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Sunday, 16 March 2014

Wigtownshire Ramblers Three Hills Walk March 2014

Saturday the 15th of March
Today's walk is a favourite of our group, though it's been a while since we were last over here.
Today's leader is the Milkmaid and I'll publish her report after all the pictures.

I also loaned my small camera to Scoop who'd forgotten hers. 
A selection of her pictures will follow mine.
There were two King Georges in the twentieth century, this box is from the earlier who reigned from 1910 to 1936.

Twenty of us set off, passing the Water Driven Sawmill

As we approached the road to Barholm Castle, Shorty noticed this boat out in Wigtown Bay. I got this with a full zoom. Operation Joint Warrior is due to start on the last day of this month so this is probably HMS Blyth 

Turning up to hill number one, Barholm.

A short break.

It's still quite misty over Wigtown Bay.

We've welcomed two new walkers today. Another two bonny lassies frae Newton Stewart.

Today we have walkers of varying hill climbing speeds so our walk leader is keeping everyone in check.

Barholm summit is reached. 
I've been wrong in my assumption that Ben John is the largest of today's hills. Barholm at 359 beats Ben John at 337 Metres.

The descent to the gap between Barholm and Ben John.
I've been remiss in previous posts by not finding out about Philip. Well thanks to both the Milkmaid and Lou Bega's girl I'm now much wiser.
Philip Williams was the pilot of  Cessna 152 G-BNGD who lost his life when he crashed here.
Here's the account of the crash.

 Ascending Ben John.............

................the easy way.

Ben John Summit.
We're still waiting for the sun to shine.

Lunch with a view.

Ben John descent.

Climbing Mill Knock

The ridge on Mill Knock, the last of the three hills.

Descending Mill Knock.

View down to Lagganmullan

Linum perenne (perennial flax, blue flax or lint) I think !

Easy underfoot now.
We can see brighter skies coming our way.

We came upon a colony of frogs toads. Many of them were hard to spot against the earth, but we don't think we walked on any.

My fungus of the day (the only fungus of the day)

Can you have a triangular stone circle ?

It's a puzzle !

Our illustrious leader is the left of the pair in the middle.
(Left looking at the picture that is)

Tarmac toad to Skyreburn.

My friend the Ayrshire Blogger likes a tree lined avenue.

Alongside the A75 they've been cutting down more trees. 
I wonder if we'll see these stumps being sculpted.

After a ten minute tea and cake stop at The Tea Pot we're along the shoreline.
The tide is well out and it looks like you could walk over to Sandgreen. However, the river Fleet might be think differently.

A happy pair of walkers.

Bottom left above is the Cardoness Beach Chapel which dates back to 1768.

It's no wonder the Cardoness Estate Holiday Park is so popular, this is a beautiful beach.

The short walk inland to where we'll get the car drivers shunted back to Kirkdale.
Well, that's me done with pictures.
By the time we all got into our cars, and having already had treats at the Teapot it was a bit late to go for after walk refreshments.
A grand walk though. I think we should do it every year.

Here's a selection of

Scoops Pictures

Shorty says "If you want a warmer beach, there's the door"

How come I don't get as good pictures with this camera ?

Here's the Milkmaid's report.

On Saturday, 20 ramblers met at Kirkdale Bridge car park. With fine weather forecast, an enjoyable day in the hills was anticipated.
A steep start up the road led past the entrance of the recently renovated sixteenth century Barholm Castle, at one time a hiding place for John Knox. A road following Kirkdale Glen was taken and Cairnholy was just visible as pockets of mist filtered views. 
Before long ramblers were enjoying a bracing climb up Barholm Hill, the first hill of the day. Some ramblers opted to go for the short sharp and steep route straight to the top with others taking a gentler incline, circling round the side to reach the summit. All were rewarded with views over the Solway at high tide. 
Descending through rougher ground towards a shooting track, the party paused at the memorial plaque to Philip, which marks the spot where Philip Williams, a Kilmarnock solicitor, lost his life when the Cessna 152, he was piloting, developed a fault and crashed in poor weather  on 21 December 1997.
Ben John was the next hill tackled, and although it looked a big climb from the bottom it was not long before everyone made it to the cairn at the top. Pausing for pictures before heading down a little way, a sheltering wall was deemed a good spot for lunch. 
Refreshed, the group were ready to tackle the final hill, Mill Knock, and soon enjoyed views over Lagganmullan and the picturesque valley below.  From here the route descended steeply over uneven ground before traversing welcome green fields towards a ruined mill and a ford.
At the water crossing multitudes of toads, some in amorous embrace, some swimming, others sat about in the water, heralded spring. Ramblers tiptoed up the lane, leading to the ruins of the old mill, to avoid stepping on toads whose colours camouflaged them beautifully until nearby movement made them crawl out of the mud.
The way now led past newly erected standing stones, down to Kirkbride Bridge where the road was followed to Skyreburn for refreshments at the ‘Teapot’. The tide having receded from the Solway coast allowed the walk to continue, first through a reed bed, then along the sandy shore, pausing to investigate Cardoness Chapel, before Newton Hill camping site was reached. Here walkers headed inland towards the A75 where a couple of waiting cars ferried drivers back to collect their vehicles at Kirkdale Bridge. 
The next walk on Saturday the 22nd of March is an 8.5 mile coastal walk from Portpatrick to Galdenoch, Leswalt. Meet for car sharing at the Riverside, Newton Stewart, at 9.00am, Breastworks, Stranraer at 9.30am or the walk start at Portpatrick North Car Park, at the start of the Southern Upland Way (NW997543), at 10.00am. New members are always welcome but must contact the walk leader on 01776 870441.


  1. What a thoroughly enjoyable walk this must have been, and if looks as if there were 15 or so of you! The frogs are so nice and they camouflage themselves quite well. Such lovely view on this walk.

  2. Looks a good varied walk Jim. I always thought toads were warty and frogs were smooth skinned. I've got around 20 fairly large warty individuals in my pond that I assumed were toads until frog spawn appeared out of them.
    Like the reed beds. I always think of "The African Queen" in those situations with Humphrey Bogart dragging his boat behind him through the swamp. (Humphrey's not a name that's usually associated with rugged masculinity yet it suited him perfectly. John- Brian-Peter- Bogart just doesn't have the same ring to it.)

  3. Thanks Linda, as the report said there were twenty of us, it was a lovely walk.

    You're right Bob, they're toads, just looked in my book of nature.
    "The African Queen" in my top five films.
    I like this TV Ad

  4. Sacrilege! They've turned him into a boot licking,, fast talking, MOR radio presenter Me no likely:o)

    1. Aye, yer right Bob, when I said I liked the ad, I lied, but it was different.

  5. That door looks like it leads straight to my local beach Jim!

    1. Oh that it was that easy Rose, but "Beam me up Scotty" is theoretically possible according to some won't be happening in my time sadly.


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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