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Sunday, 1 March 2015

Wigtownshire Ramblers Auchenmalg Stairhaven February 2015

Saturday the last day of February 2015
This walk was one we'd done before.
We arrived half an hour early, so I set to taking pictures.
We parked in the Cock Inn, Auchenmalg car park.
It's undergoing a change of ownership at the moment I believe.

Dog Whelk mass, two or three pebbles and a piece of washed up plastic saw the creation of 'Dumpy'.
Sadly I very much doubt he survived last night's high winds.

Birds were plentiful.

Our stand in walk leader was Scoop.
Her report and a selection of her photographs will appear below.

The pebbly beach came first.

Considering a forecast of rain an intrepid group of twenty five walkers turned out. 

View back to Auchenmalg

Number two of three burn crossings

Seals just beyond Slackmore Point
Scoops report says 7 seals, and it was only on looking at her picture I realised I'd missed one under a rock below my view point. I did try to get some close ups, so here are the other six below.





.....................and the twins Skipper and Flipper
I apologise to Marina for missing her.

A short break

Our leader wants to be in the group photograph 

Garliachen promontory fort below Laigh Sinniness Farm

A lone shag

In sight of Luce Sands

Somewhere among my thousands of pictures, I have close up pictures from a previous visit here. I will find them sometime.

It was raining as we climbed down to Stairhaven, but our audacious leader sweet talked the owner of the Old Port Store to allow us to shelter under the awning of his wood shed while we lunched.

Looks like all the prime spots have been taken !

The road between Stairhaven and Milton after lunch.

Buddha meditates

Road home via Drumugerdy Hill

Road junction to Castle Sinniness

Donkeys near Challochmun Croft

Downhill via Longforth Farm

View to Auchenbrae and Knock Fell

Still to bloom snowdrops

Last leg back to the cars

A fine old car
(Two Sticks tells me it's a Rover, upon investigation It looks like a 1947 Rover P2)

Tea, coffee, scones and cakes at Auchenbrae

A very friendly occupant 

A welcome finish to an occasionally damp walk.

Here now is a selection of photographs from our leader



Here's Scoop's Report

Wigtownshire Ramblers 28 February Auchenmalg – Stairhaven
After a new walker was introduced to the group and the route outlined, the 25 walkers set off from the Cock Inn at Auchenmalg (thanks to the proprietor for allowing parking) and proceeded across the pebbly beach.  The outlet of a fast flowing burn had to be negotiated before a track was accessed, leading towards the steep slopes rising westwards away from the bay.  Numerous stops were made to catch breath and to look back on the view before more level ground was reached from where a number of shags were spied opening their wings to the wind, on the rocks below.
The footpath was mostly a good one but occasionally muddy and boggy patches had to be carefully trodden.   Numerous stiles slowed the progress of the walkers and the track had to be diverted from once, into a parallel field, to avoid a couple of large holes – these were guessed as originally being formed by badgers but which now made this section impassable without  extreme care.
A small burn was crossed and some particularly marshy ground was ‘skipped’ over – quick movement is always better than taking too much time over it – and there was a wide muddy stretch over which to take care before reaching another stile beyond which the track became a good one once more.
A wide clearing was reached from where seven seals were spied, stretched out on the rocks below.  So easy to miss, these lumbering creatures gingerly wriggled to gain more comfort in their camouflaged surroundings but, since this is a popular place to find them, the keen eyed members amongst the group soon had their binoculars out while the photographers were soon recording their presence.  This also proved to be a good place to get group photos of the walkers with the attractive stretch of rocks below and the view of Luce Sands seen in the distance, beyond Stairhaven.
A short break was taken at Garliachen, where once stood a promontory fort of Bronze or Iron Age origin.  This is situated along the coastline above which Laigh Sinniness stands.  The day became cooler and greyer as Stairhaven came into view and the rain, which had threatened a couple of times earlier, now became more insistent.   A steep, slippery slope ended the coastline footpath and the road was reached.
The prospect of getting little shelter beside the shore was as dampening as the weather but, luckily for the walkers, the owner of the beautifully restored grain store, 'The Old Port Store' in the village, was outside and, when approached, happily agreed to letting them shelter under the roof of his wood store.  Snugly protected against the wind and rain, they consumed their lunches while being introduced to the Labradoodle which joined them to be admired and petted.
The rain soon abated after the road was once more gained and dry but dull weather accompanied them as they turned off at South Milton to walk towards Long Forth, stopping near Challochmun Croft to watch as four donkeys cantered towards them across the field.  After passing The Barracks it was a short walk to reach the beach and cross the river once again. The afternoon was rounded off well at the home, close by, of a couple of members who kindly provided the group with sumptuous refreshments.
Next week’s walk is a four mile strenuous one up the Shalloch of Minnoch.  Meet for car sharing at the Breastworks, Stranraer, at 8.45am, the Riverside, Newton Stewart at 9.15am or at the walk start (NX 396 956) at 10am after informing the walk leader.  New walkers are always welcome but please phone the leader on 01988 700553.


  1. Great collection of pictures Jim. Jealous of your seal photos! I,m also amazed at your fortitude and turn out on what looks like a fairly wild day. I've joined a new hillwalking club but haven't been out with them yet as the weather has put me off. I'm too used to sunny days out I suppose.

    1. Cheers Bob, as you'll see from my latest post, no matter the weather, there's nearly always a turn out.
      Enjoy your new club.


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