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Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Wigtownshire Ramblers Lochinch Circular October 2014

Saturday the 11th of October 2014

 I still like to publish the walks I miss for the perusal of the wider walking community.

I missed this walk due to my trip down south.
Thanks therefore go to Scoop for the pictures and Shorty for the report.

White Loch approach through Broad Wood

Lochinch Castle view

Castle Kennedy House grounds

White Loch and WWII hut remnants

Graveyard in the old Inch Parish Churchyard

Happy Ramblers

The obligatory obstacle on any of the 'Farmer's' walks
'Shorty' to the rescue

Balker Fell

Group photograph overlooking Luce Bay, Cults Loch, Black Loch and White Loch

Return to Castle Kennedy grounds

Bridge over the channel linking the White and Black Lochs

After walk refreshments by the old Castle Kennedy

Wigtownshire Ramblers – Saturday, 11/10/2014 – Lochinch Circular

The weather forecast had promised a fine day so twenty seven ramblers assembled at the Castle Kennedy gardens for a walk around the Lochinch Estate.  The group set off cheerfully along the main drive towards Castle Kennedy village along the shore of the White Loch.  It was so calm that the water looked like glass.  The only ripples were caused by a group of ducks which hurried for cover on the far side of the loch.  Across the water Lochinch Castle was mirrored in the smooth water.

The route then turned off the drive and we followed a track through the woods.  All along the way were remnants of buildings which had formed part of the numerous military establishments built here during the war.  Nature was rapidly reclaiming the sites and only a few wall and concrete foundations were visible.

We soon reached the Lochinch Castle drive and turned north.  There we met a group of cheerful children who had been enjoying an outing in the countryside.  A little further on we made a short diversion to the old Inch parish church with its graveyard containing many old gravestones. The site is now used as a private burial ground for the Earls of Stair and their family.

After returning to the drive we followed the road with views over the White Loch until we reached the woods.  A track led us through Hamilton Wood down to the Balker Bridge.  The path was remarkably dry considering the rain of recent days.  It will obviously take further rain to make the soil really wet.  We then followed the road on to Balker Farm, the home farm for the Estate.  After a short pause for sweeties we then tackled the climb up the track towards the television transmitter on Balker Fell.  As we ascended the track the views opened up over Stranraer and Luce Bay.  The Mull of Galloway was silhouetted against the bright sea and the Isle of Man was just visible on the misty horizon.

We followed the track until we reached the aerial and then turned down through the woods following a well-used deer track.  The woods were criss-crossed by deer tracks and our leader was concerned that the group kept well together as any stragglers might easily be confused by the choice of routes amongst the dense trees.  We noticed significant damage on the trees which suggested that red and roe deer were prolific in the area.  We soon emerged from the woods into a grassy meadow where we paused for lunch. The sun shone for our lunch stop and we enjoyed lovely views over the Black & White lochs with the tower of Castle Kennedy standing out against the trees on its promontory between the lochs.  Flights of geese were busy on the Black Loch and their haunting cries could be heard clearly.

After lunch we descended to field and turned onto the road through the Tongue Glen.  We paused on the bridge over the Tongue Burn to examine the remains of an older bridge now represented by a series of walls which had supported the abutments.  Further along the lane we passed Sheuchan Farm and then reached the New Luce road.  We then turned back towards Castle Kennedy.  The road was unusually busy.  Perhaps the fine weather and the start of the autumn colours had tempted out the visitors.

After a short walk along the road we turned into Sheuchan Bank wood.  The road had been tarmacked but was rapidly disappearing below rampant vegetation.  We then turned back through the Broad Wood and soon reached the cars again.  We then retired to the Tea Room and enjoyed tea and cakes in the sunshine below the walls of the old castle.

Next week’s event will be a moderate walk over the hills behind Creetown.  Meet at the Breastworks car park in Stranraer at 09:00 or the Riverside car park in Newton Stewart at 09:30 to share transport.  The walk will start from the Gem Rock Museum in Creetown at 10:00 (NX 477 590).  New walkers are always welcome but please contact the walk leader on 01988 840268 for full details.


  1. A place I've always wanted to visit. Maybe someday. Looks another nice walk.

  2. A lovely walk, and the first two photos in particular have been captured beautifully by Scoop.


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