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Sunday, 5 April 2015

Wigtownshire Ramblers Newton Stewart Circular April 2015

Saturday the 4th of April 2015.
I led this now popular walk having had something to do with it's construction.
Here's a link to the last time we did it. 
This time I lengthened it to take in views.
I didn't get too many good pictures from the front of the group, but Scoop did and a selection of her pictures will follow mine ( I've also received three from Miss Goodnight which I'll also include). A few of my pictures are from an earlier recce.
My walk report will appear after the pictures.
We had a good day and my dodgy knee just about behaved itself.
Colourful Minnigaff

Conifers Leisure Park

Newton Stewart Golf Course

A mob of deer

Road to Waulkmill

The Queen Mary Bridge

Monnigaff Church Yard

Hill of Old Hall

Drystane Dyke stile above Old Hall Farm

Blairmount Park and pond


Below Barbuchany

Ascending Barrhill Woods Hill

Telephone mast on Barrhill

The farmer rescuing an upturned sheep.

Galloway Hills view

The meandering River Cree

Turnip Sower at Nether Barr

The 'Farmer' alongside the Turnip Sower

That concludes my pictures.
Now here's a selection from 



Newton Stewart Golf Course

Wild Wood and................

..................Bower Wood

The Penkiln Burn at Waulkmill

Monnigaff Church Yard

King George V Suspension Bridge

Old Hall Hill

Drystone Dyke Old Hall

Stile climb Old Hall

Swans on Blairmount Pond

Barbuchany view to Barrhill Farm

A happy group view at the telephone mast on Barrhill Woods

River Cree view to Carty Port and beyond

The Galloway Hills, the Cree estuary, Wigtown Bay and the Machars.
Time out to enjoy the view

A view of solitude

Group view above Upper Barr and the meandering River Cree

Beginning the descent

View to Cairnsmore of Fleet

The hills prominent in this view are Millfore and Drigmorn

Blackcraig and Kirroughtree are left of centre here

Now here's the pictures from 

Miss Goodnight 

 Monnigaff Churchyard

 Barr Moor view (and a gesticulating leader)

A vista across the Cree estuary

Our after walk refreshments of tea, coffee, scones and cake were thoroughly enjoyed at the

Here's the report
Wigtownshire Ramblers
Saturday the 4th of April 2015.
On a reasonably bright morning twenty eight ramblers met at the Riverside car park, Newton Stewart for the walk.
We began by crossing the Cree at Sparling Bridge, and following the river up to Creebridge.  It's recorded that Robert the Bruce forded the Cree at this point in 1329 on a pilgrimage to St Ninians.
From here we went through Minnigaff to Kirroughtree House. A short stop was taken for the walk leader to read out some of its history and association with Robert Burns and the Heron family.
The last verse from a Burns poem for Patrick Heron while standing for parliament in 1795 read,

"Then let us drink-The Stewartry, Kerroughtree's laird, and a' that, Our representative to be, For weel he's worthy a' that. 
For a' that, and a' that, Here's Heron yet for a' that! A House of Commons such as he, They wad be blest that saw that".

Now we took to the perimeter path of Newton Stewart Golf course which led us up to the tenth tee and a sweetie break while admiring the view back to the town.
From here we followed paths and forest tracks through Wild Wood and Bower Wood negotiating a number of fallen trees from the recent high winds.
After descending to the Old Edinburgh road we continued along Bower road where we spotted a mob of deer of various shades. They soon disappeared as we approached.
We now made our way to the Queen Mary Bridge, the site of the old Cumloden Woollen Mill. Now converted to upmarket flats, a millstone is still visible through one of the windows on the Penkiln side. On the bridge we attempted to secure a wish by cleanly dropping pebbles into the wishing pot.  
After passing by Kirkland farm we reached Monnigaff Parish Church. The 900 year old Yew tree and the listed Heron memorial were among the many points of interest. The headstone depicting an arrow piercing two ravens was another. This is related to the legend of the three brothers, McKie, Murdoch and McLurg trying to impress Robert the Bruce. One of the brothers shot two ravens with one arrow.  

