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Sunday, 14 July 2013

Wigtownshire Ramblers Cuil Creetown July 2013

Saturday the 13th of July
Today's walk should have been a walk we did a recce for last December
It was cancelled due to adverse weather that time 
I've taken it upon myself to defer the walk once again due to very warm weather.
Therefore today's walk will be one we did last April
We're a group of fourteen today

The report will be after the pictures for which I have to thank Scoop for her contributions to this post

Our walkers today are very fashionably dressed, it's summer at last
Here we're along the route of the Palnure Creetown railway line, now a walking and cycle track

Catching up on what's been happening !

Foxgloves everywhere today

The Cree towards Newton Stewart

Dropping down through Spittal Wood

Friendly horses at Barholm Mains Farm

Mind those nettles !

Seems the horses enjoyed our company as they followed us round

Coach House, Barholm Mains
Also known as Wickham Place it looks like it's on the market and not a bad price either.
Gap in the Market, Wickham Place

There's a very pretty settlement of three properties at the edge of Creetown................

..................just inside Barholm Wood

..............with very colourful gardens.
I'm told this is a Peony Bloom

Walking through Bridge Street, Creetown

The Gem Rock cafe and the Triquetra Sculpture

With the exception of the first one, the next few photographs taken on the Moneypool Burn were taken by Scoop, fabulous creations.

I once met a local old gentleman who wasn't sure if this pool was the Money Pool that the burn was named after. It seems he might be mistaken, there's also a small pool just above the Clints of Dromore car park that people throw money into for luck. Come to think of it, I've seen that pool too. Maybe I'll go do some wild swimming to get the truth !

Chain Bridge

Heading across open fields......................


Gnarled old beech trees

Gnarled old ........? Only kiddin  'Two Sticks'

Military road above Greenburn

Feathers in the cap for this lucky trio

Views across the Cree estuary

A self explanatory collage

Rounding Blair Hill

View north-west towards Newton Stewart

Looking  down on Palnure

A 'posed for' shot...............


Descent to Cuil

Maw, Paw and the wean (thanks miss goodnight)
One for the family album

Cuil Farm Road

Last stretch and the refurbished Cairnsmore Lodge House

I think most of today's walkers were happy with the change, I know I was ! 

Ramblers Report
Saturday the 13th of July

With the current heatwave continuing, the strenuous scheduled 11 mile walk was deferred and a shorter less taxing walk replaced it.
14 walkers gathered at the walk start at Cairnsmore Car park.
The walk began by following the route of the old Portpatrick & Wigtownshire Joint Railway between Palnure and Creetown. This was converted to a walk and cycle path in 2000 and is a part of the National Cycle Route. Vetch and foxglove added an abundance of colour.
After passing through Cuil and Blairs woods the open aspect of the Cree Estuary and Wigtown Bay came into view where the tide was receding.
The path now crossed above Blair House and Spittal farms to reach the road into Creetown. This was followed for a few hundred yards to Lennies, before accessing the public footpath down through Barholm Mains.
Friendly horses in a neighbouring field came up to the fence. Some walkers treated them to fresh pulled grass.
A line of old large beech trees led to the 'Coach House' of Barholm Mains. These were the stables of Barholm House, a Robert Adam designed classical country house unfortunately destroyed by fire in the 1950's, but now beautifully restored to a magnificent dwelling.
After a short walk through the woods and passing a garden where Peony blossomed beautifully, the Barholm bridge was crossed into Creetown.
Bridge Street led to the Moneypool Burn and the steps up to the Gem Rock Museum. The outdoor tables of the cafe were soon filled with the fine fare on offer from the cafe.
Before resuming the walk, the Ian Cant 3D sculpture Triquetra was admired and remarked upon. It's a layered stone sculpture representing eternal life through a form taken from the Celtic symbolic system. A number of layers are inscribed with a thought, a memory, a story of the past, hopes and visions of the future, it's a unique time capsule.

The route now followed the Moneypool Burn to Chain Bridge. After a short road walk, the riverside path was accessed. Shafts of dappled sunlight through the trees created patchwork pictures on the pools of the burn.  
Crossing Chain Bridge the group now took to the fields to cross the disused 'Paddy Line' on the Gatehouse to Creetown section. After following a line of old gnarled beech trees a drystone dyke was crossed to access the military road to Crinan. A local farmer remembers as a youngster the sparks created by the tanks rumbling up this road.

Now concrete road became farm track and led to Clanary where a garden radiating colour was admired. Limousin cattle grazed a neighbouring field.
Now a hill track was taken up the slopes of Blairs Hill. A rocky outcrop provided ample seating for a lunch break with a view down to Creetown and Wigtown Bay. To the north east, the 'Door of Cairnsmore' and the route of the original scheduled walk was pointed out.
On resumption the walk now followed the farm track over Blair Hill. Sheep and lambs grazed the foothills of Cairnsmore  Soon the forest at Kirroughtree and Newton Stewart became visible. Reaching the sheep pens above Cuil, a wonderful vista lay below. The Cree, the Machars and the Minnigaff hills were all in view.
At Cuil farm a short time was spent talking to the farmer. His excellent local knowledge answered a few questions from the walkers.  
From here it was a short distance to the car park and the end of the walk.
Next weeks walk is a section of the Ayrshire Coastal Path from Maidens to Dunure taking in Culzean Castle.
Meet for car sharing at the Breastworks, Stranraer 8.45am,the Riverside, Newton Stewart 8.45am or the walk start at Maidens Car Park (NS 211 079) at 10am. For further details or if going to the start please phone walk leader 01776 840636. New members are always welcome.


  1. What a beautiful series of photos!!! I love the horses, the cows, the lunch, the views!!! There is a heatwave in Montreal as well. Stay cool and safe.

  2. those water photos are simply amazing---would make lovely framed pictures!

  3. I'm surprised you are still walking up hills as a club in this weather Jim. Well done. I've given up hills until it gets a bit cooler. Bike Month for me now :)

  4. Thanks Linda, It's a very hot summer, stay cool yourself.
    I agree Lynn, I was lucky enough while recceing the walk to spend a short while in solitude watching the patterns and listening to the running water. Magical !
    Did a recce up Craiglee on Loch Doon yesterday Bob, the pollen count must have been high, haven't stopped sneezing since.


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