Clicking a picture will bring up all the posts pictures in a slideshow. To view an individual picture in full screen, right click and select 'Open link in new tab'

Sunday, 26 October 2014

The Wigtownshire Ramblers Cuil Creetown October 2014

Saturday the 25th of October 2014
Another good turn out for the walk I'm leading today, there are thirty of us.
As per my usual format, I'll publish the report after the pictures. Any similarities to the report I wrote the last time we did this walk are purely co-incidental deliberate.
Though I published a preview of this walk, I'll be including a few from my recce.
Following my pictures there will be a selection from Scoop, she's taken some beauties.

Walk start at Cairnsmore car park. One of our two guest walkers keen to get moving.

Cuil and Cairnsmore.

An old Francis Morton fence post, a recently painted cycle post, undulations and the river Cree.

Cattle near the Grange of Cree in the Machars

Spittal Rooftops

It's a cycle track we're on !

Shetland ponies at Barholm Mains

Log cabin, renovated well, Westies or Scotties and the Ellangowan.

Barholm Street, Creetown
Our first refreshment stop was at the Prospectors Pantry at the Gem Rock Museum. I had a delicious slice of home baked shortbread. 

Leaving the Gem Rock Museum.

A sneaky picture of a strap adjustment.

Taking to the fields above Chain Bridge

Successfully staying dry over the ditch.

Metal hook and mushrooms. (probably poisonous but I don't know and I don't intend to find out)

Fields above Chain Wood.

Gaining a little height . View back to Wigtown Bay.

Cattle including Belted Galloways.

Lunch on the Paddy Line

Track to the military road.

Black swan at Crinan.

Pampas grass at Crinan.

Plantation at Clanery.

A detour round a boggy section on Blairs Hill (I took a detour round Bully and his family on the recce, luckily they weren't around on walk day) 

Almost at our highest point of the day.

View across the Cree to the Machars with Knock Fell in view. Shorty always says, "It doesn't feel like a real walk unless you can see Knock Fell"

A couple of Cuil's prize winners perhaps.

My last pictures of the day................... here's 

Scoops Pictures

.......she only took 179 on the walk!

I love this one.

I love this one too.

Thanks for your contribution Scoop.

Most of us ended a good day out with tea, coffee and scones in the Belted Galloway

Here's the walk report.

Wigtownshire Ramblers
October the 25th 2014
Despite overcast skies, thirty walkers gathered at the Cairnsmore car park for the walk.  We were pleased to welcome two guest walkers from Dalry, Ayrshire.

The walk began by following the route of the old Portpatrick & Wigtownshire Joint Railway between Palnure and Creetown. This was converted to a walk and cycle path in 2000 and is a part of the National Cycle Route.
The path took us through Cuil and Blairs woods where a wide view of the Cree Estuary and Wigtown Bay opened up. The tide had begun to come in.
Our path now crossed above Blair House and Spittal farms from where we reached the road into Creetown. This was followed for a few hundred yards to Lennies, before we took the public footpath down to Barholm Mains.
In an adjoining field, a pair of delightful Shetland ponies followed our progress.

A line of old large beech trees led us to Wickham Place, the 'Coach House' of Barholm Mains. These were the stables of Barholm House, a Robert Adam designed classical country house unfortunately destroyed by fire in the 1950's. The stables are now beautifully restored to a fine dwelling.
We entered Creetown via Bridge Street and the Moneypool Burn where steps led up to the Gem Rock Museum.
Some walkers took to the outside tables while others sampled the refreshments offered in the Prospectors Pantry Café.

Before resuming the walk, we admired the Ian Cant 3D sculpture Triquetra. It's a layered stone sculpture representing eternal life through a form taken from the Celtic symbolic system. A number of layers are inscribed with a thought, a memory, a story of the past, hopes and visions of the future. It's a unique time capsule.

