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Sunday, 9 June 2013

Wigtownshire Ramblers Lochans to Dunskey June 2013

Saturday the 8th of June
Twenty one of us meet up at the hall car park at Lochans for this new walk.
It's a nice sunny day. It's not a bad turnout since many of our walkers are away at this time of year.
No coats or gloves needed today. Our leader (centre of picture), gives us the lowdown on the route.

Heading out we see this interesting vehicle in the local agricultural engineers yard. A hybrid of vehicles I'd guess.

We leave Lochans on the Portpatrick road.

A short way out of the village we take a right turn

This takes us up to Duchra Farm

Agricultural Service

PU300HD Self propelled forage harvester

A gradual rise along a farm track

The cattle are unperturbed at our passing. There are a number of calves in this herd.

It's a dusty road.

This bridge carried the now disused Stranraer to Colfin to Portpatrick Railway

There's a few wispy white clouds but it's nice and warm

Our first target comes into view.
Cairn Pat is the highest point in the Rhins of Galloway

The sheep seem to be more interested in our passing than the cattle were.

Time for a sweetie break.......

..........and a natter

As we meet some uneven ground and comments are made, our leader informs us that the rough ground hasn't started yet

The untouched fields are ablaze with colour

Luckily the lack of rain has dried out much of the bog.

We reach Cairn Pat where a short break is taken.
There's a Trig Point complete with Flush Bracket S1816

A prehistoric hillfort, the lines of which can still be made out, also occupied Cairn Pat summit

Views from Cairn Pat.
Although the North Rhins Wind Farm appears close by, it'll take us a while to get there ! 

Leaving Cairn Pat

Now begins an obstacle course.
A number of barbed wire fences, drystane dykes, troughs, ditches and burns had to be crossed.

They're all eventually surmounted and were into open fields.

A lunch break is taken on the slopes of McCormack's Hill

I haven't mentioned the Ayrshire Blogger before now, he's kneeling in the above picture. Regular readers will know of his leg break last November.(I wrote a little ditty in his comments box). I'm glad to report the healing process is going well. Good to see you Gordon. 

He is of course up to his old tricks of keeping everyone on their toes.!

Now we descend to what is locally called the 'Old Port Road'

Now we cross the Enoch Bridge under which flows the Pinminnoch burn.

Another gate gets us into the area of the wind farm

We round Billy's Hill........... 

.............and Armstrong's Hill....

.........heading to Low Auchenree Fell........

..........where we access the rough road

This is the turbine alongside Low Auchenree Fell

I climb the fell to take pictures of the group doing a circular tour.

This picture above shows just how big these turbines are. 

Now on the track to Low Auchenree there's a field of daisies.

This is quite an old pump house, but with a new pump. Talking to a resident we learned it pumped water to a large reservoir tank on the top of Dinvin Hill from where it fed the Dunskey Estate. There's a spring marked on the O.S map, so that's probably the reason for it's location

Reaching Bridge End we have a short road walk..........

................before taking to the fields to the west. Our friend from Ayr now heads off to catch a bus just along the road towards Portpatrick. We'll see him again in a couple of weeks, it'll be barbecue time.

A young steer takes a liking to my camera

Now we enter the Dunskey estate
This fisherman on the 'Old Loch' seems content to row his line behind him. I wonder whether he catches fish that way ?

The estate is colour explosion. These are known as Candelabra Primula

The last leg of the walk takes us around the southern end of the 'Old Loch' to reach the tea room and car park.

It's been a great day and a grand walk. Now the drivers are ferried back to Lochans to collect the cars while the rest of us get into the back patio of the cafe to order the scones and tea/coffee.

I thought I'd finish this post with an arty picture taken at Dunskey tearoom. With the Dunskey estate looking like a canvas it's only fitting.

Shorty is the author of this weeks report and it'll appear here.

