Saturday, 5 November 2011

Scoops Reports 2011 - 5th November, Kilsture to Wigtown

Wigtownshire Ramblers, Saturday 5th November, Kilsture to Wigtown

Elaine, Frances, Thomas, Cath, Isobel, Rachel, Andrea, both Marys, Jim, Ken, Audrey, Duncan, Irene, Paul, Carl, Richard, a new member from the Machars, Anne (Swiss, married a Glaswegian, lived here over 20 years), Jack, John, Leslie, John Arthington, Hilary and Susan met at Kilsture Forest where the autumnal colours were gorgeous!.
On Saturday, twenty four cheerful ramblers set out from Kilsture forest for the eight mile walk to Wigtown remarking on the difference in weather from the previous week when it had rained for the duration of the walk. They set off down the track past South Balfern and were greeted joyfully by a posse of horses in the adjacent field. They were very interested in the walkers and put on an enthusiastic display for their benefit. The cows in the next field were bemused by all the fuss. The walkers followed the track down to the caravan park at Drumroamin, and crossing a field, made their way over a fence to the salt marshes.  They walked along the flood bank and arrived at the designated place for lunch much too early and so decided to walk a further mile. At that point two shots rang out from across the fields startling the Ramblers who then walked on past a willow plantation eventually finding a suitable place to sit with a wonderful view across the estuary to the Galloway Hills. Those with binoculars soon spotted flocks of wading birds on the shoreline, also enjoying a lunch break.
After lunch the walkers retraced their steps and then took the Shell Road, across a lopsided bridge and on towards the airfield at Baldoon. A short detour was taken to look at the old control tower where it was possible to climb up inside and take in a panoramic view of the area. The taxiway to the old runway, now overgrown, was followed past some fusty bales of straw where our keen photographers insisted on a photo shoot.
The route now led on to Baldoon castle which was regarded with some interest and tales told of the Bride of Lammermoor who, as the tradition goes, was forced to marry against her will and on her wedding night stabbed the bridegroom, was declared insane  and died herself within the month. A figure in white is said to haunt the old castle. The gates to the castle still stood proudly to the entrance of the new house which had been built using stone from the original castle. After a good look around the walkers moved on along the road towards Bladnoch and under the old railway bridge, which was looking a bit the worse for wear.  They passed the old creamery, now converted to workshops and crossing the river at Bladnoch they could hear an enthusiastic crowd cheering the rugby players on at the stadium. They then took to the fields and climbed the railway embankment which they followed back towards Wigtown. The route then joined the path to the martyrs’ stake and on the flooded marshes a heron was observed, still and silent, poised to catch a fish which never arrived. Some swans were gliding majestically over the water in the late Autumn sunshine.  A short, steep climb up the road into Wigtown was followed by the usual tea, scones and chat before everyone went home to wash their extremely muddy clothes. Elaine had to go back to Kilsture to collect her car and by the time she got back to Wigtown’s Old Bank House to join us all the scones had gone and she made do with just a pot of tea – sorry Elaine, I should have saved half of my scone for you!

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