Mull of Galloway walk for local ramblers

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Twenty three walkers met at the Mull of Galloway for a walk to Damnaglaur.

Following the track on the west side of this peninsula we reached its southernmost point – a craggy rock formation called Gallie Craig, we stopped for photos before continuing onwards.

The iconic view of the Mull of Galloway with its caves below and was captured on camera by many before a pause close to Kennedy’s Cairn to hear of its reason for existence. Kennedy was a gamekeeper whose employers built this broch-like structure with stone steps jutting out of it for access to its top.

On Saturday 9 July – the walk is a moderate plus one of 8.5 miles – woods, burns and hills, with views! Meet for car sharing at Breastworks, Stranraer, at 9am, at Riverside, Newton Stewart at 9am or at the walk start – Dailly Square War Memorial (NS 270 016) – at 10am. If you are going directly there or joining us for the first time, phone the walk leader on 07500 703882.

Back at last week’s walk, the views along the southern stretch of the Mull of Galloway are beautiful and spectacular and there is much evidence of its forming. The rock, greywacke, is either grey or red in colour, dating from 400-500 million years ago, when it was deposited horizontally in beds a few feet thick, deep on the ocean bed. There followed a period of deformation which produced major folds and faults, altering the beds to almost vertical layering. Once uplifted the rocks of the region were now exposed to erosion. It is the effects of a series of glacial periods (ice ages) which have created most of the scenery seen at the Mull of Galloway.

After we crossed double dykes, the site of Iron Age workings, the group crossed the road near West Tarbet. Picking up the way-marked Mull of Galloway Coastal Path from East Tarbet, we reminisced of when this bay had only one cottage beside it. In the past, paraffin and other supplies for the lighthouse keepers and their families were brought by boat and stored in the stone building here whilst the newer, larger one is used by shell fishers.

Heading northwards, we looked down onto numerous tiny bays with their fascinating rock formations, in and out of the water, back towards the Mull of Galloway lighthouse at the very tip of the Rhins, and north to Maryport and Cailiness Point.

It was a very muddy, mucky track along which we were walking, following in the footsteps of more sheep than we had ever having encountered before, until we reached and climbed over a dyke, with the aid of a stile. Heading for Portankill, following way markers along a track which frequently dipped and rose, we commented on the use of this rocky, sometimes gorse surrounded track being used by countless runners, usually running for charity, and how difficult some sections must be. For us it was a pleasant meander until we reached the bay and were delighted that the light and infrequent rain which we had encountered so far had disappeared and we spent a happy, sunny half an hour having our lunch and collecting pebbles off the beach. Our leader had challenged us to find an attractive one or two each to take back to her house to add to her collection in her newly constructed ‘seaside’ garden, which they managed with much hilarity!

Laden with these and full stomachs, we climbed upwards to continue on the coastal path – no easy feat – and carefully negotiated this narrow section before reaching a much wider one. Signs of recently repairs to eroded parts were seen before later witnessing the intensive work done to install culverts to allow the passage of water from the high side of the path, down to the sea. Our route was one of grass and gravel, now a wider track, lined with vegetation taller than most of us – bracken mostly but, later on, plenty of Wild Parsnip. Our attention was caught by a number of seals, seemingly following our progress until we dipped once more to the beach. Here we were requested to collect shells - not such a big response to this as there was a dearth of variety here!

Maryport Caravan Park was reached before we turned inland and had the biggest climb of the day, along the farm track up to and beside Creechan Farm, before reaching the road. A right turn and a short walk brought us to Damnaglaur where we emptied our pockets and made a display of the pebbles we had collected. After a quick tour of the garden at Damnaglaur House and that of Ardoch we got inside the leader’s house before the rain started in earnest – we had been lucky to have avoided it until then!

Twenty three pairs of boots were discarded inside the entrance, plus the shoes of two other members who had joined us, then tea/coffee and cakes were consumed, everyone finding a seat in the kitchen, dining/living room and there was a lot of noisy chatter. Books were offered to those giving a donation to Red Cross and plants outside were perused before many of these disappeared too, donations also to the charity. Frances Collins wishes to thank all of her rambler friends who contributed so VERY generously to the Red Cross for their tea, books and cakes. The Red Cross does such sterling work, has always responded to any crisis in this country or abroad while also helping the needy locally. It is for local support that the donation will be given, along with that given for plants, teas and books on the opening of the two gardens the following day.