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Sunday, 7 September 2014

Wigtownshire Ramblers Monreith Circular September 2014

Saturday the 6th of September
Twenty seven walkers gathered at the top of the one hundred and fifty steps above Monreith beach.
Shorty was the walk leader and his report will follow the pictures.   
The walk was similar to one we did back in March 2013 with snow on the ground. 

I was intrigued by these plaques on a bench. 
Going by the names I imagine they're deceased pets.

Through the village and left at Clarksburn

To Stellock Farm via Tronachan

Short climb to the Fell of Barhullion

Views North and North West

Araucaria angustifolia, the paraná pine, brazilian pine or candelabra tree on the Monreith estate

Zoomed in to the Mull of Galloway

Now we began the figure of eight section of the walk.

Two walkers seem to be in two places at once in this picture

Lumpy terrain

Blue Roundhead Fungi ?

The most difficult of the day's obstacles.

Five walkers all looking in different directions !

Thanks to Miss Goodnight for slyly snapping me and the Milkmaid.

Recce photograph to Barfad Loch

Passing ruins of Fell of Barhullion farm 

Galloway Hills view........


Belties and muck spreader


also known as Old Place Of  Monreith.........

Available for holiday bookings at the Landmark Trust

Two ladies holidaying were somewhat lost between Dowies and Drumfad. We put them on the right track. The semi clad lady still stands in the garden at the Clachan of Myrton.

Core path, phoenix tree and the thickest ivy vine.

A moment for refreshment.

Top picture - looks like a rambler has come to grief.
Bottom Picture - he needs an introduction to the garden lady of Clachan of Myrton.

A Donsy of Gnomes in the Lochside Plantation

Lunchtime at the holiday house on the White Loch of Myrton.

I looked this up, am I right ?
Quattro Bella Donne !

Henry who's been hiding, gets discovered as we are leaving.

View across to Myrton Castle Cottage, swans and fisher folk.

A quick glimpse of Monreith House.

Nectar and pollen collection before summer's gone.

Boys 'n Birds Barsalloch Point

Steps up to Barsalloch Fort

Port Whapple

Monreith Bay.

Water's edge walkers

Approaching Black Rocks

A stony crossing to the one hundred and fifty Kelton Steps.

A grand walk completed we drove up to Port William for tea and coffee with a tray bake provided by A'OK. 
Kati and Ben had been warned to expect us.

A fitting end to the day................

.............looking out to Luce Bay.............

.................and the lighthouse on the Mull of Galloway.

Here's Shorty's report.
Wigtownshire Ramblers Saturday, 06 September 2014 – Monreith Circular

Saturday dawned clear and bright and twenty seven cheerful ramblers, including a number of visitors from as far away as Australia, assembled above the beach in Monreith.  The air was unusually clear and the lighthouse on the Mull of Galloway stood out clearly above the sparkling blue sea.  We set off through the village and turned up the road towards Stelloch Farm.  At Clarksburn Farmhouse we paused to admire the carved stone from 2005 with modern cup and ring marks and a Nine Man’s Morris board.  Unfortunately nobody was sure of the rules for the latter so we could not play the game.

At Stelloch farm we were greeted by two enthusiastic dogs and their owner.  The owner tried to explain where we could find the elusive ancient cup and ring marks marked on the map in the next field.  Following his guide we crossed the field and carefully examined the exposed rocks with no success until a walker’s shadow fell at the right angle and the circles became apparent.  The reason for these carvings is unknown but our leader postulated they were probably graffiti carved by bored Stone Age shepherds.

We then climbed the rougher ground above the field to the Fell of Barhullion and were rewarded with magnificent views in all directions.  The southern Marchars were laid out before us and the Galloway Hills formed a sun drenched back drop.  To the west the sea was a striking blue with the Skares rocks unusually clear.  One member thought he could make out the Mountains of Mourne as a grey outline on the horizon.  There had been a minor collapse in well-built summit cairn and the small message jar was exposed and empty.

