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Sunday, 20 July 2014

Wigtownshire Ramblers Port Logan to Damnaglaur July 2014

 Saturday the 19th of July 2014
I was quite confident I'd be fit enough for Scoop's moderate walk. We're here at least once a year. Here are some links to previous visits. Scoop's walk report will follow the pictures.

 After making the error of not checking the walk start and a quick tour of the South Rhins we got to Port Logan and joined the others.
Twenty five of us headed up the steady incline on the track leading south out of the village.
We soon gained enough height to view Port Logan Bay. It was overcast and a little misty. The forecast was for rain.

Nice polite sign entering the land of Cowan's Farm.

The track south. Some parts well trodden, other sections less so.

Three hares on a hill were being playful and boxing. I thought I'd got a good picture of them. Ha ha !

Scoop kept us nicely refreshed with sweeties.

Bottom right above is all that remains of Castle Clanyard.
It seems we are becoming a more popular group of walkers, new faces appear every other week now.
Don't mind me folks, it's only to overcome my shyness that I sometimes appear to be slightly mad.  

Here's a well tended welcome to this estate.

Castle Clanyard,the one time residence of a branch of the Gordons of Kenmura and Lochinvar.
This from Gordon Castles.
"A 16th Century legend has it that young McDouall of Logan and Gordon of Clanyard were both in love with the same maiden, the daughter of M'Kinna of Portcorkerie. Gordon, by fair means or foul, had the young lady taken to Cardoness Castle, near Gatehouse of Fleet - the residence of another branch of the Gordon family.
Hearing of this MacDouall gave pursuit with his men and overtook the party on the sea-shore at Killeser. A conflict ensued and the maiden was freed, but her rescuer, MacDouall of Logan, was slain. According to the tradition, about 40 men fell, and between 30 and 40 small cairns still remain in the small plantation at Ardwell to mark the graves."

This building has been in construction for six years now.
Now then here's a thing. The lady in the picture was quite abrupt to any of the group who tried to talk to her, she was complaining of a lack of privacy. Well then dearie, might I just say that if it's privacy you want then the house is too ostentatious for a start, it's next to a public right of way and it's in walking country. Here in Scotland we also have a 'Right to roam' law. From what I can see happening all over Scotland is the rise of 'PRIVATE' signs. The beauty of our country is for all of us to enjoy, not the select few as of the 19th century. The only help I can suggest is that you completely surround the building with Leylandii. You'll then have the privacy you seek.

The nicest element of the above picture is in the foreground.

Wild Orchids

Here's a rarity among South Rhins cattle.

Arriving at Kirkmaiden.

In the grounds of Kirkmaiden Old Church.
"Sacred to the memory of the family of McDoualls of Logan who have been laid to rest in this vault for many centuries. Vault closed in 1897".

Headstones of some of the crew of the S.S. "Rio Verde" (London) which was torpedoed by a German submarine on 21st February 1918. The master and 19 crew perished.

The rain which started gently now got heavier. Having forgotten to fetch my waterproof camera, I took no more pictures on the road back to Damnaglaur. 

Here to complete the photographs are a few pictures from our illustrious walk leader.

Scoop's Pictures 

Back at Damnaglaur we were treated to a preview of the Scotlands Gardens' open day. Scoop and two of her neighbours are participants in today's (Sunday,July the 20th) event.

A grand day was completed with most splendid scones, cakes tea and coffee ably assisted by her friend and fellow walker, the 'Weaver' and her family.
I though I'd come through the day well, but by eight in the evening I ached and my legs felt like lead weights.
Though I'm not quite right yet at least my blood tests were clear.    

Here's Scoop's report.
Wigtownshire Ramblers – Port Logan – Damnaglaur Gardens 

Despite the adverse weather forecast 25 ramblers assembled at the picturesque harbour of Port Logan for the walk.  Trying to spur the walkers on to cover as much ground as possible before the expected rain, the leader set off, taking the steady incline of the track leading south out of the village. Before long they'd gained enough height to appreciate the views back to Port Logan Bay despite the greyness of the day.

Moving through to the fields of Cowans Farm a quaint message by one gate read 'Be ye man, be ye wumman - Be ye gaun, or be ye comin - Be ye early, be ye late - Be ye share tae shut the gate', read with delight by some of the newer walkers who had not seen such a sign before – a polite way of making sure we closed the gates behind us - rolling fields of sheep and cattle meant there were a number of them to open and close!

The track was a good one with only one stretch where the vegetation had grown high enough to warrant care in proceeding and the group were rewarded for their perseverance through this section afterwards when sweets were distributed by the leader.  Those who had been able to look at more than where they had put their feet would have noticed a variety of wild flowers, the yellow Common Bird’s Foot Trefoil,  the tall pink Rosebay Willowherb and purple Bush Vetch as well as the now fading Red Campion. The route became easier the views took in the cliffs above Clanyard Bay and over the Clanyard Moor, criss-crossed with ancient dykes enclosing sheep and cattle.