Wigtownshire Ramblers – Saturday 8 June 2013 – Lochans to Dunskey

Twenty-one ramblers assembled at the Lochans village hall on a beautiful summer’s day.  The sun shone brilliantly from a bright blue sky with a few wispy white clouds moving on the gentle breeze.  The group set off along the Portpatrick road.  Several members were struck by an unusual vehicle in the smithy yard.  It appeared to be a hybrid of various military style trucks and gave rise to much debate.

At the end of the village the group turned up the road to Duchra Farm and skirted the farm yard to follow the track up the hill towards the old railway.  The group were entertained to see the young calves and lambs in the adjacent fields who displayed a mixture of adventure and apprehension as they examined the passing walkers and then retreated hurriedly to their mothers.  The hawthorn in the roadside hedges were struggling into bloom at last and the spring flowers in the verges showed a whole range all flowering at the same time.  They passed a short viaduct on the old railway line and were interested to see the structure of the embankment where it had been quarried for use elsewhere.  In cross section it seemed to be constructed of a series of curved layers reminiscent of the synclines observed in the rocks along the sea cliffs.

The walkers then emerged into open fields and their first objective, the aerial on Cairnpat, came into view.  The route took them over a small burn on to rougher ground as they climbed to the mast.  A short pause was taken on the hill top to admire the views across the Rhins and to investigate the ramparts of the Iron Age hill fort which once stood on the prominence.  The next objective, the Craigenlee Fell WIndarm, stood silently on the skyline.  None of the turbines was operating in the gentle breeze.  Several smaller ones were also stationary but one near Craigenquarroch Farm was spinning happily.

The ramblers crossed several fields and climbed onto McCormack’s Hill where they stopped for lunch.  There were interesting views across the central Rhins and the Old Port Road.  A group of cows in the next field found them very interesting and assembled along the fence to examine the strange looking group.

After lunch the ramblers descended to the Old Port Road at Enoch Bridge.  They crossed the road and climbed over Armstrong’s Hill towards the windfarm.  On reaching the first turbine the size of the structure amazed them.  The blades were now turning gently and silently in the rising breeze.  The group followed the roads between the turbines and down to Low Auchenree and the Portpatrick to Lochnaw road.  They followed the road southwards for a short distance and then crossed the fields towards the Dunskey Woods where bluebells were still showing brightly.  As they rounded the woods the Old Loch came into view with a fisherman rowing slowly over the water trying to tempt the fish, apparently without success.

The ramblers crossed the fields and entered the woods.  A variety of rhododendrons were displaying a range of showy coloured blooms throughout the woods and patches of the extraordinary Candelabra Primulas grew along the streamsides.  A short walk through the woods took them from to the car park and tearooms where excellent tea and scones were enjoyed on the sunny terrace.

Next Saturday’s event will be a moderate 7 mile circular walk in the South Machars from Glasserton Church to the coast and back.  Meet at 09:00 at the Breastworks Car Park in Stranraer or at 09:15 at the Riverside Car Park in Newton Stewart to share transport.  The walk will start at 10:00 from the Glasserton Church Car park (NX 421 381).  New members are always welcome but please contact the walk leader on 01671 403351 for further information.


  1. What a wonderful set of photos! I love the flowers, cattle and sheep...and the views are amazing! Thank you so much for sharing.

  2. Is the yellow flowering bushes Gorse Jim?
    What a pretty walk, and I occasionally forget just how huge the wind turbines are!
    Some cheeky bovines and cheeky walkers me-thinks!
    Loved the last leg of the walk in particular.
    Have a great week Jim!

  3. A well documented post Jim and you couldn't have got a better day for it.

  4. Looks a smashing walk Jim. Cant believe how many times you manage to find the grounds of a grand estate down there. Every second person in that region must have been minted and created a stately home. Nothing like as many up here open to the public.
    Looks hot in the photographs.

  5. Thanks Linda, my pleasure.

    Yes Rose, the prickly stuff is gorse or whin, the non prickly stuff is broom.

    Thanks Sandy, it's hard to believe we're in the same county, you're half a country away. I'm led to believe we're the third largest county in Scotland, but the twelfth by population.

    You should see the ones that are in ruins Bob.


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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