On Saturday, a dozen eager ramblers gathered at Dailly Square under an overcast sky to do that day’s leader’s favourite walk, a circular tour to Barony Hill.
The weather forecast had been all over the place for the previous few days, so we didn’t know what to expect. It was warm at first, and as we entered Lindsayston Woods, some outer clothing was cast off. A major part of the wood had been felled (it had “upped sticks” or “logged off for the last time”) and a strange moonscape remained, with the old path meandering vaguely amongst the stumps.
We then turned onto a farm track which led us on to the Barr road.
Passing the mysterious Dr C’s memorial stone, we turned right up the steep slope past Whitehill Farm up to Machrikill chapel. The route changed from road to lane to path to grassy field as a light drizzle commenced overhead. The otherwise excellent “Dailly Trails” leaflet suggests that the cell or chapel was founded by St Machar in the first century, which is extremely unlikely! Looking back, Ailsa Craig was gradually being covered by a descending mist.
We headed up the fields to the top of Barony Hill (1049 ft) and, because the weather was getting wetter, immediately set off towards Lannielane Quarry, a limestone quarry in use in the 18th and 19th centuries. We then continued through the woods, until we reached the River Girvan, which we followed passing Dalquharran Mansion (1786, Robert Adam), Dalquharran Castle (16th Century) with its avenue of yew trees, and crossing over the Millenium Bridge (2002) back into Dailly.
Next week’s walk is a moderate ‘plus’ one of 7.5 miles, starting from the Cream o’ Galloway car park (NX 599 518) at 10am. Meet for car sharing at the Breastworks, Stranraer, at 9am, the Riverside, Newton Stewart at 9.30am or, if going to the start of the walk or joining us for the first time, please phone the walk leader on 01671 401222 for further information.