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Monday, 16 March 2015

Wigtownshire Ramblers - SUW - Portpatrick to Stranraer - March 2015

Saturday 14th March
Wigtownshire Ramblers - SUW - Portpatrick to Stranraer

This is a walk we've done several times.
The last time was January 2014.
Links to previous walks are in that post.

I've been having problems with my right knee and had it xrayed a couple of weeks ago.
I have degeneration in the padding in the knee's interior and I'll be seeing an orthopaedic specialist whenever to determine what treatment is required.
At the moment big hills are out for me, but I'll see how I go on with lower level walks.
This was supposed to be a test for me, but I only did half the walk.
Another of our mature walkers was struggling a little when we reached the Leswalt to Portpatrick road so I volunteered to accompany him to the bus back at Portpatrick. 
Lucky us jumped straight into a passing farmers landrover who dropped us at the bus stop.
We had forty minutes to wait.
I walked around parts of Stranraer while waiting for the rest of the group.

The Taxi Driver and Miss Goodnight were walk leaders and Scoop has written the report,
Her photographs will follow mine and her report will follow those.

So here's my pictures from the section of the walk I did. 

Big Ed was watching as we got off the bus at Portpatrick.

It was quiet as we set out towards the cliff path.
By mid July, this place will be swarming with holidaymakers.

I got the group to stand for a picture

The steps which begin the SUW

A view back to Portpatrick

Climb down to Port Mora (Sandeel Bay)

Port Kale (Lairds Bay)

The steep chained climb out of Lairds Bay

Crossing Ouchtriemakain Moor

Portamaggie and the wreck of the Craigantlet

A group picture under Killantringan Lighthouse

Killantringan Bay with the House of Knock above Knock Bay.
Should you click on the link and wish to holiday at the House of Knock, I'm sure it's a fine establishment.
There's just one thing about the write up you'll have to be careful of.
It's this "private access to a secluded beach below". I'll grant you that the access is private, but do not be surprised to see other folk enjoying the beach. It's only really secluded when the tide is well in.

This is where the SUW leaves the west coast.

View back to the lighthouse.


Hey, there's a coupla birds on the line

This was the point at which me and 'The Man from the GPO' deserted the group.

All the times I've been to Portpatrick I'd never before noticed this milestone.

While awaiting our bus we lunched and I took a few pictures.
That's it from me now ................ are the pictures from


Scoop's Report

Wigtownshire Ramblers Report 14 March Portpatrick - Stranraer
The numbers of walkers varied throughout the walk, starting with 18 who made use of the bus from Stranraer to Portpatrick.  Sunshine accompanied the group as they rounded the northern side of the harbour and climbed the steps which zigzag upwards towards and passing Portpatrick Hotel.  This is the start of the Southern Upland Way.  Soon they reached the now abandoned radio station where one of the walkers regaled the others with his memories of working there. On the rocks below, seabirds were busily making sure of their nesting places, announcing their presence noisily.
With the sparkling pale blue sea on the left and the golf course on the right, the cliffs were followed until the path descended to the beach of Port Mora, passing the gushing waterfall to the right. It was once the custom, on the first night of May, to bring those suffering from ailments to bathe in the water. Having crossed the beach and then taken the narrow path round the point to Port Kale they passed the cable station before crossing the bridge over Dunskey Burn.

The walkers continued along the SUW, passing a large detached piece of cliff and climbed the steep staircase of steps making use of the chain handrail to regain the cliff top on the northern side of the bay.  The way marked path follows the coast northwards across easy grassy slopes until it reaches the gully of March Howe, where the track had to be negotiated with care.  Now Killantringan Lighthouse came into view and was soon reached, the group pausing for a short while to remark on the remains of the bow of the Craigantlet still being pretty substantial despite the pounding it will have endured since this coaster ran onto the rocks directly below the lighthouse, in 1982.

Turning inland they followed the road towards the farm with its attractive Simmental calves who regarded them solemnly as they passed. As the walkers reached the main road, a couple of them decided to make their walk a circular one and left the others to return to Portpatrick.  The remaining walkers followed the SUW signs along this and a more minor road for some time, the wind farm above Low Auchenree working well on the right, before eventually leaving the farm road and gaining a grassy track.  It was here that another member of the Wigtownshire Ramblers joined the group, having walked from Stranraer.
The grassy path opened out onto the grassy Mulloch Hill with its viewpoint cairn specially built for the SUW. On a clear day the green undulating Rhins to the wider horizons of Ireland, Kintyre and the Galloway Hills can be seen, along with dramatic Ailsa Craig which stands out in front of Arran.  Today the sunshine was warm but intermittent and visibility was not at its best.  It was from here that today’s leader and backup had seen a White Tailed Eagle, on one of their recces, but no sign was seen of it today.
Soon afterwards sharp eyed botanists spotted some white jelly like blobs, beside black spotted ones and the answer to their identity came via a nature programme seen by one of group on a TV nature programme the previous night – they were of frogspawn consumed and then discarded by an owl! The sun was beginning to wane as the group found shelter below the hill to have lunch but the day stayed dry as they made their way over rough moorland towards Knockquahassen Reservoir.  Marshy sections were crossed with only a few wet boots before a concrete farm road was reached.
After some road walking another member joined up with the group, near Hillside Piggeries, receiving an enthusiastic welcome and the road was followed until a ‘short cut’ was taken across a field, down to Ochtrelure.
While enjoying the welcome, cakes, scones and hot drinks in Brambles, two more members arrived, both of whom had been unable to walk with the group but who were greeted with pleasure by all.  It had been a day of comings and goings of the Wigtownshire Ramblers.
Next week’s walk follows the southern coastline of the Machars from St Medans to the Isle of Whithorn, of 11 miles although a shorter alternative may be planned.  Meet for car sharing at Breastworks, Stranraer at 9.15am, at Riverside, Newton Stewart at 9.30am or at St Medans beach car park (NX 365 395) at 10am.  If going to the walk start or if a new walker, please contact the walk leader on 01671 403351.


  1. Some fabulous images from you and Scoop James showcasing this walk and that chained steep climb sure looks challenging!

  2. Hope you get a swift and satisfactory outcome to your knee problem.. still enjoying the photos greatly.


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