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, 9 November 2014

Wigtownshire Ramblers New Luce Circular November 2014

Saturday the 8th of November 2014.
This walk followed a very similar route to one we did in October 2012 

Shorty is the walk leader and his report will follow the images.

Friday night's weather forecast was a reasonable one. By Saturday it had completely changed.
We assembled at the New Luce Memorial Hall.
All walkers were prepared for the weather.
A light shower arrived in time for our departure.

New Luce is a very picturesque village.

This cottage has a fine new coat of paint.

Gun Dog !

Just north of the village we took the road east towards Barnshangan.
This was just one of several fine bulls we saw. I think he's the same fella I photographed in 2012.

At Barnshangan we turned north to follow a farm track.

The weather at this point was only light showers, that would soon change.

Fungi grew profusely in the grass. Watch out for a good picture of the large mushroom later in the post.  Scoop captured a beauty.

A mile on from Barnshanagan we reached the ruins of the Knockibae Lead Mines
I had a little rummage but never found anything valuable.

From the mines we took to the first of the moors across Big Milldown hill, the weather worsened.
We descended to the bridge to Quarter Farm over the Cross Water of Luce.
It's a fine piece of engineering built by the Lanarkshire Steel Company.

A farm track, a short road walk and we took a track up to the ruins of a one time substantial two storey dwelling on the slopes of Craigbirnoch Fell.
Here we took a short break for lunch. With very little shelter from the now incessant rain most walkers were keen to move along. Me and the Weaver were less keen since we'd bagged the best spot.
More tussocky ground took us over Craigbirnoch Fell

Looking down on Craigbirnoch Farm

After by-passing the farm we arrived at this bridge.

This is the main Stranraer - Ayr railway line and was part of the Glasgow South Western Line.
Is it still classed as part of that line ?

Following the line of the railway we encountered more tussocks, more rain and an awkward dyke crossing. Water has now permeated even the best waterproofs. Dryness is not an option and a cavalier couldn't care less attitude abounds. Shall we dance.

We waved to the few passengers on the train.

A solid track was a relief after the tussocks. A four carriage train heading for Stranraer passed by.

I couldn't pass this bright bit of fungus without taking a picture.

On reaching Barlure Farm, our leader Shorty gave us the option on/of whether to continue across the fields or take to the road. The vote was unanimous.
Barlure - Stair Lodge junction.

The last soggy stretch.
A great walk for the soul. It's a great walk in good weather as our 2012 recce proved. Maybe third time lucky.
Thanks to the New Luce folk for allowing us the use of the War Memorial Hall to get out of our wet gear. 
The Kenmuir Arms had a wonderful welcome of cream topped buttered scones with lashings of tea and coffee.
A great finish to a wet day.

Here's a great selection of pictures from 


Here's Shorty's report.

Wigtownshire Ramblers – Saturday 8th November 2014 – New Luce North Circular

The weather forecast had promised a bright morning with cloud and rain spreading in later.  However, as the eighteen ramblers assembled at the Memorial Hall in New Luce the skies were already lowering and spots of rain started as we set off.  We walked up through the attractive village and took the Barrhill road.  Just past the cemetery we turned onto the Barnshangan road and climbed above the Cross Water of Luce.  The cattle in the field eyed us balefully as they solemnly chewed away at the bright green kale.  A shepherd’s quad bike puttered away in an adjacent field.  Otherwise we seemed to have the world to ourselves.

WE followed a farm track northwards and then took to the fields as we climbed up to the remnants of the Knockibae Lead Mine.  First developed in the 18th century, it had a chequered career, opening and closing several times over the next century as the price of lead encouraged further attempts.  We thought that the difficulty of exporting the heavy ore from such a remote site counted against its chances of success.  All that remains now is a series of ridges and furrows and the ruins of a small building.

Leaving the mine we passed through a narrow gateway and out onto the open moor.  We climbed to the rocky summit of Craigiegower and then across the damp moorland to Wee Mildown and Big Milldown, neither of which were impressive hills but afforded good views over the valley of the Cross Water.  The hills to the east were somewhat obscured by the now persistent rain.  We carried on across the moor following quad bike and cattle tracks and dropped down to the river at the Quarter Bridge.  The river ran well under the bridge but had dropped considerably from the recce two days earlier.

Turning away from the river we followed the farm track back to the Barrhill road which we traced northwards across a cattle grid and then turned onto an overgrown track up to the ruin of Cairn Side farm.  This had been a substantial farmhouse, unusual in that it had had a full two stories in the main house, apparently the result of an extension to the original building.  Two further single storey rooms had been added to the rear.  In spite of all this effort it appears to have been very short lived.  There was no sign of any buildings on the 1848 maps.  It appeared in good condition in 1895 but was a roofless ruin by 1908.

The rain was now a steady downpour and it was decided pause for lunch taking what shelter we could from the ruins.  A speedy lunch was consumed and we soon headed off up the hill behind the house.  Finding a gate we crossed onto the open hill and over the ridge towards Craigbirnoch.  Following a route through a series of gates we passed below the farm and made our way to the bridge over the railway.  It had been our intention to follow a route westwards to Kilfeddar but unfortunately the Tongue Glen Burn running in spate during the recce had prevented progress in that direction.  So we turned southwards down the side of the railway.  The ground was very wet and we squelched our way through the tussocks and mires and across small burns to the fields above the Main Water of Luce.  As we struggled on a train passed on the railway, sweeping northwards towards Girvan.  Several walkers waved cheerfully to the train and several of the passengers responded.  They seemed to be somewhat amazed to see anyone on these bleak moors.

We soon reached the track from Barlure to Kilfeddar which we thankfully took southwards enjoying the shelter of the trees along the bank of the river.  Water ran over sections of the track but we were all so damp already that the puddles were largely ignored.  When we reached Barlure a very short debate decided that we should follow the road back to New Luce rather than the more scenic way across the fields.  So a quick route march brought us back to the village.  We were very thankful to be able to use the facilities in the village hall to change our soaking clothes before our soggy but cheerful group retired to the Kenmuir Arms which the landlords had opened specially to provide us with much needed refreshment and warmth.  As we left the village the sun emerged from behind the clouds and the lower Luce Valley was bathed in glorious sunshine.

Next week there will be two walks: a strenuous 10 walk along the hills above Glen App and a more leisurely walk to the south of Ballantrae.  Both the walks will start and finish at the Auchencrosh cross roads on the A77 (NX 095 790).  Meet at the Riverside car park in Newton Stewart at 09:00 or the Breastworks car park in Stranraer at 09:30 to share transport.  The walk will start at 10:00.  New walkers are always welcome but please contact the walk leader on 01465 712180 (hill walk) or 01581 200256 (low level walk) for full details.


  1. Jim, so thoroughly beautiful and captivating, as always! And that is the sweetest looking bull I have ever seen! :)

    1. We have some prizewinning bulls in Galloway Linda

    2. Looks like a Murray Grey to me. :)

    3. Having just looked at pictures of Murray Greys, Rose, I will concur.

  2. That does look wet towards the end of the walk. It's been a good year so far for the lack of rain but things seem to be changing now. Hope you are looking after your chest if you get soaked Jim as I always seemed to get a cold after a wet walk in the past although I've had bronchitis and chest infections on and off since childhood thanks to a damp bedroom growing up. Like the wading along the river/path photo. Brought days out like that one flooding back. No pun intended.

    1. I can emphasise with you regarding bronchitis Bob. While working down south hardly a year went by that I didn't contract it. After moving back to Scotland I was clear for the next 5 years. I'm clear again after getting my wood burner taken out.


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