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Sunday, 1 September 2013

Wigtownshire Ramblers Loch Bradan August 2013

Saturday the 31st of August 2013 
After missing last week's walk due to visiting family I'm back for this walk round Loch Bradan.

A number of factors including a slip up on my part had a group of eight of us meeting up at the wrong rendezvous. The correct car park was south west while we ended up at the Doon of Waterhead to the north east. No worries though as we now had two small intimate groups, the other group having ten walkers.
Up here there's no mobile phone signal so we couldn't get in touch, but our decision to walk anti-clockwise and their decision to walk clockwise meant that we met up twice. 
This may well be a precursor to splitting up large groups into more manageable sizes so we'll call it an experiment !
The 'Weaver' was the official leader of the walk while our 'Ayrshire Blogger' took the mantle of our group.
The 'Weaver's' report will follow the images.
The Bradan Dam
Loch Bradan, officially opened on 18 July 1912, is a reservoir which was operated by the Troon Water Works. The new dam was completed in 1972, and the original dam is now submerged in the new reservoir. The plaque from the old dam was transferred to a cairn beside the road by the new operators, Ayrshire & Bute Water Board. Loch Bradan is now operated by West of Scotland Water.

We began walking towards the dam when our leader realized our path was back a bit. Easily sorted.

Heather was in glorious bloom.

A mistle thrush wouldn't stay still long enough to allow me a good picture.

As well as these red 'shrooms we encountered lots of small white fungi.
It was around now when we met the others. At this time I was quite adamant that I'd read the correct grid reference. I've now got to admit that I got it completely wrong. Sorry everyone ! 

Upon reaching the western dam we crossed to where a channel (bottom left above) fed water into the loch. I thought that this was the Water of Girvan being diverted into the loch, but after consulting the maps I see the Water of Girvan runs into the loch further south. Where this water comes from is a mystery ? Anyone ?

We did eventually cross the Water of Girvan.

I took this picture shortly after passing the car park from where we should have started.

Loch Bradan is kind of Y shaped and now we're on the bottom right of the Y.

This American Airlines passed overhead. The enhancement to the picture to make the writing visible is fairly obvious.

We again meet up along here with the 'official' group. 

The track around Loch Bradan is also a part of the Carrick Cycle Trail .
A sturdy mountain bike with good tyres is a necessity. 

Our group has now gone up to nine as we have inherited a walker from the others. 
(We have less distance to cover for a painful ankle. The 'Milkmaid' who was in attendance ended up doing at least a mile more than the rest of us since she then had to continue clockwise)

Back on a rough track it's a short way back to the cars with the Ayrshire Blogger doing his good deed for the day and driving back up this section to pick up the ailing walker.

Meanwhile, my photographic friend and associate Scoop is with the other group and the following collages and photographs are from her camera. 

Nice photographs Scoop, I especially like the fungi and foliage.
With everyone finished their respective walks, we meet up at Stinchar bridge to hand over our extra passenger.

Stinchar Bridge is as scenic as ever.
After driving back to Glentrool and the House O' Hill  we finally get to spend some more time together as a group over after walk refreshments.
A nice day out and an excellent new walk.

Here's the Weaver's very diplomatic report.
Wigtownshire Ramblers
31st August 2013

Sixteen ramblers and two visitors journeyed into Ayrshire on Saturday for an eight mile walk around Loch Bradan. As there were car parks at both ends of the loch, ten walkers started clockwise at the south end and eight parked by the big dam and walked anticlockwise, both parties to meet twice on the way round.

The day was dull but only one shower of rain dampened the proceedings and the views over the water and to the surrounding hills were spectacular.

The area of Loch Bradan was increased at the beginning of the last century by a dam built for Troon Water Works. This joined Loch Lure and Loch Bradan.  Again in the 1970s the reservoir was raised when a new dam was built to provide more water for the increasing population of Ayrshire. The Lure dam can be walked along, giving a view to the south across placid water on this day, but the Bradan dam was closed off and its height and strength only revealed as the parties walked the path below the structure.

As the Bradan dam was passed, the Water of Girvan was crossed at a ford. This river rises on the slopes of Shalloch on Minnoch before passing through a series of lochs - Loch Girvan Eye, Cornish Loch, and then Loch Skelloch, which the walkers viewed from the forest road on the west side of Loch Lure, before passing through Loch Lure itself and Loch Bradan. When the river emerges from under the big dam it continues on its way through Straiton to the sea at Girvan.

The walker’s day was brightened by seeing so much fungi growing below the trees alongside the lochs. Red fly agaric and orange fries were dotted about in the shade and great patches of ground were enlivened by a fairyland of small white toadstools spotting the soil. This area is popular for wild camping, a beautiful place to stay awhile, but the campers have left such a lot of debris behind that they are in danger of spoiling their outdoor holidays.

The east side of Loch Bradan is open moorland, a cycle path, which gave a good walking surface. A ditch alongside was the playground for pond skaters whilst tiny toadlets hopped away from the heavy boots of the passers-by. There were mercifully no midges to annoy the ramblers on this walk.

The cars were once more reached by both parties and the company adjourned some miles up the road, to House on the Hill for welcome refreshments. This had been an easy and pleasant outing, good views, good company and good weather for walking.

Next week’s ramble on Sep 7th, is a C+ 7 mile circular walk taking in Chapel Finian and Barhobble. Meet for car sharing 9.15am Riverside, Newton Stewart, 9.30am Breastworks, Stranraer, or 10am Chapel Finian Car Park NX 279 488. All are welcome but if going straight to the start or new walkers, please phone walk leader, 01776 700707.  


  1. Loved the photo of the aircraft overhead. Perhaps I could share the blame with you on the wrong car park as I was convinced you were right.

  2. Not been to that part of Galloway Forest Park Yet. Mountain bike trail looks interesting, though sometimes you are so fixed with path navigation and making sure you do not go over the handlebars you miss the scenery.


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