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Sunday, 4 August 2013

Wigtownshire Ramblers Grey Hill August 2013

Saturday the 3rd of October

Today's walk is a trip to South Ayrshire and the Girvan area.
We've been around here several times before. This link from our 2011 Walk also gives links to previous walks.
We're a group of twenty one walkers today. Twenty bipeds and one quadruped. (Tilly)
Our walk start is at Woodland Farm, we'll have after walk refreshments here.

We leave the farm and head..................upwards.
The track takes us up the lower slopes of Byne Hill.

We soon reach a height to get a good view back to Girvan.
It's a bit breezy but otherwise a fine day.

The track ends in the gap between Byne Hill and Mains Hill.

Here we get another look at the Craufurd Monument.
Standing above Ardmillan Castle this monument was erected in memory of the father of a former resident, Lord Ardmillan. A judge of the Court of Session, he died in 1876. Major Archibald Clifford Blackwell Craufurd served with the army in India. I guess a really bad storm will see the end of it.

We now move onto a kind of rough path taking us onto Cairn Hill.
It's been a steep enough climb to require frequent breaks.

However, it's like a walk in the park for the fittest of today's walkers.

Now back on the move, Ailsa Craig is constantly in view.

Below us is the house and entrance to the Ardmillan Castle Holiday Park.

Ardmillan Castle early 1900's
The original castle was partially destroyed by fire in 1983 and demolished in 1990. 
Thanks to the Edward Crawford Family Forum for the use of this image.

Still gaining height we get a more open view of Girvan and beyond.

Here's one from Scoop's camera who by the way is walk leader.

Now having circled Fell Hill we're on the slopes of Grey Hill with the trigpoint in sight.

Time for a few group photographs.

Out in the North Channel we can see across to Arran, the Mull of Kintyre and a hazy view of the Antrim Coast. All the while a fairly large vessel has been circling. It's a survey ship I think. I couldn't zoom enough to get it's name.

Now we begin the descent to Pinbain Hill

The view south to Lendalfoot and Carleton Hill.

My mushroom close-up came out blurred but not these clover flowers.

Over the second of Pinbain's tops.

There haven't been too many obstacles to overcome today.

Lunchtime looking out to Ailsa Craig.

After lunch heading North East along the old drovers road.

The back markers...............

....................and the advance party.
Here we've reached Kilranny. Towards the sea is Kennedy's Pass possibly a one time Roman border post. 

Beyond Kilranny Bridge

Overlooking Ardwell Farmhouse. Looks like a nice B and B.

Alongside Crow Wood and the most difficult obstacle of the day.

Scoop captures a carefully controlled descent ! (I wouldn't be smiling otherwise)

The ladies certainly outnumbered the men today.

Hows this for an action picture. I intended to bring the ball home but it ended up to flat and I discarded it. I did bring a better ball home however thanks to the eagle eyed 'Ranger' spotting one in the long grass.

It's still hazy across the North Channel but the cloud has lifted from Goat Fell on Arran.

The last gate and an interesting hound.

It's much brighter sunshine as we finish the walk.
Tea scones coffee and cake in the Woodland Tea Room capped a lovely day out.

Scoop's report will appear here later.

 Wigtownshire Ramblers 3 August Grey Hill 

Lightweight waterproof jackets were included in the rucksacks of most of the twenty walkers today, a sure way of warding off the forecasted shower of rain in the afternoon.  Warmth and light wind accompanied the group from Woodlands Farm Hotel and Restaurant on the steep slog up a twisting path to the monument in a gap along the Girvan ridge.  Since our last visit to the area, in November 2011, this structure has deteriorated drastically with the inscriptions no longer visible.  It commemorated the once owner of Ardmillan Castle, Major Archibald Clifford Blackwell Craufurd.

From there we headed northwards and made our way up towards Cairn Hill beside a tumbled dyke, getting good views back towards Byne Hill and the reservoir at Glendrissaig as well as to the hills to the north and east.  A short rest was taken to admire the view, distribute sweets and have a rest before crossing part of the moor and bog of Greyhills Nature Reserve, managed by the Scottish Wildlife Trust, over a vague track to Fell and Grey Hills.   Bog cotton was evident in the wetter areas but now past its ‘best’, as were Lady’s Bedstraw, Hare Bells, Ragged Robin, Thyme, Marsh Thistle and Sneezewort. 
There was now a quad bike track to follow to the next summit, Fell Hill (266m), from where there were extensive views to the North to Girvan and beyond, to the ever present Ailsa Craig, looming out of the sea to the west and beyond, across the North Sea to Arran, to the Mull of Kintyre and a hazy view of the Antrim Coast. From there the party descended a small defile and then ascended quickly to the highest point of the day, Grey Hill (297).  Whilst still warm, the wind had increased, discouraging the group from staying at the summit for too long, so, after group photos were taken, they headed for the next summit, Kilranny Hill (243).  

The last ascent, up Pinbain Hill, had good views of the near surroundings – the Lendalfoot hills and glen.  However, lunch was delayed because of the wind and it was not until the walkers reached the old coach road below that rucksacks were removed and sandwiches and drinks were consumed, but most importantly, a rest was taken! This old coach road was built about 1780 and on this stretch is still well surfaced.

The path now took the route of the Ayrshire Coast path, above Kennedy’s pass, as far as Ardwell farm.  An old shepherd’s cottage at Kilranny, now used as a gathering pen for sheep and cattle, and two radio repeater masts were passed, as this delightful high level track was walked, the sun shining and the wind becoming a gentle breeze.  The party left the coastal path as it neared the main road and the farm road at Ardwell was followed, turning off onto a field above Ardmillan caravan site. There was no sign of the demolished castle, the home of Major Craufurd, whose monument had been the landmark at the start of the walk. After negotiating a route behind Crow wood, and passing down a quarry road towards the rear of Ardmillan Castle Caravan Park, it was lovely to return to Woodlands, walking downwards through the trees.  Refreshments welcomed everyone in the newly refurbished ‘function’ room of Woodlands where the walkers rested and talked about the day, satisfied with their progress on a good hill walk of eight miles.

Next week’s walk will be a 7.5 mile circular one from the Cream o’ Galloway near Gatehouse of Fleet.  Meet at Breastworks, Stranraer, 9am, Riverside, Newton Stewart, 9.30am or the car park at Cream o’ Galloway (NX 599 518) at 10am. Visitors and new walkers are always welcome. If going straight to the start or for more details, please phone walk leader on 01671 401222.

1 comment:

  1. I love your photos. It is like I am touring a part of the world that I wouldn't otherwise get a chance to see. Thank you so much for sharing this fabulous tour.


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