Reaching the road, they passed Castle Clanyard - all that remains of the 16th castle is a tapered corner of the walls in a nearby field. This was once the palatial residence of a branch of the Gordons of Kenmura and Lochinvar.

After walking through the buildings of Castle Clanyard Castle, footpath signs indicated permission, they continued south along the Glen of the Hole, passing an almost finished new build of some grandeur.  Its building had been followed with interest since foundations were laid, about six years ago.  With Cairn Fell to the west they next reached the crossroads below Inshanks Fell from where they turned east on the unclassified tarmac road to Kirkmaiden. The views over Luce Bay to the Galloway Hills should have been magnificent but today the former was only just visible whilst the hills were hidden from us.

Next stop and lunch was at the 17th century Kirkmaiden Old Kirk, just as the promised rain started to fall.  A third of the party opted to stay outside as, at that stage, it was just more than a drizzle, the others went into the Kirk to enjoy the shelter and its wonderful ambiance.  Leaving no crumbs and some monetary donations, the group took a wander through the Kirkyard as the rain fell more earnestly before setting off down School Lane.  The restored school and its schoolhouse created some interest and part of its garden was viewed over a front dyke before the walkers reached the turnoff to take the track upwards to High Kildonan.  It was a steep slope, a solid one at its start and, after passing the remains of the house, one which deteriorated into a grass and bramble narrow track where the ramblers had to manoeuvre their way as the rain increased.  It was with relief that the road was again reached and the short walk to Damnaglaur brought the group to some measure of shelter!

This was taken in all of the three gardens open with Scotland’s Garden Scheme on Sunday 20 July, open today for a preview to the Wigtownshire Ramblers.  Unfortunately, today was not the day to completely appreciate all the work which had been done by the owners of the gardens of Ardoch, Damnaglaur House and The Homestead!  Eventually the leader welcomed them into her house for refreshments after outer clothing had been hung in the garage and boots were lined up in the utility room.  When the walkers had finally dried off they DID appreciate the teas and cakes provided and donations were made to the British Red Cross for the hospitality and plants they had received at Damnaglaur House!

Next week’s walk will be a circular in the hills and glens of South Ayrshire. Meet for car sharing at the Riverside car park in Newton Stewart at 9.00 am, the Breastworks car park in Stranraer at 9.30 am or the walk start at Auchencrosh Cross Roads (NX 095 790). Please note this is an amendment from the published programme. For further details or if going to the walk start please phone walk leader on 01581 200256. New members are always welcome.

Update Monday 21st July from Scoop's new Sony 
Damnaglaur Garden with magnificent view
I called on Scoop on Sunday during her Scotlands Gardens open day.
She reports a great success and lots of donations to the Red Cross


  1. Beautiful, as always. I love the cow, too!

    1. Cheers LInda, see Rose's reply regarding the cow. Glad your health is improving.

  2. I was relieved and pleased to see that this splendid walk ended with tea and scones!
    The cow looks like a Dexter to me....... a very pretty cow too. I've removed many a hair from a Dexter's tail for DNA testing.
    That 'lady' should move to Australia, she could build her house in the middle of the aussie bush and have all the privacy one could possibly wish for!
    We pretty much have a 'free to roam' policy here too.

    1. PS: excellent news re the blood tests.....

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. Hi Rose, you might be right about the cow, I see there is a family run business who breed Dexters in Galloway.
      The tea and scones were brilliant too.
      Yes, the folk who have taken over the building of that house are from outwith South West Scotland. If they aren't going to be friendly I'd certainly advocate a move to the outback. Thanks for your concern about my health too, I think i'm on the mend now. Going to cut the grass now.

  3. looks like you all had a wonderful time
    great findings, interesting too
    love those wild orchids!

    1. Thanks Tammie, our wild orchids are generally of the Common Spotted variety, but occasionally we'll come across a gem of a different variety.

  4. Jolly good Jim that you're feeling better within yourself. And, I followed the link and visited Scoops AMAZING garden, and the outlook was breathtaking. HOnestly, I just ogled the pictures in complete awe. Lucky lucky Scoop!

    1. Hi Rose, looks like I've relapsed, Saturday morning and no walking today.
      Damnaglaur is situated close to the Mull of Galloway. It's very rare for them to get severe or really cold weather, they are very close to the Gulf Stream and vegetation thrives in the warmer, more moist air. She could probably grow some of your tropical plants. She tells her husband that her garden comes before him.

  5. Looks a nice walk Jim. Talking about the "right to roam" I was surprised to see the Ayrshire Coastal Path is not marked on the latest OS Map for Ayrshire and the South West. They are usually quick to add any long distance trail in as a dotted line but not in this case for some reason yet it's been an official walking route since 2005. Any ideas why that is?
    Well done on getting more members.

    1. Hi Bob, I've no idea why it's not on the latest maps. I know you can follow the route on line via gps-routes or LDWA. Maybe OS are short of money.


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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