Ramblers tackle Port William to Monreith circular

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Twenty-five ramblers met between ‘The Man’ and ‘The View’ at Port William harbour on a beautiful sunny morning. Three visitors to the group were welcomed. ‘The Man’ is the realistic bronze sculpture by Andrew Brown overlooking Luce Bay. The plaque nearby has the inscription by WH Davies’ What is this life if full of care,we have no time to stand and stare’.

The walk started south through the village past the community charity shop which successfully raises funds for local and international projects. The path alongside the Kings Green caravan campsite was easy underfoot and led to the more difficult pebbly beach. For the two miles to Monreith the leader was determined to avoid the road so found grass areas or fine shingle to walk on where possible. An adder sunning itself decided to disappear rapidly. Due to the tide just being halfway out an energetic exit up the Kelton steps was made as a slight detour into Monreith before accessing the beach again. Then the short sharp climb up the heugh was used to reach the Otter path. On arrival into the first field the wonderful scent of the gorse was appreciated and when on the path the lovely views back along the coast. The bronze otter was sculpted by Penny Wheatley in memory of the local author Gavin Maxwell. From there was a clear view of the nine hole St Medans golf course which featured in the Ryder cup tour of Scotland last year.

After a mini break the walkers were advised that lunch was on the top of Barhullion Fell in an hour’s time. So at a good pace the ramblers walked inland via Knock School campsite and Larroch Farm and across the sheep grazed fields to the small ruined cottage on the fell. A contour route west was taken until an opening in the gorse was reached and then the route led up gently to the trig point with beautiful views all around including the Isle of Man and the Cumbrian fells.

After a break for lunch was taken, with a few small hailstones thrown in, the ramblers descended via Stellock and Blairbuy to Monreith estate. The Wren’s egg, an erratic boulder possibly originally part of a stone circle, was observed in a field. The massive stand of monkey puzzle trees were significant against a very blue sky and eventually the spread of skunk cabbage (genus Lysichiton) was seen. This was in full bloom with its vibrant yellow flowers and an unusual odour. The spacious lcehouse in the undergrowth was investigated, an interesting find, as not seen before on numerous ventures into the estate. The side of the loch was followed with gorgeous crimson and pink rhododendrons in flower. Wild garlic was in abundance through the woods.

Crossing the main Wigtown Port William road brought the walkers onto one of the tracks for the cows. This was followed gaining height to have views in a northerly direction. The cows were observed and one in particular appeared to be demonstrating the latest design of piercings, not seen before, no doubt the trendsetter.

Garnets walk was reached via Moormains and two deer alerted in the field alongside. Garnets walk provides a good view to the village of Port William and eventually the walkers crossed the football pitch, Maxwell Park and a bird’s eye view of the square and harbour is seen. So the circular walk over varied terrain had been completed and everyone appeared to be in good humour. ‘The View’ which is PIRSAC’s new cafe was a welcome sight and delicious freshly baked scores were consumed. The cafe is above the new housing for the Inshore rescue lifeboat.

Next week’s walk, Saturday 23rd April is a Stair Estates Circular, 8 miles. Meet at 9.15am Riverside, Newton Stewart or 9.30am Breastworks Stranraer or 10am at start of walk Low Balyett Picnic area NX 083 620 if leader informed on 01581 200256. All welcome.