen above Portavaddie caused some to puff a little but a mostly easy path soon got them back to Port Kale.  At this point the path descends steeply by rough steps cut in the rocks to sea level.  The fixed chain at the side of the path was a great assistance.  The group crossed the beach and the bridge over the Dunskey Burn and then followed the narrow path round below the grave site and descended to Port Mora.  This was the site of the landfall for one of the cross channel telephone lines.  Until recently there had been a small hut which had contained the cable junctions and switch gear.  This has completely disappeared and all that marks the site is the painted pole which supported the marker beacon.  The adjacent visitor centre was firmly closed, and in spite of a notice suggesting it might open, no one could ever remember seeing it in use.

The ramblers climbed over the rocks below the two caves on the south side of the beach and then ascended the path to the golf course.  The radio masts above Portpatrick and the end of the walk were now in sight which spurred the group onwards and back down into the village as the sun lowered its way down towards the Irish coast.  The event finished with tea and scones in the Crown Hotel which was greatly enjoyed by all.

The next event is a moderate six mile walk around Knockman Wood and Garlies Castle near MInnigaff.  Meet at the Breastworks Car Park in Stranraer at 09:00 or the Riverside Car Park, Newton Stewart at 09:30 to share transport.  The walk will start from the Forestry Commission Knockman Wood Car Park at 10:00.  New walkers are always welcome but please contact the walk leader on 01671 401222 for further details. 


  1. You seem to have had the same excellent day weather wise as we had yesterday.

    A very interesting blog Jim, accompanied by super photos.

  2. love to read your adventures!! and the pictures are marvelous. interesting 6 miles is considered a moderate walk!!

  3. One of the few places I've been down that way myself. Fantastic walk. Glad you got a great day for it Jim. Portpatrick Via Ferrata rools!

  4. º° ✿彡
    Belas fotos.
    Bom fim de semana.
    Beijinhos do Brasil.
    ✿ °•.¸

  5. Thanks Sandy,at the minute no two days are the same. Today is what might be called 'dreich'.
    Hi Annmarie, this particular six miles is moderate since no great height is achieved and the terrain is kind. We have some very strenuous 6 milers.
    Cheers Bob, a little easier than your trip to Glenshee.
    Thanks for visiting from Brazil Ines, Tenha um bom dia


Thanks for all your comments. I may not get to reply to them all, but you may be sure they'll be appreciated.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


Creative Commons License
This work is licenced under a Creative Commons Licence.

Morning deer

Morning deer
is someone watching me