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Sunday, 31 August 2014

Wigtownshire Ramblers Glenwhan Circular August 2014

Saturday the 30th of August 2014.
I perhaps should have manually set my camera for the strange cloudy sky and light.
I've enhanced quite a number of the pictures in the post.
Shorty is writing the walk report and as usual it will follow when I receive it.
A selection of pictures from 'Scoop' will follow mine.
We cover much of the walk we did back in June 2012.
June 2012 Walk (My memory isn't what it should be Two Sticks !)

This walk was led by the 'Farmer' and began at the beautiful Glenwhan Gardens, Dunragit.
A big group of twenty seven of us set out after the 'Farmer' gave us an outline of the walk.

Our route was initially on farmtrack in an anti clockwise direction from the gardens.

Showers had been forecast but luckily none came our way.

Off the farm track we encountered the first obstacle of the day.
There was an amusing moment at this point.
Shorty was helping out with the fence and warning folk to watch out for a low hanging branch.
As Scoop came along he began his warning "Watch out ............Oh! never mind". The euphemism 'Vertically Challenged' fits, she is quite short of stature  

Uneven ground and long vegetation slowed the group at this point.
The 'Farmer' stated that this would be the worst we'd encounter.

The rough ground soon turned to forest track as we entered the Bareagle forest.

Regular short breaks allowed the tail end charlies to catch up.

The heather was thick and deep.

The forest track brought us out on the Castle Kennedy to New Luce road. 

This is a section of the Southern Upland Way

There now followed a road walk of approximately half a mile south west............

...............before we again took to the fields.

We were still on the SUW at this point.

Just before reaching the gate in the collage below, we encountered a boggy mire that needed crossing.
Look out for Scoop's pictures later !
Once through the gate we left the SUW and began a gentle incline southerly across a grassy field.

We were now on the slopes of Chlenry Hill and views were opening up.

We continued uphill to the edge of Craig Head Wood where we looked down on Cults Loch.
The Crannog in the loch has seen some archaeological digs in recent years.

To the west was Stranraer and Loch Ryan.

To maintain altitude we needed to cross a section of Craig Head Wood.
More clambering was required at this point.

Another obstacle safely negotiated !

It seemed the walk through the wood had been carefully planned as strips of curtain material guided our way.

Leaving the woods by a collapsed drystone dyke brought us out onto the moors near Little Chlenry.

We were now above the runway of Cults Airfield.
I've a few video clips from the 2008 model airshow on Youtube.

A great spot was found for lunch.

Back on the move after a leisurely lunch.

Very young calves accompany their elders on a short gallop.

Track near Low Chlenry

View to Luce Bay, Drumflower Quarry and Old Hall Farm ruins.
Our leader told us of the manor house that once stood close by.

Old Hall Glen and pheasant rearing unit.

My best picture of the day.
(I should have laid something alongside him, he was quite a wee fella)

Concrete and tarmac took us back to Dunragit.

Very large beech tree in Kellies Knowe wood.

A pleasing path through Kellies Knowe in dappled sunlight. 

Approaching Dunragit Home Farm.

We were too close for me to get all the house in so I stitched three pictures  together. I'm not sure how the young lady in the left picture came to look so ghostly !!

Back at Glenwhan Gardens we gathered in the tearoom for some excellent tea, coffee, scones and jams to top off a very enjoyable and informative walk. 

Here's my fellow snapper's contributions.

Scoop's Pictures

Here's Shorty's report.
Wigtownshire Ramblers – Saturday 30 August 2014 – Glenwhan – Clenry Circular

Glenwhan gardens were cut out of the rough whinny and rocky moorland above Dunragit.  After years of hard work it is now a most attractive and mature garden.  Twenty seven ramblers assembled in the car park for a walk in the countryside and forests around the gardens.  The weather was a little grey but better weather was forecast and the skies to the southwest showed promise of better things.

