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Sunday, 12 April 2015

Wigtownshire Ramblers Two Walks - Wood of Cree to Loch Middle - Caldons to Larg Hill - April 2015

Saturday 11th April 2015
Due to the scheduled walk up Larg Hill being a strenuous 'A' walk, an easier low level walk had been arranged for those walkers who weren't keen on the climb.
Because of my continued knee problem I opted for the easier walk.

The low level walk leader was A'OK and her report and the Musician's report of the high level walk will follow the pictures.
Previous walks to Loch Middle include

The previous walks up Larg led by myself were 
July 2011 Recce (ha ha)

Leaving the RSPB car park

One of many waterfalls in the Wood of Cree.

Wood samples and details

Gate beyond Cordorcan

Forest Road 

A pair of Greylag geese

Loch Middle

Post coffee break

Preparing to resume walk

A long zoom to the slopes of Larg Hill

Forest Road past Craig Murchie

Another long zoom, this time it's Knock Fell (can't argue it's not a real walk Shorty)

A lot of felled timber since our last walk up here.

Back at Cordorcan

Cordorcan ruins


A bridge crossing

Information boards

An ideal ready made lunch spot 

Following the Pulhowan Burn

Forests of moss

Leaving the viewpoint.

Pulhowan Burn Grey Mare's Tail

Here are the pictures I've received of the

Climb to Larg Hill 

If I receive any more I'll update the post.
The Caldon's Burn

Shelter ! at the Nick of the Brushy

Fine weather on the recce..................

.............a bit cooler on walk day

A break at Loch Middle on recce day

13th April
I've received the following fine selection of pictures from

'The Mambo Number 5 Girl' 

On the move with a view to the North

 Lunch time Nick of the Brushy

 Bennan, Benyellery and the Merrick

 Cree Estuary view

Shorty's first climb of Larg
( I'm thinking he's probably bagged the full range of the Minnigaff hills now )


Same as previous only more panoramic

View down to Loch Middle
A very nice set of pictures

Monday the 13th of April..........later
I've now received some pictures from

Geo and the Croupier

 Larg Summit

 As Shorty points out hills, the 'Croupier' gets her picture taken.

 Looking towards Cairnsmore of Fleet.
The well built drystane dyke survives all weathers

 Curleywee view

 Shorty again.
Looks like Larg's westerly summit

 Panorama with Lamachan behind Larg's eastern summit and the Awful Hand range to the left.

 Descending Punch Well Brae

'Geo' on Punch Well Brae.
Another fine set of pictures.

Thursday night's moon

Here's the reports
Ramblers Saturday 11th April

Two walks were planned for this week. The first, a 9 mile strenuous walks from Caldons, over Larg Hill to the Wood of Cree and the second an easy 6 mile stroll around the Wood of Cree and up to Loch Middle.
This first was a linear walk starting at Caldons a previous campsite at the southwest end of Loch Trool, climbing Larg Hill and finishing at the Wood of Cree car park near the otter pool on the River Cree. Therefore cars were left at each end.
 The morning was dry after a wet night and there was a light snow covering on the Minnigaff Hills. The clouds were moving to the East so that the summit of Larg cleared.
 Sixteen of us gathered for this walk and were welcomed by the leader. All were suitably attired and ready to walk in the snow. The walk had been checked out on Monday, a hot day when suntan cream had to be used! We had a pretty walk through Caldons woods and crossed Caldons burn to the west side to walk gradually uphill. The ground was, of course, wet and in some places very boggy but spotting numerous waterfalls was compensation.
We emerged from the forestry area to follow the Mulmein burn and squelched away across the Mulmein moss. Looking back, the sunshine and snow on Benyellary and the Merrick was a picture. We had passed Craignaw on our right and we were heading for the Nick of the Brushy. Out in the open, wind proof gear was necessary as we headed for the dyke as marked on the map. We waited for our lunch break until we reached the Nick and found what was initially a lovely sheltered place out of the wind with a beautiful view as far as the Cree estuary and the sea. The wind then shifted a little and we found ourselves in a wind gully, so everyone having eaten we set off again. To reach the summit we had the full force of the cold wind from the North West but the sun kept appearing between the clouds. From the summits of Larg, 676m and 660m, we had terrific views all round especially back to Curleywee and Milfore and as far as Ailsa Craig to the North West. The broad short grassed ridge was pleasant to walk and again, following the dyke, we eventually reached the tussocks of the forest ride. Once the track was reached, after a brief discussion we headed on for Loch Middle which was a very pretty place for us to have our tea break. We completed our 9.5 mile walk down the forest track and through the Wood of Cree where it was pleasing to see the first primroses as well as more lovely waterfalls.
 It appeared that everyone had enjoyed their walk and people and cars were reunited for the onward journey, some pausing for tea at the Brig End café in Newton Stewart.

