Fourteen ramblers met on Saturday at Auchencrosh Crossroads on the A77, North of Cairnryan. For most of the group the objective was to traverse the hills above the upper reaches of Glen App on it’s Northern side.
Well wrapped up against the cold, we left the track and began to climb, at first having to pick our way across very muddy ground. Very soon the going became easier and we had lovely views, the sea deep blue in the glorious sunshine which was to stay with us all day.
Reaching the mast on Auchencrosh Hill, we stopped for a break. The wind was quite strong and icy, but the base of the mast provided some shelter to enjoy the extensive views we now had of Ailsa Craig, Ballantrae and the beautiful and varied surrounding countryside.
A short distance Southwards brought us to the top of the hill where we could look down into Glen App and we then turned and made our way across rough pathless ground to Benawhirn. This is the most prominent hill of the range when viewed from the A77 driving South, although Smyrton which we visited next is the highest. It was a delightful, invigorating walk with the wind, fortunately, on our backs.
Battered by even stronger winds we reached the track which runs from Ballantrae to Lagafater Lodge. Here was a different world, and we strolled along loving the calm and the warm sun.
The walk back to the cars along this charming path was most enjoyable despite the “gitters” that we had to negotiate after turning left to cross the Smyrton Bridge.
A superb day was topped off with a delicious tea at the Merchant’s House in Cairnryan where we met up with the smaller group who had completed a longer low level walk.
This week’s walk is an easy 7 mile walk South of Gatehouse. Meet for car sharing at Riverside car park Newton Stewart at 9:15am or Breastworks car park Stranraer at 8:45am, or go to the start of the walk at Gatehouse Car Park NX 599 563.
New walkers are most welcome, but they, and anyone going directly to the start, should contact the walk leader on 01557 815287 for further information.