Our route now followed the Moneypool Burn to Chain Bridge. This was mostly road walking but a short section alongside the burn made a pleasant diversion.
After crossing the Chain Bridge we now entered a field with the leader declaring a mini assault course lay ahead. This turned out to be a small burn crossing, a short climb through a steep wooded copse and a deep water filled ditch which caused consternation to a few walkers.

A muddy gate entrance now led us through fields to join the disused 'Paddy Line' on the Gatehouse to Creetown section. Here a group of young Belted Galloway bullocks took a great interest in our passing.
A short distance along the disused line the layout of the embankment made an ideal spot for a lunch break. Though the line closed in June 1965 we had at least two walkers who remembered the train journey. A red kite circled above us.

After lunch a well-used track took us to the military road to Crinan. Our walkers’ knowledge of this road’s history included hearing tales of tanks coming in by rail and rumbling up this road. The area north east towards the ‘Door of Cairnsmore’ was used extensively as a firing range during World War 2 and very occasionally live ammunition is still found.

Through the trees on Crinan’s ponds we were delighted to see a pair of majestic black swans. A brightly coloured peacock was also spotted disappearing into the mature rhododendron bushes. Tall pampas grass swayed gently in the breeze.
Now our concrete road became farm track and a pleasant approach of cultivated roadside plants led us to Clanary. Cattle and sheep grazed in neighbouring fields.
Beyond the farm an occasionally muddy hill track now took us on a gradual climb up the slopes of Blairs Hill. The summit of Cairnsmore of Fleet appeared to be clearing of cloud as another red kite and a pair of buzzards were spotted.  A little further on a flock of around a dozen golden plovers were disturbed from their moorland resting spot.  

Soon the forest at Kirroughtree and the town of Newton Stewart became visible. Reaching the sheep pens above Cuil, we were treated to a magnificent view. Stretched out below we saw the meandering Cree, surrounding farms and buildings and the Machars. To our right we could see the rooftops of the Cairnsmore estate and further right the Minnigaff hills which were all in view.
An unhurried descent took us through Cuil farm, well known locally for it’s award winning sheep and cattle.
From here it was a short distance to the car park and the end of the walk.
Back at the Riverside in Newton Stewart, after walk refreshments were thoroughly enjoyed in the Belted Galloway.

Next week’s walk is a change to that advertised in the programme. The walk will now be the Bargrennan Circular originally scheduled for the 3rd of January 2015.
Meet for car sharing at the Breastworks, Stranraer 9.00 am,the Riverside, Newton Stewart 9.30 am or the walk start at Bargrennan Hall (NX 349 765) at 10am. For further details or if going to the start please phone walk leader 01776 870231. New members are always welcome.


  1. That's the kind of walk I enjoy doing more now rather than slogging up featureless bumps just because they are down on some list. I heard recently on the news that mushroom poisonings are on the increase probably due to more folk going out collecting them to eat with all the cooking programmes. It is so easy to make a mistake and if you pick the wrong one it can be your worst nightmare. I tasted one at 18 that a girl assured me was safe and I'm lucky to be alive. Once was enough as it put me off them for life.( mushrooms that is) The only consolation was she was very ill as well.

    1. Ah ! but some of your bumps are anything but featureless Bob. I know what you mean though, a few of our group decided on a hill recce in the rain yesterday..........they never saw a thing.
      I caught one of these 'wild' programmes where the experts were eating raw mushroom. I suppose if you really know what you're looking at......I'd never chance it.

  2. I really enjoyed reading the report, as you say there's wonderful things that cameras missed. Black swans! At least they're not elusive over your way Jim!
    This really was a wonderful walk with breathtaking vistas.

    1. Hi Rose, black swans are elusive here, these two may well be the only ones in Galloway.
      A change in the weather made me discover the route over Blairs hill, the views are great. I intend to get up on top of Blairs one time to take a 360º view.


Thanks for all your comments. I may not get to reply to them all, but you may be sure they'll be appreciated.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


Creative Commons License
This work is licenced under a Creative Commons Licence.

Morning deer

Morning deer
is someone watching me