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Sunday, 23 March 2014

Wigtownshire Ramblers Portpatrick Circular March 2014

Saturday the 22nd March 2014
We're over to the west for today's walk.
Nineteen of us congregate in Portpatrick's North Car Park for the walk start.
We're on very familiar territory as we've walked much of this route before.
It's much like a circular we did in 2010, but without the wind farm and in reverse.
It's always popular since the whole area is so scenic.
Our weather forecast is for showers later in the day.
A O'K is writing today's press release and I'll publish it after the pictures.
Thanks as always to Scoop for the use of her images and there's one today from Miss Goodnight too.
We begin the walk at the start of the Southern Upland Way.

Looking back at Portpatrick.

Seagulls have a great life at Portpatrick, there's never a skinny one to be seen.

The golf course is very busy today. It's the best Saturday weather for quite a while.

Here's one from Scoop as we head down to Sandeel Bay (Port Mora)

As well as our group, there are quite a few other walkers on the coastal path today.

I'm led to believe that once beached, jellyfish can't survive. That's a shame, this was a beauty.

Round the next headland we arrive at Lairds Bay (Port Kale), what's that round object by the fence ?

It's Mickey !

As we climb up via the chains a seal makes an appearance.

So, it looks like we've the company of Mr Disney's creation for a while. Guess who's rucksack he got tied to ? Another of Scoop's pictures.

Thanks to Miss Goodnight for this picture, It's certainly an improvement.

Occasional short stops keep the group together as Killantringan Lighthouse comes into view.

March Howe

Ouchtreemakain Moor

Approaching Portmaggie.
Looks like the lighthouse is still for sale at Galloway and Ayrshire Properties.

Not a member of our group, but shows the size of the foghorn.

Just about the most I've ever photographed of the Craigantlet.

A small summit !

Killantringan and Knock Bays.
The original walk for today would have seen us continue north, but our leader explains that due to the tide not being out far enough the route had to be changed. 
We will be putting the walk back on a future programme, but for those wanting to see what we missed today, then have a look at my Post from June 2010.
It's a cracking stretch of coast. 

Another from Scoop.

I often zoom as far as my camera will let me and end up with a very hazy picture. However a crop and an 'I'm feeling lucky' on my Picasa programme will leave me with something like the above.
I don't know how those people got in this picture !

We turn inland from the lighthouse and a look back sees the ferry passing the tip of the Mull of Kintyre.

There's something almost symmetrical about this picture, another crow would do it I think.

As we approach Killantringan Farm we get a look at the Stena boat emerging from Loch Ryan.

We have lunch below Killantringan Fell.

The Officer's Mess. 
Like myself, a comfortable seat is a priority.

Back on the move with the Craigenlea Windfarm in view.

Time to say goodbye to Mickey.

A short walk along the B738

The entrance to Dunskey 

Gate outside Dunskey Home Farm.

Just inside the gate is a small hut with wildlife and walk information on the walls.
I must have passed the hut half a dozen times, but this is the first time I've looked in.

Nursery Wood on the Dunskey Estate.

Emerging onto the golf course we spot another vessel in the North Channel.
Is it an empty container ship ?
 (bottom left above, hands on hips, I'd suggest a seven iron)

There's probably a competition on today, there are golfers queueing up at tees.

The day's turned gorgeous.

Into Portpatrick along Heugh Road and a climb up Portree Terrace. 

Quite a few of us have taken off our top layer as we climb onto the railway path. 

Scoop organises a group photo.

Bridge path alongside the railway cutting.

Nesting Fulmar

A last short break before climbing down to Portpatrick.

I'll leave the honours to Scoop for this last picture.
It's been a grand walk, but looking at those skies to the west our timing is perfect.
We were nicely ensconced in the Beachcomber cafe before the rain and hail arrived.

Here's A O'K's report.

Wigtownshire Ramblers 22nd March 2014  Portpatrick Circular 

The weather was calm but cloudy as nineteen walkers set off from Portpatrick to walk to Galdenoch. The usual excited chattering amongst the group quietened as we mounted the steep start of the Southern Upland Way out of Portpatrick. However, the sighting of a seal bobbing sleepily up and down in the bay below soon had us all talking again. The walk along the cliffs was bracing with views clearing towards Northern Ireland as the skies started to lighten and the sun decided to shine. Kittiwakes were busy nesting on the cliffs below. We descended  to Port Kale beach where we were dismayed to see all the rubbish deposited by the high tides. It would take an army of volunteers to clear it – so sad.  Amongst the debris we discovered an inflated helium balloon, a Micky Mouse with strings attached. It was quickly tied to the rucksack of one of our walkers and we proceeded jauntily up the chain path and onto the cliffs above Portavaddie, and before long Kilantringan Lighthouse came into view. Here the walkers were brought to a stop as their intended route down to the beach below and along the coast towards Galdenoch was blocked by a fast incoming tide. A sweetie stop was taken as our leader reviewed possible alternative routes. Eventually it was agreed that we should walk along the road to Dunskey for the return to Portpatrick. As the saying goes time and tide waits for no man!
The group set off up the road away from the lighthouse and as we approached the junction to Portpatrick a lunch stop was taken amid beautiful sunshine – something too often missing on our recent walks. Afterwards we marched on along the road and turned into Dunskey woods. There daffodils put on a cheerful show and we could see the bluebells were beginning to grow with the promise of spectacular displays to come. 
The route now took us back through Portpatrick golf club and down towards the town. Those thinking of an early stop for tea were disappointed as our leader now turned up towards the caravan park and the old railway along to the ruins of Dunskey Castle. A pause was taken as walkers stripped off heavy jackets and exposed skin to the warm Spring sunshine. Below fulmars, kittiwakes and gulls were vying for the best nesting sites and screaming abuse at incomers. As we descended the steps into Portpatrick we were met by walkers coming the other way from the coaches in the car park below.  Outside many visitors were taking advantage of the weather and enjoying drinks alfresco. As we reached the Beachcomber café some of our walkers also decided to sit outside for refreshments but others saw the black clouds heading inland and played safe and went indoors. Sure enough thunder and hailstones arrived driving everyone inside for a welcome tea and scone. In spite of our enforced change of route our leader had provided a most enjoyable walk. 
Next week our walkers will visit Dunaskin Glen, the lost Village of Lethanhill and Laight Castle for a fairly strenuous six mile walk. Meet at the Breastworks car park in Stranraer, or the Riverside in Newton Stewart for car sharing at 8.45am. The walk starts at the Waterside Iron Works at 10am. New walkers are welcome but please speak to the leader first on 01671 403351.


  1. Lovely to hear the weather is warming up for you Jim, this really is a sensational stretch of coast and I particularly was drawn to the images overlooking Portpatrick.
    Why did you let your friend go? he was quite becoming :)

    1. Portpatrick is one of the most popular seaside resort in South West Scotland Rose. It's a nice quiet place in the winter, but gets extremely busy in the summer season. Mickey had to go because he kept slapping my face.

    2. Yes well a violent Mickey Mouse would ever do.............

  2. Jim, you get to see so much beauty on your walks and I really appreciate you sharing it here. Those seagulls are beautiful and snowy white.

  3. Hi Linda, our coastal seagulls are mostly scavengers so I'm not sure how they retain their colour. The villagers must live nice clean lives ha ha

  4. Did this walk a few years ago and really enjoyed it. A cracking day out.


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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