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Sunday, 29 December 2013

Wigtownshire Ramblers West Cairngaan December 2013

December the 28th 2013
It's the last walk of the year with the Ramblers. We've had a great time with many memorable walks this year. 
View east from Newton Stewart 
Down at the Riverside carpark in Newton Stewart, there's only me this morning. Everyone else from this end are probably on holiday or have family commitments.  I took this picture from the Minnigaff side of the Sparling Bridge.

Outset from West Cairngaan and the distant Mull of Galloway Lighthouse
So, it's birthday girl the 'Weaver' who's walk it is today and we start from West Cairngaan, her home. Fourteen walkers is a good turnout for this time of year.
There won't be much reporting from me today, the 'Weaver' has such a wonderful literary output, I'd come in a distant second best. Her report will follow the pictures.

Auchie Glen Plantation
This plantation started being planted 21 years ago. The planter is with us today, and still adding more trees. It's a diverse wood with a whole range of trees. He is the 'Weaver's' other half and is far too modest about his achievement. He will be remembered for this.

One of the 'Weaver's Fields
A climb through and over a tricky fence takes us out of the glen.

Gate Crossing
 It remains a very cold morning as can be seen by the ramblers apparel.

Overlooking Luce Bay
Time for a chat as we look towards the Mull.

Heading north.........

.............towards Creechan

Holiday House ?
When I take pictures for stitching together at home, I never intentionally tilt the camera. However sometimes the results can give a more interesting result. This house is halfway down the hill between Creechan and Maryport.

The most southerly holiday park in Scotland.

Septic tank manhole
Klargester sounded German to me, however looking up the name I find that they are a British company and are part of the Kingspan Group. I can't find out how the name was derived ? Maybe I'm missing something simple. Maybe K.L. Argester (argester being turquoise blue) ? Anyone got the answer ?

Marion's Isle to Back Bay
There a fair variety of sea birds at the water's edge.

Lunchtime watching the shags diving and the oystercatchers flitting about.

Towards Carrickamurlan
There must be good fishing as the shags continue to dive.

Geologically interesting rock formation
At the other side of Luce Bay I've explored Garheugh (pronounced garky) a few times. This stretch needs more exploration by me.

Carrickamurlan Drystane Wall Stile

St Medan's Cave Information Board

St Medan's cave wasn't located, perhaps the tide was too far in.

Shore path above West Tarbet
On reaching the road between East and West Tarbet, our walk leader gave us the choice of two return routes.One windy and the other maybe not so windy. It was an even split with seven opting to follow the walk leader's deputy along the shoreline. I joined that group. 

Mull Glen
Source of the King's Well

Youchtrie Heugh
It's an adventurous path

Cattle trough
It's a strange day with the light. Wisps and reflections are picked up by the lens. Are there spirits about ?!
Our leader looks like someone's trying to put a spotlight on him.   

Scotland's most southern tip
This is our last view of the turbulent waters as we turn inland.

Standing Stone
This is on the ordnance survey maps. It's on our walk leaders land and he isn't allowed to stand it up until the site has been excavated. I think most standing stones are under the jurisdiction of
There are a lot of Scotland's standing stones falling down these days, the winds are getting stronger. 

Mowed Fields

A Stena ferry and Cairngaan
A lovely walk and tasty farmhouse fare to conclude a grand day out. 

Here's the Weaver's excellent report.

Saturday 28th December 2013

The wind receded, the sun appeared and the Ramblers’ Christmas walk became a calm, if cold, respite from the recent turbulent weather.

Fourteen members turned out for a coast walk around the far south of the Rhins. Starting from Cairngaan across field tracks, the shelter of Auchie Glen was soon reached. Bare trees and decaying undergrowth have a beauty all of their own, earthy smells mingling with fresh cold air, and crunching footsteps contrasting with peaceful rustling of branches.

The remains of the recent winds soon caught the walkers as they climbed the lower slopes of the small hill of Slewcreen, to a track leading to Creechan Farm. Beautiful views over Luce Bay and the shoreline from Drummore to the Mull were enjoyed, though the Isle of Man was shrouded in a distant mist.

Maryport Caravan site was the next objective. Here the tide was out and the beach, littered with rocks, hosted a flock of gulls picking their lunch from amongst the briny puddles.

Now on the coast path south, the sun was in the walkers’ eyes and it was difficult to see far, but the well-worn path to Portankill, where the Kirk Burn enters the bay, was an easy route, sometimes on the beach, sometimes high up on the low cliffs.

A leisurely lunch was taken just a little further along the coast in the shelter of Portlennie, where rock formations on the beach were a pleasing foreground to the piping oystercatchers darting to and fro, and shags diving out at sea.

The coast was followed to East Tarbet, with much discussion along the way about the position of a ‘fort’ and ‘St Medan’s Cave’, which are marked on the map and need further exploration to pinpoint.

At the Tarbet, coming into a cold wind which blew along the west coast, the party split, with half opting for a brisk and bracing cliff walk, and the others a gentler way along the road and across fields back to Cairngaan.

Here a welcome hour was spent having a relaxing tea after much needed exercise to combat the overindulgences of Christmas festivities.

Next week walk is a 6.5 mile 'Woods and Nature' walk from South Balfern to Kilsture in the Machars. Meet for car sharing 9 am at the Breastworks, Stranraer, 9.30 am at the Riverside, Newton Stewart, or Kilsture North Car Park (NX 436 502) 10 am. New members or if going straight to the start please phone walk leader, 01988 840268. All are welcome, no dogs please.


  1. As far as "Klargester" is concerned Jim translated from German means clear gester, perhaps pertaining to the end product of a sceptic tank being of a "clear gesture" this may be a load of cr*p but hopefully keeps you entertained.Another excellent blog to round of the year with.

  2. What lovely photos!!! Thank you so much for sharing.

  3. Just looked that walk up on the map Jim. You've certainly got a
    wide range of lovely coastal walks to pick from down there.It seems ages since I've been at the shoreline for a walk myself and you cant beat a good coastal outing on a windy day.

  4. Beautiful day, bit different from today, will there be any flood photos coming soon???

  5. Cheers Gordon, as feasible an explanation as any. See you next year sometime.
    Thank you Linda, maybe I'll get to see your beautiful city some time.
    Hi Bob, the geography of Galloway affords us so much coastline that we are spoiled, I'll never finish exploring it.
    Hello Jayne, as I was escaping Newton Stewart yesterday morning, I said to myself that I'd be missing some great photo opportunities. Just read the Gazette' s report and it seems I was right. It's raining in Cheltenham now !


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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