Meanwhile the second group had set off up the northern side of the Wood of Cree in bright sunshine. Spirits were high as we walked alongside the laughing waters of the Cordorcan burn. The chattering of the group precluded us from hearing any bird calls, except those of alarm, as the walkers climbed steadily towards the top of the wood. Here we left the RSPB reserve and headed up the forest road towards Loch Middle. Trees had been felled all about us, no doubt as a result of the disease affecting the larch. However, two diggers, idle today, had been busy dolloping (creating little lumps of earth) where young saplings would eventually be planted and the wood brought to life again.
As we rounded a bend we could see Craigmurchie on our left, but to our right we were dismayed to see the snow covered top of Larg Hill, the destination of our other group. We hoped they were not getting too cold, or finding the terrain too difficult up there.
Another mile further on the tranquil waters of the Loch came into view and soon we were on its shores where we found a sheltered spot out of the wind to take a coffee break. We were able to watch several geese in the distance already pairing up for the breeding season.
After coffee we retraced our steps towards the Wood of Cree. We were passed by a lone cyclist who seemed to be finding the going tough and then by a couple of holiday makers from Suffolk who were staying in the remote and isolated cottage at Cordorcan. They were relishing the peace and beauty of the area, no doubt a huge change from the bustle of life in the South
On re-entering the wood we took the path to the north and soon reached the top of the hill where we were delighted to find that the RSPB had provided the perfect picnic sight for us -the stumps of felled trees just at sitting height.
After lunch we followed the path alongside the Pulhowan burn to the lookout point above the waterfall with views across the River Cree. The waterfall was not as impressive as in the past after the dry spell of weather and as it was difficult to squash all twenty two of us into the small space at the view point we soon continued along the path through the forest of young saplings covered In thick green moss, which gave them a strangely animalistic appearance. Meercat and rabbit shapes were clearly visible to those with an overactive imagination. Along the way we spotted the early flowerings of primroses, wood anemones and bright blue speedwell.
We emerged from the wood just as a black cloud threatened to empty itself upon us. Nevertheless we wandered along the path to visit the otters’ pool with little hope of seeing the creatures at that time of day.
We completed our day with a visit to the Belted Galloway where we received our customary warm welcome and a great selection of freshly made scones.
Next week there is a seven and a half mile walk from Torhousekie Stone Circle to Bladnoch which includes a tour of the fish farm. Meet at the Breastworks car park in Stranraer at 9.15am or the Riverside car park in Newton Stewart at 9.30am for car sharing. The walk starts at Torhousekie Stone Circle (NX 382 564) at 10am. Thinking of going straight to the start or of joining our group?  Please phone the walk leader on 01671 403351 first.


  1. Moon shot is brilliant, and the walk is just my kind of walk for the time being, lovely photos James.

    1. Thank you Rose, you'll certainly love the Wood of Cree.

    2. Thank you Rose, you'll certainly love the Wood of Cree.

  2. Looks a good walk Jim.Great photos as usual and that's a cracking moon shot. Only way I'd get that is to photograph it through binoculars or a telescope set on a tripod. Nice to see you are back in action outdoors again.


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