We continued on across the Cree by the King George V and Queen Mary suspension bridge then up to King Street. At the perimeter of the town we took a left turn at Duncree. This led to the old coach road which originally went from Old Hall Farm to House O' Hill. Here panoramic views of the Galloway hills were enjoyed.
We turned south to climb over a drystone wall above Old Hall farm and Douglas Ewart High School to reach Corsbie road. Lambing season being in full swing brought many an 'Aw' from many of our walkers.
Corsbie road led us to Blairmount Park where we climbed up to the trig point on Doon Hill. A short descent through Doonhill Wood brought us to the edge of Blairmount Pond and an ideal spot for lunch. While some walkers used the picnic table and bench, other sat on the pond dipping platform and enjoyed watching the ducks and swans while feeding them titbits of their lunches.
Reluctantly we continued the walk by encircling Blairmount Pond to reach the Barnkirk road. Single file walking saw us cross the A75 and enter a field to climb the wee hill by Barbuchany.
Here we took another short sweetie break before climbing up to the telephone mast above Barrhill Woods.  Great views of Newton Stewart and the Galloway Hills were enjoyed from here.
After another sweetie break we now continued south across rolling fields above Moorpark of Barr. This was an extension to our regular route on this walk and extended the walk length to just over nine miles.
A flooded gate entrance meant a short detour through some prickly gorse. This brought a few anguished shouts, but no one suffered serious damage.
A further short climb brought us to a point of height on the drumlins above Barr Moor.
Now we took a short break to enjoy the extensive views across the Machars and the Cree estuary to Wigtown Bay. We all agreed that the extra distance was worth it for the vista before us.   
Now we descended to Nether Barr where we joined the riverside walking and cycle path.
At Nether Barr there sits on view an old John Wallace Turnip Sower. A member of our group, a retired farmer, was of the belief that this may have been an actual turnip sower he once owned. 
From here a lovely riverside stroll brought us back to the Riverside car park.
Tea, coffee, scones and other culinary delights at the Belted Galloway completed a very enjoyable day.

On Saturday the 11th of April two walks have been arranged. The first is a 9 mile strenuous walk to the summit of Larg Hill from Caldons.
The second is a less strenuous walk from the Wood of Cree to Loch Middle.
Meet for car sharing for both walks at the Breastworks Car Park Stranraer at 9 am, the Riverside, Newton Stewart, 9.30 am or the walk starts at Caldons (NX 397 791) for the strenuous and the Wood of Cree car park (NX 381 709) for the easier walk.
If going straight to the walk starts please phone walk leader 01776 703447 for the strenuous walk or 01671 402733 for the easier walk. New members are always welcome.


  1. Glad you are back in action Jim. I always swear by deep heat treatment and rest for knee joint trouble but it depends what it is.. Almost a biblical migration effect in some of the photos :o) You certainly have a well attended and healthy membership that a lot of clubs would be envious of these days as I know some of the traditional climbing/ hillwalking clubs struggle to attract new members as folk meet up casually on line nowadays in mini groups for outings.

    1. Cheers Bob, I must admit I never felt like Moses. The River Cree isn't the Red Sea, but I don't think I'd have got that lot over anyway ha ha
      We're getting keen enough walkers now that we're having to put on two walk if one of them is an A grade strenuous.
      Going to try and catch up on other folks blogs today.

  2. This is a fabulous walk! Can't wait. The gesticulating leader seems to know his business and how to get his point across :)

    1. Believe me Rose, he can put his foot down, but generally he's just a pussy cat who can be got round with a little sweet talking. I look forward to showing you these heights !

  3. I remember this walk well JD. Excellent photos on a lovely day.

    1. Aye Gordon, but the extra distance added bonus views. No doubt you'll be back to do it some time. Glad you enjoyed the trip down under.


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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