Ramble on the bridge

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At the later start of 11am 28 walkers left the car park at Logan Botanic Gardens and headed towards Port Logan following the rough road track, past the gamekeeper’s cottage, to join the Port Gill road.

Taking a turn to the left, we soon reached the main road and a right turn brought us down to Port Logan Bay. On a lovely sunny morning it was a pleasant stroll beside the bay leading to Logan Fish Pond where a warm welcome awaited us from Helen Hogg.

She and her husband, Paddy, recently took over the running of this famous visitor attraction which was once the fish larder of Logan House. She was delighted that people are now starting again to walk this section of shoreline which has become vastly overgrown in the past few years.

After a short section of walking through high vegetation we reached the old boathouse – another peep at the Logan Estate’s past – and our route became a much more open one. A vague track was picked up – we hope this will soon become more prominent with the encouragement to walk here – as we made our way around rocks covered in sea campion and the purple flowering bell heathers. As we dipped and rose between these rocky outcrops we paused often to admire the view back towards the Port Logan and looked down onto the myriad of tiny bays below us.

After a short scramble upwards we reached one of the a few stiles put in place over the past few years and gained level ground. The folly on top of Mull Hill, now only a single wall, which resembles a tower, was once part of a larger building, but its original purpose is now obscure.

Looking down from there we could see the remains of a very old ‘fisherman’s’ hut, its construction still obvious but definitely no longer habitable! Soon afterwards there was a pause to marvel at Little Bridge, a rock arch, way below us. On previous walks we have passed closer to it having taken a lower path but today we were happy to move on more quickly towards our lunch stop! Leaving the headland we used another newish gate and headed onwards through long grass – lightly compressed by recent walkers – until another gate was reached. Now we had arrived at the reason for our walk – to view the spectacular Devil’s Bridge! Our resident photographer managed to persuade a few of the group to pose for photos before being included in one.

From there it was a short walk to reach the vantage point from where to see the other side of this rock arch. Most of the group opted to remain close to the track above while a few of us scrambled down around the lichen covered rocks to hunt for the right direction. Having reached our aim – this really is the better view – taken photos and scrambled back upwards, we joined the other walkers having lunch, enjoying the slight breeze and warm weather.

The grass became longer as we rounded Lurghie Point but, again, it had been previously walked over and, after another pause to point out the site of a fort at Duniehinnie, we were soon starting to get glimpses of the bay at Port Gill. After crossing a couple of fields we reached the Port Gill road and started a long uphill slog back towards Port Logan. The road was lined with wild flowers, most notably the purple flowering bush vetch.

Wild flowers, including scented mayweed, also lined the track we turned onto to pass between fields of barley over Cauld Hame towards Logan Estate. A tower on the edge of a wooded area was presumed to have been from where the ladies of the estate came to view their surroundings. After a short stop to view the Dovecot built between two houses we were soon passing the entrance to Logan House Gardens. From there it was a short walk to reach our cars and scurry quickly into the Potting Shed Bistro at the famous Logan Botanic Gardens. Carolyn and her crew of helpers were ready for us and a few other members who had joined us and we spent a lovely hour consuming all the scrumptious food provided, with plenty of tea and coffee – all part of the afternoon tea provided by this award winning restaurant. A wonderful end to a good walk.

On Saturday 20 August there will be a circular walk from West Kilbride visiting Hunterston Power Station and Portencross Castle followed with an evening meal. Meet for car sharing at the Breastworks, Stranraer and the Riverside, Newton Stewart, both at 8.00am. If going directly to the walk start at West Kilbride Community Centre (KA23 9AX) at 10.00am, or if joining us as a visitor or new member, please phone the walk leader on 07963 609381.