This week’s Wigtownshire Ramblers walk on Saturday, February 18 is a moderate one of eight miles from Brighouse Bay.
Meet for car sharing at Breastworks, Stranraer at 8.30am, at Riverside, Newton Stewart at 9am or at the walk start at Brighouse Bay (NX 634 457) at 10am. New walkers are always welcome but, along with those going directly to the walk start, are requested to phone the walk leader on 01557 815287.
A biting wind accompanied 21 walkers last Saturday as we left the Angler’s Car Park tucked away above the village of Blackcraig and made our way through the woodland surrounding Daltamine Hill towards the visitor centre at Kirroughtree.
Having left our order for scones for later, we crossed open ground to follow a wide farm track and road before passing Little Park Farm and reaching Bargaly Bridge.
Recent heavy rain has swelled the flow of water in the Palnure Burn which laps the moss covered rocks and its numerous tiny waterfalls. The sun was starting to peep through broken cloud as we passed a field of Belted Galloway calves which turned tail at our approach and skittered away. Skirting numerous puddles or cracking through icy patches, we arrived at the site of a memorial to Davie McCleary who had worked in the surrounding woods and had died there as the result of a heart attack. Soon afterwards we came across a group of Belties around a feeding trough – they gave us a quick glance and got back to more important matters as we tried to keep upright, walking over particularly mucky ground. In the US this breed is known as Police Car cows and in Fearrington Village, Pittsboro, North Carolina they’re the official mascot. They’re also ‘big’ in Australia and Canada!
More open ground beckoned but the ford which we usually crossed was less hospitable. An attempt earlier in the week had left a couple of walkers with wet boots so we made our way towards sheep grazing in the distance, hopping over a few narrow ditches. In the distance we could see Craignelder’s rugged slopes highlighted by sunshine while to our left the summit of Millfore could be seen, covered in snow.
As we neared the old steading of Corwar which on many occasions we have passed over the years, it was apparent that it was no longer deserted and boarded up and that it had undergone tremendous renovations. Smoke rose from one of the newly improved chimney stacks, walls have been reappointed and windows now replace the boarding we had become used to seeing. Maybe one day we shall see horses return to its fields.
Palnure Burn was once again crossed and a long forest road was ahead of us. Discussion followed as to what the large, lumbering bird was making slow progress upwards across some open ground until it got closer and it became obvious to all – a heron! Eventually our perfect lunch spot was reached. Some of us sat close by a dyke on which a metal plaque had been attached, inscribed with a poem portraying the delights of the Palnure burn, entitled ‘Quick Water’. Others sat beside the burn close to a waterfall, which was where group photos were taken.
Hunger abated, we continued along the forest road, sunlight creating fan shaped shadows through the trees, until at last we emerged onto open pastures, not far from the visitor centre. Here we received a warm welcome, scones, cakes and drinks and an open fire to sit beside. Suitably replenished, we had no trouble walking the last mile of our ten mile walk back through the forest to our cars.