It had originally been intended to follow the Core Path along the western edge of the gardens but a locked gate precluded this so an alternative route was taken.  We turned south out of the main gates and took the track along the edge of the woodland.  This emerged onto open fields which we crossed and with the aid of a helpful tree we climbed into the recently felled forest and scrambled along a rough track to the end of the forest road.

We followed the road through the forest passing the new signs for the core path which had been put up since our last visit.  The path where it left the road was much more overgrown than the last time we used it.  The wild flowers brightened our way along the track and patches of heather among the smaller trees were a magnificent show of large purple cushions.  Someone was taking advantage of this growth with new beehives placed around the quarry at the roadside.  

At the end of the forest track we turned onto the county road and followed the Southern Upland Way back towards Castle Kennedy.  After a few hundred metres the route turned off the road and followed an old track over the moorland down towards Clenry Farm.  There was some consternation after crossing a tributary of the Clenry burn where we found a muddy hole across the track.  Some made a short detour downstream but the braver members hopped across a series of stones placed in the glaur.  Fortunately no one came to serious grief.  

After the next gates we left the SUW and climbed across the pasture towards Clenry Hill.  The views westwards were now opening up with Stranraer and the southern end of Lochryan bathed in sunshine.  After negotiating a barbed wire fence we entered the wood on the hill and followed a deer track between the trees.  The deer seemed to have been partying in the younger trees with nearly every one scraped and damaged.  At the far side of the wood we startled two red deer who took off over the moor beyond.  We also crossed the moor, somewhat more sedately, and reached a rocky outcrop with fine views over Luce bay and the Rhins.  Here we stopped for lunch in the now warm sunshine with just enough of a breeze to keep the flies at bay.  As we ate we were entertained by a pair of Peregrine Falcon who seemed to be educating their children in the art of hunting pigeons.

After lunch we walked down a track past the remnants of Little Clenry and on towards Low Clenry.  On the hill overlooking the steading we turned onto a new track which lead over the hill to Old Hall.
The farm is now derelict but our walk leader remembered when it was worked as a dairy farm with fine up to date equipment, including a small dam and water wheel which powered the machinery.  The farm is now well served by roads but in those days access was via a winding track down the Old Hall Glen which was inaccessible to large vehicles so the milk had to be transported in churns down to the road.

We followed the concrete road down the glen passing a large pen with a number of pheasant chicks scurrying around in the undergrowth.  The banks of the track were coated with brambles and hazelnuts a few of which were tested by the ramblers.  The road then ran out of the glen into open fields.  The road was paralleled by an old lade which once provided water from the Old Hall burn to power the machinery at Drumflower farm.  We walked down the road to the old A75 below Drumflower and followed it towards Dunragit.

On entering the village we turned in past the old lodge house, formerly one of a pair, and along the side of the telephone exchange to reach a path which climbed up through Kellies Knowe wood towards Dunragit House where our leader gave a brief history of the building.  Once the property of the Dalrymples of Stair and latterly the Dalrymple-Hay family, the estate had been acquired by the Department of Agriculture after the second wold war.  The mansion had been used to house the white collar workers on the estate with offices in the adjacent steadings.  All the farms were sold to the tenant farmers and the manor house as separate flats.  A short walk from the house returned us to Glenwhan Gardens where we had excellent scones and tea.

Next week’s walk will be a moderate walk around the Fell of Barhullion and the Monreith Estate.  Please meet at the Breastworks car park in Stranraer at 09:00 or the Riverside car park in Newton Stewart at 09:15 to share transport.  The walk will start from the cliff top car park in Monreith (NX 357 409) at 10:00.  New walkers are always welcome but please contact the walk leader on 01671 401222 for full details.


  1. Beautiful views! I love cloudy and rainy days. And the toad is adorable!

  2. Good Photos Jim. I had a taste a Galloway heather and tussocks recently and it was even worse than I remembered. Must have been a good growing summer down there.


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