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Sunday, 18 May 2014

Wigtownshire Ramblers Cairnryan Circular May 2014

Today's walk was a repeat of one we did last year.
When I get a copy of Shorty's report I'll publish it at the bottom. 
The European Highlander was in port at Cairnryan as twenty one of us met up outside the Merchant House.
A four legged friend, Tilly, accompanied us today. A cloudy damp start soon dried up.

While McBurney's dashed to Stena, our leader briefed us.
A short walk along the A77 brought us to Croach Road where we began a long steady climb. 

A rest at the quarry gates.

A large lock on the gate meant a clamber. Tilly found a way over.

A happy group of pals enjoying the day.

A circular route through the forest took us round Lainchalloch and South Moile.

A nesting Greylag was spotted. She never stirred while we watched. Maybe she was thinking "Go away quickly".

Lake Superior and (we think) a deer scrape.

A circle almost complete, we had lunch behind a drystone dyke.

Back on the move after lunch. Across Loch Ryan the villages of Leswalt and Kirkcolm were prominent.

The ravages of time.

My pal the Ayrshire Blogger.

These little scamps had a fair run around even dodging between walkers legs.
I'm pleased to say that they were all eventually reunited with their mothers.

We turned north-west at High Croach where we were treated to expansive views over Loch Ryan.

A gathering at the trig point on Cairn Hill.

I mentioned in the last post of this walk that this is flush bracket number BM S8057
The trig point was built the 25th of August 1954 at a cost of £25.17s.6d.
I couldn't zoom in enough to identify the vessel.

Beginning the descent to the reservoir above Meikle Laight. 
Around about now I caused an incident. More about that later in Scoops pictures.

Descent to the Glen Burn.

Once we'd crossed the bridge we had a high stile to negotiate.

Now we followed the glen down through the policies of the Lochryan Estate.
Click on the links of this Historic Scotland Data site for a comprehensive look at the history and layout of the estate. 

Almost 300 years of development make this a botanist's delight.

Though obviously not tended so much these days it's a very colourful woodland with many rarities.

Reaching Glen Cottage we crossed the bridge towards the house before turning uphill again.

There's a ferry passing as we passed an avenue of redwoods to enter the area of the ruins of the military camp.
There's an interesting anecdote by Vic Surridge about a French fishing boat on this Movcon Page.
The back track soon brought us back to the main street through Cairnryan.
Most of the walkers now headed to The Merchant House for excellent after walk refreshments.
A fine finish to a lovely day.

Now here's a selection of 

Scoops Pictures.

A nice close up of the nesting Greylag.

The lost sheep.

A couple of group pictures on Cairn Hill.
It's only my shyness that makes me do things out of the ordinary!

Two seconds after Scoop took this picture I was leaping for my life.
I'd nudged the dodgy corner of the drystone wall only for it to come crashing down. 
I'm still quite fleet of foot when disaster is close.

Shorty helped me to rebuild as much as possible.

Blogger, Scoop and reservoir.
We didn't venture any closer this year.

A fine macro shot.

It's a pleasure to feature such a nice set of pictures Scoop, keep snapping.

Here's Shorty's report.
Wigtownshire Ramblers – Saturday 17 May 2014 – Cairnryan and Lake Superior

After the exertions of last week’s Newton Stewart Walking Festival twenty one Ramblers assembled at The Merchant House on the main road in Cairnryan.  The weather had been wet and a thin drizzle persisted as we set off through the village and turned up towards the quarry.  Another walker joined us as we puffed up the hill.  Once the quarry was reached the slope levelled off a little and we continued up the road towards the forest.  Here the gate was locked with an impressive chain so we clambered over the barrier and followed the forest road through the woods.  

The rain had now stopped and the skies to the west looked distinctly brighter and blackbirds were singing noisily in the surrounding conifers.  A little further along the road a greylag goose was seen lurking in the mossy ground at the edge of the trees.  She eyed us warily as we tiptoed past but made no move to leave the nest.

After climbing the next rise we came upon Lake Superior, one of the few Lakes in Scotland.  There was considerable speculation as to the derivation of the name.  The lake was apparently created on the upper reaches of the Fellsavery Burn some time in the early 1900s.  The name may have been given by a humorous landowner returning from travels to the Americas.  As we passed another greylag goose lumbered skywards from the water and numerous ducks headed for the far shores.

The loop of road was then closed and we made our way back to the gate where we had lunch in the watery sunshine, using the dyke as shelter from the brisk breeze.  After lunch we passed the ruins of High Croach accompanied by a posse of young lambs.  We then climbed above the quarry and crossed the fields to the trig point on the summit of Cairn Hill.  The views over Loch Ryan with the hustle and bustle of the ferry ports contrasted with the mournful cries of the whaups on the moors behind us.

The route next took us down across the wetter moorland towards the small reservoir at the head of the Glen Burn.  In spite of the recent damp weather the water was only trickling over the lip of the dam in a pair of narrow streams.  We made our way gingerly down the steep bank to a wobbly bridge over the burn below the dam.  This was followed by a steep climb back up to the road serving Meikle Laight.  We turned down the road through the glen.  Along the way we passed numerous rhododendrons flowering magnificently in a variety of colours.

At the bottom of the glen we turned towards Lochryan House and then followed the track back up above the gardens.  The foundations of numerous nissen huts flanked the track with the remnants of a few brick chimneys marking the site of an army camp left over from the last war.  The track descended into the village where we visited the Merchant House for excellent tea, coffee and cakes.

Next week’s event will be a strenuous walk over Kirriereoch and the Merrick on Sunday 25th May. The walk will start from the Kirriereoch car park at 10:00.  Meet at the Breastworks Car Park in Stranraer at 09:00 or the Riverside Car Park in Newton Stewart at 09:30 to share transport.  New members are always welcome but please contact the walk leader on 01776 870231 for full details.


  1. What a delightful walk you had! Love scenes, a sweet Greylag goose and some lambs running between you all. Can't get much better than that! :)

  2. I cant believe every time you go a walk Jim you ether start it or end it through the grounds of a grand estate. I wish we had more of them around here as I love wandering around them and they always have interesting corners to explore. Like the greylag shot. Looks like she's thinking..." I've got perfect camouflage... no way can they see me sitting here".

  3. wow i am stuck on that bridge---how much it had aged in a few years---good thing that doesn't happen to us ;)

  4. Thanks for your comments guys, I'm sorry I get remiss with replies. You probably wont see another reply from me for six months..........apologies in advance.


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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