After a short pause to regain breath and partake of energy replacing sweeties we set off northwards on a cattle path through the whins and bracken towards the Fell Wood.  As we went a pair of young roe deer bounded away amongst the bushes.  We eventually found a rough quad bike track which descended to a gate into the wood.  We then followed animal tracks through the open woodland with high bracken and brambles and then crossed onto the Fell Farm where the going got easier.  

We soon reached a track and walked up to the remnants of Fell Farmhouse.  Some reconstruction work had been carried out but a great deal of effort will be required to restore the buildings.  From the farm we took a tractor track down the fields to the Dowies Castle, also known as the Old Place of Monreith. This was once the seat of a branch of the powerful Maxwell Family from Caerlaverock near Dumfries.  The tower house was restored some years ago and is now let as a holiday home by the Landmark Trust.

On the way back to Court Hill Plantation we met two dog-walking ladies who had lost their way trying to follow tracks marked on their map.  As is quite common round here, the tracks just disappeared leaving them directionless in featureless grassy fields.  We were able to redirect them to their route which they thankfully followed.  We followed the surprisingly squelchy track around the lower side of the plantation and reached the Estate road which we would follow to Drumfad and the Clachan of Myrton.  As we went we were amazed at the profusion of hazel nuts, rose hips and brambles but the paucity of the crop on the hawthorn and sloe bushes.  

At the Clachan we turned onto the Core Path, a rather muddy old track cut through the edge of the Hill Head Plantation.  We walked on the bank above the extensive cutting to avoid the deep mud.  The extent of the earthworks was surprising for a track which seemed to lead from the old smithy to a rather small farm.  The farm is now ruinous, marked only by a few low walls.  We walked down the field to the Monreith Estate North Lodge and turned in through the gates and then followed a narrow path through the trees to the larger path which runs round the White Loch.  We stopped for lunch in the opening in the woods next to the Kennels Cottage with views out across the White Loch.  During lunch we were entertained by a diving bird that was hunting in the loch and emerged with something in its beak which was causing it some difficulty.

After lunch we continued round the west side of the loch, meeting dog walkers and fishermen, to Monreith House and then down the drive for a short distance.  We then crossed the Barsalloch Burn and walked along the new cattle roads to the county road and then between hedgerows down the concrete road to North Barsalloch Farm.  The farmer had obviously been talking advantage of the dry weather to spread slurry on his fields which added a distinctive aroma to our progress.  Below the farm the track dips down a small glen cut by the burn to the sea shore.

We crossed the main road and walked along the shingle beach back towards Monreith.  The shingle contained a remarkable range of hardy plants growing vigorously out of the unpromising soil.  One member was particularly pleased to find the relatively rare Yellow Horned Poppy which was still flowering amongst the stones.  Further along the beach some ramblers took the longer but easier route over the firm sand revealed by the low tide.  Others trudged manfully on along the shingle.  Both groups finished the walk by climbing the 150 steps back from the beach to the cars.  We then motored through Portwilliam and enjoyed tea and coffee on the sea shore at the Streeteatery with tray bakes provided by an absent member.

Next week’s walk will be a nine mile moderate walk across the southern Rhins starting from Port Logan.  Meet at 09:00 at the Riverside car park in Newton Stewart or 09:30 at the Breastworks car park in Stranraer to share transport.  The walk will start from the pier car park in Port Logan at 10:00 (NX 094 404).  New walkers are welcome but please contact the walk leader on 01776 860315 for full details.


  1. Glorious and captivating views here!

  2. Stunning vistas Jim, a bit of comedy, happy ramblers, animals, love the bees! and some clever photo stitching. :)
    New week approaching, enjoy yours - mine has just started.

  3. I like the beach and horse photos framed against the sea. Looks a nice walk Jim.

  4. Great shots-I love all the statues and such :)

  5. Thanks for all your comments folks. I get very lax trying to remember to reply. As my mum used to say "My memory's like a sieve". Now where's that publish button !


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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