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Sunday, 30 November 2014

Wigtownshire Ramblers St Ninians Cave to the Isle of Whithorn November 2014

Yesterday, Saturday the 29th of November 28 walkers assembled for one of our favourite walks.
I wasn't amongst them. I've been indisposed with a nasty cold and sore throat since last Tuesday.
However I've asked for and received pictures and a walk report from A O'K and I am pleased to publish them here.
The report will follow the pictures.

Here's a post from 2012

Here's A O'K's report.

St. Ninian’s Cave to the Isle of Whithorn 29th November 2014

A group of twenty eight walkers met at St Ninian’s Cave Car Park for the start of the walk to the Isle of Whithorn. A gentle start took the group down the verdant Physgill Glen to arrive on the stony beach of Port Castle Bay. The cave of St Ninian, Scotland’s first Christian missionary, was visited after a struggle across the stony beach where pebbles and stones of various colours and textures made walking difficult. A close inspection of the cave identified some of the original crosses carved into the rocks and much more recent messages.
Now following the coastal path the cliff top was accessed via a short climb. A deer, startled to see so many people approaching, darted off across the cliff tops. The scenery now, and for most of the walk, was of dramatic rocky outcrops, inlets, wide bays with caves and sheer cliffs. Some of the rock strata resembled that of the Giant’s Causeway or Fingal’s Cave. A little further on evidence of 18th century activity came in the shape of the Tonderghie Copper mine workings.
On reaching Burrowhead a leisurely lunch break was taken at the site of the original Wickerman. There is little left of the wooden stumps now to remind folk of the infamous film which is still celebrated annually. Ramblers enjoyed lunch with a view over the sea but for the most part it was too hazy to see the far coastlines. A tern was busy fishing offshore and several common gulls flew by no doubt hoping for some extra pickings from discarded picnics. They were out of luck as ramblers pride themselves on leaving nothing but footprints behind. A kestrel had been spotted when the walk was reconnoitred but it didn’t reappear on Saturday. However, four ravens soared aerobatically  above on the wind.
From Burrowhead the cliffs now became steeper and higher. A pill box, a remnant of WW2, was passed by as also were the ruins of several ancient forts. The rocks here are indicative of the forces of nature which created these sculptures on such a grand scale. The bravest walkers peered over the edge of the cliffs to view the devil’s bridge and Jamie’s Hole, a cave thought to have been used by smugglers. Soon the Isle of Whithorn and the distinctive square white tower which has been a mariner’s landmark for close on two centuries, came into view. Accompanied by the cries of curlews out over the bay the ramblers now turned inland for the final stage of the walk through fields and along the path into the village.
On reaching the car park in the Isle, the car drivers were ferried back to the walk start to collect the vehicles whilst their passengers descended on the new café and enjoyed good home baking and a welcome tea or coffee. Four kayakers provided entertainment through the picture windows overlooking the port. Afterwards some took advantage of the well-stocked shop to do a little extra Christmas shopping. The Isle of Whithorn has long been in need of a café and this new building is most impressive.
The next walk on Sunday (not Saturday) the 7th of December is a Stranraer to Castle Kennedy moderate circular walk of 9 miles. Meet for car sharing at the Breastworks, Stranraer 9.30am, the Riverside, Newton Stewart 9.15am or the walk start at Bunker hill car park, Sandmill (NX 083 620) at 10am. For further details or if going to the start please phone the walk leader on 01776 840226.


  1. 28 of you? So nice there were so many. Fascinating views.

  2. Looks a cracking coastline Jim. Bet you are sorry you missed it but if you are under the weather it's better to miss one meet and recover properly. Best wishes for a speedy recovery soon. Keep warm. Honey is good for a sore throat....the liquid one in a bottle made by bees that is.....

  3. Thanks guys, It's a shame I missed this lovely walk but we'll be back in March when It's included in a longer walk from St Medan's that I'm leading.


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